First Friday: Northern Virginia Events, February 2016

February 5th, 2016

valentines-day_GJIbHsuO_L

 

 

Welcome to our February edition of First Friday! We hope you’ll check out our blog he first Friday of every month for a list of some of the wonderful events taking place throughout Northern Virginia! We try to include a little something for everyone and hope you enjoy this feature. We welcome your feedback and ideas about how we can continue to improve our blog to better serve you!

 

There are many exciting things going on this month, including Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, which fall on the same weekend this year! Northern Virginia is such a beautiful place to live, and, although it’s cold outside, there is still plenty of fun to be had for everyone in the area this month! Here are some upcoming Northern Virginia Events, including everything from ice-skating, to a chocolate lover’s festival, to musicals and concerts!

 

 

ICE SKATING:

 

Reston Town Center: Daily through March 16th

http://www.fxva.com/includes/calendar-of-events/Ice-Skating-at-Reston-Town-Center-Pavilion/14694/

 

Tyson’s Corner Center: Daily through March 6th

http://www.fxva.com/includes/calendar-of-events/Ice-Skating-at-Tysons-Corner-Center/13867/

 

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden: Daily through March 1st

http://www.fxva.com/includes/calendar-of-events/National-Gallery-of-Art-Sculpture-Garden-Ice-Skating/13890/

 

 

FESTIVALS, SHOWS, AND CONCERTS:

 

2016 Chocolate Lover’s Festival, City of Fairfax: February 6th and 7th

http://www.fairfaxva.gov/government/parks-recreation/special-events/chocolate-lovers-festival

 

The McLean Community Players Present “1776” The Musical: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from February 5th through February 20th

http://www.mcleanplayers.org/MCP/Show.cfm?ShowID=279

 

Live Music at the Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA: Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

http://www.paradisespringswinery.com/winery-events.html

 

 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL EVENTS:

 

Objects in the Mansion Tour at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon: daily through February 29th

http://www.fxva.com/includes/calendar-of-events/Objects-in-the-Mansion-Tour/16035/

 

Presidential Family Fun Day, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution: February 13th

http://culturecapital.com/event/43743/presidential-family-fun-day

 

The George Washington Birthday Parade, Old Town Alexandria: February 15th

http://www.washingtonbirthday.net/parade

 

VALENTINE’S DAY EVENTS:

 

“Love on the Potomac” Valentine’s Dinner, Ft. Belvoir, VA: February 13th

http://belvoir.armymwr.com/us/belvoir/ft-belvoir-events/love-potomac-valentines-dinner?eID=384746

 

Valentine’s Themed Wine Events throughout Northern Virginia

http://www.localwineevents.com/events/tags/39/235/valentines-day-events-in-northern-virginia

 

“Valentine’s Day in the Village”, the Village at Leesburg: February 12th – 14th

http://villageatleesburg.com/event/4106/2016-02-14/

 

If you are in the market to buy a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we help our buyers avoid making these 10 deadly mistakes. If you are looking to buy outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

Happy House Hunting

 

5 Virginia Winter Weekend Getaways

January 29th, 2016

 

Now that you have survived the Blizzard of 2016, you might be thinking of Virginia winter weekend getaways to battle the cabin fever you may be feeling! Also, with Valentine’s Day falling during President’s Day Weekend this year, we’re approaching the perfect time for a mini-vacation!

 

Our beautiful state of Virginia is full of many options for winter getaways, from ski resorts to spas to historical experiences. No matter what your preference, there’s something for everyone within a few hours drive of Northern Virginia. Options can be found for adult only getaways or for family vacations.

 

Here are five ideas for Virginia weekend getaways, all within a few hours drive:

 

Chestnut Cove B&B, Northern Neck, Virginia– This is a contemporary, single story farm house where guests can participate in a stained glass making class and enjoy a cozy bead and breakfast experience, complete with breakfast and lunch!

 

“For information on the area, contact Northern Neck Tourism Council, 800-393-6180; www.northernneck.org. Travel time from Washington: 2 hours.”

