Buyer Resources

 List of Buyer Resourses

Counties & Neighborhoods School Data & Resources           MLS Home Search 
Mortgage & Finance My Buyer Services Home Buyer's Guide (.pdf)  
Commuter & Transportation Buyer Representation/Agency Home Warranty Options
Articles: Home Buying             Crime Reports
Home Inspections
Utility Contact Information Title Insurance & Settlement Home Owner's Insurance
Tax Info & Deductions   Military Resources




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It’s important to me to deliver an exceptional home buying experience to each client.  Below is a list of services I provide:

 Home Selection and Preparation for Home Purchase:

  • Meet with you to conduct a "needs/wants assessment" to ensure I understand your needs
  • Provide you with a copy of my Home Buyer's Guide
  • Answer all your question about the home buying process
  • Provide you with my chart explaining different mortgage loan options.  I wrote this chart myself in an effort to help my clients understand the “nuts & bolts” of different loan options. Note: There are many other loan programs available.  Please consult a lender before selecting a mortgage loan.
  • Provide you with my list of reputable lenders -- those with whom I’ve personally worked
  • Assist you in obtaining a mortgage pre-approval at the best possible terms, and provide you with a list of questions to ask lenders (loan officer) so that you can compare different lender packages
  • Assist you in obtaining “Estimated Costs of Settlement” from your lender.  An “Estimated Cost of Settlement” itemizes your closing expenses and shows you (on paper) what your monthly mortgage payment will be for various loan programs. I require all lenders that I have a business relationship with to provide my clients with this detailed written document.
  • Access the Proprietary Realtor Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and search for homes that best meet your criteria and are within your designated price range.
  • Enter your home search criteria in the MLS to continually search for new listings as soon as they become available.
  • Target homes in neighborhoods that interest you
  • Target your preferences -- search for special features (e.g., family rooms, gourmet kitchens, hardwood floors, preferred home styles, etc.) or types of properties (i.e., re-sale homes, new homes, luxury homes, large lots, foreclosures, etc.)
  • Provide you with access to homes you want to pre-view, and point out key features and deficiencies in each home.
  • Seek information from Listing Agents concerning those properties that interest you
  • Give you advice regarding which homes will make sound investments.
  • Keep in contact with you frequently during the home buying process

Home Purchase and Contract Negotiation

  • Assist you in preparing an offer that protects your interests and your Earnest Money Deposit
  • Provide you with, and explain, a “Competitive Market Analysis” of homes that are currently available, are contracted to sell, or have sold so that you will understand the “fair market value” of the home you are purchasing.
  • Recommend offer conditions that are most appropriate for you
  • Safeguard your Earnest Money Deposit in my company’s Escrow account according to the laws of the State of Virginia
  • Fully explain all terms and conditions of the Sales Contract and Addendums to you
  • Fully explain your responsibilities under the Contract and Addendums
  • Fully explain the seller's responsibilities under the Contract & Addendums
  • Fully explain what is included in the purchase and what is not
  • Represent you in negotiations to obtain the best possible price and terms
  • Prepare and submit your Offer to Purchase property and prepare and submit all counter-offers in a timely manner and according to the laws of the State of Virginia.
  • Obtain a Property Condition Disclosure or Disclaimer Statement from the seller concerning the condition of the property… and all other applicable disclosures (e.g., lead-based paint)
  • I will guide you and the seller (if the home is sold “For-Sale-By-Owner”) incompliance with all required federal and state laws in the transfer of home ownership (e.g., anti-trust laws, civil rights laws, etc.)

Contract Ratification to Settlement:

  • Assist you in hiring a home inspector who will thoroughly inspect the property, and provide you with a list of reputable inspectors; schedule inspectors
  • Assist you in obtaining final mortgage approval on the home you select
  • Monitor your loan as it is processed in underwriting
  • Verify the appraisal value of the property
  • Assist you in removing conditions and contingencies from your offer to purchase as per the contract.
  • Assist you in selecting a Settlement Company to close the purchase
  • Monitor the activities of the Settlement company to ensure the necessary documentation and reviews are being performed (e.g., title work, tax adjustments, receipt of loan documentation, assessments and adjustments, preparation of an accurate HUD-1 Settlement Statement)
  • Convey all documents and final instructions to your Settlement Company
  • Provide you with a checklist of things to do between this point and possession (e.g., arranging for certified funds to cover your closing costs; a moving checklist, utility information, etc.)
  • Conduct a final walk through with you at possession to ensure all systems are in proper working order and that all items on the Home Inspection Addendum have been complied with.
  • Attend your Settlement and provide you with the keys to your new home

