Real Estate Questions

  • How to Market Your Home to the New Generation of Home Buyers: The Millennials

    Yesterday morning, I came across an article on the online version of the USA Today. It wasn’t in the real estate section or investment section. It wasn’t even an article. It was an advice column in the small business section. It answered a [...]

  • MD and VA Communities Near The Metro: Save on Gas and Shorten Your Commute

    With gas prices on the rise, communities near the metro are becoming more attractive to prospective buyers conscious about their commute. After all, it's no secret that living within walking distance to the metro can save money on gas and cut [...]

  • The Buying Process, Step by Step

    Use this checklist to understand the steps in the home buying process. Get approved! You will need an approval letter to be able to make an offer on a property. You can get help figuring out what you can afford at We [...]

  • Should I Buy Owner's Title Insurance?

    As you may (or may not) know, owner's title insurance is optional. (The lender's part of the title insurance is required if you are financing the purchase of your home). As a Realtor, my attitude is that title insurance is like any type of [...]

  • Want to Buy a House? Don't Let the Media Scare You

    Despite the constant media reporting of foreclosures, predatory lending, and falling house prices—people still would rather own a house over paying monthly rent. However, so much media talk about the “mortgage crisis” and “recession” is [...]

  • What Happens in a Listing Presentation?

    A listing presentation is an opportunity for us to better understand your home and your goals in selling, and for you to get to know us and our expertise, and how we can help you. As a firm, we are very selective in which homes we list. There [...]

  • How Does Your Electronic Signature Process Work?

    We love using technology to make the buying process easier on you. One of the ways we do this is by enabling you to have us stamp your signatures on contracts. The Electronic Signature Authorization Form allows us to stamp your [...]

  • Do You Really Loan Out a Free GPS Machine?

    Yes, absolutely. Here are the really easy steps to getting our GPS loaner: Talk to your DROdio agent and have them check the schedule to see if the unit is available on the days you want it (we loan the unit out for 3 days at a [...]

  • Can I Buy a Foreclosure / Short-sale / REO Home?

    The foreclosure market is starting to heat up in a big way, and more foreclosures are on the way. Being a smart foreclosure shopper, or at least including foreclosures in your search, is a smart move, but you must approach these homes [...]

  • Fair Housing: What are the "Protected Classes" in Our Area, and What Does that Mean?

    Here's a handy pamphlet that shows the fair housing protected classes, both on the federal level and in the different Virginia jurisdictions. If you feel a Realtor has discriminated against you, please contact the fair housing number listed [...]

  • What Do 80/15/5 and 80/10/10 and All Those Other Numbers Mean?

    These numbers are referring to the way loans are structured in a purchase.For example, imagine a $100,000 purchase price for ease of numbers.With an 80/15/5, the buyer would be: Getting an 80% first trust loan (this is his primary loan), or [...]

  • Residential Financing Handbook

    Here's a handy "Residential Financing Handbook" . It covers topics like: Conventional loans Jumbo loans FHA Loan programs VA Loan programs First time buyer loan programs Other loan programs And other topics. This handbook [...]

  • What Does "Conforming" and "Jumbo" Mean When it Comes To Loan Amounts?

    Conforming loan amounts are loan amounts under $417,000 (as of 2007). This number is set by Fannie Mae at the end of each year. (The limit back in 1980 when this standard was set by the US Government was $93,750). If a lender wants to be able [...]

  • What is a VA Loan?

    A client writes: I've been hearing about VA loans. Are those loans meant only for people who live in Virginia? No! VA loans have nothing to do with Virginia, although many people make that mistake. Here is a good definition of VA [...]

  • What is the "MLS"? (And, How to Search Like a Pro!)

    The "MLS" stands for "Multiple Listing Service". It's the big database that all real estate agents use to list homes. Only agents have full access to the MLS, but we've created three websites which pull the MLS data and show it to you in [...]

  • All About DC Homebuyer Credits & Grants

    Washington, DC has a number of credit, closing assistance, and grant programs for current DC residents, and for first time home buyers in DC. Here's a summary: HPAP - Closing assistance program, Not a grant DC Tax Abatement [...]

  • How Exactly Do You Use Technology to Help Home Buyers?

    Our firm leverages technology in a number of different ways to help our clients.One example is our free GPS loaner which allows you to take your time in your home search, and search at your speed instead of ours. Using the GPS loaner is [...]

  • Why Do You Suggest Not Closing on a Friday or a Monday?

    We suggest you do not close on a Friday because, if for some reason something delays closing for a day, you'll actually be delayed over the weekend until Monday. And we don't suggest you close on Monday because you'll need to get a [...]

  • First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended

    Download this PDF from the Virginia Association of Realtors that explains the now-extended first time home buyer tax credit (which existing homeowners are now partially eligible for as well). This document is authored by VAR, but applies to [...]

  • 1st Time Homebuyer Credit Likely to be Extended Through 4/30/2010 + Move-up Buyer Credit Added

    Reposted from This Just In: Senators extend, expand homebuyer’s tax credit NAR's lobbying efforts succeed yet again. Today US Senators passed a measure extending the first time homebuyer’s tax credit. Additionally, a [...]

