Pre-Approval: First Step in Home Buying Process

In many markets across the country,  the amount of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. Washington DC Metropolitan area is not an exception – the market for desirable properties in Vienna VA, McLean VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA and Falls Church VA is very competitive, and often, buyers end up in a bidding war.

If you are competing with other buyers, one way to show that you are serious about buying home is to get a pre-approval letter for a mortgage and include it with the offer. In fact, majority of sellers in Northern Virginia, will not take buyers’ offer seriously if the pre-approval letter is not enclosed in the offer package.

But even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence to know if your dream home is within your reach.

Also Read:

Mortgage Application Process: Why So Much Paperwork?

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website.

It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate agent is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. But it’s always helpful to do your own research and shop around for the lender who would offer the best rates and competitive fees. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out a loan application and provide important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  • Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  • Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  • Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  • Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line:

Don’t overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well. If you are ready to make a move, contact me today to schedule your free no obligation buyer consultation.

To learn more about home buying process, please visit my Real Estate blog page – “Buying A Home”.

And please, don’t forget to download

My Buyers’ Guide:

“Things to Consider When Buying a Home”

As a home buyer, there’s plenty you need to know. You’re about to make the largest financial investment of your life, but with my Home Buyers Guide, you’ll have the information you need about buying a home, right at your fingertips.

Here’s what you will find inside:

  • The Cost of Renting vs Buying
  • 2 Myths That Might be Holding You from Buying
  • Why Pre-Approval Should be Your First Step
  • What You Need to Know About Mortgage Process
  • What to Expect When Home Inspecting
  • And More!

The best part is, our Guide is free and available to download right now. All we need is your name and email, and we’ll send it directly to you.

[red-button url=””]Download Your Buyer’s Guide HERE[/red-button]


What is PMI? Get All the Facts Today

What is PMI? Get All the Facts Today

When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment below 20%, you can never have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI.

What is PMI?

Historically, the less a homeowner has invested in a property, the higher the chance the owner will walk away from it if payments fall behind. PMI protects lenders against the higher risk of low-down-payment loans by paying the losses if those loans go into default.

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.”

As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.” 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 6%, while repeat buyers put down 14% (no doubt aided by the sale of their home). This just goes to show that for a large number of buyers last year, PMI did not stop them from buying their dream homes.

Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI:

The larger the down payment you can make, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but Freddie Mac urges you to remember:

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

Of course, the home owner will pay higher monthly payments to cover the cost of the PMI insurance. But the payment doesn’t last the life of the loan. Once a homeowner’s equity reaches 20%, PMI insurance can be cancelled, along with monthly PMI payment.

If you are currently paying PMI or if you’re thinking about buying ahome with less than a 20% down payment, the information in this report could save you thousands of dollars.

Your Legal Rights

The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 stipulates that lenders must automatically cancel private mortgage insurance (PMI) once an owner’s home equity reaches 22%. The law will save many qualifying homeowners thousands of dollars each year by eliminating their PMI payments. But other qualifying homeowners will save even sooner.

Why? Because the savvy homeowner knows the law also requires a lender to cancel PMI at the 20% equity level if the homeowner makes a written request. Without a written request, the lender is allowed to continue charging PMI until the owner’s equity reaches 22% on the loan pay-down schedule.

Request vs Automatic

If you have reached 20% equity in your home through payments and market appreciation, then you can request to have PMI eliminated. This was always the case before 1998 law, but most homeowners didn’t know they had the option to do so. Now, however, the law requires lenders to send letters to homeowners, letting them know they’ve reached enough equity in their home from loan pay-down to cancel their PMI policy. But they are not required to send those letters until the equity reaches 22%.

Catch 22

For automatic PMI cancellation, lenders calculate equity using the amount of payments made and the original loan amount. Market value is not considered. To establish equity gained from appreciation, you must order (and pay for) a professional appraisal of the property’s worth.

Bottom Line

If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, let’s get together to discuss our market’s conditions and to help you make the best decision for you and your family. Schedule your free no obligation consultation today!

And please, don’t forget to download

My Buyers’ Guide:

“Things to Consider When Buying a Home”

As a home buyer, there’s plenty you need to know. You’re about to make the largest financial investment of your life, but with my Home Buyers Guide, you’ll have the information you need about buying a home, right at your fingertips.

