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.

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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 Military.com/Finance/Taxes 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.

 

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 GreatSchools.org and Education.com, 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.

 

 

Find a New Home and Make a Quick Move in Virginia

Posted: March 12, 2015 at 8:16 am by: NewHomesGuide

Looking for all the benefits of a new home, but the timely convenience of a resale home?

You’re looking for a new Move-In-Now Home and spring may just be the best time to find it in all the best parts of Virginia.

With the first hint of warm weather, homebuilders start offering great prices and great incentives on new quick delivery homes. Many even hold special sales events to mark the occasion. From Northern Virginia to Richmond and beyond, NewHomesGuide.com can help you find the best new Move-In-Now Homes on the market.

Get a head start here and beat the spring crowds.

 

Choose a Move-In-Now Home and Set Yourself Up for Summer

Posted: March 6, 2015 at 12:10 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Buying a brand new home doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process.

In fact, you can be enjoying all the perks of a newly built home in time to enjoy the beautiful weather this spring and summer. All across the region, homebuilders are offering great prices on Move-In-Now Homes. They’re the perfect choice when you want all the benefits of a new home, but don’t want to wait for construction.

Builders fill these homes with some of the most in-demand options and upgrades. And if you catch it at just the right time, you might even be able to choose the finishes yourself.

Ready to find the best Move-In-Now Homes? Here’s how:

1.  Start at NewHomesGuide.com.

 

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”.

 

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. You’re going to love it.

 

The Planned Communities Supplement Is Coming In March

Posted: February 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

We’ve focused on planned communities this month and the lifestyle benefits that they offer to get you ready for the upcoming Planned Community Lifestyle supplement. Look for this supplement to hit the streets in March. This special publication is full of information about the most desirable planned communities in the most sought after locations in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

PUD_Promo_coming-soonNew Homes Guide is your best companion when you’re searching for a new home in any community, and we’ve got all of the information that you need to find the perfect planned community for your family. Available both in print bi-monthly and online, New Homes Guide has up-to-date information about the features, benefits, pricing, amenities and more.

We make it easy for you to get an in-depth look at everything you’re considering for a planned community on our website. Just choose “Planned Communities” under “Find A Community” and you can see a list of the best planned communities in the area. You can easily click through the community listings to dig deeper into the details of the communities that interest you.

Make sure that you’re staying connected with New Homes Guide by signing up to subscribe to New Homes Guide now — it’s easy and free! Plus, you can make sure that you’re getting all of the supplements that you need to help make your home search easier by signing up now to receive our special supplements like The Relo Guide and The Planned Community Lifestyle supplement.

 

The Best Planned Communities In Maryland

Posted: February 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Continuing our series on planned communities, we’re focusing on the beautiful planned communities in Maryland this month. Start your search for a new home in the perfect planned community for your family with New Homes Guide, and let us help you find the perfect resort-style community for your family.

Have a look at some of the most sought-after planned communities in Maryland.

Arundel ForestMD_ArundelForest in Anne Arundel County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Toll Brothers
  • Price Range: The low $400′s to the mid $500′s

 

 

BeechTreeMD_BeechTree in Prince George’s County, MD

 

 

Bentley ParkMD_BentleyPark in Prince George’s County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Ryan Homes, NVHomes
  • Price Range: The low $400′s to the mid $500′s

 

 

BrickYardStationBrick Yard Station in Prince George’s County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Ryland Homes
  • Price Range: The low $300′s to the high $400′s

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.15.36 AMCabin Branch in Montgomery County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Winchester Homes
  • Price Range: The high $400′s to the low $600′s

 

 

MD_ClarksburgVillageClarksburg Village in Montgomery County, MD

 

 

MD_GreenbeltStationGreenbelt Station in Prince George’s County, MD

  • Styles: Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Ryan HomesNVHomes
  • Price Range: The high $200′s to the low $400′s

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.28.06 AMLandsdale in Frederick County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Winchester Homes
  • Price Range: The high $400′s to the low $600′s

 

 

MD_MapleLawnMaple Lawn in Howard County, MD

 

