Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

The path to home ownership is easier than many Home Buyers think. This is because Buyers often overestimate both the down payment and credit score needed to qualify for a home loan. In a recent article, First American Economic Blog shared:

"Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles faced by first-time home buyers. Dispelling the 20 percent down payment myth could open the path to homeownership for many more."

In my experience, it's not just first-time home buyers that underestimate their ability to obtain financing. There is a vast population of would be home buyers that will be glad to know there are mortgage programs available today with as little as 3%, 5% or 10% down. I meet with these Lenders everyday and I'm happy to share their contact information with you. 

According to the same article:

“Americans still overestimate the qualifications needed to get a mortgage, resulting in qualified potential buyers not even considering homeownership.


Expanding on this, Buyers make the mistake of assuming they need an 'excellent' credit score to be approved for a mortgage when in fact a 'good' credit score can work. Too often they assume their credit score won't cut the mustard and don't take the time to check. For example, believing 700 is a 'fair' credit score when it actually falls in a 'good' classification according to Experian. 

Here is the breakdown of credit score classifications according to Experian:

  • 16% Very Poor (300-579)
  • 18% Fair (580-669)
  • 21% Good (670-739)
  • 25% Very Good (740-799)
  • 20% Exceptional (800-850)

Another interesting fact is, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report, a whopping 41% of all recently approved loans had credit scores ranging from 650-750. 

So, with all of this in mind, if you or someone you know is considering buying a home but you're not sure if you qualify, I hope you'll reach out. In the worst case scenario you'll get sound advice on how to improve your credit score and in the best case scenario you'll be on the path to homeownership! To get started give me a call today! 703-216-2620



Year after year the demand for single level living rises in Northern Virginia. This is particularly true in 55+/Active Adult communities. The population is aging and with age, many people find it difficult to get up and down stairs but they can do just fine on their own otherwise. There is also the population of 55+ people who simply like the resort style living (golf, indoor and outdoor pools, activities, exercise classes) offered in many of these communities. The problem is, rental housing that allows for single level living is hard to come by in Fairfax County and Prince William County. I know this because I'm a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and the number of calls I receive from people looking for rental housing in 55+ / active adult communities has skyrocketed. Communities such as Spring Hill in Lorton, River Ridge near Occoquan, Four Seasons in Dumfries and Regency at Dominion Valley in Haymarket are just a few of the spectacular 55+/Active Adult communities in which you could find a good investment property to buy, Rent Quickly and hold. 

To learn more about Northern Virginia's 55+/Active Adult Communities or to receive listings-by-email, you can contact me at or go to:   

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time? Why Use an SRES®

by Susan Borrelli

Why Use an SRES®  to help with the complicated process of buying and selling a home?

 by Susan Borrelli


Considering selling the family home but need a place to go too? It sounds complicated but there are Realtors who specialize with this type of dual transaction. SENIORS REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST®, SRES designees are Realtors with the senior experience, knowledge and marketing savvy needed to manage the sale of a longtime home and the contingent purchase or rental of a new home.

We create a customized marketing approach to sell your property, and work with you to explore your 55+ housing options to ensure that your next home best serves your current and future needs.

Wcan tap into our network and put you in touch with everything from qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, handymen and even loan officers with special knowledge on the uses of reverse mortgages, pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions.

An SRES will also help you steer clear of loan schemes and scams that victimize borrowers.

We have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the sell-buy process. 

So if you're thinking of buying, selling, renting or relocating, contact Susan, your local SRES, at 703-216-2620 or 

A New Year Brings New Hope to the Spring Real Estate Market

by Susan Borrelli

The beginning of the year always brings about hope, excitement and anticipation of good things ahead and 2016 is no different.  We believe that this year will be a much better year for real estate in Northern Virginia.  There are many reasons for this optimism – great rates, new financing programs, lower inventory levels, positive consumer confidence and pent-up demand.