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Alexandria City         Fairfax County           Arlington County       Prince William County
Falls Church City Fairfax City Loudoun County Manassas City
State of Virginia Washington, DC Maryland Stafford County
  • City of Alexandria  Department of Planning and Zoning -- Comprehensive plans & current projects; Zoning Plans, regulations, appeals & resources; historic preservation, Environmental issues that affect Alexandria City residents and more.
  • BRAC (Bases Realignment & Closure) - Alexandria City @ Mark Center


  • Fairfax County Neighborhood Locator
  • Fairfax County Board of Supervisors -- News, calendars, public hearings, District information:  Braddock, Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon, Providence, Springfield & Sully
  • Fairfax County Housing Programs:  Home improvement loans, Home repair for the elderly, Rental Housing Programs, 1st-time buyer programs, community revitalization,  Affordable Housing programs.
  • Fairfax County Consumer Central -- Tenant-Landlord issues, Homeowner & Condo Association laws, fees & guidelines; licensing guidelines; utilities, cable & telephone regulations & information.
  • Fairfax County Planning Commission -- Learn what's areas are planned for improvement in Fairfax County; links page
  • Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning -- Comprehensive plans & current projects; Zoning Plans, regulations, appeals & resources; historic preservation, Environmental issues that affect FX county residents and more.
  • BRAC (Bases Realignment & Closure) - Fairfax County @ Ft Belvoir Army Base in Alexandria
Fairfax County Town & Neighborhood Websites


Fairfax Station

Falls Church

Great Falls







  • Maps:  Bus, Metro & Parks
  • Top 25 US Towns  2009 Forbes selected Fairfax City as one of the best US Towns


  • Arlington County Housing Division  -- Affordable housing programs & assistance, permits & zoning, apartment guide, forms, code enforcement regulations, Homebuyer opportunities, home improvement resources & programs.
  • BRAC (Bases Realignment & Closure) - Arlington County @ Crystal City
  • Loudoun County  Maps
  • Loudoun County  Child Care Services   Child Care Providers, Help w/Child Care costs, youth services and after-school programs
  • Loudoun County Housing Services  -- Affordable housing programs & assistance, homeownership loans & programs, Home improvement resources & programs permits & zoning, apartment guide & rental resources
  • Loudoun County  Commuting Options   See also:  the Commuter & Transportation section of this page
City of Manassas Government Site
Manassas Community/Area Information:   Events calendar, things to do & see, lodging, dining



Washington DC






  • Military Homefront:  Moving & Relocation information for Military families
  • BRAC (Bases Realignment & Closure) - Alexandria City @ Mark Center
  • BRAC (Bases Realignment & Closure) - Fairfax County @ Ft Belvoir Army Base in Alexandria
  • BRAC (Bases Realignment & Closure) - Arlington County @ Crystal City


Local Military Resources & Websites
Army Bases

Air Force Bases


Return to County Index




IRS Information re: 2009 Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

Common Property Tax Exemptions  (9/2009, by: Barbara Eisner Bayer)

Deduct Private Mortgage Insurance  (11/2009 By Richard Koreto)

Deduct Mortgage Interest & Home Equity Loans  (9/2009 By Richard Koreto)

2010 Tax Returns:  Tax Tips for Homeowners (2/2010, By Mike DeSenne)

Tax Breaks on Capital Improvements to your Home  (9/2009, By Donna Fuscoldo)

7 Homeowner Tax Advantages (3/2010 by GM Filisko)

Appeal your Tax Bill (10/2009, by: Barbara Eisner Bayer)




Web Site Service Area Phone # FYI - Gas Information
 All NoVa 703-750-9500


Columbia Gas   703-631-5360


Web Site Service Area Phone # FYI - Electric Information
Dominion VA Power All NoVa 888-667-3000  
NOVEC   703-335-0500  
Web Site Service Area Phone # FYI - Water Information
Fairfax County Water Authority

All Fairfax County + FX-Alexandria & FX-Falls Church

703-689-5600  lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Virginia American Water  Alexandria City 703-549-7080  
Arlington County Utility  Arlington County 703-228-6570  
City of Falls Church  Falls Church City 703-248-5071  
Prince William County Service Prince William County 703-335-7950  
Virginia American Water Dale City (PW County) 703-491-2136  
Manassas Park Manassas Park (PW) 703-335-8805  
Loudoun County Station Loudoun County 703-478-8016  
Town of Leesburg Leesburg 703-771-2701  
Town of Herndon Herndon 703-826-2355  


 Web Site  Service Area  Phone # FYI - Telephone Information
 Verizon  All NoVa  800-826-2355  


Web Site Service Area Phone # FYI - Gas Information
Cox  Fairfax County 703-378-8411  
Comcast  Alexandria City 703-716-9701  
Adlephia   888-683-1000  




