Homebuyers love the spring and sellers do too. There would be serious house shopping going on, followed by an intense bidding war that you’d want to win. Bring these tips and calm with you amidst the spring homebuying frenzy.
Is spring really the best time to buy?
It’s different for everyone. But the months of April, May and June are the busiest for the real estate market. The reason is practical: after months of being cooped up, it’s high time to see some sunshine and conveniently explore the suburbs for houses.
Spring also precedes the usual months for vacation, which means people have to take care of important matters before they officially leave for exotic Chiang Mai or charming Bucharest.
Two main advantages of getting in the spring house shopping spree are:
- More choices. In spring, more houses are up for sale. If you are on the lookout for a specific house or a unique feature, you’ll likely spot it in a wider selection.
- Easier inspection. A house’s flaws and overall condition are better seen in broad daylight than when covered in snow.
Interestingly, some don’t have to wait for April to begin their “spring homebuying season”. It could start as soon as the last snow drops or melts in January; by then sellers are preparing their houses for visits from would-be buyers.
How about off-season?
The rush of the spring homebuying has some shelving their plans until fall or winter. Is it wise to buy a home during those months? Let’s compare:
- Less competition. Expect fewer houses for sale and fewer shoppers too. Those who are looking to buy during those months are serious buyers given the low inventory and the cold.
- More chances. With fewer competitors to outbid, off-season is a good time to strike. Sellers may be more open and willing to let go of the house at the price that is favorable to you.
Now for the spring homebuying tips
If you are all raring to join the excitement of the homebuying season for the first time this spring, keep these tips handy:
- Always shop with a budget. It’s easy to get charmed by a house that you want to spend more. But think of how much it will cost you per month to buy a home outside your price range. Think 20% to 30% of your monthly income that should be an ideal spending for a home.
- Always back your bid with financing. If you are not a cash buyer, a pre-approval letter from a lender is as good as having money to back your bid. You will be considered as a serious buyer, increasing your chances of winning the home. Getting pre-approved also sets you on a clearer, more streamlined path to homeownership.
- Always shop for the best rate. Prepare your credit score; it can lead you to better, lower rates. Several months leading to buying a home, you should pay your bills on time and your credit card balances paid off regularly. Don’t carry too much debt by buying appliances and other home furnishing until the mortgage loan closes. Also, avoid applying for too many credit lines but don’t close your old accounts either.
Justin McHood is a managing partner at Suited Connector and has been recognized by national media outlets as a financial expert for more than a decade.