Home Buying in Alexandria>Question Details

Wisebuyer, Home Buyer in Alexandria, VA

buy vs. rent in northern va

Asked by Wisebuyer, Alexandria, VA Tue Oct 12, 2010

Liked the buy vs rent article. Would like your opinion to buy or rent in Northern VA - inside the beltway

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Though plenty of Realtors® will tell you to jump on the buy wagon there are a lot more questions to ask before saying you should. First of all how are your current finances? Do you have money for a down payment? What do you want your monthly payment to be? Do you have enough for a contingency fund?

Then once you are comfortable with the financing side of the equation you can take a serious look at whether now is the right time for you to buy. Interest rates are low and there maybe, depending on your location and price range, a good deal of inventory.

Good luck and if you are looking for a Reatlor® or a local mortgage professional to help answer some of your questions please feel free to give me a call.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Hi Wisebuyer, I wrote a four part blog on the topic of whether it is the right time to buy. I think you'll find it a handy guide to the thought process and decision making. Link below. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
You've got good answers here. No Va is one of the most stable places to own because of the strength of our local economy. But, we're not in a bubble and we're still affected by economic changes. I agree that to give an off the cuff answer the most important thing is how long do you plan to own. If you're looking at 5+ years, the answer is generally buy. Before you move forward, reviewing your personal and financial stability is key. Think you'll be getting married in 2 years? You might want to wait - household changes can put you in a situation where you need to move before you planned. I sold a 1 bedroom condo to a man 18 months ago. Since then, he's gotten married and they have a child on the way. Oops. And now, not enough equity to sell. How's your job? Credit? Do you have reserves? Low debt? All critical factors. How much are you paying in taxes? Tax savings are large and should be considered in the equation. Also, remember there's cost to sell. I tell people to estimate 10%. It's usually not that much, but if you're expecting a 10% cost to sell, then pleasant surprises are always welcomed.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
While this appears to be a good time to buy with interest rates and prices lower than we have seen in some time, there are other factors to consider, not the least of which is how long you plan to keep the property.

If you are serious about buying, it would be a good idea to get qualified with a mortgage professional, see how much home you can afford (and at what monthly payment level you are comfortable), then take some time to see exactly what you can get for that amount. Don't forget to also budget time and money for maintenance, upkeep and if necessary, updates. Although it is easy to point out the advantages of homeownership, it is not for everyone and you will want to be fully informed before you move forward.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
I agree with Cindy, and I'll add that you could get the best of both worlds by doing a lease-option. That way you'd be able to lock in a purchase price with today's pricing, and you'll be able to "try before you buy". If you like that place, and have the means to move forward, then you could exercise your purchase option and buy the property. Plus, you could get a portion of your rent credited towards that purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Wisebuyer -

How long do you plan on being in this area?

If you have a 7-10 year time horizon - Buy

Less than 7 years but more than 3 - Depends on specific property and location

Less than 3 years - RENT

Good Luck!

If you like the answer - please consider making it a "Best Answer" !

Gerard Dunn
Associate Broker
Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Assisting Homebuyer's and Seller's for 28 years
703-216-9100
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Absolutely with no doubt shojld you buy rathern than rent. As a tenant, the home you are paying for every month will not ever be yours. You are simply paying womeone else's mortgage off. Interest rates are the lowest they have been and really can't get much lower! The foreclosures out there are a great buy if you can fix it up yourself, if not, the prices of the average home has dropped substantially so there is really no better time than now to buy a home. This is an investment in your future because one day you will pay it off and it will be yours.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
With current rates it can be much more beneficial to purchase. Inside the beltway, the cost to rent can easily outweigh the cost of a mortgage. The added tax benefits of home ownership can also balance out any property taxes and association/condominium dues.

Rent the one bedroom if you are planning to start a family in the next year or two, buy the single family if you want to take advantage of the rates and ownership benefits for the medium to long term.

What inventory have you viewed in your price range and how long would you lease/live in the area?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
With interest rates so low, now IS the time to buy, especially inside the beltway!
Web Reference: http://www.jimmccowan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Home buying option is always go hand in hand with, how long you are planning to stay in that neighbor hood? You are buying because of convenience or this is an investment property? Do you make enough money not pay check to paycheck? Do you have money that you saved incase of emergency? It is no brainer if the location and the price is right it is always better to buy rather than rent. When you buy a property there are lot's of benefits including tax. At the end of the day home buying decision is based on your price range, availability, and affordability. If you can afford it then you should buy it. Good luck! Call or email if you have any question.

Sebrin Adem
Proplocate Realty
703-225-8292
sebrinadem@gmail.com
Flag Sun Dec 15, 2013
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