Peggy Burke | Stafford Real Estate, Woodbridge Real Estate, Dumfries Real Estate


After you add your house to the real estate market, it may be only a matter of days before you receive the first offer on your residence.

Ultimately, the initial offer on your home may prove to be the best proposal for a number of reasons, including:

1. The offer matches or exceeds your expectations.

An informed home seller understands the condition of his or her house, and as such, sets realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

For a home seller, it is paramount to conduct a home appraisal before you list your residence. With this appraisal, you can learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses and price your house accordingly.

Furthermore, a home appraisal will help you understand the true value of your home. And if you receive an initial offer that matches or surpasses your expectations, you should have no trouble accepting the proposal and moving forward with a home sale.

2. The offer corresponds to the current state of the real estate market.

Operating in a buyer's market is far different from operating in a seller's market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of high-quality houses and a shortage of property buyers. This means a buyer's market typically favors property buyers over property sellers.

On the other hand, a seller's market usually favors property sellers. This market includes many property buyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. Thus, the likelihood of receiving a terrific first offer may increase in a seller's market and decrease in a buyer's market.

As a home seller, it is essential to allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the housing market. If you understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market, you can identify a great initial offer on your house.

3. The offer is a must-accept in the eyes of your real estate agent.

When it comes to selling a house, it often is a wonderful idea to work with a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional may prove to be a difference-maker at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will help you list your residence, promote it to potential homebuyers and set up home showings and open houses. That way, he or she can make it easy for you to generate substantial interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. This housing market professional will help you differentiate between a mediocre initial offer and a stellar one and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.

Lastly, be sure to analyze the initial offer on your home closely before you accept it. By taking a diligent approach to this home proposal, you can evaluate the pros and cons of it and make the best possible decision based on your individual needs.


A lot changes when you move into a new home. For the first few weeks you’ll most likely be focused on getting everything arranged and put away in their proper locations. You’ll be adjusting to your new work commute, meeting the neighbors, finding out where to shop, and so on.

It’s easy to forget about updating your budget during the first couple of months in your new home. However, if you want to be mindful of your spending and gauge the true cost of living in your new home, it’s essential to start tracking expenses and creating your budget as soon as possible.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to make a new budget for your new home so that you can start accurately planning your long term finances. That way, you and your family can rest assured that you aren’t living above your means in your new home and can stop stressing about spending.

Cost of living changes

When most of us move we think about the change of our mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance. However, there are several smaller changes that will occur in your day-to-day spending habits that you might not think to update in your budget.

First off, make a note of how much you’re spending on transportation (whether it’s train fare or gas for your car) in your new home and adjust this on your budget. This is hard to predict before you move since you can’t be sure of the traffic patterns until your first trip to the office.

Next, make a list of your monthly services, including utilities. We’re talking about internet, cable, trash and recycling, heating and electricity, and so on. At the end of the first month, add each of those to your budget and decide if you want to spend less on any of them.

One surprise expense that many people have when they move is the cost of internet. Your old plan at your former residence might not cut it if you move to an area with different coverage.

Furnishing your new home

Even if you’re moving with most of your furniture and appliances, there will likely still be expenses that you’ll need to plan for in your new home.

It might be tempting to make all of these purchases at once so that you can feel like your move is “complete.” However, the best course of action is to include these items into your monthly budget so that you are prepared for emergency expenses.

Decide which items you need the most in your new home, and prioritize purchasing those on the first month. You’ll likely realize after just the first couple of nights in your new house which items you need now and which can wait.

Budgeting apps and tools

Everyone has their own preferred method of record-keeping. Some people keep their budget in a notebook or planner, whereas others like to use an app that they can access on their phone or laptop.

There are dedicated budgeting apps and web applications that link to your bank account and tell you how much left you can spend that month and if there is an issue with your budget. Several such apps are available for free in both Android and Apple app stores.

For a simpler budget, you can simply use the spreadsheet application of your choice (Excel, Numbers, and Google Sheets are all sufficient).

Regardless of what tool you use, make sure you check in on your budget frequently to ensure you’re sticking to it and making adjustments as needed.


When buying a new house, you’re not just buying a roof to keep over your head. You’re buying a home to build your life in. To create a refuge from the outside world, to create memories within, and to grow your family in.

A home is a reflection of who you are, the things you fill your life with and your values. And this is true for the neighborhood your home resides in as well. Whether you are a young family or planning to start one in the near future choosing the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle will bring you years of good memories to come.

The perfect place to start when choosing a neighborhood is by asking your agent! So many factors go into selecting a home and we know the importance of the various factors you need to consider for settling a young family. We can choose houses for showing that fit your unique family needs as it grows.

When scouting out local neighborhoods visit their community center and library. Both will be able to provide you with a list of local groups and activities that are available. You’ll most likely be able to find a local paper or newsletter here as well to get a feel the neighborhood’s culture and community involvement.

Most couples start by researching the schools in the neighborhoods on their list. Things to consider are budget and the available extracurricular activities that are available. It’s easy to focus on preschools and kindergartens when searching but remember to look at the middle and high schools as well.

Search for meetups for parent groups that meet regularly to have play dates. This is also a great way to find and meet locals to ask them questions about their experiences with the community. Reach out to the group organizer with a friendly message and they will be more than likely happy to answer and all of your questions.

Take a drive around the area to get a lay of the land. Are there nearby playgrounds and parks you could walk or take a short drive to? Visiting at different times of the day can give you an idea of the neighborhoods general routine. Are there lots of young children getting on the bus in the morning or teenagers riding their bikes around in the afternoons?

You’ll also want to carefully consider costs of homes in that neighborhood and if they fit your budget. If you’re planning a family you’ll want to have an idea of future costs while creating this budget so you don’t find yourself strapped between your mortgage and childcare.

Planning your family’s future is an exciting time and choosing the neighborhood you’ll raise your children in is pivotal. As your family grows over the years their needs will change too. The perfect neighborhood is the one that will have a positive environment for your child whether they’re 18 months or 17 years old.


Great one level living in wonderful gated community with many amenities. Centrally located for commuting to just about anywhere.Large great room/kitchen/family room plus a living room and dining room and morning room.New deck summer 2018.Four bedrooms 2 baths all on the same level with the rest of the house.Basement for storage or roller skating. Landlord pays community HOA and fee for tenant.

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129 GREEN ST, LOCUST GROVE, VA 22508  

Rental
$1,800
Price
4
Bedrooms
2
Baths
Great one level living in wonderful gated community with many amenities. Centrally located for commuting to just about anywhere.Large great room/kitchen/family room plus a living room and dining room and morning room.New deck summer 2018.Four bedrooms 2 baths all on the same level with the rest of the house.Basement for storage or roller skating. Landlord pays community HOA and fee for tenant.




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