 

The Homestead Historic Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia– This Omni resort includes everything from a culinary school to skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, to a spa.

 

“The Homestead, 800-838-1766; www.thehomestead.com. Travel time from Washington: 4 hours.”

 

Lansdowne Resort, near Leesburg, Virginia- Just 8 miles from Dulles airport, this is the closest resort to Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. Close to Virginia’s wine country, this resort offers a number of options for guests, including accessibility to the Leesburg Premium Outlets as well as historical landmarks and national parks.

 

“Lansdowne Resort, 877-509-8400; www.lansdowneresort.com. Rates start at $119. Travel time from DC: 30 minutes.”

 

Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, Virginia- This resort offers many options for winter fun, including skiing, snowboarding, and 2 snow tubing parks. There is also an options for kid’s ski lessons, ice skating, and Ridley’s Fun Park for much family fun!

 

“Wintergreen Resort, 800-266-2444; www.wintergreenresort.com. Travel time from Washington: 3H hours.”

 

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia- This beautiful, historic Virginia town offers fun and education for the whole family. From ice skating at the historic Liberty Pavilion (open through February 14th) to visiting the art museums and civil war battlegrounds to catching a live performance or featured film at the Kimball Theatre, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, there are numerous restaurants, shops, and spas throughout the historic district.

 

“Colonial Williamsburg, 800-HISTORY; www.colonialwilliamsburg.com. Travel time from Washington: 2H hours.”

 

Sources:

 

Washingtonian- “12 Winter Getaways”

http://www.washingtonian.com/2003/12/01/12-winter-getaways/

 

Lansdowne Resort- “Nearby Attractions”

http://www.lansdowneresort.com/vacations/nearby-leesburg-attractions

 

Wintergreen Resort- “Winter- Home”

http://www.wintergreenresort.com/Winter-Home/

 

Colonial Williamsburg- “Liberty’s Ice Pavillion”

https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/do/special-events/libertys-ice-pavilion/

 

Colonial Williamsburg- “Kimball Theatre”

https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/do/kimball-theatre/

 

If you are in the market to buy a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we help our buyers avoid making these 10 deadly mistakes. If you are looking to buy outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

Happy House Hunting

 

Going Green at Home, at Work, and on the Road!

January 15th, 2016

green-gouse-on-hand_z1vZeptO_L

 

 

Welcome to 2016! A new year usually comes with resolutions, many of which are about maintaining a healthier lifestyle and saving money! But what about helping our planet to be healthier? If you could do this AND save money, would you be on board?

 

There are many ways you can “go green” at home, at work, and on the road, that take minimal time and effort, but which make a huge impact on the environment. Here are a few simple steps to get your started:

 

At Home:

  1. Switch to Energy Star rated CFL bulbs, which use 75% less energy than standard bulbs.
  2. Run a full dishwasher whenever possible, as it uses about half the water and energy as washing the dishes by hand.
  3. Switch to a faucet mounted or refrigerated filter, such as Brita or Pur, and give up the bottled water! Not only is this better for the environment, but can save a family for 4 over $1,000.00 per year!
  4. Reuse everyday items (magazines, plastic gallon milk jugs, and empty paper towel rolls) for daily tasks, storage containers, and home organization pieces.
  5. Make sure not to run water unnecessarily, such as when brushing your teeth, to save both money and water, which is a non-renewable resource!

 

At Work:

  1. Switch to non disposable kitchen supplies, such as plates and cups.
  2. Only print when absolutely necessary. This will save you money, paper, and electricity.
  3. Be diligent about turning off lights when a room is not in use and remember to dial down or turn off anything electric (such as lights and thermostats) on the weekends.
  4. Set up a recycling station and encourage everyone to recycle their cans, bottles, and paper.
  5. Encourage telecommuting whenever possible. Not only will this cut down on office costs such as electricity and water, but it is also better for the environment in that it reduces the number of commuters.