Here’s what you will find inside:

  • The Cost of Renting vs Buying
  • 2 Myths That Might be Holding You from Buying
  • Why Pre-Approval Should be Your First Step
  • What You Need to Know About Mortgage Process
  • What to Expect When Home Inspecting
  • And More!

The best part is, our Guide is free and available to download right now. All we need is your name and email, and we’ll send it directly to you.

Guide To Building A Custom Home: Pricing, Timing and More…

Compared to speculative (spec) homes that offer the buyers a menu of options, but the builder makes most of the decisions, custom homes require buyers’ decisions about every aspect and detail. Furthermore, custom home buyers must be willing to take responsibility for communications, wait longer for home completion, and pay a higher price. Buyers opt for a custom home when:

  • Spec builders’ standard floor plans don’t meet needs and wants.
  • Buyers want to live in a particular location, often a unique building site, where spec homes are not being built.
  • They want a very personalized home.

Please consider these 5 points while planning for your new custom home:

1. Timing

Why custom homes takes longer than spec homes to design and build? A custom home design process starts on the architect’s drawing board where, with help of the engineer and the architect, the personal and unique design is developed. Decisions about the details take longer, because there are so many more to make and indecisive buyers may waver over decisions that a builder would make quickly. The transition from drawings to blueprints to building site can take several months. Depending on the size and complexity, build time for a custom home can take 9–24 months or longer.

2. Pricing

Custom homes cannot achieve the economies of scale of spec and production homes. The architect’s design may specify specialized unique materials (sometimes ordered and delivered from overseas) as well as increased framing and detailed finishing. In addition, custom homes are often built in unique and challenging locations, an interesting terrains and surroundings may enhance the enjoyment of the home, but they often increase costs for excavation and foundation engineering.

3. Choosing Custom Builder

Custom-home buyers really need to do the legwork to research and find the right builder. The builder should have experience in the price range and type of home that the buyer wants, has to have deep knowledge of permits and regulations imposed by the County and the competence to construct the home according to the specifications. Builders should be able to demonstrate the quality of their work and provide references. Ideally, the buyer should be able to see inside of some homes built for satisfied homeowners.

It’s important that the architect, builder, engineer, and buyer form a cooperative and harmonious relationship. You will have to interact with the architect, builder, and on-site construction superintendent. Choose a builder with whom you can develop a relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and communication as these are essential, because over the course of construction, the relationships will be tested as details go awry.

4. Designing Process: Where to Start?

New home buyers can start by collecting house plans to become familiar with how houses look “on paper” and grow accustomed to visualizing a finished home from looking at the floor plan. Plan books, home design magazines such as Designer Dream Homes and Custom Home and numerous websites offer sample plans to stimulate the imagination and identify needs and wants before meeting with a designer or architect or touring model homes. Northern Virginia’s Capital Remodel + Garden Show is one of the best places to get ideas and see what’s new in building, remodeling, gardening, landscaping, home décor and more.

In addition, collecting pictures and photos of architectural features and home ideas can help the buyer sort out likes and dislikes as well as establish needs and wants. is a great website with more than 13 million photos sorted by rooms and design styles. Buyers can even take photos of existing homes and write down addresses of homes that they like. Images—photos, magazine clippings, and downloads will help the buyers communicate clearly with an architect or designer. In addition, ask your real estate agent to give you a tour of new construction homes in the local area.

5. From the Drawing Board

Even when a buyer has definite ideas about house’s layout and design, the architect and the builder must convert the buyer’s vision into drawings, blueprints, and specifications ready for bidding and permitting. The process of designing a home involves numerous conversations between the architect and the buyer over several months. A typical custom home design process usually includes the following five steps:

  • Ideas: During the first meeting with the architect, the buyers describe their ideas for the home. Floor plans, magazine pictures, photos, and drawings can help the architect understand what the buyer wants.
  • Preliminary drawings: The architect develops preliminary drawings. It may take several rounds of drawings, buyer comments, and revisions to fine tune the preliminaries.
  • Working drawings: From the preliminaries, the architect produces working drawings for closer scrutiny. Buyers should take time to study the working drawings and study how the layout and flow of the floor plan will affect the experience of living in the finished home.
  • Blueprints and specifications: The architect turns the drawings into blueprints and specifications for construction, materials, and systems.
  • Bidding and pricing: Working from the architect’s plans, the builder submits the specifications to subcontractors and suppliers for bids. The builder’s pricing must anticipate increases in costs for materials; for example, lumber prices fluctuate frequently.

