If you’ve been thinking about buying a new home in the near future, there’s no better time than this summer. From interest rates and market conditions to warmer weather and school vacations, the summer season is the perfect opportunity. This means that the sooner you get started the better! If you wait too long, you may lose your chance. Here is everything you need to know about how to buy a home this summer.
Learn More: Home Buying 101
With summer fast approaching, you may be wondering whether or not this is really the best time to buy a home. The answer is yes! Traditionally, the housing market starts to pick up during the warmer months, so you’ll want to get the process started before everyone else jumps on board. If you act quickly you can enjoy several key advantages to the hot market.
Homes Flaunt Their Curb Appeal
In the summer, the foliage and landscaping will be lush, green, and in its best condition. You’ll be able to see just how much curb appeal each home has. Likewise, it will be obvious which homes need some extra exterior improvements and TLC.
Warm Weather is Welcoming
Many people are more likely to be out looking for homes in warmer weather as opposed to the cooler winter temperatures. This gives sellers a better chance to have their home seen quickly by potential buyers. It can also be a much more enjoyable time to move your belongings from one location to the next, making it the optimal time to relocate.
The Market Offers More Options
Summer typically means more homes are available. Many sellers choose to list during the summer to take advantage of the booming market. More houses listed means more options for buyers. Sure, this may mean more competition, but if you get started on the process early, you’re in a better position to find what you’re looking for.
Learn More: Choosing the Home That Is Right For You
Summer Vacation Offers Flexibility
If you have kids, moving when school is out for summer vacation is often the most convenient plan. This way, you won’t have to schedule your move around the school calendar or keep exams in mind. If your kids will be changing schools, the transition will be much easier if you move before the start of the school year.
Learn More: Helping Kids Prepare for a Move
Ultimately, the season in which you choose to move should be what works best for you and your family. But there are some undeniable benefits of moving during the warmer summer months.
Laying the Groundwork
If your goal is to buy a home this summer, you’ll want to plan well and act quickly. Buying a home can be a lengthy process from start to finish. There’s a lot more to do before you start house hunting than you might realize. Here are just a few necessary action items.
Get Your Finances In Order
Your first order of business is to make sure you have the finances you need to purchase a home. Too many buyers forget that they’ll have to go into the process with some funds immediately available to them. Things like the down payment, escrow, home inspections, and closing costs all require money. Don’t wait to start saving until after the process is complete. Things will go much smoother with a chunk of change set aside for whatever costs may come your way.
Set Your Budget
Similarly, you should also take a long, hard look at your budget and determine how much you want to and can afford to be paying on a mortgage and property taxes each month. This should ideally be done before shopping for loans so that you have some perspective when weighing different loan terms and amounts. And remember, just because you qualify for a loan on paper doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable with that payment each month. Having a budget will make you aware of an appropriate price range.
Learn More: 5 Places to Inspect Your Home
Even if you’ve already run through your finances and set your budget, getting prequalified helps take things one step further. It completes your analysis of how much you can afford and the amount of house that equals. By getting prequalified, your chances of being caught off guard by unforeseen circumstances are much smaller.
Prep Your Current Home for Sale
While most of the prep work is getting your finances squared away, you’ll also want to start thinking about selling your current home. There may be projects or repairs around the house that you’ve been putting off. Now’s the time to get those taken care of, in addition to cleaning up clutter and thinking about how to stage your home.
Don’t forget, even after you choose a home and sign the contract, it could still take a month or more to close and finalize everything. This means that if your goal is to move during the summer, it’s important to get started on the process as soon as possible.
Once It’s Time to Buy
As soon as you have your finances resolved, it’s time to take action. There’s no time to lose if you want to be able to buy a home, move in, and get settled by the end of the summer season. Finding the right home and the process of purchasing it takes time. Here are a few things you can do to help speed the process up.
Find a Real Estate Agent
You’ll want to make finding a real estate agent your top priority. Real estate agents are knowledgable in the home-buying process, as well as the current market. They’ve got what it takes to help you find your new home. Be sure to meet with several agents who know the area you’re considering. You want someone who is going to have your best interest and house-hunting goals in mind.
Run Market Comparisons
Once you have an agent you trust, have them run a market comparison on your neighborhoods of choice. It’s helpful to do your research ahead of time. And remember, be realistic. It’ll help the entire home buying process to know how much house you’re likely to get within your budget.
Decide What You Want From Your New Home
Every buyer should have a short list of both things you can’t live without and things you don’t need but would like to have, if possible. Once you know how the market measures up to your wishes, it makes it easier to narrow things down and make decisions about when you’re willing to compromise (home features, location, or price).
Once you start shopping for a home, you may need to be ready to move quickly. If you find “the one,” be prepared to jump on it. By prepping your finances and your current home ahead of time, you’re able to act fast.
Home Sweet Home
Buying a home and moving over the summer months allows you and your family to be settled just in time for the fall and winter holidays. You can use that time to unpack and decorate, making your house a home.
Learn More: Tips for Unpacking
The timing of buying a home can be a difficult thing, especially when there’s so much to do from start to finish. Ultimately, the decision should be what is best for you and your family. If you do want to move in the next few months, getting started on the process now will allow you to take advantage of all of the best parts of buying during the summer.