Associate Broker, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret)
Houses for Sale Near Fairfax VA
Can You Afford to Buy Houses for Sale Near Fairfax VA?
By now, you are probably searching for houses for sale near Fairfax VA. You are tired of “wasting money” paying the monthly rent. You are thinking of buying your own home, but you are not certain if it is the “perfect” time to do so.
Most people are hesitant of buying houses for sale near Fairfax VA, because of two reasons: time and money. When it comes to time, you are not certain if you are willing to stay in a home for a long period. How long can you stay in one place? And in terms of money, you are not certain if you can afford all the expenses associated with paying mortgage.
Before you buy on impulse, let’s first evaluate if you should buy one of the many houses for sale near Fairfax VA right now or if you must wait.
Steve Lefave, Associate Broker, suggests answering these three important questions before you buy a house in Fairfax.
1. Are You Willing to Stay in One Place for Decades?
In most parts of the DC area, house prices are presently higher than they have been in the last five years. Maybe you are thinking if you should buy now before the price rises even higher. Maybe you are thinking to wait for a bit for a chance to buy a house during a downturn.
It is ideal to do what is right for your situation. If you are willing to stay in a place for decades, short-term variations in the real estate prices will not make a difference. Take note that the main purpose of your home is to provide you a comfortable and safe shelter on top of the opportunity to grow equity over the years.
So there’s no need to worry about the probability of increasing interest rates in 2015 that could spur a drop in demand. Don’t sacrifice sleep time because you are anxious that the builder oversupply will affect the market. If you need a home to raise your kids, these concerns will not significantly affect your finances.
However, you must be concerned about whether or not you can really afford the costs.
2. Do You Have Enough Money for Down Payment?
Most Fairfax lenders will require you to pay 20% down payment, before they can approve your mortgage. If you don’t have enough money, they might charge you for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). The PMI rates may vary from one lender to another, but it will typically cost between 0.05% and 1% of the overall amount of the loan. Houses for sale near Fairfax VA could be more expensive if you don’t have enough money for down payment. For instance, if the total amount you borrow is $400,000 and you need to pay 1% PMI, you need to pay $332 per month—a fairly significant amount.
3. Can You Afford Repairs and Maintenance?
Take note that the mortgage is not the only housing expense that you need to worry about. You also need money for roof replacement, HVAC repair, plumbing, garbage disposal, gutter cleaning, and more! As a rule of thumb, you must budget at least 1% of the home’s purchase price yearly for maintenance and repairs. If the cost of your home is $450,000, you should set aside $4,500 annually or $375 every month for repairs and maintenance.
If you need help in calculating the cost of houses for sale near Fairfax VA, call Steve Lefave, Associate Broker, at 703-896-5849 (phone) or 703-599-1239 (mobile).