Before You Look for Your Dream Home: Know What You Want vs. What You Need!

Before You Look for Your Dream Home: Know What You Want vs. What You Need! | MyKCM

In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale through rose-colored glasses.

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the “man cave” of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?

The first step in your home buying process should be getting pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.

The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:

  • “Must-Haves” – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms).
  • “Should-Haves” – if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention but does not need to have all of these features.
  • “Absolute-Wish List” – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!

Bottom Line

Having this list fleshed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration. It also lets your agent know what features are most important to you before they start showing you houses in your desired area.

Thinking about buying? Call/text us at 703-242-3975

Slaying Home Buying Myths

We get questions from first-time homebuyers like this all the time:

  • Do I have to have a perfect credit score?
  • Do I need 20% cash for my down payment?
  • Aren’t interest rates really high?
  • Can I really afford to buy?

Check out what Keeping Current Matters has to say about the myths related to buying a home:

Slaying Home Buying Myths [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are still below historic numbers.
  • 88% of property managers raised their rent in the last 12 months!
  • The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.

The Belt Team has a Buyer Specialist whose expertise is First-Time Homebuyers. If you’re looking for someone to walk you through each step of the process, call Beth Dadisman at (703) 577-1144. Or click here to schedule a FREE consultation.

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Here’s how you might feel after you buy your first place! We helped these first time homebuyers find their dream home and go to settlement just last week! The Belt Team is ranked in the Top 20 Real Estate Agents in the State of VA (out of 30,000 agents). Don’t you deserve the BEST?!

The Belt Team Specializes in First Time Homebuyers

Terry Belt Guests On Real Estate Radio Washington

Belt Team CEO, Terry Belt, is a guest real estate expert on “Real Estate Radio Washington”. Stay tuned for his 2013 real estate review and 2014. We’ll post that later this week.

In the meantime, hosts Jim McQuaig & Erik Spencer talk to Terry about careers in real estate and specifically, with The Belt Team. Tune in now if you’re looking for an opportunity – and not just a job!

(And if you’re looking to refinance your mortgage OR find out how much mortgage you can qualify for, contact The Belt Team and we will connect you with our mortgage experts at Churchill Mortgage.

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Contact Terry Belt about buying or selling your home.

Top Producing Realtor, Tom Reilly, Joins The Belt Team

Have you ever heard the saying that “a team of specialists will always outperform a team of generalists“? After 40+ years in real estate, and 17 of those as a team, we know this to be true. Some agents work as individuals, or even in pairs or groups, but at The Belt Team, we feel it’s in our clients’ best interests for them to be served by an entire team, with each person dedicated to serving our clients where their utmost skills lie.


The Belt Team has recently had two members battle cancer (successfully so far – Thank you God!). And their experiences with the various oncologists, chemo nurses, radiation professionals, insurance processors & more have only reinforced to them the value of a team of specialists. (Imagine if your surgeon handled your insurance. It would be messed up for sure! Or if the same doctor who handled eye surgery, handled foot surgery. Yikes!) It’s ideal when each person on the team does what they are best at.

So we run our real estate team along that same principle. “Team”: Together Everyone Achieves More! And that especially includes our clients. Belt Team clients don’t have to rely on just one or two people to handle everything. Imagine how hard it would be to reach them if that were the case! They would likely be jack-of-all-trades and master of none. And THAT is why we are so excited to have Tom Reilly join our team.

Tom has been a Top Producing Realtor® on his own for many years. He was “Rookie of the Year” during his first year as a Realtor and has continued to excel in real estate. Tom’s natural gift of leadership and patience as a teacher meant that he found himself in a number of leadership roles over the years – most recently as the Assistant Team Leader at Keller Williams Realty McLean, one of the top offices in the entire country. And while Tom really enjoys being a part of the KW McLean office, he discovered that his passion is really found in helping Buyers find that perfect home. So Tom decided to go back “into the field” to work with Buyers in a more dedicated way.

At the same time Tom decided to pursue his passion, he sought out The Belt Team. Tom said, “Joining one of the top teams in the entire country will help my clients be even more successful in their endeavors than they could be if I was on my own.” CEO, Terry Belt shared “Tom and I have known each other some 30 years – since we played basketball & baseball together at Bishop O’Connell High School. We knew we shared the same values of integrity & commitment to excellence; it was a natural fit.”  Belt added “Our mission at The Belt Team is to change families’ lives for the better – one family at a time. And that’s something Tom has been doing for years.”

Tom joins The Belt Team as Senior Buyer Specialist.

Belt Team Chief Operating Officer Christy Belt Grossman said “Tom has a genuine passion for helping others, and a great sense of humor matched with a seriousness of purpose. His buyers really appreciate his consultative approach and feel well armed with the tenacity & creativity he uses to be their advocate in today’s market. Add to that the extensive market knowledge that can only come as a lifelong Northern VA resident, along with his technology experience – and that translates to top notch negotiating skills that are a win-win for his clients!”


Tom Reilly Realtor The Belt Team Keller Williams Realty McLean VA 

Tom Reilly is a top producing Realtor® and Lead Buyer Specialist for The Belt Team. Tom is a graduate of Brown University; he is licensed in Virginia, and holds an Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation. Tom’s buyers like working with him because as a lifetime resident of McLean, he knows Northern Virginia like the back of his hand – whether that’s schools or businesses, commuting routes or neighborhoods. In addition, Tom has extensive skills in the technology arena and his buyers gain a competitive advantage (and extra convenience) as a result.  Prior to joining The Belt Team, Tom served as Assistant Team Leader at Keller Williams Realty McLean, where he served multiple terms on the Associate Leadership Council and also chaired the Technology Committee. Tom rose to success quickly in his real estate career, starting off as the #4 Rookie-of-the-Year in Virginia for Long & Foster in 2006.

Before his career in real estate, Tom worked in the legal industry for almost two decades where he focused primarily on employing technology to assist in the practice of law, including implementing technology solutions to promote business development. Tom enjoys volunteering extensively in the community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Hamlet Swim Club as Secretary of the club, as an usher at St. Luke Catholic Church, and in numerous roles coaching youth athletics. Tom’s true passion is helping others and he looks forward to helping you find your dream home!

Contact Tom Reilly

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