The builder’s final pricing includes materials, subcontractors’ work, permits, utility fees, surveys, building operations, and margin—the builder’s profit. Everything is included as a line item expense, including the real estate agent’s commission. Once all preliminary work is done, it’s time to begin the construction.

Important Tip: You have to decide if you will be designing custom home to fit the site/lot; or site/lot will be found to accommodate the size and type of home.

If you haven’t found a lot yet, continue to the next article How to Vet A Parcel and Buy A Perfect Lot in Northern VA.


Is a Home Warranty for You?

Whether you’ve recently purchased a home or are considering renewing the home warranty that came with your home, chances are good that you’ve got questions. Big ones. You’ve probably heard a lot of different things about home warranty programs, ranging from really awful to crazy and near lifesaving. Like anything that remotely resembles an insurance program, there’s a lot of nuance behind individual experiences.

What is a Home Warranty?

You can think of your home warranty as a type of insurance if that makes it easier to understand. It’s technically a service agreement, kind of like what you’d get with a new car. Individual warranty programs have contracts with individual service providers who will come out and diagnose your problem, arrange for parts and then return ready to fix it. The quality of any single home warranty program, then, is only as good as the contracts that the company has with its service providers.

The yearly costs involved range widely, with very basic plans with limited coverage starting around $300 and comprehensive plans that include things like pool repair pushing the $1,000 mark. There’s also typically a service call charge and there can be an upper limit on the costs the warranty will cover.

Depending on the age, size and complexity of your home, that $1,000 plan still may look pretty good next to actually making needed repairs out of pocket. It’s all a matter of perspective.

How Does a Home Warranty Work?

It cannot be stressed hard enough that you should read the entire document before agreeing to a particular home warranty. Although they may seem the same, what one company will cover may be completely excluded by another. Your Realtor should be able to guide you toward a product that they have had a good experience with and consistently delivers good results. If they can’t, call the Better Business Bureau and read reviews online to be certain the company you choose will deliver the goods.

Working with a reputable warranty company is a simple process. It goes something like this:

  1. You notice that the sink is backed up unexpectedly. Running the disposal doesn’t help and you’re not a plumber. You don’t even play one on TV.
  2. You call the number to your warranty company.
  3. An operator answers and asks for identifying information, along with a brief description of the problem.
  4. You explain that your sink is full of water and you’re worried you may soon drown if someone doesn’t come to help.
  5. Your operator collects all the necessary information, triages the case as either emergency or not, and does one of two things: gives you the number to a service provider OR promises to contact one on your behalf.
  6. No more than a day later (depending on your urgency level), the provider calls you to arrange an appointment.
  7. The appointment is set, the service provider comes out and figures out what the problem is. If it’s an easy fix, they may deal with it right then. If it’s a costly repair, they’ll need to go back to the warranty company and try to figure out how much is your responsibility and how much the company will cover.
  8. You authorize a costly repair, it’s made, you pay your part and go on with your life. Or you decline it, kick the dirt and call the warranty company back for a second opinion, then go through the steps above again.

Warranty programs can be hit and miss, there’s no doubt about it. Sometimes the things they cover versus the things they don’t seem completely arbitrary. But, there’s plenty of competition in this arena that will allow you to get into a program you can afford and will be able to use if need be.

The Biggest Warranty Program Con

This has already been touched on, but bears repeating. The biggest drawback to a home warranty is the very thing that leads some people to believe that they’re cons: they don’t cover everything. Again, this is highly dependent on the program and service level you select, but you have to remember that a home warranty is not the same as homeowner’s insurance.

Acts of Nature, shifting foundations, broken sewer lines and broken windows are among the biggest pain points for home warranty users. These items are often not included because of the massive expense they represent, as well as the fact that many are already covered under your homeowner’s policy.

There’s absolutely every reason to read your warranty paperwork thoroughly so you know what will be and won’t be covered. That way you’ll be armed to fight a refusal to pay thoughtfully and efficiently should it occur in error.

Intangible Benefits Come With Warranties

There are a few people who end up winning the lottery with their home warranties. They move in and everything they touch just starts breaking. These are items that showed no sign of serious wear and were installed correctly, their breakdowns were wholly unexpected. But suddenly, that homeowner has a new furnace and air conditioner, the pool pump’s been replaced and so on. This really does happen, and even at $800 a year and $75 a piece for service calls, it represents an incredible savings.

