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									Ashburn Real Estate

Caren O’Brien – The Ashburn & Loudoun
       County Real Estate Expert

To Search For Real Estate in Ashburn &
     Loudoun County, Check out:
Dear Neighbor,

Buying a home can be daunting. In fact, it can be a full time job. Because of this,
I wanted to create the Loudoun County Home Buyers Guide to help answer many
of the questions that you have both about the home buying process but also about
living in Loudoun County.

I have been living in the DC metro area for 25 years and have lived in Loudoun
County for the past 6 years with my husband and two children.

I am a specialist in helping my clients find beautiful homes in Loudoun County
and have done so for a few years now. No, I don’t have 20 years of experience
selling homes but what I do have is 20+ years of providing excellence to my clients
in the hospitality, insurance, and real estate industries.


Caren O’Brien
Realty Direct, LLC
44330 Premier Plaza #210 Ashburn, VA 20147

Table of Contents

Testimonials                             1
9 Buyer Traps & How to Avoid Them 2
Stop Paying Rent!                        3

                                          A Few Testimonials….

“I definitely recommend Caren. She has an excellent knowledge of the local real estate market.
She always takes the time to listen to me and she is always very responsive. Even when I know
she has a busy schedule, she never makes me feel rushed. Caren is also a very friendly and
caring person, and it shows in the work she does. I recommend her without hesitation.”
Brian Columbo, Chantilly, VA

“Caren did not limit a choice of few homes or a particular area like lot of agents do because all they want to do is
close the sale. Caren showed us everything in our price range and took us to see everything we wanted. She was
very generous with her time and planned everything out for us. She is very good and highly recommended!”
Saad Uddin, Sterling, VA

“Professional, experienced, great contact and communication, was able to meet on short notice and accommodate
our crazy schedule. Thank you so much for all your help!”
Angela Bowman, Leesburg, VA

“The agent is very knowledgeable and helpful especially that I’m a new buyer. She respond to my needs even when
her schedule is very hectic. She is highly recommendable to others who want to buy a house.”
Priscilla Dampog, Leesburg, VA

“Caren treats me not just as a client but like somebody she’d known for a long time. She is dependable and is skillful
in answering questions especially from a first time home buyer like me.”
Lulu Fantilaga, Leesburg, VA

“Caren is a wonderful person that has great energy to help find the home that you are looking for. She is very
knowledgeable of Loudoun County, VA and the DC metro area as she has been living here for 20+ years. I would
highly recommend her to help with your home buying experience.”
Michael John, Ashburn, VA

9 Buyer Traps & How to Avoid Them!
No matter which way you look at it, buying a home is a major investment. But for many
homebuyers, it can be an even more expensive process than it needs to be because many fall prey
to at least a few of the many common and costly mistakes which trap them into either:

    paying too much for the home they want, or
    losing their dream home to another buyer, or
    (worse) buying the wrong home for their needs.

A systemized approach to the homebuying process can help you steer clear of these common
traps, allowing you to not only cut costs, but also secure the home that’s best for you. This
important report discusses the 9 most common and costly of these homebuyer traps, how to
identify them, and what you can do to avoid them.

    Bidding Blind...What price should you offer when you bid on a home? Is the seller’s
     asking price too high, or does it represent a great deal? If you fail to research the market
     in order to understand what comparable homes are selling for, making your offer would
     be like bidding blind. Without this knowledge of market value, you could easily bid too
     much, or fail to make a competitive offer at all on an excellent value.

    Buying the Wrong Home...What are you looking for in a home? Asimple enough
     question, but the answer can be quite complex. More than one buyer has been swept up in
     the emotion and excitement of the buying process only to find themselves the owner of a
     home that is either too big or too small. Maybe they’re stuck with a longer than desired
     commute to wor, or a dozen more fix-ups than they really want to deal with now that the
     excitement has died down. Take the timeupfront to clearly define your wants and needs.
     Put it in writing and then use it as a yard stick with which to measure every home you
     look at.

    Unclear Title...Make sure very early on in the negotiation that you will own your new
     home free and clear by having a title search completed. The last thing you want to
     discover you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the
     property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, leases or the like.

    Inaccurate Survey...As a part of your offer to purchase, make sure you request an
     updated property survey which clearly marks your boundaries. If the survey is not
     current, you may find that there are structural changes that are not shown (e.g. additions
     to the house, a new swimming pool, a neighbor’s new fence which is extending a
     boundary line, etc.). Be very clear on these issues.

    Undisclosed Fix-ups...Don’t expect every seller to own up to every physical detail that
     will need to be attended to. Like you, the sellers will be looking out for themselves.
     Ensure that you conduct a thorough inspection of the home early in the process. Consider

   hiring an independent inspector to objectively view the home inside and out, and make
   the final contract contingent upon this inspector’s report. This inspector should be able to
   give you a report of any item that needs to be fixed with associated, approimate cost.