  • New Lender Regulations Coming January 1, 2010

    The following information was sent to us by Laura Triplett of Suntrust Mortgage: RESPA Reform is Coming The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published its long-awaited final rule reforming the Real Estate [...]

  • How does the 'Rent Back' Work?

    A client of ours asked: "How does rent/lease back work- one couple is building their dream house, but it's not ready yet? Would we buy the house outright and then they just pay the regular mortgage?" Our answer: Yes, when you do a [...]

  • How are Online Lenders like E-loan, LendingTreee, etc. - And How do I Get the Best Rate on a Loan?

    A client writes: "Have you ever had a client work with Quicken Loans or E-loan? Do you have any thoughts on using an online lender?" Our Answer: Yes we've had clients use all types of lenders. Online lenders tend to have a bad rap, [...]

  • Your Rights as a Buyer: Our "Buyer's Bill of Rights" (Why Don't All Realtors Have this?!)

    Interviewing Realtors? Ask other Realtors if they can sign this Bill of Rights (Our guess is that they won't be able to) Dear Buyer, We believe the following should be obvious client rights. Unfortunately, most real estate firms won't be [...]

  • What is Hazard Insurance?

    Hazard insurance (often referred to as homeowner's insurance) is the insurance that covers your house in the event of damage. The lender almost always requires you to buy this insurance as a condition of getting the loan. Any major [...]

  • When is the Best Time of the Month to Close?

    The answer to that is a little more involved than on might think. The short answer is close towards the end of the month but not during the very last couple of days and avoid Monday and Friday settlements. The long answer is as follows: As [...]

  • How Do You Get Paid? And Why Shouldn't I Just Have the Seller's Agent Help Me?

    This may be the most important FAQ among all our advice. We're going to explain why it's an absolutely terrible, terrible idea to walk into a purchase transaction without having a buyer's agent. You might think that we're just going to fluff [...]

  • How Does the Home Inspection Work?

    The home inspection process can be very confusing, and rightly so. There are many components to it, so here's our overview to help you know what to expect. The first & main thing to remember about a home inspection is that it's known as a [...]

  • DC Tenant Rights - an introduction

    Tenant rights in DC is a very complex topic & beyond the scope of this FAQ. However, we'll delve into it at a high level to give you an idea of what you need to be aware of. If you're buying or selling a property in Washington, DC that has [...]

  • First Time Home Buyer Stimulus

    Congress recently signed the 2009 Stimulus Plan, but what does it really mean and how does it affect you and the real estate market? After some reading and research, I found out that there are four primary sections of the Stimulus Plan that [...]

  • Live Skype Virtual Home Tours

    Want a live virtual tour, right from your computer, with us at the property? We offer this free service to any client with a budget of $500,000 or more. Here is an example of a Skype Virtual Home Tour for a client in [...]

  • FHA Loan Icssues: Small Condo Associations

    Here is a transcription of the audio above: Hi. This is Daniel with DROdio Real Estate. I'm just taking some clients around today in Washington D.C. and we're coming up against a very interesting issue that I want to make you aware of [...]

  • Terminology -Defining REO vs. Short Selling

    Hello, Amber here! I began working in real estate a few months ago, and found myself needing clarification on much terminology - words I'd heard being used over and over - but could not define or differentiate from another. Being new to the [...]

  • Tax Rates Revisited - A Glance at Fairfax Country, Virginia

    The real property tax rate for Fairfax county is $0.92 per $100 of assessed value (remember, to calculate your taxes, you would take the assessed value, divide by $100, and multiply by the tax rate). Fairfax, like many other counties, has [...]

  • Additional Tax Information for Arlington County, Virginia

    As a follow up to a previous article referencing tax rates across counties in the DC metropolitan area, I wanted to elaborate on property taxes in Arlington County. As previously stated, the tax rate for Arlington County is .838 (base rate) [...]

  • Additional Tax Information for Montgomery County, Maryland

    The tax rate, according to the finance department of Montgomery County and Washington DC, is a straight-line assessment. The tax rate varies in Maryland tax-class by tax-class within each County, however the rate within each tax class is a [...]

  • Comparing Tax Rates Across Counties - Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC

    An introduction to our Tax Assessment Series TAXES: the word alone makes us shiver, and somehow manages to confuse us entirely. And so the inspiration for this series of articles was born. But since we are a Real Estate company, [...]

  • Immediate FHA Underwriting Rule Change

    The following information is from Patrick Collins of First Savings Mortgage Corporation: Who is affected: Borrowers who own a home now and to rent out their old home to buy a new home Change: Borrowers must qualify to carry BOTH [...]

  • What Does it Mean When the Appraisal is Different than the Sales Price?

    The home's appraisal is the value the lender uses to loan against... kind of. Here's how it works: If the value of the appraisal is higher than the price you're paying, you're in the clear. In fact, it's good. The lender will then take [...]

  • New FHA Guidelines Coming

    This information is courtesy of the Michael Farrell Team of Countrywide: New FHA Minimum Cash Investment Requirements on the Horizon A mortgage letter on the new FHA cash investment requirement (not less than 3.5%, currently 3.0%) is [...]

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