However, most people don’t get that lucky and if they use their warranty at all, they only need it once or twice during their ownership. This is why it’s important to consider the intangibles with these programs. Sure, your breaker box seems fine today, but would you know what to do if it started malfunctioning? That’s where the home warranty really provides a powerful value.

People don’t buy home warranties to save money on home repairs. They do it to control their repair costs over the long term. Usually, they will spend a lot more on the home warranty than they would just hiring their own contractors, but these same people admittedly don’t know who to call or how to vet a potential service provider.

Service provider vetting is a service that the warranty company provides with their yearly fee. Peace of mind, at a cost, is the thing that many home warranty buyers end up choosing. For the highly risk averse, it’s a total win — these people can go on with life and not have to give home repair another thought.

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think

In a study conducted by, researchers determined that nationwide, it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage of income a renter spends on housing in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save.

According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:


What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below.

Also Read:

Pre-Approval: First Step in Home Buying Process


Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Let’s meet up so I can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.

And please, don’t forget to download

My Buyers’ Guide:

“Things to Consider When Buying a Home”

As a home buyer, there’s plenty you need to know. You’re about to make the largest financial investment of your life, but with my Home Buyers Guide, you’ll have the information you need about buying a home, right at your fingertips.

Here’s what you will find inside:

  • The Cost of Renting vs Buying
  • 2 Myths That Might be Holding You from Buying
  • Why Pre-Approval Should be Your First Step
  • What You Need to Know About Mortgage Process
  • What to Expect When Home Inspecting
  • And More!


The best part is, our Guide is free and available to download right now. All we need is your name and email, and we’ll send it directly to you.


Again… You Do Not Need 20% Down Payment to Buy Now!

Again… You Do Not Need 20% Down Payment to Buy Now!

A survey by Ipsos found that the American home buyers are still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. There are two major misconceptions that I would like to address today: Down Payment and FICO® Scores.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 40% of real estate buyers think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less. For example, if you are a first time home buyer, with Federal Housing Administration or FHA loan, your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price.

Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Also Read:

What is PMI? Get All the Facts Today.

2. FICO® Scores 

The survey also revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

The average conventional loan closed in February had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 686. The average across all loans closed in February was 720. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in February.


In addition, to help make purchasing a home more affordable, The Virginia Housing Development Authority or VHDA, has rolled out a new Mortgage Credit Certificate program that gives Virginia’s qualified home buyers another option.


  • Be first-time buyers (waived in federally-targeted areas), or not have owned a home as a primary residence in the past three years.
  • Have income at or below VHDA’s maximum household income limit for the area.
  • Purchase a home below VHDA’s maximum sales price.
  • Use the home as their principal residence.


  • Credit is equal to 20 percent of the annual mortgage interest paid. Remaining  80 percent remains an eligible itemized deduction.
  • MCC is effective for the life of the mortgage, as long as the borrower continues to live in the home.
  • Borrower must have a federal tax liability. This is not a “refundable” tax credit. However, unused credit may be carried forward for up to three years.
  • Does not apply to state income tax.
  • MCC borrowers who sell their home in the first nine years of homeownership may be subject to federal recapture tax.

For the latest information, program updates and a list of participating lenders, check out

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, let’s sit down to help you understand your true options. Ready to talk? Schedule buyer consultation here.

And please, don’t forget to download

My Buyers’ Guide:

“Things to Consider When Buying a Home”

As a home buyer, there’s plenty you need to know. You’re about to make the largest financial investment of your life, but with my Home Buyers Guide, you’ll have the information you need about buying a home, right at your fingertips.

Here’s what you will find inside:

  • The Cost of Renting vs Buying
  • 2 Myths That Might be Holding You from Buying
  • Why Pre-Approval Should be Your First Step
  • What You Need to Know About Mortgage Process
  • What to Expect When Home Inspecting
  • And More!

The best part is, our Guide is free and available to download right now. All we need is your name and email, and we’ll send it directly to you.


Renting or Buying… Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage

In an uncertain economy during changing times, many would-be homeowners are rejecting the idea of investing in their own homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a multi-decade mortgage. But what many people don’t realize is that as long as you are paying rent, you are paying a mortgage – just not your own.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained this month in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances.

It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage versus paying rent:

With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.

As a home owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you won’t ever again see the money you are investing in rent, and it’s a guarantee that the landlord is the person with that growing equity.