  • National Database/search search by city, state, zip, map and calendar re: current stats;  includes list of names/locations of “registered” sex offenders]
  • Family Watchdog:  search by street address & zipcode (nationwide databse)
  • Alexandria City:  search by block range, street address or district. See map to locate codes for districts of interest.  Note: if this link stops working, then delete a portion of the URL from “/crime to end”, then locate the info again from the list of police resources and reports 
  • Fairfax County obtain police/crime reports by address/zip and district through separate database

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6-Year Northern Virginia Road Improvement Plan -- Specific streets listed


  • V-DOT “real time” Traffic Cameras
  • Northern Virginia Lane Closures:   Daily  and  Weekly
  • Slug Lines
  • EZ-PASS (so you don’t have to put coins in the toll booth, ie., using the Dulles Toll Rd or any toll in the following states: Current E-ZPass States: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, Indiana and Illinois)
  • Carpooling & Van-Pooling Information  and  Vanpool Services
  • HOV Lanes - learn:  where they are, rules, violations fines, park & ride locations; future HOV lanes & change
Lanes & Schedules (some are reversible, i.e., I-95, I-395)
HOV Calculator (How much time can you save using HOV lanes)

Northern Virginia Commuter Rail & Bus Schedules  

VRE  Virginia Railway Express  (serves: DC, FX, Alex, ARL, PW, Fredericksburg): 
Fairfax County Parkway - website
AMTRAK Commuter and Interstate RAIL routes/stations/timetables/tickets/deals
BUS (DC/MD/NOVA – fares, routes, timetables)
Metrobus Pocket Guide & Map  -- download .pdf/print. Separate maps for DC/MD & Va

Alexandria City DASH -- Alexandria City DASH (routes & schedules)   


METRORAIL (Fares, routes, schedules):   Note:  fares increased $.10 effective 2/28/2010

  • Metro Fare Calculator (calculate your monthly commute)  








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A home warranty is a service contract that protects homeowners/sellers -- while their home is listed and through settlement/closing -- in the event a major system or appliance breaks down during the term of the warranty (usually 1 year)Home warranties are also transferable from seller to purchaser and would continue to protect the buyer/new homeowner if any of the home's major systems or appliances fail for the remainder of the term. 

For example, the seller purchases a home warranty to protect himself/herself during the listing period (say 4 months from list to closing).  The remainder of the year (8 months) would transfer to the purchaser & protect the new homeowner from Settlement to the end of ther warranty term (8 months in this scenario) in the event of a system/appliance failure.  The new homeowner would have the option to renew the warranty policy at the end of the term (i.e., 8 months).  If extended, the new term would be 1 year.

Coverage usually includes the followinghome's heating, plumbing & electrical systems, water heater and major appliances: range/oven/cooktop, dishwasher, refrigerator, garbage disposal.  Generally, deductibles are about $100 per service call per system regardless of whether the system is merely repaired or replaced.  Example: If, during the term of the warranty, your heating system ($3500+/- cost) requires replacement, it will cost you $100 to replace that system.

Sellers/homeowners are not required to purchase a home warranty.  In this current market, many homeowners can't afford to do so.  A purchaser/new homeowner is then free to purchase a home warranty themselves. The papework (application) & the fee (approximately $400) is provided to the Escrow/Settlement office on the day of settlement and they deliver the application & warranty fee to the home warranty provider.   The purchaser is usually covered by the home warranty effective the date of settlement.


2010 Best Home Warranty Providers (My picks)

American Home Shield (AHS)

AHS Coverage & Pricing

Scroll to bottom of page; click on "GET A QUOTE etc." In the pop-up window, enter the required info; click on NEXT.  Pricing Estimate pops right up.

Old Republic Warranty (ORW) Virginia Plans & Coverage ORW Pricing - Virginia
Home Warranty of America (HWA) HWA Coverage & Pricing
2010 -- HWA received A+ rating from BBB. Pricing: Click on drowp-down menu, select your state; scroll down


See also:   Repair & Remodeling Section


Maintenance Recommendations
Repairs - Common Problems & Solutions














Counties & Neighborhoods School Data & Resources           MLS Home Search 
Mortgage & Finance My Buyer Services Home Buyer's Guide (.pdf)  
Commuter & Transportation Buyer Representation/Agency Home Warranty Options
Articles: Home Buying             Crime Reports
Home Inspections
Utility Contact Information Title Insurance & Settlement Home Owner's Insurance       
Tax Info & Deductions    



Karen Davidson, REALTOR®    Direct: (703) 927-4448   ♦  Toll Free Fax:  1 (866) 429-8851   Licenced in Virginia

SAMSON Properties - Alexandria / Kingstowne   ♦   6408 Grovedale Drive  ♦  Suite 204  ♦  Alexandria, Virginia  22315   ♦  Office: (703) 378-8810

© 2016 Karen Davidson (703) 927-4448, All Rights Reserved