Move-In-Now Homes Give You the Benefits of New, Without the Wait

Posted: October 9, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

Summer is over and cooler weather is coming, but if you’re a savvy home shopper, the good news is that the new homes market is just heating up.


If you want to find the best deals, consider the many Move-In-Now opportunities in new home communities in Northern Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They’re so easy to find when you start your search with

Many home shoppers tend to hibernate during the cooler months, but homebuilders still want to finish the year strong. So it’s common to find great prices, great incentives and great features in already built Move-In-Now Homes.

For buyers, it’s the best of both worlds. You get all the benefits of buying a new home—the latest styles, the most modern floorplans and brand new everything—and you can make your move faster because you don’t have to wait for construction.

So those are the perks. Here’s how you find the hidden gems:

1. Start at

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2. Enter your desired location in the search bar. Select home type, price range and number of beds and baths

3. Click the “Yes” box beneath “Move-In-Now and click “Find Homes”

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4. On the next page, click on a community that interests you

5. Scroll down to “Models and Floorplans” and select the “Immediate Delivery Homes” tab

6. Find the new home that’s waiting for you.

There’s a great selection to choose from. And if you get started now, you’ll have plenty of time to shop around, visit your favorites, choose the one and be settled into your dream home before the holidays are here.


Timeline to Moving: A Handy Checklist to Help Organize Your Move

Posted: September 25, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

Whether you’ve recently purchased your new dream home, or you’re making plans to buy soon, take a look at our comprehensive “Timeline to Moving” checklist, full of items you’ll need to remember before, during and after your move.

Here’s a glimpse at the type of moving reminders you’ll find on the checklist:

Two Months Prior25Sept

  • Create an inventory of valuable items for insurance purposes. If anything gets lost or damaged, you’ll need proof of ownership and condition when you make a claim with the insurance company.
  • Make sure your new home construction is on schedule. Stay in touch with your homebuilder to ensure that your new home will be ready on time. Your builder should be communicating any hiccups or delays that may occur during the building process but taking initiative is going to give you peace of mind.
  • Print your floorplan. Have an idea where everything will go once you get to your new home. It will be helpful when it comes to packing and unpacking, plus it’s a fun way to think about your new spaces.

Six Weeks Prior

  • Cover your medical needs. Get your medical and dental records to give to future providers. Don’t forget the vet records for your pets! You’ll also want to research doctors, dentists, vets and pet sitters in your new neighborhood.
  • Contact your insurance agent. Establish an insurance policy for your new home. Get in touch with your current agent or do some research and find a new one.

One Month Prior

  • Check in with your lender. Make sure your mortgage is on track for the closing date. It’s better to get any issues addressed now rather than later.
  • Cancel services you won’t need. If you use a lawn care company and/or a cleaning service, cancel them before you move so you’re not wasting any money.
  • Return your library books. Returning content to your public library from miles away isn’t easy, so take care of this beforehand.

One Week Prior

  • Clean up. Dispose of all cleaning solutions or flammable items that can’t be moved, including bleach, ammonia, charcoal, gasoline, fireworks, etc. Check with your moving company to get a list of prohibited items.
  • Get confirmation from your movers. Ensure that your reservation with your moving company is set and get your payment and tip ready so there will be less to worry about on moving day.
  • Arrange for child/pet care. You’re going to be very busy on moving day so reduce the stress by getting someone to look after your children and pets.

Moving Day

  • Watch the movers. Although most moving companies do their best to take care of your stuff, it never hurts to be diligent to ensure that everything is handled properly.
  • Leave a note. On the off chance that you leave something important behind, leave a note with your new address for the residents moving into your old home. It will increase your chances of getting your possessions returned.
  • Turn off the lights and lock the doors. Although your home is now empty, lock it and conserve energy as you normally would. It’s a safety precaution and a courtesy to the next tenants.

