Buyer Resources

Buyer Tips

Here are some things to keep in mind while you are going through the Home Buying Process.

Location Counts
You’ve probably heard the old real estate joke about “location, location, location,” but the point still bears repeating. Location is crucial. How far are you really willing to commute to your place of employment? How good are the local schools, shopping centers, public transportation, seniors services and other public amenities? Will your new home be next to a vacant lot or a commercial property? Even a picture-perfect dream home can be a mistake if it’s in an undesirable location, and a poor-location home can be a particularly bad choice if you anticipate reselling the home within a few years.
Make a list
Do you (and your spouse, if you’re married) really know what you need and want in your home? You’ll save yourself many hours of shopping (and potentially arguing) if you make a list ahead of time. Zero in on the features you must have, would like to have, definitely don’t want and would prefer to have. Tip: Start compiling your wish list by thinking about what you like and dislike about your current home.
Get preapproved for a mortgage
Your top-dollar home price is a function of your household income, your creditworthiness, interest rates, the type of loan you select and how much ready cash you have for the down payment and closing costs, among other factors. Rather than guessing or estimating how much you can afford to spend, ask a lender or mortgage broker to give you a full assessment and a letter stating how much you’re qualified to borrow. The true amount may be much more or much less than you think.
Be prepared to make an offer
House-hunting can also be frustrating, especially if you know in your heart you’re not really emotionally or financially ready to buy a home. If you’re not ready, don’t put yourself through the exercise. If you are ready, go through a blank purchase contract ahead of time so you’ll know what decisions you’ll face when you make an offer.
Granted, buying a home is a major life-altering event. But it’s not worth making yourself insanely crazy or super-duper stressed. Save time at the end of your house-hunting expedition to unwind, calm your thoughts and emotions and keep the whole experience in perspective.

Buying vs Renting

Why should you buy a home?

You Own It
It’s yours! That means you can do what you want with it. Plus, home ownership gives you stability and security – it’s an investment in your future.
It Can Appreciate
Yes, housing doesn’t go up all the time, but historically over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated, and many people view buying a home as a hedge against inflation.
It’s Deductible
There are great tax benefits to home ownership. Tax laws favor homeowners and in most cases your home mortgage interest and property taxes are fully deductible.
You Gain With No Pain
Once you’ve lived in your home for two years, you can exclude from $250,000 to $500,000 of profit from capital gains if you decide to sell. Take that straight to the bank!
You’re Building Equity
Each and every month your mortgage payment is reducing the principal balance of your loan – your nest-egg is growing.
What About the Recession?
It’s a great time to buy!

Mortgage Rates are at an All Time LOW – Do not miss this opportunity to save hundreds of dollars a month on interest by buying now.

Home Values are Low – Buy low, Sell high. That’s basic economics and if you are in a position to buy a home now you are putting yourself in a position of financial strength.

Great Deals on Home Upgrades – Builders are offering home upgrades at discounted prices.

Buying New vs Old

No matter what the economic climate, buying a new home always has advantages. Whether it’s added flexibility, efficiency or modern conveniences, there are many reasons that being the first owner of a home makes more sense than ever.

Ease of Maintenance
Thanks to vast improvements in the efficiency and durability of building materials, new homes don’t require as much upkeep as older homes. Many home buyers discover they’d rather spend valuable weekend time with family and friends, instead of performing home repair. Do-it-yourself maintenance is not for everyone.
For many new home buyers, the thought of making their home truly reflect their tastes and lifestyle is the greatest appeal of all. There is no substitute for living in a home that mirrors your preferences in color, fixtures, floor coverings, appliances and finishing touches. A new home allows the owner to plan the relationship between indoor and outdoor living, the flow of one room to the next and the flexibility of the rooms themselves. Whether you want to create a theme space for your favorite hobby, the gourmet kitchen of your dreams, or the game room your family will enjoy for years, being in the captain’s seat of your home’s construction is a truly exciting process.
Spacious Floor Plans
Buying a resale home typically means you’re stuck with the layout of a home that was appropriate for the decade in which it was built, unless you have the funds handy for major renovations. Today’s homes emphasize flexible space and flexible usage, which let the homeowners tailor the living area to their evolving needs. Larger kitchens with state-of-the-art equipment and custom items from wine refrigerators to wood-burning ovens, family rooms with built-in multi-media options, closets equipped with built-in storage systems, modular walls, shared children’s rooms with lofts or partitions, and outdoor rooms with indoor accouterments are all possibilities.
Goin’ Green
In general, newer homes offer an array of greener options for greater efficiency and comfort. The materials used in today’s home are far more effective at reducing energy costs than those found in resale homes. The savings provided in utility bills can quickly offset the price of a new home. Roof-top catchment for rainwater, gray water systems to recycle wash water, solar panels, tankless water heaters and better indoor air filtration systems are just a few options that save money and the environment. Today’s new home can be customized to be more cost-effective and environmentally sound than ever before. Visit the U.S. Green Building Council,, and EarthCraft House for exciting details about the types of green building options available.
Retrofitting older homes with today’s technology can be an exercise in frustration and futility. It is much easier to add modern convenience to a home, such as wiring for surround-sound speakers, additional cable jacks and electrical outlets, ports for electronic equipment, and wireless internet access, while it’s being framed. The new home has endless “smart” options, including increased automation and computerized systems, for temperature, lighting, entertainment and security than ever before.
In addition to the use of less energy efficient materials, older homes have often been constructed using hazardous substances such as asbestos and lead-based paint or have wiring and plumbing that does not meet today’s codes. A new home is subject to the current building codes that require more stringent safety requirements regarding materials and internal systems. Whatever your location or price-range, this is an excellent time to look into buying a new home. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of choosing your home’s details, inside and out, and being the first one to put the key in the lock.

