A few TFP'S ( Tips From Peg)
Over the past week I have had several conversations with agents as well as folks who have called who are military folks relocating to the Woodbridge Virginia area. Each were anticipating just arriving in the area and hopeful to find a rental with a few days and move in before year end.
"It is not impossible to arrive and located a rental you can move right into. However is a very RISKY thing to do without a BACKUP PLAN for family members (including your pets!)"
Let's talk about the realities of House Hunting for a RENTAL in the Prince William County Virginia during the Holiday Season.
The following tips are to help you be successful and have a stress free move.
- Most REALTOR's will show home between 10 am and 5 pm in the Winter Months. ( this is for safety reasons)
- The other reason is you cannot see the exterior of the home or the community in the dark.
- Homes that are occupied must be shown by appointment.
- Just know rental homes are in high demand. Inventory changes quickly.
- The closer to the beginning of the month you are the better the inventory levels. All renters give notice between 1st and 5th of months.
- Tenants here give a 30 day or 60 day notice to their landlords when they will be vacating.
- So Landlords can put homes on the market for rent 60 days in advance of occupancy date.
It is best to narrow your search to the top three or four homes and pick one.
Woodbridge Virginia is within commuting distance to the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir and Marine Base Quantico Virginia and we are twenty miles south of DC and west of I-95.
- Five Miles can take 30 minutes or longer. ( Welcome to Washington DC Metro Area) This is the way it is all the time here.
- A ten mile drive to work can take up to an hour during rush hour. ( I'm not kidding)
- The closer in your get to work, can increase due to all the stop and go and traffic lights.
- If you will consider Van Pool, Car Pool or Slugging to work your choices of homes will be greater.
- Avoid the area around I-95 like the plague. You will be stuck sitting in traffic.
Now lets talk about what you are going to need and how long the application process takes once you find a suitable home.
- Make sure you have a local bank or credit union in the area. Property Management Companies and Landlords in the area DO NOT TAKE Personal Checks.
- Alternate Plan-you can use a Money Order or you can use Federal Express Overnight Delivery from your bank of record to the real estate company. ( they will ask you for a personal check until the funds arrive)
- Expect the application period to take 3-5 days. Yes up to 5 days. If you are dealing with a Property Management Rental and you find a home on a Thursday, application goes in on Friday. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday so your rental application will be processed in the order it was received. Verification's must be completed,credit pulled and then the owner must be reach for approval.
Learn from those who arrrived before you and from professionals who can help you make a stress free move.
"There are not as many available rentals as appears online."
If you are going from site to site on the INTERNET and are getting the impression there are a lot of rentals. Guess again. There are a lot of SCAMS.Crooks take real estate listings and populate them on the INTERNET in hopes of getting your money! DO NOT FALL For that on Craigslist. Plus many real estate sites are Advertising Sites. These are meant to attract a person who needs a property. Not all the information ONLINE is up to date. Many homes could already have an Application Registered.
You might be shocked to learn all the late nights you sat up looking at homes, printing them out,saving them are not available. So all that time is wastes. All those houses you picked out get "86'd in the trash!"
Ask a REALTOR to send you current listings that match up to your time frame, your needs, and your budget.
What do you do if you need to move to the Woodbridge Virginia area right away. You cannot come for a house hunt a few weeks ahead of your arrival and you cannot afford to stay in a hotel for a week orTwins Selling Real Estate Mobile App more.
- You can consider an apartment complex ( you do not need a REALTOR for that process) Search Apartment Rentals in the Woodbridge Virginia Area
- Look at VACANT homes only if you must be in within a month.
- Make sure you tell the REALTOR if you are a smoker, have pet(s), and exactly what you need in a rental. The things you cannot compromise on. This will cut down on disappointment. Every landlord set their own terms for renting. ( Some will say, no groups, no smokers, no pets, excellent credit only)
- If you are opposed to living in a Home Owners Association, please let your REALTOR know.
- Download the the Twins Selling Real Estate Mobile App.this will help you get a feel for prices of rentals and homes during your travels and your down time. It is GPS based so make sure you change your GPS setting on your mobile phone.
- Come prepared. You will need the first months rent, a full months security deposit, a pet deposit as well. ( so if you are looking at a $2000.00 rental you will need $4000 plus the $500 ( up to $1000 ) pet deposit! That is $5000.00. Also you will need a credit check for each adult on the lease.All of this will need to be in the form of certified funds or money orders.
- A good site to search rentals in the area prior to your visit is MilitarybyOnwer ( by owner listings as well as REALTOR Listings) Most should be current.
- If you find more that one rental that you like and you submit an application. Just know that you will need additional non-refundable credit check fee's for each rental application you submit.
Just in case you've read this post and you found yourself thinking...
" I wonder if it would be less expensive to buy a home instead?"
The answer is YES.
Sellers in this Prince William County Virginia area are accustom to paying Closing Costs for military veterans. In most situations with good credit you can buy a home with your VA Eligibility with less than a thousand dollars our of pocket. If that is something you'd like to know more about. The first step is to get pre-approved by a local VA Loan Specialist. Markita Aldridge Woods at WestStar Mortgage is a great resource for you.
You can also apply online for a VA LOAN HERE
EXIT REALTY ASSOCIATES 8998 C Lorton Station Blvd, Lorton Virginia 22079 ( equal housing opportunity)
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