Moving is a big deal for everyone involved, but it’s a lot easier to tackle it in steps. Be sure to take a look at our in-depth moving checklist to help you break down your move—it’ll be less stressful, and you’ll find yourself getting more excited to move into a brand new home!

Get the Relo Guide — Because Moving to the D.C. Area Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Posted: September 18, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

Whether you’re changing jobs or just looking for a change of pace, when you decide to relocate to a new city, you’ll need to find a home. That’s where we come in.


Our Relo Guide supplement is an invaluable resource for your relocation to the Washington, D.C., region.

Here’s what you can discover in The Relo Guide:

  • Hundreds of ‘Move-In-Now’ new home listings (homes that are built and ready for you to move into right away)
  • An introduction to over 30 of the area’s finest new homebuilders and planned communities
  • Regional profiles of over 32 counties in the D.C. area
  • A massive directory of public schools, private schools, day care services, utility companies, moving services, recreational activities, entertainment venues and more

Want to get your hands on the best resource for moving to the Washington, D.C., region? Add The Relo Guide to your New Homes Guide subscription for FREE!


Plan Your Move to a Planned Community with Our New FREE Supplement

Posted: September 11, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

11SepYou’ve heard of “all-inclusive resorts.” Now think “all-inclusive new homes.” That’s the lifestyle you can expect with a planned community.

When builders and developers team up to create an entire neighborhood, or even a small town, buyers win. On top of the flexibility you get in home styles and prices, planned communities often feature incredible amenities to go along with your beautiful new home, including sports courts and fields, nature trails, pools, green space, clubhouses and more.

If you’re interested in finding the perfect new home in a place like this, The Planned Community Lifestyle, a supplement to New Homes Guide, will help get you there.

Available both in print and online formats, this supplement features up-to-date information about the features, benefits, pricing and amenities that come with living in a planned community. You’ll be able to see the best planned communities in the area, and you’ll be able to dig deeper into the details of the communities that interest you.

Stay connected with New Homes Guide by ordering your free subscription today! Plus, add on supplements such as The Planned Community Lifestyle and The Relo Guide to make your home search even easier.

Military Homebuyers and Understanding the VA Loan

Posted: August 28, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

The Washington, D.C. metro area is home to many active-duty military personnel and veterans from all service branches. As an expert in the Mid-Atlantic region’s new homes market, we know that the needs of military families are unique and constantly evolving; however, just because military families may be on the move regularly, it does not mean that homeownership is out of the question. In fact, there are many benefits to homeownership as a military service member and some of the best loans are reserved for those who serve or have served our country.


What is a VA Loan?
A VA loan is a unique type of home loan that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The program was created to offer special long-term financing to eligible veterans. The program carries many benefits, including:

  • Allows veterans to qualify for loans that exceed traditional conforming loans
  • No down payment required on home purchases
  • Choose either fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage
  • Lower closing costs
  • No monthly mortgage insurance payment required

To find out if you are eligible for a VA loan, check with the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) & Military Tax Benefits
Active members of the military assigned to duty in the United States but not living in government housing may be eligible for the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), an entitlement that compensates members for the cost of housing. BAH funds are paid monthly and are not taxable.

Factors that determine amount of BAH:

  • Rank or pay grade
  • Location in the United States
  • Whether or not you have dependents

Factors that do not affect amount of BAH:

  • Amount of rent paid
  • Number of dependents

The Defense Travel Office has a handy tool for estimating your BAH.

Once you become a homeowner, you may be able to deduct 100% of your mortgage interest. Check to learn how.


Active-Duty Members
Active members of the military who face an imminent Permanent Change of Station (PCS) stand to benefit from a number of measures designed to ease the cost of their move, including:

  • Reimbursement of lodging and meal expenses
  • Transportation allowance
  • Free transport of your belongings, with the weight allowance determined by pay grade
  • Permission to travel to your new area to search for a home

Visit Military OneSource to find more information on benefits for active-duty members on the move.


