Buying Real Estate in Virginia

When is a deal a deal?

How can you be sure that your purchase in Northern Virginia is really a deal? Understanding your position as a buyer in Virginia when buying in the D.C. metro area is an important first step in finding a deal that works in your favor. Virginia is a “buyer beware” state unlike Maryland and D.C. where the seller is required to list any deficiencies and give the ages of the major elements of the property and disclose any problems.

In Virginia, the seller’s disclosure is really a disclaimer despite its title “Residential Property Disclosure Statement.” The statement is a notice to the seller and purchase that the owner is making “no representations with respect to the matters set forth and described at the Residential Property Disclosures web page. The purchaser is advised to consult the website ( _consumer.cfm) for important information about the real property.”

The only disclosure required by the seller is whether there is pending enforcement actions “pursuant to the Uniform Statewide Building Code that affect the safe, decent and sanitary living conditions of the real property described … of which the owner has been notified in writing by the locality, nor any pending violation of the local zoning ordinance which the violator has not abated or remedied under the zoning ordinance, within a time period set out in the written notice of violation from the locality or established by a court of competent jurisdiction, except as disclosed on this statement.” So unless the owner is actually sited by the local authorities, they do not have to disclose a violation.

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