Finding Your First Home

It’s an exciting time when you start looking for your first home. Maybe you know what areas you like or the type of home you would prefer, maybe even your budget, but no matter your knowledge base, the task can be daunting. A lot of first time home buyers are uncertain how to start looking or who they can trust in the process. I offer a few suggestions below that may aid in the process.

Write It Down Write down what you are looking for in a property and what you would like to avoid. If you are buying with another person make your own lists and compare and contrast your needs.

Searches These days most home searches start on the internet where first time home buyers can go through many listings, virtual tours and photo albums. Look at maps and decide which areas you would consider and or avoid. Once you start looking at homes you can cross off areas you find don’t meet your needs. Drive around the areas you think you may want to live and commute from.

Finances If you’re uncertain about the lending process and what you can afford, go talk to an expert. Most banks have loan officers who will sit down with you and talk about your finances free of charge. This is the time to ask questions and determine what monthly mortgage you would be comfortable paying. The loan officer can also show you different loan programs that you qualify for with the best interest rate. Shop around for the best rate and loan options just know when you get serious about a home you must have a lender lined up. A lender will be writing your pre approval letter which you will submit with any offer on a property.

Realtors Referrals, referrals, referrals! If you’re on the search for a Realtor ask your friends, coworkers and family members for referrals. Chances are if they were happy with their Realtor you might be too. If you’re not from the area and can’t obtain a referral from someone who lives in the area go on the internet. Make sure you look at their websites, blogs and or social media pages to determine how well they know the area. Once you pick a Realtor, make your needs known and be honest if you don’t care for certain properties.

If you find this small bit of information helpful I would love to help you find your first home!

10516 Cambridge Court, Great Falls, VA 22066-SOLD

10516 Cambridge Court, Great Falls, VA 22066


Immaculate 4 BDR,3 Bath with updates. Main Level features Dining Room, Large Family Room, Breakfast Area and Updated Kitchen w/ Granite Countertops & Stainless Steel Appliances. Finished Walk-Out Lower Level has Study, Rec Room w/ Fireplace, Full Bath w/ Soaking Tub, Bedroom and Laundry w/ Storage Area. Large Deck overlooks Private Lot backing to wooded common area. Premium Cul De Sac Lot!!!

88 Chadwick Drive, Stafford, VA-SOLD

88 Chadwick Drive, Stafford, VA 22556


Large SFH w/ 4 Bedrooms 3.5 Baths
Large 2-story Family Room, 2 Staircases, Large Walk-Up Basement w/ tons of storage space, Media Room, Wet Bar Rough-In and Full Bath.
Large Deck and Screened-In Porch w/ Fenced-In Yard.
1.8 Miles from Smith Lake Park!!

Gorgeous Ashburn Townhome-SOLD

23261 Hanworth St, Ashburn, VA 20148

3 Bedrooms 3.5 Baths



4-YEARS OLD AND GORGEOUS!!! Beautiful Hardwood Floors throughout the Main Level. Gourmet Kitchen w/ Granite, Large Pantry and Butler’s Pantry. Deck is located off the Kitchen with Screened In Porch & Gas hookup for the BBQ. Large Master Bedroom includes Sitting Area, Walk-In Closet, Vaulted Ceiling and Large Master Bathroom. W/O Basement Rec Room with Full Bathroom. Extra Storage in Garage!


Centreville Condo-SOLD

14309 Climbing Rose Way #302, Centreville, VA 20121

1 Bedroom, 1 Bath




Great 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath Condo with Fresh Carpet and Paint. Vaulted Ceiling in Living Room and wood burning fireplace. Kitchen has new fridge, GAS range and dishwasher. Master Bedroom walks out onto Balcony with views of the pond. Large walk-in closet has lots of storage space. There is a large secure storage space on Balcony.
Close to major highways and transportation. Within walking distance to shopping, grocery stores and restaurants.


Great Herndon Single Family Home-SOLD

12917 Lyme Bay Drive, Herndon, VA 20171

4 Bedrooms 2.5 Bath



No Pictures provided due to going under contract before we took photos!

Seneca Chase Single Family Home-SOLD!


305 Samantha Drive, Sterling, VA 20164

3 Bedrooms 2.5 Bath



Adorable Seneca Chase Single Family. Large Fenced in Yard with Low Maintenance Deck. Fresh Paint and Newer Carpet. Roof Replaced 2013, HVAC 2015, Water Heater 2015, Sump Pump 2017, Disposer 2018. Very clean and well kept home!


North Reston Condo-SOLD!

