Guide for Canadians Buying a Property in Virginia

A brick suburban home, representing buying a property in Virginia.

Guide for Canadians buying a property in Virginia

Are you considering going into the Virginia real estate market? While this could turn out to be the investment of your life, you should be careful; buying a piece of real estate is no small feat. This will be a complicated process, during which you will definitely have a lot to do. So, before you make such a purchase, ideally you should consider all the factors; the amount of money you can spend, the features you want from a home, and the best possible neighborhood. But apart from that; as a Canadian who’s buying a property in Virginia; you should also consider the legal practicalities of such a purchase. Don’t worry, though; we’ve got it all covered right here! 

Finding a good real estate agent in Virginia 

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or if your move is a long-distance one; if you ask us, choosing your new neighborhood and the specific piece of property will be of major importance. And if you want to play this smart, you should contact an experienced local real estate agent. Trust us; a good agent is worth their weight in gold. During the process of buying a property in Virginia, a professional agent will lead you every step of the way. They’ll draft the order you write, and negotiate in your name with any potential sellers. If you hire an agent to take care of the purchase for you, they’ll get a better deal in terms of the smaller details too, such as the house closing costs and the escrow process.  

Hiring a real estate agent 

Apart from handling some of the specifics of buying a property in Virginia, your real estate agent can be of help in other ways as well. Having a professional who knows the real estate trends of the area will be of major use, trust us. And besides; in most cases, working with a real estate agent on buying a home won’t actually cost you a dime. Why? Well, the usual practice is the seller paying the whole commission for the realtor. Typically, that’s around 5% of the sale price for the home, that the seller’s agent and your own agent split between each other. Also, your real estate agent can help with finding other professionals who can provide you with different services in the process of purchasing a home; like home inspectors or mortgage brokers. 

A two-story brick home in Virginia.

If you want a quality home, hire a good realtor!

Naturally, you must be wondering what the best way to select a particular real estate agent is. First and foremost, you want to make sure that your potential agent is licensed; check the registry of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Apart from that, you want to hear the different reviews on real estate agents, on places like Trulia and Zillow. Trust us, if you choose your real estate agent correctly, and use other professionals prudently, buying a home here can be an extremely pleasant experience.  

Sale disclosures 

As a Canadian who’s buying a property in Virginia, one thing is certain; you’re probably not too familiar with local laws. Even people who’ve lived in Virginia their entire lives aren’t always well-versed in the legalities of home purchases in the area. For example – while you’re searching for the perfect neighborhood in the area, you might want to familiarize yourself with the seller disclosures that the law demands. And just what are these, you ask? Well, these are regulations which obligate home sellers in the state of Virginia to report some types of defects on their properties. The aforementioned Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has the details within their Residential Property Disclosure document, but we’ll give you the gist of it here.  

A small blue suburban house.

There are certain issues that a seller must disclose

In essence, there are a few kinds of defects that a seller must disclose during a real estate transaction. First of all, they must tell the buyer if the property is nearby a military air installation. Secondly, they must report any defective drywall. Also, a seller must report if their property was at any point the site of a meth lab, if it hasn’t been cleaned up in accordance with state guidelines. Finally, a seller is obligated to tell the buyer if their home has a septic system that isn’t fully functioning.  

Also, people selling houses which were built before 1978 have an additional piece of compliance to perform. They need to make certain that their house complies with federal regulations on lead-based hazards, and more specifically lead paint.  

Getting a home inspection 

If you were to take a look at seller-disclosure regulations in other states, you’d find that buyers are much more protected. In other words, the list of defects that the sellers have an obligation to report is far larger. But with the disclosure limits here, buying a property in Virginia usually means one thing – hiring someone to do an independent home inspection.  

A suburban home with a driveway and a garage.

If you want to make sure you’re buying a good home, a home inspection is in order

In the process, this outside inspector has to check out an entire host of potential issues. For example, you want them to see if the house is susceptible to any pests or termites. Then, you need to be sure that there are no structural issues, and that the roof and windows stand upon a firm foundation. And finally, there are the drainage and other soil issues, as well as mold or the presence of certain odors.  

Hopefully, any Canadians buying a property in Virginia can find this guide useful. You are surely going to enjoy here. 

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.