How to Choose a Home Builder You Can Trust

Building a new home can be a very lucrative and rewarding investment — provided that you choose the right home builder to handle the job. These tips will help you clarify your home building goals and find the best home builder to entrust with your project.

Deciding what to build
Before you can choose a home builder, you need to have a clear picture of what type of home you want. Much like doctors who specialize in different types of medicine, home builders also specialize in building certain types of homes. First decide which type of home you need: condo, townhouse, or single-family. Then determine whether you want a custom home or a production home. Custom homes are typically one-of-a-kind single-family residences built on land the client owns. Because every aspect of a custom home is unique, a custom home is typically a higher-end home. Custom home builders also tend to build just a few (typically under 25) homes per year because each project is so different. Production home builders, on the other hand, usually build a large volume of homes. These builders typically build new homes on land that they own and offer buyers the option to pick from several stock floor plans. Production builders construct homes in every price range from starter homes to luxury homes.
Finding home builders
Once you’ve decided what type of home to build, compile a list of potential builders. There are several ways to find home builders in your area: Contact your local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders. Get referrals from real estate agents, friends, and family. Someone who has dealt directly with a home builder can give you good advice on things to consider when you choose a builder yourself. Browse the real estate section of your local newspaper or pick up local home design magazines. You’ll get an idea of what’s available, the price you can expect to pay, and find out which home builders are active in your area. Make note of home builders who construct appealing homes within your price range.
Checking credentials
A home builder is someone you’ll have to work with closely for an extended period of time — usually several months to a year or more between construction and the warranty phase. So it’s important to do your homework and look for a builder who’s reliable. When you check credentials, look for the following: Experience: Look for a builder who has a large portfolio of residences like the one you want to build. A good BBB rating: Check the Better Business Bureau’s website to make sure your home builder doesn’t have an excessive amount of complaints. Affiliations and rewards: Has the builder received special certifications, industry awards, or membership in professional associations? Permanent business address: A permanent business address and good record with local banks and suppliers indicate that a home builder has a stable, successful business. Look for a builder who has been in business for at least three to five years. It usually takes a business that amount of time become financially sound. Your home builder’s financial stability is important because you need to know that he’ll be around to finish your construction and then handle any issues that pop up later. When you’re sure that a home builder has both a stable business and the expertise to build your new home, interview him. Ask about his current projects and have him provide references. Be sure to follow up with the builder’s references because these clients can attest to the builder’s strengths and weaknesses. Ask the clients if they are happy with their new home. Were there any problems with the home? How quickly were problems fixed? Be sure that a home builder will be responsive to your inquiries.
Final step
The final step in choosing a trustworthy home builder should be to examine his work firsthand. Have the builder take you on a tour of a recently completed home or model home. Look at the quality of construction features and the durability of building materials. Look at every detail and ask the builder plenty of questions to get a good idea of what to expect from the home building process.

Home Financing

Together you, your Classic Design Builders sales associate and your loan officer will make the dream home of your imagination into a reality.

Classic Design Builders Home Loan Partners:

Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group

Cara Hunt Erickson

600 Lynnhaven Parkway, Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Office: 757-348-2262


Conventional Mortgages
Conventional mortgage loans are issued by a lender and use the value of the property as collateral. They are not insured or guaranteed by a government agency. Conventional loans can be Fixed—with the interest rate remaining constant throughout the duration of the loan Adjustable—loans in which the interest rate fluctuates at set periods during the duration of the loan
If you have enough money to cover the purchase price of a home, you may be able to negotiate a lower price, since you do not have to qualify for a mortgage. Sellers are happy to accept an all cash offer and are often willing to lower their asking price in return for an expedited sale
1031 Exchange
Under a provision of the Internal Revenue Service, if you sell a property and purchase a “like-kind” property, you can defer the capital gains tax. The 1031 Exchange can apply to residential properties if certain qualifications are met.
FHA Loans
These are loans designed to help large numbers of people afford to buy a home. They are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, usually require only 3.5% down payment and allow the borrowers to accept financial gifts from family towards the down payment.
VA Loans
These loans are available to members of the armed services and do not require a down payment. VA loans are funded by conventional lenders and are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
Bridge Loans
If you purchase a home before your current home sells, you may be eligible for a short-term bridge loan which uses your existing home as collateral. When your home sells, the proceeds from the sale are used to pay off the bridge loan.