Lessons Learned from Our Last Free Home Buyers' Class

Hello Hampton Roads,

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far! I wanted to write a quick post about our popular educational program, the Free Home Buyer Class.  Our last class was this past Wednesday, July 10th and I thought I would share some of the interesting things we learned as a group.

Every class covers the basics of the home buying process from applying for the best loan products to finding a home, negotiating and closing and though these basics are the same  for every class, every class is also unique in that it tailored to the folks attending and the specific questions they have. We definitely have some lively and thought provoking conversations!

Here's a sample of some of the questions that came up:

Today's interest rates are great, but what happens if I decide to wait to buy a home thinking that rates may go down?

Rates are already low (mid 3's and low 4's) and no one knows what rates will be if you buy a home in the future and chances are they could go up. For every 1% rise in interest rates, as a buyer, you lose about 10% purchasing power.  For example if you can buy a $200,000,00 home at today's rates and rates go up 1 point, then that means that for the same payment you could now only buy a $180,000.00 house.

Why is the tax rate higher in certain cities, like Portsmouth, than in others?

The general area tax rate for Portsmouth is $1.30 per $100 of assessed value and certainly higher than other cities (except for designated Special Service Areas in VA Beach or Special Business Districts in Norfolk).  Portsmouth is unique in that aboout 50% of the land is is non-taxable (government owned) so the other 50% is taxed at a higher rate to subsidize the rest,

If I am under contract to buy a home and the appraisal comes back fine, am I committed to buying the home?

Great question! Unless the contract has other contingencies which woud allow you an "out", then you have to abide by the terms of the contract and move forward.

If you are thinking about buying a home, do yourself a favor and sign up for a class! It's fun, entertaining and I promise you'll learn something that will help you in your search for a home.
Our next class is Tuesday Sept. 3rd from 4pm-6pm; we are combing it with a special wine tasting at Total Wine and you can register here!

Thanks for Reading,


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