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Judy McCloskey

Judy McCloskey
Residential, Commercial & Lux Rentals
Weichert, Realtors
McLean, VA 22101

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Prioritizing the Priorities

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Buying a home ranks as one of the biggest personal investments anyone makes- and moving as one of life's biggest stressors. Being organized enough to navigate the process successfully to achieve your housing goals requires developing a team mindset to include your lender and your Realtor. That team works in sync so your goals will be realized.

Here's how:
First, ask yourself how much you can afford to pay for a home. If you’re not sure of the price range, talk to a lender to find out. Just remember that getting pre-approved by a lender lets you know how much the bank is comfortable lending you. However, that information must be received in light of what amount your household budget allows. Accepting the maximum loan the bank can lend may overextend your household budget. The bank tells you what's possible, and you tell the bank what's realistic. Staying within your household budget is more important and will contribute to your peace of mind. 

With your budget in place, and having been pre-qualified by your lender, you are now ready to look at homes. By being prepared, you'll avoid a common pitfall- especially among first time buyers- falling in love with a home that is out of your price range and not being in a position to place an offer. 

With financial due diligence done, it's time to decide on location. Do your best to narrow the options to one or two cities, or neighborhoods. 

A few things to consider regarding location:
Lifestyle- do you love walking out the front door and being in the heart of the city like Merrifield and Tysons Corner, or the quiet seclusion of equestrian properties in Fairfax Station? Or planned communities like Cameron Station in Alexandria?

Commute and proximity to Metro Station or VRE- do you drive west to get to work, or take the Metro into DC?

School Pyramids- for state and national rankings, check out and USNews & World report. Northern Virginia schools consistently rank among the highest.
local transportation- anyone need to be near a MetroBus, or is Uber enough

Trails-   TheW&OD trail weaves throughout Northern Virginia, and many neighborhoods have their own trails. Any health enthusiasts need to walk out the door and hit the trails?

Cost of Living- is it worth considering a home a little further out if it means more house? Or are you better off in a smaller home with greater community amenities?

So prioritize your priorities- all of these factors (and others  that pertain to your specific circumstances) factor into deciding on location. If you can't have it all, then what's more important, school pyramids or cost of living? Easy commute, or more land?

The better you envision and plan your home-owership future, the more likely you will achieve it!


Judy McCloskey
Weichert Realtors

1313 Dolley Madison Blvd
McLean, VA 22101
Phone: 703-795-1099
Fax: 703-760-8939


We cannot thank you enough for your tireless guidance and help throughout our first home buying experience. We really appreciate your patience and the time you've spent with us during our search. Your experience and diligence in answering our gazillion questions helped us feel confident going forward and made this process much less stressful and daunting. We are so, so excited to be owners of the awesome home you helped us find! Jess & Josh
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