A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Your First House in DC

By: DavidPage

First-time homebuyers may experience a whole new level of stress. Investing a lot of money in a property is never easy, especially if you don’t have the experience. Real estate market trends often change, prices fluctuate, as well as our personal needs and preferences. That’s why getting the right home and making a purchase can be a bit overwhelming for inexperienced buyers. Washington DC has long been a popular market, with an ever-growing population. If you’re thinking about settling here, you are in the right place. This guide will be everything you need for buying your first house in DC – and hopefully, it will not be the last.

Know the market well

Buying a home is a rather similar task wherever you go, but there are differences that can throw you off track if you’re not ready. You should know that DC real estate market is quite competitive, whether you’re getting a family home or a commercial property. The prices are higher than the national average, but so is the demand. Very often, families would have to rent for a while until they come across a property in a neighborhood they like. That’s not a bad idea, as it’s better to wait until you’ve got a dream house than go for a property that’s not the one you wanted.

Be open-minded about the location

It’s well-known that location is one of the most important factors in the house-hunting process. It sets the price and affects the demand Even though first-time buyers will often go to the most popular neighborhoods in the city, it’s okay to get off the beaten path. Stay open-minded about the location of your new home, and you may end up with a rather affordable home that meets all your criteria. For example, central neighborhoods of DC are quite expensive, so looking for a home in an area with a similar vibe can help you save. Silver Spring, MD, or Arlington, VA is a great option if you like that downtown lifestyle, and are worth taking a look at.

Also, try not to skip homes that sit on the market for a while. Even though first-time home buyers will mostly go for a home that’s fresh on the market, it’s wise to take a deeper look at those listings. Very often, you can find quality homes that suit your needs and your budget, and sellers are often willing to lower the price so you can expect a great deal.  Furthermore, it will be easier to compete for such homes, than the fresh additions that get the most attention among buyers.

Rely on the right people

You may be buying your first house in DC, but you can work with someone who has plenty of experience in the DC area. Skilled real estate agents know the local market well, and will be able to find you a perfect match. However, you’ll have to know your priorities and be able to describe what you’re looking for. This way, the agent will narrow the options and quickly connect you to your dream home.

Another person in your team should be a trustworthy lender. If you need a loan to pay for this home, you’ll have to sort out your finances with a proper lender before you even start browsing. An experienced lender will guide you through the financial segment of this purchase, and help you with your credit details and appraisal. Make sure you get pre-approved on time, so you can be sure how much you can afford. This will help you save time and avoid making a mistake by purchasing a home that’s out of your budget.

Finally, there’s a team member that will help you finalize settling down in your home – a moving expert. Experienced specialists can help you settle in the DC area with ease – you just need to do your homework and find them on time. Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your moving day. Researching moving teams last minute increases the risk of having a hectic relocation and even being a victim of fraud.

Be practical when looking at home

Once you’ve got your budget and your team ready, it’s time to start house-hunting. It’s wise to narrow your options according to the area you like, your budget, size, layout preferences, and other details. This will help you save time in the search but also don’t end up getting disappointed after falling in love with a property that is out of your price range or it’s too far away from your work, school, and more.

It’s important to compare homes to make sure you’ve got the best deal. Luckily, the internet has given us the chance to quickly browse listings, compare pictures and videos and filter the results according to price, size, location, and more. However, don’t forget that online browsing is not enough. Make sure you visit a home you like and take a closer look. Attend open houses, take notes, and use all the information to make the final decision. Zippy Shell DMV advises not only comparing homes but also comparing moving teams that will help you settle in your new home. There are plenty of teams out there, so be sure to compare services, fees, and reviews before trusting your household.

Remember: sometimes even the best property has issues you can’t notice. That’s why a home inspection is an essential step when purchasing a property, no matter its age and price. Make sure you work with an experienced home inspector who knows common issues with homes in a specific area and can give you a detailed report on the condition of a property.

Enjoy the process

It’s true that buying your first house in DC can get a bit overwhelming and stressful. But you’re buying your first property and that’s pretty exciting, isn’t it? Try to enjoy the process every step of the way, looking forward to settling down in your new home, and starting a fresh life chapter with your loved ones.