Potomac Yard | Del Ray | Old Town Alexandria Real Estate News

Oct. 21, 2019

Buying a Home in Alexandria | Popular Down Payment Programs for First Timers

Buying a Home in Alexandria | Popular Down Payment Programs for First Timers

Alexandria VA Homes For Sale - Let's face it, rents in Alexandria and Arlington have skyrocketed.  When you couple that with the expenses of daily living which include commuting costs, food, and utilities, it can literally take years to save money for a down payment on a new house.

If you have solid credit, stable employment, and a good rent payment history, but don't have a lump sum of cash sitting around, you should take a look at the down payment programs that are available.  Here are the most popular programs today:

VHDA - Virginia Housing Development Authority.  This is the most popular down payment program in Virginia.  VHDA offers grant funds (which means zero down payment and zero repayment), low options of 1% and 3% down, and grants for closing costs.

USDA - Rural Housing Program.  No down payment, 100% financing.  This program is open to buyers who are looking in more rural areas, such as western Prince William County, Loudoun County, and Stafford.

FHLB - Federal Home Loan Bank. Offers down payment assistance and extra incentives for law enforcement, teachers, healthcare workers, firefighters, and veterans.

VA - Veterans Administration. Up to 100% financing for active duty military, veterans, and eligible reservists.  It's surprising to know that a lot of military members do not take advantage of this option.  With a VA loan, buyers take advantage of a 30-year fixed rate, no mortgage insurance, and interest rates that are usually lower than conventional 30-year mortgages.  If you are buying a luxury home, the VA does requires a small down payment.  You don't have to be a first time buyer, and you can use this mortgage for homes in the upper end price range.  Veterans who are also first-time buyers can couple a VA loan with a VHDA closing cost grant.  This is especially helpful in a tight sellers market where sellers are not paying closing costs.  With a VA closing cost grant, military buyers have the advantage of zero down payment, and zero out of pocket closing costs.

FHA - Federal Housing Administration.  Requires a 3.5% down payment.  An FHA mortgage offers more flexibility for buyers with credit scores below 700.  This is a popular option for buyers with a good rental history and employment, but little savings.

NFCU - Navy Federal Credit Union.  This offers 100% financing to all credit union members, including non-military.  The interest rate is higher than market rate, but it is a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.  Navy Federal's program is popular with military homebuyers who have their VA loan tied to another property.  

NWFCU: Northwest Federal Credit Union.  Offers 100% financing plus no mortgage insurance to members.  This program is available to all buyers, not limited to first-time buyers or military.

Home Ready - Program offered by Fannie Mae.  Minimum down payment of 3%.  This program is open to first-time buyers and repeat home buyers with a credit score above 620.

For more information on these programs, click here and download our information flyer.

Over half of homebuyers are completely wrong about how much money is needed for a down payment.  Traditionally, 20% was the norm, but with credit unions, state programs, and military benefits available, you don't have to strap yourself down to a multi-year lease.  Let's talk about your options, all of them.  Part of the mortgage approval process includes not only shopping lenders, but shopping for the right loan that fits your needs, and your long-term and short-term goals.  Send me a quick message now, or text me at 703-623-8759 when you're ready.




Posted in Buyers
Oct. 1, 2019

Over Half of Buyers are Wrong about Down Payments

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCM

According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market:

“More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.”

When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say,

“The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or less down on their home, according to census data.” (as shown below):

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCMThe lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is unfortunately keeping many motivated buyers on the sidelines.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of understanding keep you and your family out of the housing market. Let’s get together to discuss your options today.


Posted in Buyers
Sept. 30, 2019

Fall 2019 Home Selling Guide | Free Download

Before you sell your Alexandria VA home this fall, make sure you have a rock solid road map! We created an all out 2019 Fall Home Selling Guide chock full of information to help you prepare for one of the biggest financial transactions you'll ever make.