 

MD_MarlboroRidgeMarlboro Ridge in Prince George’s County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Toll Brothers
  • Price Range: The mid $300′s to the mid $600′s

 

 

MD_OakCreekOak Creek in Prince George’s County, MD

 

 

MD_PoplarRunPoplar Run in Montgomery County, MD

 

 

MD_StCharlesSt. Charles in Charles County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Ryan Homes
  • Price Range: The mid $200′s to the mid $300′s

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.39.50 AM

Tuscarora Creek in Frederick County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Greentree Homes
  • Price Range:  The low $250′s to the low $400′s

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.46.41 AMWildewood in St. Mary’s County, MD

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Stanley Martin Homes
  • Price Range: The high $190′s to the low $400′s

Virginia’s Top Planned Communities

Posted: February 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Looking for a new home in a planned community in Virginia? New Homes Guide is the best resource to help you find the planned community in Virginia that fits your lifestyle. Information about planned communities, including amenities, pricing and contact information is also available on our website.

Here are some of the most desirable planned communities in Virginia.

Bradley SquareScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.58.03 AM in Prince William County, VA

 

 

VA_BrambletonBrambleton in Loudoun County, VA

 

 

CelebrateScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.06.53 PM in Stafford County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Villas
  • Builder(s): Del Webb Communities
  • Price Range: The high $100′s to the low $600′s

 

 

Dominion ValleyDominion Valley in Prince William County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Toll Brothers
  • Price Range: The high $200′s to the low $700′s

 

 

Embrey MillScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.18.03 PM in Stafford County, VA 

 

 

Fawn LakeScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.30.51 PM in Spotsylvania County, VA

  • Styles: Estate Homes and Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): M/I Homes, Simply Home, LLC, Atlantic Builders, Warner Custom Homes, Inc., Fairway Custom Homes, LLC, Coleman Homes Inc.
  • Price Range: The mid $300′s to the high $700′s

 

 

GlenmoreScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.34.16 PM in Albemarle County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Stanley Martin Homes
  • Price Range: The high $400′s to the high $600′s

 

 

Hopyard FarmScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.37.54 PM in Spotsylvania County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Hazel Homes LLC.
  • Price Range: The high $200′s to the low $400′s

 

 

Lenah MillScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.41.32 PM in Loudoun County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Toll Brothers
  • Price Range: The upper $500′s to over $1 million

 

 

Loudoun Valley Toll BrothersLoudoun Valley in Loudoun County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Toll Brothers
  • Price Range: The low $300′s to the high $600′s

 

 

Moorefield GreenVA_MoorefieldGreen in Loudoun County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Toll Brothers
  • Price Range: The high $300′s to the low $600′s

 

 

One LoudounVA_OneLoudoun in Loudoun County, VA

 

 

Potomac ShoresVA_PotomacShores in Prince William County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Ryan Homes
  • Price Range: The mid $400’s

 

 

Snowden BridgeVA_SnowdenBridge in Frederick County, VA

 

 

Spring CreekScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.46.50 PM in Louisa County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Stanley Martin Homes
  • Price Range: The high $300′s to the high $400′s

 

 

Stone RidgeVA_StoneRidge in Loudoun County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Van Metre Homes
  • Price Range: From the Low $400’s to the Mid $600’s

 

 

Trilogy at Lake FrederickScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.55.52 PM in Frederick County, VA 

  • Styles: Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Shea Homes
  • Price Range: The low $300′s to the mid $500′s

 

 

Villages of Piedmont at Leopold’s ReserveScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 1.04.43 PM in Prince William County, VA

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 1.10.04 PMVirginia Heritage at Lee’s Parke in Spotsylvania County, VA

  • Styles: Cottages, Manors, Plantations and Single Family Homes
  • Builder(s): Lennar, D.R. Horton
  • Price Range: The high $200′s to the high $300′s

 

 

Virginia ManorVA_VirginiaManor in Loudoun County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes and Townhomes
  • Builder(s): Ryan HomesNVHomes
  • Price Range: The high $200′s to the low $600′s