Homebuying Glossary: Financing Terms You Need to Know

Posted: August 21, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

Buying a home can sometimes feel like learning a new language. Before you ever meet with your builder or lender, arm yourself with knowledge of the terms and definitions so you can begin the homebuying process with confidence.

Here are a few key terms that you need to know to get yourself through the homebuying process:


  • Closing Costs – Expenses incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of property, such as an origination fee, taxes, title insurance, transfer fees, points, title charges, credit report fee, document preparation fee, mortgage insurance premium, inspections, appraisals, prepayments for property taxes, deed recording fee and homeowners insurance.
  • Escrow – Funds that are set aside and held in trust by the lender/servicer. Usually used for payment of taxes, insurance, etc.
  • Home Inspection – A complete and thorough inspection of the physical condition of a property, including all major systems and structural elements, conducted by someone who knows what to look for and who will disclose the findings to you.
  • Pre-Settlement Walk-Through – Final inspection of house prior to closing, conducted by builder and buyer.
  • Walk-Through Inspection – A final walk-through immediately prior to closing to verify that no changes have taken place and no new damage has occurred.

Now that you’ve got a headstart, you’re ready to dive into the full glossary of terms that will help guide you through every step of homeownership.


Home Loans 101: The Basics of Borrowing for a New Home

Posted: August 18, 2015 at 11:00 am by: NewHomesGuide

For most, buying a home means borrowing money from the builder, a bank or another financial institution. This borrowed money is known as your “mortgage.” A variety of mortgage programs are available, with varying loan terms and interest rates, so it pays to understand what you’re getting into.

For context, a typical home loan is 30 years at a fixed interest rate. Over the life of your loan, you’ll be paying back the principal (the amount borrowed) plus interest. You should expect to be paying back the principal with monthly payments throughout the life of the loan. To fully grasp how a home loan works, you should understand the five components that go into a mortgage.


The Five Main Components to Your Loan:

There are five key components that go into your mortgage. Understanding each of these components will help you make an informed decision on what kind of loan you should choose when buying a home.

1. Principal: The amount of money that you’re borrowing, not including interest.

2. Interest: A fee that the lender charges for providing the loan. The borrower must repay this money in addition to the principal.

3. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Insurance the borrower must pay to guard against a loan default. If your down payment is less than 20% of the principal, expect to pay for PMI.

4. Term: The length of the loan.

5. Escrow: A portion of your mortgage payment that goes to property taxes and insurance.


Common Mortgage and Loan Programs:

Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM): Although the interest rate tends to be higher than an adjustable-rate mortgage, fixed-rate mortgages have the advantage of an unchanging interest rate that proves to be ideal for long-term buyers. Because the interest rate on these loans is consistent throughout the life of the loan, an FRM is generally viewed at a safer long-term option.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM): Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that can vary throughout the life of the loan. In contrast with an FRM, the initial interest rates on these loans tend to be lower. Although the adjustable interest rates make these loans riskier than FRMs, the interest rates are capped to limit the amount of potential increase.

Jumbo Loan: A loan is considered “jumbo” if it exceeds the conforming limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These high-balance loans generally have higher interest rates, stricter terms and larger down payment requirements than standard loans.

Government Loan: A government loan is any loan that is sponsored by the federal government. These loans offer lower interest rates because they’re secured by the backing of the United States government. Some examples of these loans include:

Understand the Loan Application Process & Take Control of Your Credit Score

Posted: August 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Getting a mortgage these days can be challenging. We hear about the issue constantly, but what can YOU do to put yourself in the best position to obtain the best mortgage? Here are some basic steps to keep your credit looking good and ensure that your financial picture doesn’t change during the mortgage application process.

Find Out What Your Credit Score is Right Now

Businessman analyzing investment charts with laptop. Accounting

You may have checked your credit score in the past year, but you may not be aware of changes that have posted to your credit report — either correctly or erroneously — that have affected your score. All three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) must provide you with a free report annually, so be sure to get a copy from each. One of the easiest sites to work with is

Pay Your Bills on Time

Even one or two late payments can greatly affect your score, so be sure to stay on track with your payments and due dates. Setting up automatic payments is a great method to make sure you don’t ever miss a payment.

