No matter the generation, time and again it's proven that homeownership remains a key ingredient in the American Dream. Owning a home provides financial stability, makes it easier to build personal wealth, helps in establishing social stability, and gives you the freedom to plot your own course in life. The community also benefits from homeownership by gaining active, engaged residents who have a stake in the future of each neighborhood. Our REALTORS® know the benefits of homeownership for people, and why it's so important for communities to have a strong base of homeowners.
The Perks of Owning Over Renting
The initial investment required to own a home can be scary for first-time buyers, but there are many long-term financial benefits to owning over renting. Both rent rates and the value of homes tend to rise over time. When rent goes up, only the landlord benefits. When the value of a home that you own goes up, you're the one to benefit. With the variety of assistance programs available for people who want to own a home, the upfront investment isn't nearly as daunting as it seems. Over time, as you make your mortgage payments, your equity in the home and personal wealth build. Add it all up, and homeownership just makes more financial sense than renting.
A Place to Call Your Own
Of course, owning a home is about far more than financial benefits. When you buy a home, you can customize it to suit your needs and make it your own in ways that you never could with a rented dwelling. Your home is your own personal space in the world, where you can be comfortable and enjoy time with the people you care about most. It's a place where you can host family, friends, and neighbors while creating memories that last a lifetime.
How Homeownership Builds Strong Communities
Buying a home also provides a chance to lay down roots, and truly become a part of the community. When people own homes, they're more likely to care about the future of the neighborhood and do what they can to add to the community. Homeowners become active in community organizations and provide many benefits to the local economy. When more people have a stake in the future of the community thanks to homeownership, the whole community ultimately benefits.
Social Stability Benefits Families
Your home is both a gathering place for your extended family and a place to lay down roots for immediate family members living under your roof. Kids benefit by being able to attend the same school throughout their education, build relationships with community members, make friends, and participate in community events. Everyone in the home benefits from having a place in the neighborhood to call their own, and being able to build a life in the community.
Building Your Own Dream
While there are many similarities, everyone has their own reasons for pursuing the dream of homeownership. Whether you want a place that you can customize to your heart's content or an opportunity to build a life in the community of your choice, homeownership simply offers benefits that renting can't match. Owning a home gives you the freedom to pursue the life you want, and that's the real dream!
Whether you're a first-time buyer or a homeowner looking for a new place to call your own, our team is here to help you achieve your homeownership dreams. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Central Shenandoah Valley and Eastern West Virginia.
Your credit score is a golden key that can unlock the best interest rates and loan options for your new home.
It's a simple equation: A higher credit score = A lower interest rate = Your home costs you less money.
Before you apply for a loan you want to make sure that your number is as polished as possible. To help you attain the most advantageous loan, our real estate agents share the following steps to take before you begin your home search.
Our preferred mortgage, F&M Mortgage, can help you better understand your options when it comes to qualifying for and obtaining a home loan.
Contact us when you're ready to start your search for the right home for you.
Buying a house can be challenging. If you are looking for Harrisonburg homes for sale, the perfect home is not likely to just magically appear. In almost all home purchases, those buyers who find their dream home remain firmly in the driver's seat throughout the entire house-hunting process.
With that in mind, you can increase your chances of finding and buying the perfect home for you and your family by following some of the same steps other successful buyers have used.
Before you start shopping for the right house, you have to shop for something else: the right mortgage. Pre-approval is practically mandatory if you want sellers to consider your offers, and comparing different rates and terms is just as important as comparing different properties. Because your rate will determine the size of your monthly payments for decades to come, you want to choose a loan with as little interest as possible. But do you know how lenders come up with this important number in the first place?
Many different factors and figures affect your interest rate, and you can't predict or control all of them. Our real estate agents want you to understand your fluctuating options when you know more about the math behind them. Here are some of the things banks and other lenders consider as they calculate interest rates for home loans:
Interest rates get higher when lenders take on additional risks, and some risks have nothing to do you with you. For example, are you buying a home in an unstable financial climate? Housing markets suffer, and layoffs are more likely during economic slumps, so lenders must take local and national trends into account as they consider their risks. That's why lenders usually follow the Federal Reserve's lead, lowering or raising interest rates as the federal rate changes.
Lenders also depend on a secondary market of bundled mortgage bonds, so their rates are influenced by the investors who will purchase your loan from them. These investors want high yields on the investments they make, and the laws of supply and demand apply to mortgage bonds too. Your lender wants a loan that will be profitable enough to attract investors, so they must take investors' risks into account.
How likely are you to make every mortgage payment on time, in full? Lenders only charge their prime rates (their lowest current rates) to borrowers with fantastic track records. That means your credit score and credit history will play a huge role in the rate you receive. Late or missed payments will make your rate soar, while a history of on-time payments will make lenders feel better about their risks. If you have an established relationship with your lender, that may boost your reliability too.
Of course, you also need the funds to make those payments. Debt-to-income ratio is just as important as your salary because it determines your available income every month. If you have a lot of outstanding debt, you're a bigger risk to lenders, even if your credit score is stellar.
Already have an interest rate from a bank? Until you make an offer on a specific home, that number may not matter much. Lenders calculate a new rate for every loan, and yours will be affected by the value of the home you want to buy. For example, lenders look up historical data of similar houses in the area, considering the market value and recent selling trends. They may even offer different products for different types of structures or neighborhoods.
Of course, the price of your house plays a big role too. While your down payment and closing costs will also affect the size of the loan, you should usually expect higher interest rates for homes with higher prices.
Are you ready to buy a house? At Old Dominion Realty, our real estate agents are happy to make this process as easy (and easy to understand) as possible, from mortgage pre-approval to closing day walkthroughs. Contact us to find an experienced agent near you.