 

 

WestridgeScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 1.13.30 PM in Loudoun County, VA

  • Styles: Single Family Homes, Townhomes and Villas
  • Builder(s): Ryan Homes
  • Price Range: The upper $200′s to the upper $400′s

 

 

WillowsfordVA_Willowsford in Loudoun County, VA

 

Planned Communities Offer Beautiful Homes and Resort Style Amenities

Posted: February 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

New Homes Guide is the perfect resource to help you find the planned community that’s right for you. Get even more information about these great places to live in our Planned Community supplement, coming in the March/April issue.nhg_PUD_cover_final_no-crops_web

 

One of the best options today for a new home shopper is the many choices available in planned communities in the Mid-Atlantic region. You’ve heard of all-inclusive resorts? Now think all-inclusive new homes.

When builders and developers team up to create an entire neighborhood or even a small town, buyers win. Not only are there more choices in home styles and prices, lots of great amenities are often built into the infrastructure of the community.

These communities can include playing fields, nature trails, swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, golf courses, farmer’s markets, clubhouses, schools and retail centers. Green space, safety and family-friendly living are all incorporated into the planning for these resort-style communities.

In a planned community, the big picture has been taken into account, and elements like lakes and streams, woods, trails and marinas are all interwoven into the design. Builders accentuate the natural topography of the land as well as the buyers’ lifestyles.

Most planned communities feature beautifully decorated models from the area’s finest builders, and that makes a visit fun, inspiring and informative for a new home shopper. There’s usually a visitor’s center, which has complete information on the lifestyle and amenities packages in the community.

Sorting through all the choices, you’ll find that there is a planned community for the way you want to live. Besides the infrastructure of amenities, convenience and open space, planned communities create the character of a true neighborhood – a sense of place that adds so much to the joy of a new home.

Let New Homes Guide help you find the right planned community for you. We’ll be highlighting planned communities all this month in our blog to get ready for the release of our newest special supplement ‘The Planned Community Lifestyle’ in the March/April issue.

Standard Down Payment Goes Down, New Home Ownership Opportunity Rises

Posted: January 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm by: NewHomesGuide

Good news for people shopping for a new home—some homebuyers may be eligible to make a down payment as low as 3 percent under new lending guidelines announced in December 2014 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

12418_NHG_DownPayment_Blog_LT_Opt1_i3 (1)The new loans will be 30-year fixed rate loans made to qualified buyers for primary residences, although policies may vary between lenders. These loans are great news for first-time buyers. Designed to help them the most, the new loans will require significantly less money up front, but will require mortgage insurance and completion of a financial counseling program.

New opportunity means more first-time buyers will be able to start on the path to home ownership, and there’s no better way to find your perfect new home than New Homes Guide. Our full-color guide has maps and photos of new communities in all the best locations, plus gorgeous views of all of the latest homes that builders are offering.

Both online and in print, New Homes Guide has the tools that you need to find a beautiful new home. Find even more news and an array of helpful tools that you can use to make your home search easier at NewHomesGuide.com. Our resources section is full of information about finding the right home, industry terminology, relocation tips and other useful articles to help you learn more about buying a home.

Don’t wait to get your January/February issue of New Homes Guide and start finding your dream home, and take advantage of the new down payment eligibility guidelines.

Look to Nature for Elegant, Inspired Holiday Decor

Posted: December 16, 2014 at 9:15 am by: NewHomesGuide

You don’t have to look far for inspiration in finding great decor for your home this holiday season.

Showcasing the beauty of nature through natural-styled winter decor is the hot trend in holiday decorating, and we’ve got ideas to help you get started.

NHG - Blog Post 3 - Dec16From wreaths to garland, flower arrangements to centerpieces, natural holiday decorating offers you so many options to bring the outside into your home. Show your guests how naturally beautiful every bit of your space can be with these elegant and green naturally inspired holiday decorations, from some of our favorite places.

Take a look at some of the area’s most beautiful interiors in our supplemental publication Interiors, available now in print and electronic versions from New Homes Guide.

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