Let’s review each of these areas.HOPE SPARK IN 2015 REAL ESTATE MARKET

  • Great rates. Although there has been a very slight uptick in rates recently, rates remain very low historically.  Additionally, the interest rates will remain low through 2015 perhaps not reaching 5% until later in the year.
  • New financing programs. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have both begun to accept 3% down payments for first time home buyers.  There will be guidelines such as a minimum 620 credit score, borrowers will have to take an educational class, and they couldn’t have owned a home in the last 3 years to qualify.  With 45% of renters delaying a home purchase because of available funds for a down payment, this should increase the number of home buyers in 2015.
  • Lower inventory levels. In September of this year, we reached a 7 year high in inventory in Northern Virginia with 9,163 houses for sale.  Since that time, the number of available homes has declined each week.  We now have just 5,944 homes for sale which resulted in a brisk sales month for December.  Some of these properties will come back on the market this upcoming spring, but many sold.  As long as we have a moderate winter weather-wise, inventory will slowly enter the market and we won’t have the accelerated inventory levels we experienced in May of 2014 due to the weather.
  • Positive consumer confidence. Many more people today believe that the economy, their personal situation and the real estate market are all going to be better in the future.  These optimistic expectations are leading indicators to people purchasing in the upcoming months – including housing.  Additionally, Freddie Mac and builders also have high expectations of the housing market.  These expectations will have a positive impact on housing in 2015.
  • Pent up demand. As previously mentioned, December experienced a brisk sales month here locally.  We continue to receive calls, emails and internet requests on our homes for sale.   This shows us that there are many people ready to buy the right home that suits their personal lifestyle needs.  Also, many people who went through distressed sales just a few years ago are able to purchase again.  Job growth coupled with population growth locally will also increase demand for housing.

One other area to see home ownership grow in 2015 and beyond is the Millennial homebuyers.  They believe in home ownership as a wealth building opportunity and an overwhelming majority of them will be buying in the next 5 years.  Lastly, rising rental rates will push more people into ownership as a cost savings measure.

All of these positive influences in our region will strengthen our housing market in 2015 and beyond.  As we see our local economy continuing to rebound after 4 years of stagnant growth, this will have a positive impact on housing.  To see what this means to you, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers in the New Year!


5 Tips for Selling a Home in the Spring Market

by Ron and Susan

Spring is among us, but that doesn't mean it's too late to start preparing for a home sale in the booming spring market! Packing, clearing away clutter, improving your home, interviewing realtors, and researching the market are five tips that can use to help you sell your home faster and more efficiently. Check out this blog post for more information:

-Ron and Susan

Great Real Estate News for Fairfax County!

by Ron and Susan


Check out the link with the latest statistics for Fairfax County!  You may need to copy the URL into your browser.


Prices of Homes in Northern Virginia's Active Adult Communities (along the I95 corridor)

by Susan Borrelli, Active Adult Property Specialist


     Typical to residential neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, the further South you go, the less expensive the property. Active Adult communities are no exception. For example, if you would like to purchase a property in the Spring Hill 55+ / Active Adult community you can expect to pay upwards of $450,000 for a patio home. A larger model recently sold for $530,000.  Spring Hill resides in Lorton, Virginia which is in Southern Fairfax County.  Please note, Spring Hill also has apartment style condominiums. Prices range from $180,000 to $250,000 and the condominium fee's run from just under $300 to $450.

Moving 7 miles South to Prince William County, prices of patio homes in the Active Adult community of River Ridge in Woodbridge, VA run between $425,000 and $475000. 

Continue on I95-S to Dumfries in southern Prince William County and you'll find the Four Seasons 55+ / active adult community. Home prices in Four Seasons ranges from $280,000 on the low end to $475,000 for larger patio homes. 

Fredericksburg in Stafford County boasts two 55+ / Active Adult Communities- Falls Run and Celebrate. Falls Run patio and villa home prices range from $220,000 to $400,000.  The Celebrate community is still in development therefore there is an opportunity to buy new build construction if that is your preference. Prices range from $260,000 to just over $400,000.


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7