Home Buying in Manassas>Question Details

Nova1sttimeb…, Home Buyer in Manassas, VA

Buying versus renting in Northern Virginia - Fairfax, Centreville, Manassas

Asked by Nova1sttimebuyer, Manassas, VA Sat Feb 9, 2008

I currently work and rent in Manassas. Even though I may move in 2-4 yrs., I am thinking about buying for the first time partly due to the market and partly to start gaining equity rather than paying rent I'll never see again. My range right now would probably be in the $200k to $250k range, though I'd consider higher for the right place (or lower for decent value, of course). I am not confined to Manassas, and may even prefer somewhere closer to DC (Centreville, Fair Oaks, etc.) as long as it's along 66. Condos are attractive for amenities (gym, pool, etc.), but I'm open to townhouse/small single fam. as well. Just seeking some general opinions regarding comparisons between these general areas and pertaining to my situation (not buying a permanent home, just somewhere to live for a few years and be able to re-sell at least close to original value). I realize condos are more volatile, but wouldn't they reach a

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If you are planning out only 2 -3 years, I would definately hold off, unless you are thinking of keeping it as a rental, which also could be a headache if you try it long distance, rental agents charge 8-10%. So calculate that. The market is has not stabilized yet, so a break even at best. Remember, by the time you pay for finacing points and other fees you are looking at 3-4 % in the hole. When you sell you lose 6% to the realtor - and part of escrow fees - possibly another 1%. So in 2-3 years you need a market gain of 10% gain minus the tax break if you live in it long enough. I believe you need to live in it 2 out of the last 5 years or so.. . I still believe Real estate is a great investment for long term 10+ years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
I would wait to buy for a year or two. That market in Northern VA is really tanking. Save your money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
Definitely agree centerville is the better buy. Prince William county especially Manassas is changing and not always for the good. Think safety and long-term changes. I vote for fairfax county. Definitely buy not rent...renting is always a waste unless your budget does not allow you any cash after paying mortgage each month.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
Cindy is spot on.

Ron Tardif, Weichert, Realtors
Web Reference: http://www.ImReadyRU.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Manassas is the cheapest area from the ones you have listed but not always the nicest or safest. Fairfax county is a lot more expensive even though it is literally rock-throwing distance across the county lines. Centerville is much nicer. Right now, there are a bunch in Centervilled under $250k but they go fast. Commute is against traffic too. Easy find! Good luck. If you live in the home 2 out of 5yrs, you do not pay capital gains tax if you sell also I think but don't quote me on that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2008
Manassas Park Station has 1700 sq ft condos within walking distance to the VRE in your price range. They sold new just two years ago for well over 400k. Check out the blog link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
At the price point you have indicated you will have a very hard time finding a single family home but you may find a decent townhouse. The closer you get to town the higher the prices tend to be. I am not recommending buying a home, unless you can find an incredible deal, to my clients who are not thinking of a minimum of 3 years and closer to 5 years as their timeframe before a sale.

When it comes to condos you need to factor in the monthly condo fee into your housing budget. You may find a condo for under your price point but then each month you could add another $300 in condo fees. giving the choice between and condo and a spending a bit more to get a townhouse I would go for the townhouses.

If you haven't already contacted a loan officer to talk about your financing options I would suggest you do that as well finding a buyer agent to represent you in your home purchase.
Web Reference: http://cindyjoneshomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2008
Hey there....My name is Konnie an agent in Prince William..and I work with buyers like you...there are these great grant programs approved by FHA that helps with the down payment assistance..with that being said...condos have condo fees, which can greatly increase your monthly out put, when you could potentially put that towards a great townhouse...there are a TON of homes in that price range you quoted....and the good thing is prices are low, and so are the rates..... I have worked with at least 10 people, who are in your position, although most of them did not think they could buy...and they could and they are paying what they would pay in rent.......Of course I have to do my commercial about me now :) so, if you would like some help.....give me a call 703 407 7088 my name is Konnie McKee, you can also go to my website and search for live listings for free...Hope this helps...take care.
Web Reference: http://www.KonnieMac.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2008
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