The Ultimate Guide
Buying a Home in
First Things First
What This Website Is
This website was created by Theo Theologis. I am a Realtor & also live in Snowden Bridge. I probably know Snowden Bridge better than anyone! I created this site because there was no single, comprehensive source of information for Snowden Bridge. Browse the website and, if you like what you see, let me help you buy a home!
What This Website Is Not
This website is not affiliated with the Snowden Bridge Homeowner associations, or any of the builders in Snowden Bridge. It is independently maintained by Theo Theologis, Realtor. Theo does not work for any of the builders in Snowden Bridge, nor the HOA. Theo is a Realtor that helps home buyers (and home sellers).
Types of Homes You Will Find in Snowden Bridge
Buy a To-Be-Built Home
Most people that buy new construction buy a to-be-built home; meaning, they select the lot and customize the options of their new home. A to-be-built home takes, on average, between 4-6 months to complete. For townhouses, about half of buyers buy a to-be-built home. The other half buy a spec townhouse.
Buy a Spec Home
Sometimes builders have spec homes for sale. A spec home is a home that a builder has already completed. For popular floor plans, builders, anticipating demand, often pre-build homes with the most commonly requested upgrades. Also, sometimes, a builder starts building a home for a buyer but the sale falls through. When that happens, the builder completes the home and offers it for sale as complete. In Snowden Bridge, most spec homes are townhouses.
Buy a Pre-Owned Townhouse
If it doesn’t make a difference to you whether you are the first to live in the townhouse, or whether it has been lived in before, a pre-owned townhouse is usually a good deal. More often than not, pre-owned townhouses can be a better deal than building a new townhouse or buying a spec townhouse.
Buy a Pre-Owned Single Family Home
About half of the pre-owned homes sold each year are single family detached homes. If it doesn’t make a difference to you whether your next home is new construction or not, or if you can’t wait 4-6 months for a new home to be built, then, pre-owned is the way to go. If the home was built more than 3-4 years ago, it may be a much better deal than building a new home. If the home was built more recently, it will likely be priced fairly close to new construction.
How To Buy a Home in Snowden Bridge
Work With Theo
Many people think that buying a new construction home is like buying a new car: you go to the sales person and order one. Unfortunately, a new home is much more complicated than that. To buy new construction, you can certainly go to the builder’s sales rep, or you can hire a Realtor to represent you. If you hire me, there is a 95% chance that you’ll be better off than going straight to the builder reps or hiring another Realtor. Here are some of the reasons why:
- I live in Snowden Bridge and have knowledge of both the history and the future plans of the development.
- I visit builder sales offices regularly. I see and hear things that buyers, or other Realtors, are not aware of.
- I know how builder sales are tracking. Builders won’t share that info with buyers and other Realtors don’t have access to that information.
- I am familiar with the construction quality of each builder and have a pretty good idea what to look for.
- Builder sales reps work for the builder. Their job is to sell you a home. I work for you, the buyer. My job is to make sure you don’t buy anything you don’t love.
- Hiring me does not cost you anything, and you won’t save anything by going directly to the builder.
- When you hire me to help you buy a home you get benefits not offered by builders or other Realtors.
- I don’t just help you with the process of buying a home. I help even after you move into your new home, with warranty inspections, etc.
Buy from the Builders' Sales People
There are 3 builders in Snowden Bridge: Brookfield Residential, Integrity Homes, and Ryan Homes. Each of the builders has a model home that is open to the public. Each builder’s sales manager works out of that builder’s model home. Home buyers can visit each builder’s model, see all floor plans offered, and price a house with the help of the builder sales manager.
Please keep in mind that, if you visit a builder model without a Realtor, unless you tell them that you are working with a Realtor, they may not let a Realtor assist you later.
Builder sales managers work for the builder. While all sales managers in Snowden Bridge are nice, their job is to sell you a home. It’s not their job to tell you the negatives of a location, or other things that may matter to you.
Work With Theo
Buying a pre-owned home in Snowden Bridge is no different than buying a pre-owned home elsewhere. And while any Realtor can help you, there are significant benefits in having me as your Realtor.
- I live in Snowden Bridge and know what’s happening around the neighborhood every day.
- Sometimes I hear about homes before they hit the market.
- I’ve seen many homes in Snowden Bridge. I can compare the condition of a home you are interested in with other homes.
- I keep track of the neighborhood sales history and can tell you if a house is a good deal or overpriced.
- Hiring me does not cost you anything!
- I have been trained as a lawyer. I know the real estate sales contract better than 99% of Realtors. There have been situations where, because I knew the contract better than the other agents, I saved my clients thousands of dollars (one day I’ll tell you about it!)
- I can recommend home inspectors that are familiar with Snowden Bridge and have inspected other homes in the neighborhood.
- When you hire me to help you buy a home you get benefits not offered by other Realtors (or builders).
- I don’t just help you buy a house. I’ll be your resource even after you move into your new home.
- I really want to help you make a good purchase. If you ever have to sell your house, I want you to be happy so that you call me to list it.
Hire Another Agent
You can hire any Realtor you’d like to help you buy a pre-owned home in Snowden Bridge. If you decide to work with a Realtor other than me, make sure that they are a full-time Realtor and that they have many years of experience.
If the Realtor you hire is familiar with Snowden Bridge and if they have sold homes in Snowden Bridge before, that’s even better.
If you are also considering new construction, it is important that your Realtor has strong experience with new construction homes and, ideally, with new construction in Snowden Bridge.
Also, your Realtor should be able to advise you on financing and, along with a loan officer, guide you through the loan qualification process.
Where From Should You Get a Mortgage Loan?
Most home builders have a preferred lender and offer certain incentives to buyers who get their mortgage loan through the builder’s preferred lender. If you are buying a new construction home, more often than not, the builder incentives are worth getting your loan from the builder’s preferred lender.
That said, there are situations where you may have to work with another lender. In those situations, you may not be eligible for builder incentives. Regardless of where you get your loan from, I can help you navigate the new construction loan process.
When buying a pre-owned home, you can get a loan from any lender you’d like. There are many types of lenders to consider, including banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders. Each has its pros & cons.
When comparing loan programs, keep in mind that there is much more to a loan than the interest rate. For a number of reasons that are too long to analyze here (for example, a lender that can’t close the loan on time can cost you money and even get you in legal trouble), you are better off getting your loan from a lender that is local and reputable.
Although getting a loan seems straightforward, there are many moving parts. Researching online will only take you so far. There is no substitute for hands-on experience. Over the years, I’ve gotten more than 10 home loans for myself, and I typically work closely with my buyer clients’ lenders, so I have quite a bit of experience.
I’ve researched over 50 lenders in the Mid-Atlantic region, from Baltimore to Richmond, and know of loan programs that few people have ever heard of. I can help you find the lender and loan program that is right for your situation.
What Incentives & Benefits Are There?
Builders offer certain incentives that change from time to time. Currently, all builders offer assistance towards closing costs. This incentive is contingent on the buyer using the builder’s preferred lender and title company. Also, at this time, some builders offer a free finished rec room in some of their floor plans.
These incentives are only available for new construction and are subject to change at any time. Builders may replace them with other incentives or they may discontinue them altogether.
Free Smart Home System
Homebuyers that hire me as their Realtor receive a free smart home system. It is available for both new construction and pre-owned homes, and it is in addition to any incentives offered by builders.