 

On the Road:

  1. Know your options and make smart choices when it comes to choosing what vehicle you will drive. There are many different kinds of vehicles, such as electric power, hybrid electric, compressed natural gas, and diesel, which can reduce your carbon footprint.
  2. If you choose not to buy a specialized vehicle, know the stats about your car, such as fuel efficiency and average miles per gallon. Also, choose a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle whenever possible, such as for long commutes.
  3. Make sure to check the air pressure in your tires regularly, especially during very hot and very cold seasons. Proper tire pressure can increase your MPG’s by as much as 3%!
  4. Utilize public transportation (such as trains and buses), carpool, or walk/bike to work whenever possible.
  5. Slow down! Driving over 60mph can decrease your MPG’s by almost 50%!

 

Not only is going green good for the environment, but also it can increase the value of your home, and lower your power, water, and gas bills! “Going green replaces and limits non-renewable energy sources with renewable, long-lasting alternatives.” Now that’s a resolution you should want to keep!

 

Sources:

Good Housekeeping- “Easy Ways to Live Greener”

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/a18573/ways-to-go-green/

 

Business Insider- “11 Simple Ways to Go Green at Your Office (and Save Money Too)

http://www.businessinsider.com/11-really-simple-ways-to-go-green-at-your-office-and-save-money-too-2010-4/only-print-when-absolutely-necessary-1

 

AAA- “Going Green- Ways to Make a Difference with Your Vehicle Choices”

http://exchange.aaa.com/automobiles-travel/automobiles/going-green/#.VpkyNUsyd1I

 

EPA- “What You Can Do on the Road”

http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/road.html

 

If you are in the market to buy a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we help our buyers avoid making these 10 deadly mistakes. If you are looking to buy outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

Happy House Hunting

First Friday: Norther Virginia Events, January 2016

January 1st, 2016

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HAPPY NEW YEAR from the 2 House Hunters Team! We hope you had a great holiday season and a festive New Year’s Eve!

Welcome to our “First Friday” blog! The first Friday of every month our blog will feature events happening around Northern Virginia that month. We hope you enjoy this feature and welcome your feedback and ideas about how we can continue to improve our blog to better serve you!

 

Well, 2016 is here and we all know what that means… Fitness! Home Improvement! Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend! And a baby Panda! Northern Virginia is such a beautiful place to live, and, although the weather has cooled down, there is still plenty of fun to be had for everyone in the area this month! Here are some upcoming Northern Virginia Events:

ICE- Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort- through January 3rd at the National Harbor
(http://www.marriott.com/hotel-info/wasgn-gaylord-national-resort-and-convention-center/christmas-on-the-potomac/xyjvxiz/ice.mi)

NBC 4’s Health and Fitness Expo- January 9th and 10th at the Washington Convention Center
(http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/NBC4s-Health-and-Fitness-Expo-2014-236242441.html)

Giant Panda Cub Debut- January 16th at the National Zoo (https://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (and weekend) events- January 18th
(http://dc.about.com/od/hoildaysseasonalevents/a/MLKJrbirthday.htm)

Home and Remodeling Show- January 22nd – 24th at the Dulles Expo Center
(http://www.homeandremodelingshow.com)

Washington Auto Show- January 22nd – 31st at the Washington Convention Center
(http://www.washingtonautoshow.com)

DC Rollergirls- January 23rd at the DC Armory
(http://www.dcrollergirls.com)

Washington, D.C. Restaurant Week- January 25th – 31st
(http://www.ramw.org/restaurantweek)

Sugarloaf Craft Festival- January 29th – 31st at the Dulles Expo Center
(http://www.sugarloafcrafts.com/festivals/chantilly/winter/)

Alexandria, VA Restaurant Week- January 29th – February 7th
(http://www.visitalexandriava.com/restaurants/restaurant-week/)

If you are in the market to buy a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we help our buyers avoid making these 10 deadly mistakes. If you are looking to buy outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

Happy House Hunting

Happy Holidays from 2 House Hunters

December 25th, 2015

On this Christmas Day, we’d like to take an opportunity to say THANK YOU to all of our friends, family, and supporters! Without you we would not be able to continue this business we love so much!

