Kevin, Home Buyer in District of Columbia

VA eligible vet / Recent business school grad - financial services newhire looking to learn more about buying

Asked by Kevin, District of Columbia Wed Mar 24, 2010

I will be graduating soon from the Business school at Maryland. I’ll probably end up in the DC / Northern Virginia area as that is where my offers have been – mostly consulting and financial services firms.
I have full VA loan benefits based on 6 years of active duty before school. Renting is a waste; I want to buy, but I need to learn more about my opportunities in this area.
Please advise.

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Arthur Hardy, Agent, Beltsville, MD
Thu Mar 25, 2010
as an army vet I can tell you that while there are a few issues to deal with that are not the same as usual loans the VA loan is very useful. I agree with you that renting long term is a waste of money if you have the ability to purchase. The long term and short term benefits of owning versus renting are irrefutable.
It is important that you define where you want to live and what you want vs what you need. There are a number of great places to buy in DC as well as Virginia but that are all very different.
As a vet I understand where you are coming from as well as how business school has given you a particular perspective. It will be important that you are working with a strong buyer's realtor.
You have the ability to do a variety things including but not limited to purchasing a single family home for yourself, up to doing small investment properties. A great deal depends upon what you plans are and how you want to reach them. In my first time homebuyer program I work with you in putting the correct people in place and help you find what you are looking for in your next home.
I can send you detailed information of things that will help you if you like.

Arthur Hardy, Realtor
W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors
4910 Massachusetts Ave NW
Suite 119
Washington DC 20016
(202) 362-1300 office
(202) 362-3164 fax
(202) 895-2860 direct

Know of anyone thinking of buying or selling a home? Referrals are greatly appreciated.
1 vote
Michael Russ…, , 75006
Wed Mar 24, 2010
For maximum effect with your money you buy the ugliest house in need of major renovation in an overall great neighborhood on a great street. Make sure the "bones" of the house. structural, plumbing, electrical were done properly by hiring the best house inspector you can, while you are in your option(grace period). You also want to make sure the style, floorplan, location(cul-de-sac,etc.) are favorable to buyers demands. I recommend working with a professional Realtor who knows what you want in your price range and the area well. The best deals sell really fast once on the market so having your game plan ready before you visit properties is essential. Two or three days actively for sale may be all you get so be ready to view the house, have the realtor prepare a cma(comparables) for the property and make your offer. To accomplish these tasks: first find a mortgage professional who is proficient in v.a. loans, second have your down payment, earnest and option monies ready, and to make any offers you make even stronger you might consider setting aside funds for your closing costs. I wish you the best of luck, Kevin.
1 vote
Jesse Sutton, Agent, Washington DC, DC
Wed Apr 24, 2013
The DC and Virginia real estate markets are diverse and offer up a wide range of properties and options for a buyer such as yourself. With so many options in front of you I recommend spending some time identifying what exactly it is that you want to do. Do some online research, talk to some friends, and pick a list of REALTORS to interview. It is important to find someone you feel comfortable with and can work well with. Once you've selected a REALTOR to work with you can work together to sort through your options, identifying your goals and coming up with a plan to make them a reality. The VA loan program is fantastic and I highly recommend taking advantage of it!
0 votes
Maureen Dwyer, Agent, Ashburn, VA
Mon Apr 22, 2013
Hi Kevin,

You need to get together with two professionals - a Realtor and a lender. Your buying questions are the same as any buyer, depending on your buying experience, of course. And your VA loan questions are handled by the lender. This area is used to a large military presence so neither of these two professionals should be clueless to your situation. Call and talk to people until you find someone you have confidence in. I totally applaud your decision to buy - but this is a really hot market right now in DC and NoVA so please don't go it alone. Your agent will teach you, you don't have to know everything first.
0 votes
Andres Piedra, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Wed Aug 11, 2010
Hi Kevin.

I'm also a vet after 6 years of Active duty. I'm guessing you were Air Force then as well?

Anyway, now is a fantastic time to buy. Also, if you were somehow deployed on military orders in 2009 when the $8,000 first-time homebuyers tax credit was offered, you would qualify for a 1 year extension on that....meaning to 1 April 2011.

If you'd like more information on best practices on maximizing your VA benefits when it comes to purchasing a home, definitely contact me. (if you haven't done so yet, file a disability claim with the VA to get that ball rolling). It'll save you thousands of dollars on a funding fee. Additionally, I can send you property listings, we can discuss areas, trade war stories and look at some properties to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for.

Very best,

Andy Piedra
0 votes
Arthur Hardy, Agent, Beltsville, MD
Wed Aug 11, 2010
great opportunities to purchase are strong in the DC N Va area. I am happy to help you with your purchase whenever your ready.

Arthur Hardy
W.C. & A.N. Miller
A Long & Foster Company
Spring Valley office
4910 Mass. Ave NW, Suite 119
Washington DC 20016
202 362-1300 Office
202 895-2860 Direct
0 votes
Susan Isaacs, Agent, Washington, DC
Mon Jul 19, 2010
Congratulations, Kevin, on your graduation! Have you accepted an offer? If so, it's time to house hunt. My guess is that you'll want to be in or near the hub of DC both for the social advantages and access to metro/major highways and airports. I specialize in the coolest areas of DC, Alexandria and Arlington/Clarendon/Rosslyn, and in the under 750k price point. Check out my profile page and give me a call if you'd like to start your search. This is an exciting time in your life....enjoy it!
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Good advice already on aspects of the VA loan benefits.

Just addressing the more general question, since you're already at Maryland you already know the general issues with transportation and commuting. You don't have to live right next to where you work (and even if you did, that situation will change if you change jobs), but it helps to be reasonably close by. At least on the same side of the river--it'd be a pain to live in Gainesville and work in Gaithersburg, for instance.

If you're going to be in consulting or financial services, you'll probably be traveling quite a bit, at least at the beginning. So consider something reasonably convenient to a couple of the major airports--something in Fairfax County to get to both National and Dulles, or something in Montgomery (or Prince Georges') to get to National and BWI.

Obviously, the amount you can afford will play a big role in where you can live.

Beyond that, a lot has to do with lifestyle. That can range from the "hip," trendy areas in Arlington to the funky, popular areas in Takoma Park. Or, in D.C., Adams Morgan. Or traditional suburbia. Or a "planned community" feel like Reston or areas of Burke. Or a real "small town" feel like Clifton. And those are just examples. Lifestyle may really be the most important element. Determine what you'd like, and it's likely that there's something out there that--geographically and price-wise--will meet your needs.

Hope that helps.

Don Tepper
Long & Foster
0 votes
Jennifer Riv…, Agent, Fort Belvoir, VA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hi Kevin,
I am a veteran myself; my husband is currently stationed at the Pentagon, and I specialize in military relocation. Please emai me your criteria, and I will compile a list of properties available that meet your criteria. I can also send you some helpful information on the area, and send you a reloaction packet in the mail. Please contact me at your earliest convience. I look forward to hearing from you.
With Kindest Regards,
Jennifer Rivera
Veteran and Family WIfe
Move4Free Realty LLC
8405 Dorsey 201
Manassas, VA 20110
Office: (571) 292-5377 ext 112
Fax: (703) 542-4240
VoiceMail: (304) 952-8735
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0 votes
Gerald Seega…, , Washington, DC
Wed Mar 24, 2010
What exactly would you like to know?
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