Brides & Weddings recently sat down with real estate husband and wife combo Bill & Peggy Burke to get their advice for engaged or newly married couples when it comes to buying your first home together. Peggy gives us some great tips on buying your first home and even a little marriage advice.
Brides & Weddings: How long have you been a REALTOR?
I was first licensed in NC in 1981....and licensed in VA in 1984. I have been a REALTOR for 36 years....33 years in Virginia.
Bill has worked in and around development of real estate forever and has been a REALTOR forever too.
Brides & Weddings: What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I get to meet a lot of different people from different places. They all have a different need. I assist people with the purchase of "home" and how to make it home. I work with sellers who are moving up or moving out of the area and I help them to start on the next leg of their life's journey. I also work with landlords and tenants. Everyone's situation is a puzzle and I feel like my job is to help them solve the puzzle.
Bill works on the commercial side. So he handles any of the people we know who have a need for commercial space or land for commercial or residential. Sometimes it is a company that someone we know works for who has a new need or evolution to a new situation. He also does business and church consulting. All of this too is a puzzle.
We really like helping people with whatever game plan they have and sometimes help them to see where it needs tweaking!
Brides & Weddings: Do you offer any real estate services for engaged couples or newlyweds?
They are really no different from everyone else. They are just typically a little more nervous. We thrive on being patient and helping them to discover what their needs are. We can easily explain the process one on one and craft the process to fit the individual couple.
Brides & Weddings: Some brides get overwhelmed with planning a wedding at the same time that they are shopping for a home. Are there any ways to make the home buying process easier and less time consuming?
Because everyone's situation is different, we meet with the couple and get a really good idea of what they are looking for, where they want to be, and what their price range is going to be. Then we do the hard part and will try to narrow things down for them so that they can worry about the "getting married" part. After we discover what their likes and needs are we can keep them from having to look at "everything". Then if what we find turns out to not be what they are looking for then we switch gears and go in a different direction until we get it all right!
Brides & Weddings: Any tips you can give our readers on the home search process and how to compromise if your styles are different?
Most houses are pretty much the same in this area. Neighborhoods offer different amenities and yards are level or not. So, as soon as we zero in on where they want to live we can help them to figure out how to adapt the house to the cook in the family, the garage mechanic or craftsperson, the man cave, the library, the sewing room...the game room...that's the fun part...helping them use the house in ways that make it "their" home.
Brides & Weddings: What is your advice for the young to-be-married or newlywed couple who both own homes but is looking to “trade up” after the wedding?
If they both own a home coming into the marriage we can help the couple decide if they want to sell one of them, rent one of them, or keep or sell them both and buy something different. It is all part of the discovery process that starts with getting to know them and what they really want to accomplish. They may be able to become landlords or they may not want to do that. So, we explore all possibilities with them before making any suggestions. It really is a counseling service. We want to help them to do what is right for them. Not what we want them to do. It is all about them.
Brides & Weddings: What are the two or three hottest neighborhoods/areas for first-home purchases right now?
Again, this really depends on the couple, their age, their lifestyle. In this area lots of people getting married are already established in a community and want to stay there. Others, will want a place with a good walkability score, or more rural where they don't have an HOA, or a golf community, or near a rec center, or close to commuter routes. Some want something newer. Others want something older with character. Still others want a townhouse or condo. So, again, that first meeting is so important and sometimes we make them think of things that have not crossed their mind. It is a puzzle.
Brides & Weddings: You and Bill have worked together and been married for 20 years...any advice on how to make it work as a winning team?
Bill and I have been married and worked together for 20 years. I think we do a great job of picking up on things that people say or do because of that. It's not like finishing each other's sentences but, more like intuition. We don't work with the same people most of the time, but we do talk to each other about the people that we are working with...which leads to great ideas from each other about the other one's clients. We are both great listeners...We listen to our clients and to each other. That is what makes the relationship great. I think that is true whether or not you work together. Communication is the key to good relationships with your spouse, your family, your friends and especially your clients.
Bill & Peggy Burke are brokers for Virginia Realty Partners, LLC, a Real Estate Brokerage and consulting firm offering services in Residential, Commercial, Land and Specialty Markets. They can assist you with any real estate need in Northern Virginia, as they have a combined 75+ years of experience. Visit their website at virginiarealtypartners.com to see local listings and find out more.