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Stay updated with the latest real estate trends, ideas, and expert advice.

Category: Buying

Buying a house is a very challenging process. Here, you will find blog posts written by me, Marlon A. Thomas Jr, a real estate agent in Williamsburg, Virginia. You will also find articles written by real estate bloggers from various websites. This is otherwise known as feeds. Henceforth, as a homebuyer, you will get a broad spectrum of helpful insights and tips from industry experts. If you’re puzzled about something, don’t hesitate to contact me with a question. Lastly, just like the old saying goes, knowledge is power!

Suppose you’re a first-time buyer in Virginia. In that case, you should definitely check out this article I wrote about first-time homebuyer programs in VA. I’m sure you will greatly appreciate the resources and advice given. Furthermore, knowing about the different mortgage types is also vital to learn before buying s house. After all, you can never be too prepared to buy a home. If that were the case, it would be a lot easier than it really is. To sum up, this page is meant to serve as a hub of info for homebuyers.

You can expect multiple articles to get posted throughout the week. If you want to stay up to date with the latest news and advice, you can subscribe. That way you won’t even have to think about it! As a real estate agent, it is my job to make sure your home purchase goes as smoothly as possible. In short, that can’t be done successfully without valuable information.

Here’s Why Buying a House Is Not a Good Investment

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Is Buying a House a “Good Investment?”

As a Realtor, I don’t think buying a home is a “good investment.” However, I do believe it can be a great “personal financial decision.”

advice for buying a house
The House Buying Guide, Square Yards, Square Times Bureau, March 22nd, 2016

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Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved

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Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved

Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved are the very first steps of the home buying process. Without this step, you can’t get a mortgage, meaning can’t buy a home. Unless you’re a cash buyer. Nonetheless, most people will have to go through this process before home shopping. If you’re unsure of how much you’re likely to afford, try using a mortgage prequalification calculator first.

Here’s a homebuyer tip from Bank of America: “Expect surprises! Lenders look at every detail of your finances when granting preapproval. You might be asked about a car loan payment you made with a credit card, for example. Be prepared to answer lender questions as soon as they come up.”

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What Is a Mortgage?

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What Is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan secured by the collateral of real estate. Mortgages typically have 15 to 30-year terms and can have a fixed or adjustable interest rate. The borrower is bound to make monthly payments to the principal, which is your outstanding balance. In the case that you stop making payments, the lender can take possession of the property. Otherwise known as the process of foreclosure.

All in all, the lender holds the most stake in your home. Therefore, by making monthly payments, you’re always increasing the amount of ownership in the property. Lastly, here’s a fun fact for you: The origin of the word “mortgage” is Latin and then came from Old French, which initially meant a death pledge.

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Buying New Construction vs Existing Homes

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New Construction or Resale?

As you continue your home search, I’m sure you’ve wondered if it’s better to buy new construction or a resale home. You might love the idea of owning a home with the latest safety standards and modern technology. Or you might like the idea of buying an older home because of its charm. But of course, both will come with their fair share of pros and cons. Here are a few reasons you may prefer to buy a newly built home over an existing one.

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11 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

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Buying a Home for the First Time

Buying a home can be a daunting task for first time home buyers.

However, as a Realtor, I understand.

Below I have eleven tips for first-time home buyers.

Featured: 10 Major Advantages of Owning a Home

But first, what exactly is a first-time homebuyer?

First Time Home Buyer Definition

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a first-time home buyer as the following:

  • You haven’t owned a primary residence for three years. However, if you’ve owned a home but your spouse hasn’t, both of you can still buy as first-time home buyers.
  • You’re a single parent who has owned a home with a former spouse while married.
  • You’re a displaced homemaker who has only owned with a spouse.
  • You have only owned a primary residence that wasn’t attached to a fixed foundation.
  • You’ve owned a home that wasn’t up to code. Or if it wasn’t possible to bring the property up to code for less than the cost to rebuild.
Rent Vs. Own [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters
Crew, KCM, “Rent vs. Own,” Keeping Current Matters, August 9, 2019, https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2019/08/09/rent-vs-own-infographic/
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Each Mortgage Type Explained

Which Mortgage Type?

5 types of mortgage loans for homebuyers: Which is best for you? | Fox  Business

Knowing what mortgage type is best for you can be somewhat of a doozy. For this reason, it should in your best interest to find a reputable mortgage lender. This will allow you to be consulted by an expert while finding out what home loan is best.

Before continuing, I must make a disclaimer. My intent with this article is to briefly describe each type of loan while giving my opinions. I am a Realtor, and I do not proclaim myself to be a mortgage expert whatsoever.

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First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Virginia

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Affordable Housing Programs In Virginia

Finding affordable housing as a first-time homebuyer in Virginia can be a significant challenge. Especially as home prices continue rising. Well, thanks to down payment and closing cost grants offered by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), affording a house doesn’t have to be so hard after all.

In fact, these grants don’t have to be repaid whatsoever, and all of the VHDA’s mortgages have 30-year terms with a fixed interest rate.

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Buying vs Renting a Home

The Buying vs Renting a Home Discussion

When it comes to buying vs renting a home, it all depends.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 78% of non-homeowners believe homeownership is a good financial decision.

Wealth Front states only 37% of millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 own a house.

Subsequently, 63% out of the bunch stated they regretted buying a house.

59% of these individuals stated their top reasoning for regretting their purchase was due to unforeseen maintenance costs.

For example, just because your lender pre-approves you for $350,000 doesn’t necessarily mean you can comfortably afford the monthly payment of such.

Perhaps, the limit to which you’re comfortable with $320,000 instead.

But just like anything else in life, there are pros and cons to each when it comes to buying vs renting a home.

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