We hope everyone will have a safe and happy holiday spent with those you love! As a reminder, we wanted to share with you a few tips to keep your home and family safe throughout the festivities of the holiday season:

1. Keep hazardous items away from children and pets! This includes items such as holiday decorations, wrapping paper/bags, candles, and poisonous holiday plants such as holly berries and mistletoe.
2. Give the gift of safe toys! Be aware of the type, size, and appropriate age of a toy you give as a gift. Certain toys can pose a choking hazard to small children and toy boxes, containers, and wrapping can cause injury as well.
3. Turn out the lights! Although lights are beautiful and bring a warm and welcoming feeling to your home, it’s important to turn them off before going to bed or leaving the house, as they could short out and start a fire!
4. Practice safe food prep and cleanup habits! Make sure all perishable foods are properly stored and cooked, keep hot food and drink items out of the reach of children, and ensure that everyone washes their hands frequently!
5. Always designate a driver! During this season of celebration, make sure to designate a driver to ensure you make it home safely. If you’re not able to find a sober driver, be sure to use a service such as SoberRide (1-800-200-TAXI) to get home safely!

We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas! Have a happy and safe holiday!

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatrics: 2015 Holiday Safety Tips and Mental Health Tips (https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/holiday-safety-tips.aspx)

Washington Regional Alcohol Program: SoberRide (http://www.wrap.org/soberride/)

If you are in the market to buy a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we help our buyers avoid making these 10 deadly mistakes. If you are looking to buy outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

Happy House Hunting

Tips for Winterizing Your Home…

December 23rd, 2015

Because it WILL Get Cold One of These Days…

Despite the unseasonably warm winter weather we’ve been experiencing in the D.C. metro area lately, the cold weather is coming! We want to be sure you, and your home, are prepared for the drop in temperature that will be upon us before we know it!

Here are 10 tips for winterizing your home to help you prepare for the chilly months ahead:

1. Winterize your plumbing! This includes draining outdoor faucets and hoses identifying any potential “problem pipes” which may freeze in the cold weather. Also, be sure everyone knows how to turn the home’s water off in the event of a pipe leak/burst, in order to minimize damage.
2. Check your heat sources! If you have a fireplace, be sure to have the chimney cleaned and inspected before use. Additionally, you or a professional need to do a routine checks of your heating systems, including cleaning vents and heating components and, if needed, replacing filters.
3. Ensure all doors and windows are sealed! In addition to checking all caulking and weather stripping, be sure there are no drafts coming from window and door seals.
4. Clean out your gutters! Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can become full of ice during winter weather, preventing proper drainage. This could lead to water damage and possible leaks into your home’s interior.
5. Make sure your home is properly lit! Cold weather means less daylight hours, so it is important that your home is well lit, both inside and out. Purchasing Energy Saver Bulbs and lights with timers of automatic daylight shut off sensors can help you to keep your energy costs low in spite of needing more light.
6. Reverse your ceiling fans! Especially in rooms with high ceilings, reversing the direction of your fan blades will push warm air down from the ceiling and help it to circulate around the room.
7. Winterize your lawn mower! Check your mower’s owner’s manual for cold weather tips, as each brand and model are different. It may include tips such as running the mower until all the fuel is used up.
8. Don’t prune your trees and shrubs until late winter! Although you must ensure that there are no limbs or plants too close to your home that could cause problems during a winter storm, pruning your plants too early can actually harm them. The best time to prune trees and shrubs is in late winter, after they have been dormant and just before the spring growth season.
9. Protect your outdoor living spaces, like patios and decks! Be sure to bring inside, or at least cover, outdoor items such as furniture, umbrellas, and grills to protect them from harmful damage and rust.
10. Restock Winter Essentials! Make sure you have items such as a snow shovel or snow blower, salt or sand, and an ice scraper handy before the first winter storm hits!

