Leaving the comforts of mom and
dad and stepping out into the real world is a challenging and rewarding
It takes determination and maturity to effectively juggle personal
and financial freedom. Many questions faced during this stage of
life include, “Should I rent?” “How long should
I rent?” “Is now the right time to buy a home for sale in Alexandria VA? ”.
One of the most important lessons to learn is how to manage and
build your credit. Paying your bills on time will enable you to
build a stable credit history and increase your overall credit scores.
And don’t forget your landlord. When it’s time to purchase
your first home, you’ll likely be required to provide proof
that you’ve paid your rent on-time consistently. Building
and protecting your credit will open the doors to lower interest
rates and low money down programs when it’s time to buy your
Also consider asking your parents for help when buying your first
Alexandria VA home. Many mortgage programs allow you to receive a gift for your
down payment. This will help you lower your monthly mortgage payments
and provide you with an added financial cushion in the buying experience.
It’s common for young professionals to purchase a new car
after landing that first big job. That’s fine, but make sure
that you don’t go overboard. An expensive car payment on your
credit report will reduce the overall amount that you could get
approved for your mortgage. And who wants to drive a flashy car
that depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot, and not own a home that will appreciate over time! A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your
car payment less than 10% of your gross monthly income. Factor in
fuel and insurance expenses. A more expensive car means more expensive
insurance, and undoubtedly a larger car means higher fuel expenses.
If you decide to rent, consider getting a roommate and slashing your housing costs in half. Sharing a two-bedroom
apartment can be more economically feasible than renting a one-bedroom
apartment where you bear the full responsibility of all utilities
and other monthly expenses.
This is the time to see a financial planner. The power of compound
interest is in rare form during this time of your life. Establish
a pattern of putting money away automatically so that it is saved
before it is spent, and you’ll be laying the foundation for
a large nest egg. Don’t think that it’s uncool to talk
about retirement now because the earlier you start planning, the
better shape you’ll be in down the road.
I work extensively with first-time homebuyers, and I provide informative checklists and resources to help you when you're ready to buy your first home in Alexandria VA. I also work closely with local lenders who stay current on local government programs for first-time buyers, and special loans including FHA, VHDA, and VA. We know the right loan programs, and the right questions to ask to help you reach your homeownership goals. If you've been browsing through the MLS listings already and you're thinking about buying a home in Old Town, Del Ray, Kingstowne, or Manchester Lakes, please let us be your top choice for Alexandria VA real estate.