How to Find a Home in Arlington Before Amazon Hits the Housing Market
With Amazon coming to Crystal City, many Arlington residents may be feeling anxious about the prospect of rising home prices in the area.
The good news is that Amazon’s HQ2 doesn’t begin hiring until 2019, so it’s still early enough to pre-empt the first wave of Amazon relocation home buyers that will drive supply down and prices up.
Here are some tips for getting your Arlington home search underway before the influx of high-paying Amazon jobs starts to seriously impact our local housing market.
Understand your financial options
Before beginning your home search, consult with a reputable lender to discuss:
- What home price range you should search within
- How much money you’ll need to put down
- How to shore up your personal finances for the best loan possible
The home price range is especially important — it’s the reality check you need to search for homes within your means. If you have a confident price range, you’ll know how to focus your home search and avoid wasting your time on properties that are too expensive.
Evaluate your expectations
Once you have your affordable price range, make a list of qualities you’d prefer about your dream home:
- Where would you like it to be located?
- What type of home do you prefer — condo, townhouse, etc.?
- What features would you like to see — hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, etc.?
Search for homes that have sold in your area within your price range during the past year. Hopefully you’ll see homes selling in the past 12 months that reflect everything you want. If not, you may need to begin adjusting your expectations on which qualities are absolute must-haves and which would be merely nice to have.
Anticipate repair costs
Let’s say you’ve consulted with a lender to get your affordable price range; found a home in that range; and now you’re ready to make a bid. Great!
Before you make an offer, always get a professional estimate on how much time and money repairs on the home will take. Plan for any repairs to potentially take longer and cost more than estimated, and adjust your offer accordingly.
The last thing you want is to purchase a home with ever-increasing repair costs that you didn’t see coming.
Another option is to use a home inspection contingency. That contingency means you retain the right to negotiate on price with the seller for repairs — or even get out of the contract entirely if you discover a problem with the house that cannot be fixed.
Wait on other purchases until after closing
If you’ve made an offer on a home and gotten it under contract, it’s important to wait on any major purchases that might affect your credit to income ratio and thus impact your loan.
If you were planning to buy a car or open a new line of credit, don’t do it while you’re under contract! Whenever possible, wait until after closing.
If you absolutely cannot avoid a major purchase before closing, consult with your lender to understand the impact the purchase could have on your loan.
Learn more at our home buyer seminar
There’s a lot to keep in mind when buying a home. Attend a home buyer seminar to learn:
- The 8 stages of purchasing a home, and what to expect at each stage
- How to qualify for the house you want
- How to get out of your lease — you’re not stuck there!
- The “4 C’s” affecting home price
- How to negotiate a lower price for the home you want
- How to avoid double-paying rent and a mortgage
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