Image courtesy of Flickr, David Amsler
You may not realize it, but with less competition, increased buyer power, and sunnier days, summer can be an ideal time to find your dream home.
Buying a home is an important decision, and for many people, it is the largest investment they'll make. Many people think that the best time to look for a new home is in the spring. It is true that during the spring, new properties become active and the market gets flooded, however, along with the influx of listings comes heavy competition and the added stress of bidding wars.
You may not realize it, but with less competition, increased buyer power, and sunnier days, summer can be an ideal time to find your dream home. If you're a prospective homebuyer, and still not convinced, consider the following benefits of purchasing a home this summer:
Summer has proven to be a slow time for the real estate market. Family vacations, children on summer break, and active social schedules usually take precedence over searching for a home. Since other homebuyers are typically looking during the spring and fall months, you'll have less competition as you search for a home during the summer. With fewer competition, you can enjoy less bidding wars and more options to choose from after the early spring rush.
According to the National Association of Realtors, inventory in the US is actually 15% greater in the summer months than in the colder months. If you have a detailed wish list, searching for what you want in a home will be easier in the summer than in the winter because you'll have more options.
During the spring, the market becomes heavily saturated, but by the time summer rolls around, sellers are looking to unload their homes quickly because they feel like they have missed the market. This provides an excellent opportunity for homebuyers to get a deal as sellers are more likely to negotiate price.
Related: How Much House Can I Afford?
There's no reason to fear purchasing a home that's been on the market for a few months. "On the Internet you can see when a home was listed. In the summer you know the only reason something is still on the market is that it was overpriced," Barbara Corcoran, owner and chairman of the Corcoran Group, explains." Even if the property needs a little TLC, you can use the money that you saved and put it towards remodeling costs.
If you have school-aged children, the summer is the perfect time to purchase a home.
First, it makes changing school districts easier. Headaches can easily occur for both parents and children if you need to move mid-school year. "Moving to a new state or community can be stressful for your children," says realtor Leslie Clarke. "Not only will your little ones have more time to adjust to their new house, but they will also have a better chance of making new friends before classes begin at their new school."
Second, it gives you an opportunity to involve your children in the process. You can show them the neighborhood and what their new room would look like to make the process exciting, not scary.
With the nicer weather and longer hours of daylight, it's easier to move in the summer than it is in the winter. Renting a truck and having to deal with unpacking during a snow-storm can be a nightmare. You'll be much happier that you made the move during the sunny summer, rather than a cold, dark winter day.
Looking for a fixer upper or excited to spruce up the exterior of your home? When you move, it can be exciting, albeit overwhelming, to manage all of the home improvement tasks on your to-do list. This can include many necessary exterior home maintenance tasks such as cleaning the gutters, trimming hedges, planting flowers, and organizing the garage. Summer offers favorable weather conditions and more hours of daylight, so you can complete the projects that need to be done before the winter hits.
Homes often look their best in the summer, making it a great time to explore potential neighborhoods and active listings. "With lush grass and blooming flowers, most properties look their best in summer. People will be out and about, and you can get a sense of the community as a whole," explains Jennifer Noonan of Improvement Center.
Imagine waiting until winter and having to view a home under a mountain of snow and ice. This can make it extremely difficult to envision what the landscaping will look like. Homeowners will put their best foot forward during the summer months tending to their landscaping and sprucing up their home. Not only will you be able to see what your potential home looks like, but you can see how well neighbors take care of their property, too.
The number one complaint that homeowners have is not actually with their home, but with their neighbors. During the summer, many homeowners enjoy being outside tending to their property and socializing, so there is the possibility that you can meet your potential neighbors before committing to a home or specific neighborhood. This gives you an opportunity to ask potential neighbors questions about the community, school district, etc.
Additionally, more activity during the summer months will allow you to imagine what life would be like in the neighborhood. For example, are kids playing outside; are families gathering at a barbeque; or is it a quieter, older community? These types of observations can help you make your important decision.
It is important to note that there are some exceptions to the rules that we have listed. Weather-friendly markets aren't as affected by seasons, and neither are up-and-coming retirement communities. Retiree and resort areas such as Florida, Colorado, California, will not follow traditional seasonal sales. However, if you are anywhere else in the United States, you can enjoy less competition, increased bargaining power, and an easier transition when purchasing a home in the summer.
To help you begin your search, check out the latest mortgage rates. Good luck in your search this summer and happy house hunting!
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