Our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty WORK to help you find a home where you will be truly happy. A lot of factors go into that: The community, the amenities, and your finances.
The financial decisions you make when you're first looking for a home will stick with you for years to come. With that in mind, you have to go into the process with accurate information.
Your real estate agent will help you make the right choices in the market. Only you, however, can figure out the facts about your own household finances that you're sure to need.
Every major investment or purchase starts with one thing: A budget.
And buying a home is no exception.
A budget is a very useful tool for maintaining your financial health. However, most people get by with a simple budget. To get ready for buying a home, you should dive deep into the details.
That's the best way to prevent surprises later!
Let's look at how to build a budget that will support your home buying goals.
To learn about local real estate opportunities, contact us at Old Dominion Realty today.
Buying a home is a big step, and there are many details to consider to help ensure that it is a step in the right direction. While commute time is a detail that many people tend to overlook – especially if they find a home or neighborhood they love – our real estate agents know that it's important to factor it into the decision-making process. How much does commute time matter? Taking on a long or stressful commute every day can impact your quality of life in many ways, so keeping commute time in mind as you shop for your home can prevent regrets later.
Commute time can seem like a minor detail among the many things you'll need to look into as you compare Harrisonburg homes for sale. However, unless you're lucky enough to have a very flexible work situation, it's an aspect of life that you will have to deal with day in and day out, usually five days a week. Here are some of the ways that a longer commute could impact your daily life.
Commuting Can Be More Costly Than You Realize
Most people drive themselves to work, and adding up the expenses of doing so means taking more than just the cost of gas into account. Other costs to tally up include any tolls you pay on your route, parking fees, auto insurance costs, which are partly based upon daily mileage, and the costs associated with wear and tear on your vehicle, including routine maintenance, occasional repairs and periodic replacement of tires, for instance. Those costs can stack up over time. According to CNN, the average American spends $2,600 per year getting back and forth to work. If your commute is longer than average, which CNN says is 45 minutes and the US Census Bureau places at 26.1 minutes, your costs will be higher. Factoring in these costs as part of your overall housing expenses can provide a clearer perspective on whether or not a home you are considering is as affordable as it may appear at first glance.
Commuting Can Eat Up A Lot of Your Time
Whether you spend that 26.1 minutes each way, 45 minutes or more, that commuting time adds up over a five day week, and most certainly over the year. Even at the low end – 26.1 minutes each way – you'll spend more than four hours a week in the car and over 200 hours per year, leaving you much less time for other things, like spending time with family, household tasks, hobbies or relaxing after work.
Long Commutes Can Be Hard on Your Health
Spending all that time on the road can cause stress levels to rise, and stress takes a toll on physical, emotional and mental health. Chronic stress is known to contribute to conditions that include anxiety, depression, back, neck and shoulder pain, overweight/obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease, among others.
Of course, while long commutes may be stressful for some, they work quite well for others. Many people enjoy driving or just having that time to themselves to unwind before arriving home. Either way, it is important to weigh your options and know what you'll be getting into should you choose to purchase a home some distance from your workplace. For more tips on how to work out the best location to suit your needs as you shop for your new home, feel free to contact Old Dominion Realty – our team is always happy to help.
Relocating for a new job is one of the most common reasons for moving to a different area. Unfortunately, starting a new job also presents a few challenges for anyone planning on becoming a homeowner. One of the biggest things that mortgage lenders look for is income stability, and having recently started a new job might throw up a red flag. But don't panic—our REALTORS® have a few tips to help you buy a home with a new job.
One of the biggest things a lender wants to know before offering you a mortgage is whether or not you have reliable income that will allow you to make your mortgage payments every month. That means that, while it's not impossible to get a mortgage with a new job, it does create some potential complications. How your new job affects your home ownership prospects depends on several factors, so keep a few things in mind:
Whether you're relocating for a new job, or are interested in becoming a first-time homeowner, our team is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us at Old Dominion Reality today to learn more about how you can make your dream home a reality.
Buying your first home is a big step—think you're ready for it? We certainly hope so, but we also want to make sure that you buy your dream home at the right moment.
At a certain point, every renter gets to a place in their life where they just don't feel like they can do it anymore. Whether it's the noisy neighbors, the overbearing landlord, or the feeling of powerlessness that comes from continuously paying for a living space you'll never own, you just have to get out. Homeownership is the next logical step. Here are six questions our REALTORS® want you to ask yourself before you decide to go for it.
Still think you're ready to buy your first home? If so, we're here to help. Contact us today at Old Dominion Realty to learn more about how to get started on the path to homeownership.
It's hard to size up a home at first glance, and even harder to judge an entire neighborhood, but both are important. If you're searching for a home, it's important to remember that your new home isn't just a house; it's a street, a neighborhood, and an entire city. So how do you know that your new neighborhood is the right one?
That's a question that our REALTORS® get asked a lot with many different answers. When you're planning on buying a house, these are the things to look for in the surrounding neighborhood:
Before buying a house, contact Old Dominion Realty to learn more about homes for sale in Central Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and Eastern West Virginia. Our team will help you find a house and a neighborhood that you'll be happy to call home.
Anyone who has shopped for a home knows what it's like to spend countless hours dreaming about your ideal home, scouring every online listing in your area, and attending open houses to get an up-close look at your favorite properties.
These can all be fun activities when you're working to buy a house, and they also present valuable learning opportunities that will help you find the right deal for your needs. But is it still worth it to attend an open house, even if you're not ready to purchase? Our REALTORS® are here to explain why with five reasons to attend an open house even if you're not planning to buy.
Are you ready to shop for your dream home, find the best open houses, or stage an open house of your own? Contact Old Dominion Realty to learn more about how our experienced, local team can help with all of your real estate needs.