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Giving You the Service You Deserve!

Kevin Darrow








Inside This Issue


* Why you should buy rather than rent.


* 10 questions to ask about your new home.


* Question of the Month: Should I make upgrades before I sell my home?


Why You Should Buy

Rather Than Rent


* I Specialize in

First-Time Buyers!


* Buyers and Sellers Welcome


* New Construction, Lots and Land


* Top Realtor® in the Metro Area for the Past 10 Years!


* Free Property Valuations



A Message

From Kevin


I hope that you find this newsletter helpful and informative. Feel free to call me anytime with any questions you may have. I look forward to being able to help you with all of your real estate needs!


— Kevin


Buy or rent? Often, it's a better choice to buy a home rather than renting one. Here's why:

It may be less expensive. You may have a large initial cost when you buy, but it may be less expensive in the long run to buy. Although it may depend on what area you’re buying or renting in—urban vs. suburban vs. rural—and market conditions in those particular areas, if you’re planning on staying in a home for at least five years, it may be a much better fiscal choice to buy.

Real estate is a good investment. Although there are other investments that have better returns, those investments often come with a lot of a risk. Real estate, however, is often a less risky investment. Historically, home prices and values have risen over any 10-year period since the 1940’s.

You won’t be at the mercy of a landlord. The list of inconveniences for tenants is a long one. For many renters, simply having a landlord—who can terminate the lease or raise the rent at any time—probably tops that list. The freedom to change or alter a home in even the simplest of ways—such as installing blinds or doing minor landscaping—may be severely limited in a rental.

Part of your housing payment goes to your bottom line. As a renter, 100 percent of your monthly payments goes to your landlord and property owner; you have no equity or stake in the property. However, when you buy a home, you begin to accrue value immediately—and as you pay down more and more of the principal on your mortgage, you can really reap the benefits of that home equity.

There’s no other feeling quite like owning a home. As anyone who has ever purchased a home will tell you, that first day that you walk into your new home is a cause for celebration. It may just be psychological, but there’s definitely a special feeling that comes with owning your own home. ∆


10 Questions to Ask About

The Home You Want to Buy


Although your head will probably be in the clouds once you’ve found your dream home, make sure to take the time to really think about the purchase. Here are 10 important questions to ask your real estate agent before you make an offer:

1. How long has the home been on the market? If the home is new to the market, you may have to act fast. If the home has been on the market for a while, that may be a sign that there are problems with the home.

2. Why are the owners selling? Although you’ll probably get one of the usual answers—needing more space, a job relocation, etc.—a different answer could be a red flag.

3. What is the sales history of the home? You’ll want to know if the home was leased in the past or if it was ever a bank-owned property. Also, as a general rule, the fewer number of owners, the better the overall upkeep and maintenance.

4. Are there comparable sales in the neighborhood? By looking at comparable sales in the area, you can get a good idea if the list price is fair and get a good starting point for negotiations.

5. Is the home a good investment? The area around your new home will be critical to how much your home rises (or declines) in value. Ask about future development, such as shopping and transportation.

6. Are all of the systems in good shape? It’s important for you to know if and when home systems will need to be repaired or replaced. Key areas include heating and air conditioning, roofing, appliances, and electrical systems.

7. What will the maintenance be like? Affording a new home isn’t just about your monthly mortgage payments. Ask your experienced agent if they think there are any high-cost maintenance areas that you may have to deal with.

8. Are there any noise concerns? Is there a highway close to your new home? Is the home in an airport’s flight path? Is the home close to a school, playground or heavily-used park?

9. What is included in the sale? Window treatments, lighting fixtures, washers and dryers, sheds, and outdoor play equipment may or may not be included in the sale, so make sure to check with your agent.

10. Is there anything else I should know about the home? The seller will be required to disclose certain things—such as structural problems—but ask this question in case you missed something such as a special feature of the home, homeowners’ association regulations, etc.

A final bonus question: Ask your agent to ask the seller what they like most about the home and the neighborhood. You’ll probably get an answer that will help you enjoy your new home even more. ∆


January's Question of the Month




Although just about every home could be upgraded in at least some small way, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Whether or not you should remodel—and what upgrades you should make—will depend on several different factors and you’ll need to consider a few other questions first:

•    Does your home have a real need to be remodeled?

•    What do other homes in your area have that yours does not?

•    Will upgrades cause your home to be overpriced for your area?

•    How quickly are homes selling in your area?

•    Which upgrades will give you a good return on your investment?

•    What impact will remodeling have on your current finances?

To get the best answers to these questions, you’ll need to involve your real estate agent in the decision-making process. Their knowledge in this area is critical to getting your home sold and forging ahead on your own with unnecessary upgrades—or by deciding not to make needed upgrades—could be a major mistake and cost you quite a bit of money in the long run. ∆



Kevin Darrow

Realtor®, ABR


Darrow Properties


Direct: 703.980.4710

Office: 703.359.7069 Ext. 112



Kevin Darrow


Giving Your the Service You Deserve!


Darrow Properties 10815 Charles Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030

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