It is no secret that real estate is still hot in Virginia, mainly in the areas close to metropolitan cities such as Washington, D.C. In northern Virginia, this area encompasses Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the city of Alexandria. Prices in these areas have not suffered as much in the current recession and foreclosures, although still a problem, are not as dire as in other states. Virginia mortgages are still available and affordable and mortgage lenders are anxious to help in any way they can.
A little further south, cities such as Fredericksburg, Hopewell and Petersburg are on the outskirts of Richmond, another metropolitan area experiencing growth. Norfolk has the largest naval base in the United States and employs a lot of military and civilian men and women, so areas such as Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton offer affordable housing for those people.
Compared to other cities and states, Virginia prices are fairly stable. One area in particular, Loudoun Virginia, is the fastest growing city in the U.S. (as of 2004.) The population has increased, meaning houses are selling well and with that demand, the prices have stablilized or increased regularly. Housing prices in Arlington, Alexandria, Springfield, Burke, Annandale, Manassas, Herndon, Fredericksburg and Springfield remain quite high as these towns are served by the metro rail system which takes government and other workers into the metropolitan Washington area. With values holding, homeowners are apt to hold onto their properties.
The median housing price in Virginia in 2008 was about $240,000.00 as compared to $177,900.00 nationwide, which gives homeowners an optimistic edge. Virginia Realtors are up to date on mortgage practices and Virginia mortgage rates. Used homes for sale number about 66,000 at any given time, statewide. New homes, on the other hand, number about 225. There are approximately 19,000 foreclosures in Virginia with a medium sales price of $200,000. Priced for used homes have come down about 1.1% since January of this year.
The median housing prices declined in about 123 of 153 metropolitan areas with prices increasing in just 30 cities. So Virginia is still a main contender when it comes to affordable and appreciating housing prices.
Virginia is a very popular state as it holds both amazing historical and high tech interests as well as other great points of interest. Whether one wants to be close to the D.C. area for employment purposes, or wants a diverse choice for entertainment and scenery, Virginia is, indeed, for lovers. Mountains, rivers, the Atlantic Ocean and even the metropolitan flavor can all be experienced here. There are amazing parks, some with forests and waterfalls. The Potomac River meanders south past George Washington’s birthplace of Oak Grove into the Chesapeake Bay. There are four seasons to enjoy and as many housing styles as you can imagine to choose from. Mass transit, including the metro train/subway system and city buses are a popular way to get around in the city. Malls, schools, churches and areas for recreation are within a few miles of most residential areas.
Cities such as Springfield, Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale and Falls Church offer a metropolitan flavor blended with suburban areas and excellent schools. Other cities such as McLean, Herndon, Lynchburg and Burke and Manassas offer older homes and a somewhat country atmosphere but are still close to the city. The areas further south, closer to the ocean, continue to grow and are still seeing an influx of a diverse population of people. There is a town and a home for everyone in Virginia so it depends on what you are looking for when searching for housing.
Virginia Beach is not typically thought of by tourists in the same light as popular beaches from Florida, Hawaii, or California; but it is an affordable and beautiful city with 437,994 residents. It was named as the safest city in the United States in 2004.
The fastest growing cities in Virginia are those that are within a 35 mile radius of Washington, D.C. and those in the southern area. However, that does not mean that the rest of Virginia is not growing too. People are gravitating to the beauty of this state and the abundant availability of used homes as well as the new construction going on. Houses are holding their values, which is a plus and people are not afraid to invest in a higher priced home because of this.
In Virginia, a warranty deed secures the property you purchase. This is a non-recourse instrument, meaning that the lender can foreclose on the property should you default but cannot come after you for other assets not related to the real property. The foreclosure process is fairly simple meaning that should you default on your loan, the lender can initiate foreclosure proceedings unless you work something out with the company. But like other States, the lenders in the state of Virginia will attempt to help you solve the financing problem prior to issuing a foreclosure notice.
Mortgage rates are pretty much the same as they are in other states, save the fact that there might be more “jumbo loans” in certain cities of Virginia because of the high price of some housing in popular areas to live. Jumbo loans usually carry a higher interest rate because of the increased risk to the lender. Otherwise, FHA and VA loans as well as conventional financing are currently running anywhere from 4% to 6-½% for someone with good credit. Loans are still available for “subprime” borrowers - those with less than ideal credit. Mortgages can be fixed rate or adjustable, although after the recent mortgage downfall, adjustable rates are not as popular. But they are still offered by some lenders.
The rates do not differ between a purchase and a refinance, but “second” or “equity” loans may have higher rates and stricter terms.
All in all, Virginia offers affordable housing, good to excellent schools (including colleges such as Georgetown, Virginia Tech., William and Mary and American University), above average employment opportunities and financing for the purchase or refinance of a home. This is a state where population growth is consistent and the economy tends to be more stable than other areas of the country, which makes it a great state in which to live. Therefore, if you need to purchase a home, checking out Virginia and Virginia’s interest rates and housing prices would be beneficial and possibly the end of your search for the perfect place to live.