1579 Church Hill Place, Reston, VA 20194

2 Bedroom & 2 Full Baths



Coming Soon in early Spring! This beautiful North Reston Condo is over 1300 Sq Feet with amazing Vaulted Ceilings. It has plenty of windows that give the home great light and almost like you own a treehouse with all the surrounding trees! The HVAC system was replaced in 2016 along with the stove, dishwasher and built in microwave. The condo has a great gated private entryway along with a large balcony and private balcony off the Master Bedroom. Great commuters location and in walking distance to groceries, shopping and restaurants. 

To Renovate or Move?

It’s a question a lot of folks ask themselves when they start thinking about selling their home. My husband and I ran into the same quagmire when we started discussing needing more room for the kids in the future. There was no easy answer. We talked about how we loved our current neighborhood and ease of travel to anywhere we needed to go, the friends that we already made and also how sought after our current neighborhood was. It took us about 3 years before we committed to remodeling our home. I joke that my husband had a real estate search running for 2 years but his Realtor refused to take him out and look at homes.

A couple things to think about when considering renovation over moving are:

  • How much equity will it add to your home?
  • Can you find another home that will fit your needs?
  • Will the changes fix the current issues you face today?
  • Does equity really matter if you plan to stay in the house for years?
  • How to finance the renovations?

How much equity will it add to your home?

Equity is important if you think you might want to sell your home in 3 to 5 years. You are not going to get all of the money back dollar for dollar for everything you might change so keep that in mind. I tell my listing clients if you are going to update kitchens and bathrooms make sure you get some use out of them before listing. It won’t sting as bad if you don’t get all your money back from the changes that are made. In our situation we were juggling with our budget, not going over board with additions to the home and pricing the home out of the market. In the end we justified being over budget a little by knowing that this is our forever home. It helps that we have a fantastic lot and one of the smaller houses in the neighborhood.

Can you find another home that will fit your needs?

Of course! There are plenty of homes in the Northern Virginia Area to choose from. Our needs most likely were going to come with a much higher price tag and we were going to have to leave the neighborhood we love.  We absolutely love Loudoun County and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. With us we already knew what we needed to change to make the home fit our needs and that was really hard to walk away from. Now I have a beautiful Kitchen, Great Room and Master Bedroom Walk-In Closet. My kids have plenty of room for friends and we can hold a party without feeling cramped.

Will the changes fix the current issues you face today?

This is important. If you’re not going to get everything you want out of remodeling and spend a good amount of money doing it, don’t even consider it. The process of remodeling can be very stressful and be rough on a relationship.

Does equity really matter if you plan to stay in the house for years?

It matters in regards to overspending when it comes to doing renovations on your home. Remember to take into account the homes that are in your neighborhood. If you have a neighborhood with smaller homes you don’t want to have the extra large home among the smaller homes. It would be a better option to sell and find a home that fits your needs better.

How to finance the renovations? 

  • There is the obvious way by saving up and paying out of pocket. This might insure that you stay on budget.
  • You can find out from a lender if you can do a Home Equity Line of Credit. In order to do a HELOC you need to have equity in your home either because you have paid down your primary loan over the years or the appraised value of the home has risen. A HELOC is great because you can pay it back and use it over and over again. You can also write off any interest that has occurred just like your primary mortgage.
  • Renovation/Construction Loan is another option. These are becoming more popular. You can obtain a loan based on what you think your home may be worth after you have completed your project. Fannie Mae and FHA have these home renovation mortgages. Here is a little more about these programs:

Hope this information is helpful when trying to make your decision to move or to renovate! If you have any further questions I would love to help. You can reach me at or by phone at 571-299-8307.


Featured Listing



13115 Watchwood Lane, Fairfax, VA 22033

4 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths

Rare END Unit Brick Front Townhome in the Fair Lake Land Bay Community. Tall 9 ft Ceilings give the Townhome a spacious feel with Vaulted Ceilings in the Bedrooms. New HVAC and HOT WATER HEATER installed 2016. Large Basement can be used as a MIL Suite with Bedroom with Egress, Full Bath and Walk-Out Basement Exit. Recently Updated Laundry Includes Extra Shelving and Storage Space. Backyard includes large Deck with Stairs to backyard, Fenced-In Yard, Storage Spot for Trash Cans and Storage Shed.

The Townhome is conveniently located near tons of Shopping including Target AND Walmart. Tons of Restaurants including the amazing Tony’s Pizza.
The home is within walking distance to the Metro Park and Ride and local bus transportation. HOV entrance to 66 is just around the corner off of Stringfellow Road. Entrance to Rt 50 and Fairfax County Parkway are within a few miles.
Home is located within the Greenbriar West, Rocky Run Middle and Chantilly High School based on Fairfax County Public Schools site, Both Greenbriar West and Rocky Run Middle are Advanced Academic Placement Centers.

Tons of Parks, Playgrounds and Athletic Fields surround this area. A little something for everybody!