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Walid Ashoor
Alex/OldTown HistoricDistrict Sales
400 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

(800) 753-5228
(703) 585-6224
(703) 683-1303
(703) 518-8413


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Previous Listing Next Listing
Price : $2,500
MlsNumber : AX10077239
Address : 400 MADISON ST #2106
County : ALEXANDRIA CITY
Bedrooms : 1
Full Baths : 1
Half Baths : 1

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7 Steps to Take Before You Buy a Home

 

By doing your homework before you buy, you’ll feel more content about your new home.

 

 

 

Most potential homebuyers are a smidge daunted by the fact that they’re about to agree to a hefty mortgage that they’ll be paying for the next few decades. The best way to relieve that anxiety is to be confident you’re purchasing the best home at a price you can afford with the most favorable financing. These seven steps will help you make smart decisions about your biggest purchase.

 

1. Decide how much home you can afford

 

Generally, you can afford a home priced 2 to 3 times your gross income. Remember to consider costs every homeowner must cover: property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care if you plan to have children.

 

2. Develop your home wish list

 

Be honest about which features you must have and which you’d like to have. Handicap accessibility for an aging parent or special needs child is a must. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are in the bonus category. Come up with your top-five must-haves and top-five wants to help you focus your search and make a logical, rather than emotional, choice when home shopping.

 

3. Select where you want to live

 

Make a list of your top-five community priorities, such as commute time, schools, and recreational facilities. Ask your REALTOR® to help you identify three to four target neighborhoods based on your priorities.

 

4. Start saving

 

Have you saved enough money to qualify for a mortgage and cover your downpayment? Ideally, you should have 20% of the purchase price set aside for a downpayment, but some lenders allow as little as 5% down. A small downpayment preserves your savings for emergencies.

 

However, the lower your downpayment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for, and if you still qualify, the higher your monthly payment. Your downpayment size can also influence your interest rate and the type of loan you can get.

 

Finally, if your downpayment is less than 20%, you’ll be required to purchase private mortgage insurance. Depending on the size of your loan, PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment. Check with your state and local government for mortgage and downpayment assistance programs for first-time buyers.

 

5. Ask about all the costs before you sign

 

A downpayment is just one homebuying cost. Your REALTOR® can tell you what other costs buyers commonly pay in your area—including home inspections, attorneys’ fees, and transfer fees of 2% to 7% of the home price. Tally up the extras you’ll also want to buy after you move-in, such as window coverings and patio furniture for your new yard.

 

6. Get your credit in order

 

A credit report details your borrowing history, including any late payments and bad debts, and typically includes a credit score. Lenders lean heavily on your credit report and credit score in determining whether, how much, and at what interest rate to lend for a home. Most require a minimum credit score of 620 for a home mortgage.

 

You’re entitled to free copies of your credit reports annually from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Order and then pore over them to ensure the information is accurate, and try to correct any errors before you buy. If your credit score isn’t up to snuff, the easiest ways to improve it are to pay every bill on time and pay down high credit card debt.

 

7. Get prequalified

 

Meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter that says how much house you’re qualified to buy. Start gathering the paperwork your lender says it needs. Most want to see W-2 forms verifying your employment and income, copies of pay stubs, and two to four months of banking statements.

 

If you’re self-employed, you’ll need your current profit and loss statement, a current balance sheet, and personal and business income tax returns for the previous two years.

 

Consider your financing options. The longer the loan, the smaller your monthly payment. Fixed-rate mortgages offer payment certainty; an adjustable-rate mortgage offers a lower monthly payment. However, an adjustable-rate mortgage may adjust dramatically. Be sure to calculate your affordability at both the lowest and highest possible ARM rate.


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All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage. Prosperity Home Mortgage may not be available in your area. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance. 4440 Brookfield Corporate Dr., Chantilly, VA, (703) 222-1800. ©Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NMLSR ID #70353.

The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity/IDX (Internet Data Exchange) Program of the New River Valley Multiple Listing Service, Inc. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo (IDX) and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing broker.

IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed, and should be independently verified.

Listing data provided by Metropolitan Regional Information as of Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Although the Multiple Listing Service of The Roanoke Valley is the single source for these listings, listing data appearing on this website does not necessarily reflect the entirety of all available listings withing the Multiple Listing Service. All lisiting data is refreshed daily, but its accuracy is subject to market changes.

All copyrights and intellectual property rights are the exclusive property of the Multiple Listing Service of The Roanoke Valley. Whether obtained from a search result or otherwise, visitors to this web site may only use this listing data for their personal, non-commercial benefit. The unauthorized retrieval or use of this listing data is prohibited.