Sources:

HGTV.com: “Make Your Home Winter Ready” (http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/make-your-home-winter-ready)

Energy.gov: “Cozy Up to Colder Weather: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter (Part 1)” (http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/cozy-colder-weather-5-ways-prepare-your-home-fall-and-winter-part-1)

Kiplinger: “15 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter” (http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T029-S001-12-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter/index.html)

Good Housekeeping: “12 Ways to Winter-Proof Your Home” (http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/renovation/advice/g834/winter-proof-home/?slide=1)

If you are in the market to buy a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we help our buyers avoid making these 10 deadly mistakes. If you are looking to buy outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

Happy House Hunting

Fed Raises Interest Rates: Affects on Home Buyers and Sellers?

December 18th, 2015
photo credit: New Home via photopin (license)

photo credit: New Home via photopin (license)

As has been anticipated for some time, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised its key interest rate for the first time since June 2006 this week. According to economists, since the “Great Recession”, which began in December 2008, interest rates have been kept historically low in order to allow the economy to heal.

The reasoning behind this rate increase, according to Fed Chief Janet Yellen, is confidence “about the fundamentals driving the U.S. economy, the health of U.S. households, and domestic spending.” This includes the creation of new jobs, lower unemployment numbers, and an increase in wages.

But what does this mean for you, as a homebuyer or seller? It means that NOW is a great time to buy or sell your home!

Three things to consider from a BUYER’S perspective:

• According to Tracey A. Baker of CJM Wealth Advisors (Fairfax, VA), “If you anticipate purchasing a home in the next year or two, then you may want to accelerate that search process, because it’s going to cost more when rates are higher. We may never see these rates again in our lifetime. If you can get 4 percent on a mortgage, that’s remarkable.”

• The impact of this rate hike will not be seen overnight, and, though rates will continue to rise, they will do so slowly. However, this is a good time to start paying attention and preparing to act when you find a home that is right for you.

• The interest rate for variable rate home loans is usually adjusted once a year. However, if, as anticipated, the Fed raises rates multiple times throughout the upcoming year, you could see a noticeable difference in your monthly mortgage payment.

Three things to consider from a SELLER’S perspective:

• If you are considering selling your home, you may want to do so sooner rather than later. Increasing rates typically push home prices down, since buyers can afford less.

• It is essential that you price your home correctly when you do decide to put it on the market. Though increasing rates may encourage buyers to act (thus increases competition for your home), it will also encourage them to be even savvier about the price range they’re willing to consider.

• In the event that you have been holding off on selling your home in the hope of refinancing, the Fed’s rate hike will make a new mortgage that much more costly.

Though an increase in rates may be scary for homebuyers and sellers alike, it also means that our economy is improving, as can be see in signs such as low inflation rates and decreased unemployment. Typically, this leads to an increase in those who are able to purchase a home, especially in a metropolitan area such as ours.

If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling a home, but would like some guidance or further information, we encourage you to contact us! We’re your Northern Virginia Real Estate Resource and can help you every step of the way!

If you’re considering buying or selling a home, we highly recommend you work with a professional Realtor who can help you to navigate this ever changing market!

Sources:

Washingtonian Magazine: “Now is the Moment to Buy a House in D.C.- Before Interest Rates go Berserk in 2016” (http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/openhouse/the-real-estate-market/now-is-the-moment-to-buy-a-house-in-dc-before-interest-rates-rise-in-2016.php)

CNN Money: “Finally! Fed Raises Interest Rates” (http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/16/news/economy/federal-reserve-interest-rate-hike/index.html)

CNN Money: “What a Fed Rate Hike Means to You” (http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/14/news/economy/what-a-fed-rate-hike-means-for-you/index.html?iid=surge-stack-dom)

Fortune: “What the Fed’s Interest Rate Increase Will Mean For You” (http://fortune.com/2015/12/16/feds-rate-hit-you/)

Realtor.com: “FAQ’s About What the Fed’s Move Means for Home Buyers, Sellers” (http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/what-the-feds-move-means-for-housing/)

First Friday: Northern Virginia Events, October 2015

October 2nd, 2015

 

 

 

Welcome to our “First Friday” blog! The first Friday of every month our blog will feature events happening around Northern Virginia that month. We hope you enjoy this feature and welcome your feedback and ideas about how we can continue to improve our blog to better serve you!