Inside, we show you all about:

  • What experts are saying about the market
  • To Stage or Not to Stage (presentation matters)
  • The role access plays in getting your house sold
  • What you need to know to price your home

Reality TV makes it look easy, but remember, that's entertainment.  When it comes down to the reality of selling your own home, make sure you have the right information before you get started.  Download your free copy of our 2019 Fall Home Selling Guide today, there's no registration required.



Posted in Sellers
Sept. 30, 2019

Fall 2019 Home Buying Guide | Free Download

School's back in session, summertime has come to an end, and now people are preparing their homes for the holidays.  We're getting close to the end of the calendar year, and we're also getting close to the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.

While many shoppers are on the prowl for appliances and electronics, the fall can also be a busy season for homebuying.  Give yourself a leg up with our Fall 2019 Homebuying Guide.  

Inside, you'll learn about:

  • The latest on interest rates (they're still in the 3's, but what's the projection)
  • Projected home appreciation rates 
  • Tip for searching for your dream home
  • What you should know about down payments

We know there's plenty of information online, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to search multiple websites and understand it all.  Our free guide removes the hassle.  Download your copy today, there's no registration required.




Posted in Buyers
Aug. 27, 2019

Buy A House In Alexandria VA | 5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

Buy a House In Alexandria VA | 5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

buying myths

Television makes everything look so easy.  When it comes to buying a home in Alexandria VA, a process that can take months can be wrapped up in 22 minutes when it's been compressed by reality tv.  As a buyer agent, I can share countless stories about how the many simplicities of tv don't transfer over to real life.  So before you continue your search for Alexandria VA homes, take a look at the list below that breaks down Five Myths About Reality TV.

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of shows like “Property Brothers,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” all in one sitting.

When you’re in the middle of your real estate-themed TV show marathon, you might start to think everything you see on the screen must be how it works in real life. However, you may need a reality check.

Call Tamara 703-623-8759

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them.
Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors, the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search.  

Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.
Truth: Everything is staged for TV. Many of the homes shown are already sold and are off the market. 

Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.
Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy. 

Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house.
Truth: Of course, this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but they are only one piece of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind, many homes are sold during regular showing appointments as well. 

Myth #5: Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a 5-minute conversation.
Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives and goals.

Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee you can make the home of your dreams a true reality.

With 22 years of selling real estate under my belt, I can tell you that buyers who have the most successful transactions and most pleasant buying experience, start with a initial consultation.  Real estate in Northern Virginia is its own beast.  There are many hyperlocal mini markets from Arlington to Alexandria to Woodbridge.  It's worth it to invest 30 minutes of your time to sit down with me so that I can provide you with an overview of the market and show you what to expect throughout the homebuying process.  You'll also receive a 3-ring binder to keep that will include a detailed explanation of the process, a separate homebuyer guide, blank copies of the purchase contract, the buyer agency agreement, and copies of state and federal disclosures.  There's no obligation, so give me a call today at 703-623-8759 to schedule your appointment.



Posted in Buyers, Home Buying
June 14, 2019

Under Contract | 4570 Perch Branch Way in Woodbridge

Click here to see more pictures and detailed information.
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Woodbridge Homes $200,000-$299,999
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Tamara Inzunza
Associate Broker, CRS
RE/MAX Executives
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Posted in Under Contract
June 1, 2019

Buy A Home Alexandria VA | Summer 2019 Guide

Buy A Home Alexandria VA | Summer 2019 Guide

Finally, it's SUMMERTIME! Have you been dreaming about inviting friends over and grilling on your deck?  What about finally moving in to a condo or home with an HOA that has a swimming pool?  Before you put on your swim trunks be sure to grab your free copy of our Summer 2019 Home Buyer Guide.

