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Old 08-19-2016, 02:29 PM
 
7,936 posts, read 9,661,868 times
Reputation: 13970

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Guard View Post
Why would you not?

I went into my home purchase with a low budget that I came up with on my own.

After looking at a few houses in that range I was highly disappointed with the options. I met with a lender associated with the agency and went over my budget options. My housing budget increased, I found several houses I was interested in within the new price range and have been living in my new home for almost 3 years with no problems.

So I could purchase a home in what I assumed my budget area was and possibly be unhappy or I could work with professionals and get an actual budget and a home I am happy with.
Your "budget" is what yoy are comfortavle paying for a home. An agent can't tell you that. And a lender can only tell you what you qualify for. For most people, that does not equate to your budget. I qualified for more than double my budget. That doesn't mean my budget should change.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
4,851 posts, read 2,887,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Your "budget" is what yoy are comfortavle paying for a home. An agent can't tell you that. And a lender can only tell you what you qualify for. For most people, that does not equate to your budget. I qualified for more than double my budget. That doesn't mean my budget should change.
I was not aware this topic was only about you. Sorry.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:34 PM
 
1,345 posts, read 3,896,287 times
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Checkout Annandale/Springfield. 350k is still a stretch but I know like I've seen homes in the mid to high 300's in the last year. Even in Falls Church between Rt 50 and 29. I bet another 50k in your budget would go a long way, but homes under 400k don't come along that often.

Obviously these won't be huge homes, but somewhere along the lines of 1000 sq, +- a few 100, maybe a basement, mostly likely no garage, but driveway + yard.

This sold for 331k in January, nice lot that even backs up to green space:
https://www.redfin.com/VA/Annandale/...3/home/9637812

You probably wont find anything under 500k in Arlington or Alexandria. Empty 7500 sq ft lots go for that much.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:36 PM
 
3,154 posts, read 3,051,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anita7210 View Post
We are renting a townhome now that is family friendly and has a pool. It is OK but we have no yard for the kids and my husband doesn't want to deal with HOA rules, assigned parking, etc.
Even most sfh's will have an HOA. That is almost inevitable. However, you can get a townhome with a garage and also with a yard, or even next to an open common area. Don't rule it out.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Many housing neighborhoods in NoVA come with HOAs. At your price range for a $350K SFH, you probably *want* to get into an HOA neighborhood.

What are you husband's work hours? That also plays into what keeps the commute under an hour. I live in Woodbridge, work in DC, and my commute is ALWAYS under an hour. Generally 40 minutes, but I work either 6:00-2:30 or 6:30-3:00.

You can get a small SFH home at your price range in Woodbridge or in Montclair, which is right next to Woodbridge. Here are some examples.

https://www.redfin.com/city/24663/VA/Montclair
15690 Beacon Court, Dumfries VA, 22025 for sale | Homes.com
15079 Holleyside Drive, Dumfries VA, 22025 for sale | Homes.com

Now if you say your husband isn't going to work until 8:30 am, then no, he won't make it in an hour.

The schools and neighborhood here are very good.
Montclair is that cheap?? Montclair is awesome! It has its own beach!
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:40 PM
 
10,598 posts, read 12,104,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnseca View Post
Montclair is that cheap?? Montclair is awesome! It has its own beach!
Not all of Montclair is that cheap. It's hard to find stuff at $350,000 but it is there. It is an awesome neighborhood.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:22 PM
 
7,936 posts, read 9,661,868 times
Reputation: 13970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Guard View Post
I was not aware this topic was only about you. Sorry.
Yup, you are right, I am the only person who thinks it unwise to let a lender define your budget.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:47 PM
 
1,192 posts, read 1,823,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnseca View Post
Even most sfh's will have an HOA. That is almost inevitable. However, you can get a townhome with a garage and also with a yard, or even next to an open common area. Don't rule it out.
Many of the older homes in the Springfield/Fairfax area are actually Civic Associations with voluntary dues of $10-25 per year so no pesky HOA to deal with. Of course if they have a pool that will be extra whereas with a newer HOA with fees $300+ per year it would likely be included.

I'm not an expert on which ones, but for example Kings Park (West), Long Branch, Woodburn, Springfield, etc area are all Civics. These areas are probably $400-450K+ for a place that doesn't need much work though. Any condos/townhomes in the area may have their own HOA too.

Asking your agent/broker for how much you should spend is a poor idea imo. It's your money, not theirs and they'll gladly steer you into way more house than you should be buying. Ever heard the phrase "house poor?" If you have good credit you can get approved for 6x your gross easily.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:35 PM
 
29 posts, read 20,792 times
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Thanks for all the input everyone! My husbands work schedule is very flexible so he can leave super early (or late) to avoid traffic if needed.

I did some searching in Woodbridge & Fredericksburg and I saw a few houses we liked, but the schools didn't looks that great overall and I've heard the commute up 95 can be a complete nightmare. For example I did a Google maps search today at 3pm from my husbands office to fredericksburg and it was like 2 hours because of the traffic. At 3 pm! For comparison I did the same search but to annapolis instead and it was just over an hour.

I have to say that I don't totally feel comfortable asking a realtor what my budget should be because I know they will try to convince us to increase it to actually be able to afford something. According to mortgage companies we can afford much more than what we have set our budget at, but we rent an approximately 380K townhouse right now and we feel somehwat house poor. I know our rent is higher than what our mortgage would be, but we also don't need to worry about the cost of repairs and maintenance right now. I'm just trying to be smart about it and not give into the temptation to max out our budget and create more financial stress, as we already deal with enough stress trying to pay for our childcare.

As for the HOA, we aren't against HOAs at all and we understand they serve a purpose for things like pools and community lawn care etc, but we don't want someone telling us what color we can paint our door or give us sh*t if we want to put rocks in the 2 feet of "yard" in front of our townhouse instead of grass so we match the all the other townhouses. And I want to be able to have people over without making them park 3 blocks away because of the stupid assigned parking spots.

Sorry for the ranting, I really do appreciate all the suggestions and I will definitely check out some of the areas mentioned.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:59 PM
 
29 posts, read 20,792 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
You can get a small SFH home at your price range in Woodbridge or in Montclair, which is right next to Woodbridge. Here are some examples.

https://www.redfin.com/city/24663/VA/Montclair
15690 Beacon Court, Dumfries VA, 22025 for sale | Homes.com
15079 Holleyside Drive, Dumfries VA, 22025 for sale | Homes.com

Now if you say your husband isn't going to work until 8:30 am, then no, he won't make it in an hour.

The schools and neighborhood here are very good.
Thanks ChristineVA, I will look more into this area. I'm still concerned about the 95 traffic but maybe he could handle it if he left at like 5:30am
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