Many of the excuses consumers make for not investing in a home include the expense of a mortgage, worry over not being able to pay off that mortgage quickly enough, the concern of not getting the money back out of their property at the time of resale, or the responsibility that comes with owning and managing a home.

For those renters concerned that a mortgage is too expensive, it’s often less than the cost of your rent. And the beauty of a mortgage is that your payments go towards paying down the principle of what you owe that can later be recouped during the resale.

In well-performing markets, experts are also seeing equity rise year after year, so it may be that you even will make money at the time of resale. And with options like renting out your property at a higher rate than your mortgage or offering it up through services like Airbnb, you’re safe from life events that could keep you from being able to pay your mortgage.

More importantly, interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.23% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Not only can you benefit from rising equity and falling interest rates, with the popularity of renting and home-sharing websites like Airbnb on the rise, you’re still making a sound investment in your future.

And please, don’t forget to download

My Buyers’ Guide:

“Things to Consider When Buying a Home”

As a home buyer, there’s plenty you need to know. You’re about to make the largest financial investment of your life, but with my Home Buyers Guide, you’ll have the information you need about buying a home, right at your fingertips.

Here’s what you will find inside:

  • The Cost of Renting vs Buying
  • 2 Myths That Might be Holding You from Buying
  • Why Pre-Approval Should be Your First Step
  • What You Need to Know About Mortgage Process
  • What to Expect When Home Inspecting
  • And More!

The best part is, our Guide is free and available to download right now. All we need is your name and email, and we’ll send it directly to you.


8 Benefits of Buying a New Construction Home

The advantage of buying a new construction home, whether spec or custom, instead of an existing one is somewhat like deciding between a new and used car. The new car comes with the buyer’s choice of features, upgrades, and colors, plus that distinctive “new car” smell. The used car, on the other hand, reflects the previous owner’s tastes and probably has some worn upholstery and perhaps a dent in the side from a fender-bender accident. The new car may cost a bit more, but it is more fuel-efficient, comes with a warranty, and it looks good! If you have the money, which would you choose?

Of course, buying a new construction home involves more choices and a much bigger financial commitment, but, as the preceding discussion of market trends shows, new-home buyers are willing to pay for the advantages of a new home:

Everything is new:

Every element of the home—from the foundation to the rooftop—is brand new, clean, and in working order.

Maintenance and repairs:

In the initial years of ownership, the buyer can avoid some of the maintenance and repair costs that come with resale homes.


New homes usually come with a builder’s warranty on the structure and manufacturers’ warranties on all appliances and mechanical systems.

Energy efficiency:

Heating and cooling units, water heaters, and other energy-consuming items are manufactured with the latest innovations in energy efficiency. Innovations in design and the building materials boost the energy efficiency of new homes and lower utility bills.

New wiring:

Wiring for phones, electrical outlets, media, and computer access enables capacity and placement to the buyer’s specification.

Individual choices:

Finishing choices reflect the buyer’s taste and enhance the enjoyment of daily life. Floor-plan selection matches the home layout to the buyer’s lifestyle and needs.

No haggling over conditions and repairs:

A buyer walk-through prior to closing replaces haggling over condition and repairs. The builder notes needed repairs and touch-ups on a punch list.


Depending on degree of customization, siting, size, and floor plan can be matched to the buyer’s needs and wants.

To learn more about the process of buying a new construction homes, please visit my blog page New Construction Homes.



How to Price Your Home for Sale: CMA and Beyond

Pricing your home accurately is the most effective way to ensure a successful sale.

Innovative marketing plan will help to bring the buyers through the front door, but no amount of marketing can sell an overpriced home. Please keep in mind, the agent will evaluate the price of your home to determine the current market value, but at the end, the agent doesn’t set the price, the seller doesn’t set the price – the market will set the price, or value, for your home.

Comparative Market Analysis

So, how will the right sales price will be determined? Real estate agents frequently use a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to estimate a property’s probable selling price. CMAs help sellers decide on a listing price, whereas buyers will use them to determine how much they want to offer for a property.

While sellers and buyers have naturally opposing price preferences, a CMA is designed to be a completely  objective evaluation, and it’s based on recent and actual selling prices for comparable properties. Since real estate markets can change quickly, it’s essential to recognize that a CMA only provides a “snapshot” for a particular point in time.

The comparable properties included in a CMA should be similar recently sold homes. When selecting “comps,” the date of sale, location, and size of a home are the most important factors, but amenities, floor plan/style, age, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, garage size, improvements, and potential negatives may also be considered.

