As the weather gets warmer and school comes to a close, the real estate market also heats up. If you’re planning on buying a home, you’ll likely find more properties on the market during the summer months. However, increased competition could present challenges on the path to landing the home of your dreams.
To get an edge against other bidders and find a house that you’ll love for many years to come, Sharon Steele, an award winning sales professional affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, lends her expertise for home buying in a hot market.
Get pre-approved financing
In a competitive real estate market, prepare yourself with pre-approved financing. Not only will your mortgage broker tell you what you can afford, if you are pre-approved, you will have better negotiating power when purchasing a property.
Furthermore, when you know exactly what you can afford, you are more apt to stick within your budget and not be carried away during bidding wars. Remember, it’s important to understand the total monthly costs of home ownership. Beyond the mortgage premiums, factor in utilities, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs. Being “house poor” is never a good idea.
Look for potential
If you’re looking at purchasing a home that needs a little elbow grease, make sure you invest in a design that is going to withstand the test of time and be appealing for years to come. This rings true most of all when choosing the right appliances; stainless steel has been highly desirable for decades and continues to be a mainstay in a timeless kitchen design.
As long as the house has a good structure, the space you need, and meets your immediate must haves, you can add special elements over time to make it your dream home.
Are you planning to grow your family in the near future? Then you may want to shop for a larger house in need of some work rather than that completely updated two-bed bungalow; it may not meet your needs in the next five years.
Are you looking to downsize? It might make sense to consider a ranch home before your knees start to hurt and you dread climbing stairs. Purchasing a home will be one of your largest investments; make sure your decision matches your future lifestyle expectations rather than just the needs of the present moment.
Do research in advance
Do you need easy access to the commuter rail and bus lines? Where will your children attend school? Is the area safe? Use websites like Realtor.com and ColdwellBanker.com to hone in on neighborhoods that best suit you and your family. These websites have area maps and direct links to information about school systems, crime rates, area amenities, and lists of local restaurants and shopping areas. View side-by-side community comparisons for easy evaluation. Put in your search parameters and sign-up to receive property alerts on new homes that enter the market or when prices change in your desired neighborhood.
A competitive market can make the home buying process more stressful, but these expert tips will keep you focused as you prepare to move into your new home.