Who doesn’t love spring? It’s the season of new life and renewal and when it comes to the residential property market, it’s the busiest time of the year. After the cold winter months when homebuyers (and sellers) go into hibernation, spring’s arrival brings the market alive as the weather warms up and the flowers start to bloom.
Keep the following tips in mind for successful house hunting in spring.
- Get in first
Sign up for email alerts on real estate websites so that you’re the first to be notified about new properties on the market.
Contact real estate agents in the area you’re looking to buy in and talk to them about the type of home you’re after. If they know you’re serious, they are likely to contact you even before a property hits the internet while they wait for photos to be taken and advertising material to be finalised.
- Check the details
Homes look and feel their best in spring, so stay alert for any issues that might arise in summer or winter. Check west-facing rooms or decks that might cop the summer heat.
If there’s already air conditioning, is it effective? Arrange to visit in the afternoon as inspections are likely to be set for times when hot rooms are at their coolest. Also look for signs of mould or peeling paint as this may indicate a home that doesn’t handle the cold season well.
- Get pre-approval on your home loan
Make sure you’ve got all your paperwork in order when you start looking. The last thing you want is to miss out on the home of your dreams because another buyer had pre-approval on their home loan and you didn’t.
Understand all the costs involved with buying a home (and selling, if applicable) and give your loan provider all the necessary documents so you can act swiftly once you’ve found the right home for you.
- Don’t jump the gun
Packed open houses and streets lined with other house hunters’ cars is enough to put you in a bit of a frenzy. Take a deep breath, bring your checklist and walk through the home like there is nobody else there (without knocking anyone over of course).
A home is the biggest purchase you’re ever likely to make so you want to do it in a calm and considered state of mind. You don’t want to end up buying a house that isn’t quite right for you because you’re afraid you might miss out.
Conversely, if you do find the right home, chances are it’s right for someone else too. If you decide to make an offer make it a good one and don’t underbid.
- Take a break
If it’s all getting too much with every weekend and open house feeling like you’re going into battle, take a breather.
Maybe it’s time to refocus on that checklist and only look at houses that meet your criteria. If you’ve reached this stage, chances are you’ve looked at a lot of homes and done enough research to know the market. There’s no need to attend every open house in the area any more.
Finally, get a good night’s sleep and grab a strong coffee on the way to that first Saturday morning open house.