 Not Getting Mortgage Preapproval... Pre-approval is fast, easy and free. When you
  have a pre-approved mortgage, you can shop for your home with a greater sense of
  freedom and security, knowing that the money will be there when you find the home of
  your dreams.

 Contract Misses...If a seller fails to comply to the letter of the contract by neglecting to
  attend to some repair issues, or changing the spirit of the agreement in some way, this
  could delay the final closing and settlement. Agree ahead of time on a dollar amount for
  an escrow fund to cover items that the seller fails to follow through on. Prepare a list of
  agreed issues, walk through them, and check them off one by one.

 Hidden Costs...Make sure you identify and uncover all costs - large and small - far
  enough ahead of time. When a transaction closes, you will sometimes find fees for this or
  that sneaking through after the “sub”- total - fees such as loan disbursement charges,
  underwriting fees etc. Understand these in advance by having your lender project total
  charges for you in writing.

 Rushing the Closing...Take your time during this critical part of the process, and insist
  on seeing all paperwork the day before you sign. Make sure this documentation perfectly
  reflects your understanding of the transaction, and that nothing has been added or
  subtracted. Is the interest rate right? Is everything covered? If you rush this process on the
  day of closing, you may run into a last minute snag that you can’t fix without
  compromising the terms of the deal, the financing, or even the sale itself.

        Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To
                Your Landlord …
It’s a dream we all have - to own our own home and stop paying rent. But if you’re like most renters, you
feel trapped within the walls of a house or apartment that doesn’t feel like yours. How could it when
you’re not even permitted to bang in a nail or two without a hassle. You feel like you’re stuck in the
renter’s rut with no way of rising up out of it and owning your own home.

Don’t Feel Trapped Anymore
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been renting or how insurmountable your financial situation may seem.
The truth is there are some little known facts that can help you get over the hump and transfer your status
from renter to homeowner. With this information, you will begin to see how you really can:

        save for a downpayment
        stop lining your landlord’s pockets
        stop wasting thousands of dollars on rent

        6 Little Known Facts That Can Help You Buy Your First Home
The problem that most renters face isn’t your ability to meet a monthly payment. Goodness knows that
you must meet this monthly obligation every 30 days already. The problem is accumulating enough
capital to make a downpayment on something more permanent. But saving for this lump sum doesn’t
have to be as difficult as you might think. Consider the following 6 important points:

❶You can buy a home with much less down than you think.
There are some local or federal government programs (such as 1st time buyer programs) to help people
get into the housing market. You can qualify as a first time buyer even if your spouse has owned a home
before as long as your name was not registered. Ensure your real estate agent is informed and
knowledgeable in this important area and can offer programs to help you with your options.

❷You may be able to get your lender to help you with your down payment
and closing costs.
Even if you do not have enough cash for a down payment, if you are debt-free and own an asset free and
clear (such as a car for example), your lending institution may be able to lend you the downpayment for
your home by securing it against this asset.

❸You may be able to find a seller to help you buy and finance your home.
Some sellers may be willing to hold a second mortgage for you as a “seller take-back”. In this case, the
seller becomes your lending institution. Instead of paying this seller a lump-sum full amount for his or her
home, you would pay monthly mortgage installments.

❹You may be able to create a cash down payment without actually going into

By borrowing money for certain investments to a specified level, you may be able to generate a
significant tax refund for yourself that you can use as a downpayment. While the money borrowed for
these investments is technically a loan, the monthly amount paid can be small, and the money invested in
both home and investment will be yours in the end.

❺You can buy a home even if you have problems with your credit rating.
If you can come up with more than the minimum down payment or can secure the loan with other equity,
many lending institutions will consider you for a mortgage. Alternatively, a seller takeback mortgage
could also help you in this situation.

❻You can, and should, get preapproved for a home loan before you go
looking for a home.
Pre-approval is easy, and can give you complete peace of mind when shopping for your home. Mortgage
experts can obtain written pre-approval for you at no cost and no obligation, and it can all be done quite
easily over the phone.
More than just a verbal approval from your lending institution, a written pre-approval is as good as money
in the bank. It entails a completed credit application, and a certificate which guarantees you a mortgage to
the specified level when you find the home you’re looking for. Consider dealing only with a professional
who specializes in mortgages.

Enlisting their services can make the difference between obtaining a mortgage, and being stuck in the
renter’s rut forever. Typically there is no cost or obligation to enquire.

 Work with our team and we can help you find the home that you can
                         call your OWN!

Ashburn Real Estate

Caren O’Brien – The Ashburn & Loudoun
       County Real Estate Expert

To Search For Real Estate in Ashburn &
     Loudoun County, Check out:

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