 

Well, October is here and we all know what that means… Pumpkins! Fall Festivals! Corn Mazes! And Halloween! Northern Virginia is such a beautiful place to live this time of year, with its changing leaves and cool weather, and there is fun to be had for everyone in the area this month! Here are some great activities coming up in our area:

Pumpkin Patches:

 

Cox Farms Pumpkin Patch (Centreville, VA)

http://www.coxfarms.com/fall-festival/groups.aspx?gclid=CjwKEAjw7aiwBRCPgdu70arX70wSJADK6iDDaIj8nqLN5sgGk99IrRCtI2j3uB8dZawX_3x3FF4xABoCfNbw_wcB

 

Leesburg Animal Park Pumpkin Village (Leesburg, VA)

http://www.pumpkinfestleesburg.com

 

Ticonderoga Farms Fall Festival (Chantilly, VA)

http://www.ticonderoga.com/seasons/fall-festival/

 

Burke Nursery Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground (Burke, VA)

http://www.pumpkinplayground.com

 

Clark’s Farm Pumpkin Patch (Stafford, VA)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarks-Farm-Pumpkin-Patch-/169400443148921

 

Oktoberfest Celebrations:

 

Ft. Belvoir Oktoberfest (Ft. Belvoir, VA, 1-4 October)

http://belvoir.armymwr.com/us/belvoir/programs/oktoberfest

 

Oktoberfest at Capitol City Brewing Company (Shirlington, VA, 3 October)

https://www.facebook.com/CapCityOktoberfest

 

Oktoberfest Reston (Reston, VA, 10-11 October)

http://www.oktoberfestreston.com

 

Corn Mazes:

 

Corn Maze in The Plains (The Plains, VA)

http://www.cornmazeintheplains.com

 

The Maze at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park (Lessburg, VA)

http://templehallfallfest.com

 

Corn Maze at Hartland Farm and Orchard (Markham, VA)

http://www.hartlandfarmandorchard.com/fall-festival-weekends.html

 

Halloween Events:

 

Air and Scare at the National Air and Space Museum (Chantilly, VA, 14 October)

https://airandspace.si.edu/events/air-and-scare/

 

Boo at the Zoo (Washington, DC, 23-25 October)

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/Boo/boo.cfm

 

Falloween at Market Commons (Clarendon, VA, 24 October)

http://marketcommonclarendon.com/2015/09/october-24-falloween/

 

Blood and Guts 5K Run (Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA, 24 October)

http://www.bloodandgutsrun.com

 

Del Ray Halloween Parade (Alexandria, VA, 25 October)

http://www.visitdelray.com/event-867907

 

Vienna Halloween Parade (Vienna, VA, 28 October)

http://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?nid=951

 

Leesburg Kiwanis Halloween Parade (Leesburg, VA, 31 October)

http://leesburgkiwanis.org/Page/15698

 

We hope you take advantage of all that Northern Virginia has to offer this October! And for more great information about what’s going on in our area, including local events, real estate updates, home improvement advice, and much much more, be sure to like our 2 House Hunters Facebook page! We hope you’ll follow our page and share you local fun with us! We love to see you pictures and hear your stories about what you’re up to in Northern Virginia and the surrounding areas! We appreciate your support!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we can help you. If you are looking to buy or sell outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

First Time Homebuyer Loans

August 14th, 2015

 

photo credit: Home Equity via photopin (license)

photo credit: Home Equity via photopin (license)

 

Are you considering buying your first home?  Now is a great time to buy, especially considering the fact that home prices and mortgage rates are still relatively low and will only continue to rise.  Also, purchasing a home before the end of 2015 will ensure that you can enjoy the tax benefits come April 15th!  We understand that purchasing a home will probably be one of the biggest financial decisions you ever make and that this can be intimidating!  This is why we want to make sure you have all of the information you need to make the best decision possible, in addition to knowing that we’re here to help you through the process should you choose to hire a Realtor!

