First-Time Homebuyer in Oakton, VA: Four Things to Know

First-Time Homebuyer in Oakton, VA: Four Things to Know

In Fairfax County, west of Arlington, Virginia, you will find Oakton, a delightful suburb that leverages its stunning natural surroundings with several parks and trails. Abundant outdoor amenities and popular parks such as Gabrielson Gardens Park, Nottoway Park, Oakton Dog Park, and Mosby Woods Park provide a sampling of ample opportunities to head outside and enjoy nature. The origins of Oakton include farming and equestrian culture. A holdover from these beginnings is the popularity of horseback riding, with numerous trails for riders to enjoy.

Residents enjoy a local farmers market, upscale dining options, and ample shopping and entertainment throughout Oakton. The woody atmosphere, natural parks, creeks, and rolling hills make it a perfect mix of luxurious amenities amid natural surroundings. Local schools are highly ranked and popular for families of school-aged children. Keep reading for tips for first-time homebuyers in Oakton, Virginia.

Once you decide you are ready to purchase a home, start saving immediately

Deciding to buy a home is an exciting and sometimes daunting experience, especially for first-time homebuyers. One way to lessen the stress of buying your first home is to start saving immediately. You will need to factor several recurring expenses into your budget and a few upfront, one-time costs as well.

The first thing to consider is saving for a down payment for your home. The type of mortgage and the lender requirements will determine how much of a down payment you need for your home. Those with excellent credit may qualify for a conventional loan geared toward first-time homebuyers that require a small down payment, such as 3%. Even 3% can still be a large sum depending on how much homes for sale in Oakton, Virginia, cost. Consider using a down payment calculator to determine your savings goals.

Next, you will need to factor closing costs into your expenses. These costs include a one-time fee you pay the lender to finalize the mortgage. Typical costs are 2% to 6% of the total loan amount. Closing costs are in addition to your down payment. If the market favors buyers, the seller may often offer to pay all or some of your closing costs.

Home inspections are also part of the purchasing process and ensure you know if there are issues you need to be aware of before purchasing the home. Shop around and see if you can save money on the inspection. Your real estate agent should have multiple recommendations for you to contact.

While it is easy to focus on how much you need for a down payment, closing costs amounts, and other fees associated with the home-purchasing process, you will also want to budget for move-in expenses. These expenses include moving charges, which can be considerably higher if you make a long-distance move. Also, your new home will require home purchases such as furnishings, upgrades, and repairs.

Analyze your credit report and make any necessary adjustments

Mortgage lenders will review your credit and use your score to determine what kind of loan they will approve. Before you begin searching for Oakton real estate, your credit score must be as high as possible. A higher score can translate to a lower interest rate, so take the time to review your report. Free copies of your credit report are available at all three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Be sure to look for errors and correct anything that is not accurate.

Now is the time to pay all your bills on time. Keep your credit card balances low and pass on taking on more credit for the time being. You want to avoid a hard inquiry appearing on your credit report that could lower the overall average age of your accounts and ultimately damage your credit score. While it may be tempting to close a credit card, keeping your current credit cards open is best to ensure your score remains as high as possible. Tracking your credit score and staying on top of any changes you see is a good idea.

Explore first-time homebuyer programs

Virginia offers programs for first-time homebuyers that provide down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and low-interest rate loans. Mortgage credit certificates are sometimes available for first-time homebuyers, so investigate your options.
Virginia Housing works with residents and lenders throughout the state to help them purchase their first home. Valuable benefits such as federal tax breaks and down payment grants benefit first-time homebuyers. Eligibility can vary, but some of the requirements may include a specific credit score, the home must be your primary residence, you must attend a free homeownership education program, and more.

Investigate your home mortgage options for first-time homebuyers

Mortgages fall into four primary categories with various down payment and eligibility conditions. Do your research to see which loan category may be best for you as a first-time homebuyer.

Conventional loans

A conventional loan is the most prevalent mortgage loan and can sometimes attract first-time owners because they may allow you to put down as little as 3% for your down payment. The government does not guarantee these loans.

USDA loans

USDA loans, on the other hand, are guaranteed by the United State Department of Agriculture for rural and suburban buyers. Often, they do not require a down payment, a helpful feature for first-time homebuyers.

FHA loans

Down payments of as little as 3.5% are often allowed for FHA loans covered by the Federal Housing Administration.

VA loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees loans for current and veteran military service members. Frequently, VA loans do not require a down payment.

Other options for first-time home buyers include selecting a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage. The benefit of doing a 15-year mortgage is a lower interest rate. However, the monthly mortgage payment is higher. Another option is to opt for an adjustable-rate mortgage. These loans start with a lower fixed introductory interest rate but adjust over time and may increase or decrease. An adjustable-rate mortgage is ideal if you plan on selling the home in a few years.

Ready to buy in Oakton?

When you are ready to look for homes for sale in Oakton, contact the 5x5 Real Estate Team. Their marketing expertise, stellar negotiation skills, and commitment to working with each client throughout their real estate journey ensure their clients experience a successful real estate transaction while finding the home of their dreams.

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Our experience, coupled with our drive to serve with unparalleled professionalism, allows us to represent clients in a very personalized way. Whether buying or selling, allow us to show you how we consistently exceed expectations, one client at a time.

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