There's so much going on in the real Alexandria VA real estate market right now, not to mention keeping a close eye on what's happening on the national level.  But when you peak inside our guide, you'll learn about:

  • Why Pre-Approval Should Be Your First Step
  • One More Time...You Do Not Need 20% Down To Buy!
  • 7 Things To Avoid After Applying For A Mortgage
  • Ready To Make An Offer? Four Tips for Success

and more!

This awesome guide is free and you don't even have to register.  Just click here to download your free copy right now.  When you're ready to find the perfect place where you can barbeque, swim, or just relax on your private balcony with a view, call me at 703-623-8759 to get started!



Posted in Buyers
May 6, 2019

Selling Your Home in Alexandria VA? Why Access Is Important!

Why Access Is One of the Most Important Factors in Getting Your House Sold!


Why Access Is One of the Most Important Factors in Getting Your House Sold! | MyKCM

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by conditionfinancing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

With more competition coming to the market this spring, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.


Tam's Tip: When I'm working with buyers as a buyers agent, I can tell you that buyers want to be able to enter the home without obstacles when showing up to view a property.  They've already decided from the online photos and virtual tours that your home is one they want to see, so make it easy.  Have your listing agent use an electronic lockbox.  Our lockboxes require a chip card, like most credit cards now, and they keep track of who has accessed the key, what time they entered, and what time they left.  When I'm working with out-of-town buyers who have limited time, if there are any barriers to entry...NEXT.  So sellers, the bottom line is, when you limit access to your home, you run the risk of dramatically increasing your days on market.  This will cause buyer speculation and the inevitable 'what's wrong with it' question.  It also open you up to lower offers or no offers at all because buyers will think that you aren't willing to negotiate.




Posted in Sellers
March 20, 2019

Alexandria VA 2019 Spring Homebuyer Guide | Free Download

Free Home Buyer Guide for Alexandria VA
2019 Spring Buying Guide with No Registration Required


January 1 has come and gone, your lease is ending soon, and you may find yourself thinking about jumping into the real estate market.  Well, before you jump in, download your copy of our 2019 Spring Home Buyer Guide.  You'll want to arm yourself with the general knowledge about qualifying for a mortgage, interest rate trends, down payments, and closing costs.

You may have heard lenders say, "be thankful you don't have to pay Mom and Dad's interest rates," but what are the interest rates now?  Learn how interest rates have been trending over the years, and what's expected for 2019.  There's also a helpful chart to show you how the varying rates impact your purchasing power.

Do you know everything you need to know about about getting your mortgage approval?  Learn about the 4 C's that help determine how much you'll likely be approved for your loan.

We've made it interesting.  We've made it simple.  We understand how easy it is to get lost in the abyss of the internet when it comes to doing your research.  So, use this free guide as a starting point, and when you're ready to meet with an Alexandria VA buyer agent who will help you with no pressure, give me a call at 703-623-8759.





Posted in Buyers, Home Buying
Feb. 1, 2019

Just Listed | Hallmark Condos For Sale in Alexandria VA

Just Listed | Hallmark Condos For Sale
200 N Pickett Street - Unit 613
Alexandria VA

Alexandria VA High-Rise Condos For Sale - What makes people want to live in a high-rise building in Alexandria VA?  Usually, the top reason is security, followed by no exterior maintenance, and amenities that are included without the hassle of driving elsewhere.

That's all here at the Hallmark Condos located at 200 N Pickett Street.  Units rarely become available in this building, but you can take advantage of this turnkey unit at #613.  If you're venturing from Old Town Alexandria, drive down Duke Street westbound, and you'll see the Hallmark building next to the Charles Beatley library and adjacent to Holmes Run Trail.  Also convenient to I-395, living at the Hallmark means you're close to Shirlington, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Washington DC.

There's ample visitor parking in the front, so invite your guests anytime.  Buzz them in via the callbox at the front entry and they'll be greeted by a luxuriously renovated lobby with contemporary furniture and neutral colors.

Click here for more details and all photos for Unit 613, no registration required.




Posted in Just Listed