When to buy a house is almost as important as where you buy a house. April through August tend to be the busiest months for home buying, so it’s important to prepare for the competition whether you’re a first-time or repeat buyer. Here are our tips for spring home buying.
- Get pre-approved for a home loan: Getting pre-approved by a local lender can significantly help a home buyer stand out from the competition. It not only shows the listing agent and seller that you are serious about buying the property, but also that your offer will not fall through due to lack of financing. It’s particularly beneficial for first-time buyers, as it can reveal any potential problems with your credit. Learn more about the benefits of pre-approval here.
- Set a budget: Setting a budget includes knowing what you have, what you can borrow, and additional costs involved in ownership. After getting pre-approved to verify the amount you are able to borrow, you must take into account costs like taxes, utilities, and insurance. All of these things come together to determine a final budget you can comfortable afford to ultimately avoid mortgage stress. Then, you must stick to this budget. In today’s tight housing market, bidding wars could drive up the home price. If the asking price then surpasses your budget, be ready to walk away.
- Hire an experienced agent: With more homebuyers in the market, hiring an experienced real estate agent is vital to helping you stand out from the competition. You see, many buyers think agents are only useful for sellers, but this simply isn’t true. With an agent assisting you through the home buying process, you will have a better understanding of housing inventory and the necessary resources to make a tempting offer to the home seller.
- Don’t wait to make your best offer: When a location has low inventory, it’s particularly important to make your best offer your first offer. Don’t wait to see if the home sellers will lower their price or go for anything below asking price. There will likely be several other buyers looking at the home, so you want to get it off the market with a good offer as soon as possible.
- Separate wants from needs before beginning your search: Differentiating a want from a need is all about realizing what home elements you can compromise. Certain things you believe you want are not necessary immediately. Hardwood floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances are all wants that can be added later; however, things like safe neighborhoods, school districts, and yard size are all things that typically qualify as a need.
Overall, it’s important to prepare for the competition well in advance if you’re looking to buy this spring. For more information about buying a home, or to learn more about home financing in general, contact one of our mortgage specialists today.