 

According to the National Association of Realtors, first-time homebuyers make up about 40% of the real estate market.  As someone who has never purchased a home before, a first-time homebuyer has certain advantages, including a number of first-time homebuyer mortgage options.  These loans are usually designed for people who may not qualify for more traditional loans or who have little or no means to make a down payment.  Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans, Veterans Affairs (VA) Loans, and USDA Rural Development Loans are just some of the first-time homebuyer programs that are available today.

 

If you are interested in learning more about first-time homebuyer loan programs, we welcome you to contact us at any time!  Additionally, we encourage you to check out these resources for some great information about your mortgage options:

 

Fairfax County First Time Home Buyers Orientation (Next one Sept. 14th!)

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rha/homeownership/fthb_new_apps.htm

 

Home Loan Learning Center

http://www.homeloanlearningcenter.com/default.htm

 

Loans 101

http://www.loans101.com

 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD

 

Federal Housing Administration

http://www.fha.com

 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs- Home Loans

http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/

 

USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Guaranteed Home Loan Program

http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-guaranteed-loan-program

 

In addition to these resources, the 2 House Hunters team offers First Time Homebuyer classes!  If you’d like to schedule one, please contact us at 571-259-2082 or team@2househunters.com .  We would love to help to make your dream of home ownership come true!

With all of the options available to first-time homebuyers, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each.  For instance, while first-time homebuyer loan programs typically require little or no money for a down payment, they may penalize borrowers for selling their home too shortly after it is purchased.  Also, although these programs may offer lower interest rates, they may require that the buyer pay higher fees and closing costs.  It is important that you carefully weigh all of your options to make sure you’re making the best possible decision!  And that you have the right team on your side to help you navigate the process!

 

Happy House Hunting!

 

Source: http://www.loans101.com/2213/first-time-home-buyer-loans/

 

 

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Northern Virginia area and have not already signed with a REALTOR®, contact us and let us tell you how we can help you. If you are looking to buy or sell outside the Northern Virginia area, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with an excellent REALTOR® for that area.

First Friday: August 2015 NOVA Events

August 13th, 2015

august

Welcome to the premiere of our “First Friday” blog! From this point forward, our weekly blog on the first Friday of each month will feature events taking place around Northern Virginia that month!  We hope you enjoy this feature and welcome your feedback and ideas about how we can continue to improve our blog to better serve you!

 

Since it is already the month of August, we know you might be seeing the end of summer drawing near… but do not despair!  There is still a LOT of fun to be had all over Northern Virginia this month!  Here are some great happenings coming up in our area:

 

LOCAL FAIRS:

 

August 5th – 9th: The Arlington County Fair

http://arlingtoncountyfair.us

 

August 14th – 22nd: The Prince William County Fair

http://www.pwcfair.com

 

August 15th – 16th: The Lucketts Fair (Leesburg)

http://theluckettsfair.com

 

FAIRFAX COUNTY FARMER’S MARKETS:

 

August 5th – 15th: National Farmer’s Market Week

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farmersmarkets/downloads/fmw-flyer-2015.pdf

 

Wednesdays: Mount Vernon, Oak Marr, and Wakefield

 

Thursdays: Annandale, Herndon, and Fairfax County Government Center

 

Fridays: McLean and Kingstowne

 

Saturdays: Burke and Reston

 

Sundays: Lorton

 

For more information about each market, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/wp-farm-mkt.htm .

 

FINE ARTS:

 

J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

The Three Sixty Theatre

Tyson’s Corner Center

http://www.peterpan360.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwi4yuBRDX_vq07YyF7l8SJAAhm0rpX4Oj8dxiGHtT6UEHXcx8Ie88j5mCLP18HYXOVf0oNhoCa0Xw_wcB

 

Starlight Cinema Drive-In

Chantilly, VA

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/performances/starlight-cinema.htm

 

Wolf Trap Performing Arts

Vienna, VA

http://www.wolftrap.org/tickets/calendar.aspx

 

We hope you take advantage of some of these fun events, as well as all that our local area has to offer!  And be sure to follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/2HouseHunters), Twitter (@2HouseHunters), and Pinterest (2 House Hunters) for continual updates about upcoming Northern Virginia events and to share your local fun with us!  We appreciate your support!