Also Read:

Insider Home Staging Tips: Here’s How To Sell Your Home Fast and For The Best Price

When reviewing a CMA to determine sales price on a particular property, it’s also helpful to examine the following:

Competing properties:

These are substantially similar homes that are currently listed for sale. Since they haven’t been sold yet, they’re usually distinguished from other “comps” in a CMA. Buyers know that sellers are competing against these properties, so it’s important to factor currently listed homes into the pricing strategy.

Days on market:

May indicate how appropriately a property has been priced for sale, especially when compared to absorption rates. If, for example, the absorption rate is two months, but a competing property has been listed for over three months, a potential buyer of that property might have a stronger negotiating position.

Absorption rates:

Are used to analyze the strength of a market, in terms of the supply and demand for current competing properties (the number of homes on the market relative to the number of homes sold). A low absorption rate indicates that sellers are in a stronger position, whereas a high absorption rate is favorable for buyers.

Sales price/List price ratios:

For specific categories of homes, statistics for Sales price to List price ratios will help you understand how much less than the listing price you can realistically expect to achieve.

Advantages of CMAs for



  • Sellers receive a fact-based, objective assessment of their home’s value
  • Sellers don’t experience the stress and disruption that can occur when homes languish on the market.
  • Sellers are protected from undervaluing their home, to their financial disadvantage.
  • Sellers avoid the delay that occurs when they accept a high offer and the property does not appraise.

Buyers (experienced buyers’ agent will create CMA for their clients)

  • Buyers receive fact-based, objective information about homes where they might not be familiar with the local market.
  • Buyers are less likely to lose the home they really want because their offer is too low.
  • Buyers are less likely to encounter problems obtaining a mortgage because the house appraises below offer price.
  • Buyers are less likely to overpay for a home, thus preserving financial resources for other important home and life expenses.

Professional Home Appraisal

As a special service to my clients, I offer another very effective method of pricing your home – Professional Home Appraisal. When you list – and close – your home with me, I’ll pay for a pre-listing appraisal.

Benefits of having a professional appraisal:

  • You receive an unbiased third party opinion of the market value of your home by a trained professional.
  • You are positioned to quickly recognize and respond to a market offer.
  • You are positioned to effectively challenge a low lender’s appraisal of your home, maintaining your higher contract price. A lender will consider a well-known appraisers valuation – they will not consider an estimate provided by a real estate agent.
  • You avoid the common practice of a real estate agent “buying your listing” by suggesting a higher price than can be achieved. Because the agent would then be reluctant to suggest a price reduction early in the marketing process, you lose valuable time during those critical first several weeks on the market.

Your real estate agent is your best resource for professional insights on current market conditions. With your agent’s assistance, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed and realistic decision on  the sales price of your home.

If you are ready to make a move, please contact me to schedule a free no obligation Seller Consultation.

Natasha Lingle Your Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA).

And please, don’t forget to download

My Sellers’ Guide:

“Learn How to Have a Successful Home Sale”

This guide is a supplement to the information provided above, and it describes in detail traditional and modern marketing techniques and lists my real estate services you can expect me to provide including:

  • Accurately pricing your home.
  • Enhancing the perceived and real value of your home, enabling you to command a higher asking price by using latest marketing techniques.
  • Providing unmatched marketing including professional staging, photography, video and custom property web sites.
  • Showing latest statistics on how buyers search for homes today.
  • Securing a qualified buyer within your specific time frame.
  • And More!

The best part is, my Guide is free and available to download right now.

Just provide your name and email, and I’ll send it directly to you.

[red-button url=””]Download Your Seller’s Guide HERE[/red-button]

Ashburn VA New Construction Condos for Sale: View Properties and Schedule Showings

Welcome to my real estate website! All Ashburn VA New Construction Condos listed on this page come directly from my professional MLS account with most Up-to-Date information.

Use my website to browse all currently listed new condos and schedule private tours instantly. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and make sure to check out my Buyer’s Blog page loaded with tips and latest news.

To schedule showings, please contact me by calling or texting: (571) 455-0178, by sending me an e-mail: or by filling out my Contact Form.

• Prices for Ashburn New Construction Condos vary from $450,000 to $890,000.

Currently Listed New Construction Condos in Ashburn VA

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View All Ashburn VA Condos for Sale

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