Income Should Be Steady and Reliable

It sounds basic enough, but it is important to understand that lenders really like to see at least two years of employment within the same field along with the supporting documentation. If you hold a commission-paying job, you may need even more time in that field to receive positive marks from lenders.

Don’t Splurge After You’re Approved

Don’t go out and buy that new boat (or car or motorcycle or any big ticket item) as soon as you get a loan approval. New loans can adversely affect your credit during the critical period from loan approval through settlement, so you should hold off on any major purchases until you’ve gone to settlement. If you absolutely must buy something, talk to your lender first.

Consider Keeping Those Old Credit Cards

A common theme among buyers is the desire to close old credit cards. That’s not necessarily the best move, so you should talk to your mortgage lender before doing so. Lenders want to see credit history and a reasonable amount of available credit. Closing cards can affect both of those.

These are just a few tips to help you buy your dream home this year. offers additional mortgage and homebuying advice, and you should definitely take a look at their recent article “Anxious About Mortgage Process? Start Here.” Of course, lenders are great resources, so you’ll want to talk to them to get guidance tailored specifically for you. Happy house hunting!

Why Everyone Should Evaluate Schools Before Choosing a New Home

Posted: July 30, 2015 at 11:30 am by: NewHomesGuide

You might be looking for a new home in a better school district. Or it might not be an issue for your family.

Either way, schools should play a big part in any homebuying decision. These days, parents and children aren’t the only ones who may feel the lasting effects of a school’s reputation. Your home’s value may feel it, too.

Before making a major investment in a new home, take a look at these great resources available to help home shoppers with or without children.

On and, you can search and compare school ratings, stats and much more. Even if school districts are not important to you right now, they may be important later or be a critical factor for the family that moves in after you.

For those of you who rely heavily on a school’s reputation when it comes down to a home buying decision, Project Appleseed has good advice on how to evaluate and choose a school based on child, family and school characteristics. The website can help you find information on individual schools and gives recommendations from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Here are NAESP’s questions to ask when choosing a school:

  • Have you read the school district’s annual report?
  • What is the school’s discipline policy?
  • What services are available at the school?
  • What is the school’s safety policy?
  • Is there an active parent organization?

When searching for your new home, be sure to ask homebuilders and your Realtor for information on the reputation of schools in and around your areas of interest. Both can be great resources when making a home purchasing decision.



5 Rooms Dads Will Love in Your New Home

Posted: June 16, 2015 at 11:39 am by: NewHomesGuide

If you’re considering buying a new home, you’ll want to make sure that it’s the right design, the right floorplan for your entire family.

With Father’s Day upon us, this is a perfect time to think about what Dad wants in a new home. What are the places in a home that he truly appreciates?

We’ve recently introduced a new feature on It lets you search by room type and browse a collection of corresponding photos. When one jumps out at you, a simple click lets you find out who built that room and where you can find it.

So here are some rooms we think dads (and the rest of the family) will love:

Today’s builders are really taking basements to the next level. A well-designed recreation room can become the heart of the home and the place where the family spends quality time together.

Whether Dad works from home or he just likes to relax with a good book and a bit of quiet time, you can find a sophisticated, exquisitely designed study that he’ll love.

There’s no better place for a dad to unwind with a cup of coffee and the Sunday paper than a well-lit sunroom.

If your dad likes to entertain, he’ll definitely want to include a wet bar in a new home. He can impress your guests with his ability to craft the perfect drink.

Is Dad a movie buff? Or maybe a huge sports fan? Either way, he’ll love taking in the action from a comfy spot with a large-screen television in his new media room.

Wet Bar - Drees Homes

While you’re celebrating Father’s Day this weekend, pull up and let Dad spend some time imagining the possibilities.

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