This is part 2 of our buying a home in Northern Virginia in 2018 series.
You can read part 1 of our series here. We pick up where we left off with senior loan officer Brian Pawsat of Caliber home loans to talk about taking the right steps to purchase a home this year and what the current market conditions mean for home buyers.
Brian makes an excellent point that unless you live with your parents you’re going to have a housing payment – that could be rent or it could be a mortgage. When you become a homeowner you are able to then include tax write-offs (even with the new tax laws) and when you’re renting it’s strictly an expense. No write-offs and no building equity.
It’s never too early to get pre-approved. In Brian’s words you don’t know what you don’t know. Finding out what you can qualify for is the first step towards owning a home. Gone are the days where a 20% down payment is a must, there are lots of other options available. Getting pre-approved as soon as you’re considering buying will also alert you if there’s anything that needs attention on your credit report. Waiting can mean a surprise comes up when you’ve already found a house you want to make an offer on and that’s not the kind of surprise anyone wants.
To recap rates are rising and in Northern Virginia so are prices. This is expected to continue throughout the year and impacts buying power. Down payment varies by each individual borrower, don’t assume you need to put 20% down in order to purchase a home. Get pre-approved even when you’re just considering purchasing a home so that you know where you stand.