8 Tips & Tricks for Buying a Home During the Summer

Street view of modern home community Kerry Ranch in Santa Rosa

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You know when the time is right for home buying. Your life and finances will finally align, so you browse the housing markets and dream about your move-in moment. For those saving up during this wild ride since the pandemic, this summer might be the first time the housing market has looked as ready for you as you are for it.

Of course, brushing up on a few things and aligning your plans before you bid on local properties is essential. To help out, here is a helpful set of our best tips and tricks for buying a house during the summer.

1) Know Your Budget for Every Stage of the Process

This is what a typical home-buying process looks like:

  • Escrow
  • Downpayment
  • Monthly Mortgage
  • Monthly Taxes & Bills
  • Closing Fees
  • Moving In

First, know your expenses. Buying a home isn’t just about the downpayment or the mortgage payments. You are entering an entirely new financial landscape. Buying a house starts with escrow, also known as earnest money or up-front payment to the seller. This basically “books” your bid. Then there’s the downpayment, closing fees, and the move-in cost. After that, you must ensure your mortgage and bills all fit neatly into your current income structure.

So the wise first step is to do the math and determine precisely how much house you can afford, considering all the financial stages of the process.

2) Get Your Mortgage Pre-approved

The next step is to apply for a mortgage at the upper limit of your price range and get pre-approval. It means that a bank has thoroughly checked out your finances and confirmed that they would grant you a mortgage of the right size whenever you are ready to bid on a house. Mortgage pre-approval typically lasts around 90 days, and you can re-up it if your house hunt takes longer.

3) Partner With a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a valuable partner in finding and closing the right house. Interview several agents in the area where you want to buy and find someone who communicates well and understands your vision.

Then work together to define the kind of house and location you want and any special terms you might need, like a specific move-in schedule or handicap readiness.

4) Take Live and Virtual Tours To Determine What You Want

The best way to get a clear vision of the kind of house you want and the features you like or dislike are to take many different home tours. Virtual tours make this even easier because you don’t have to schedule or travel. Look at dozens of homes in the area and get a feel for what your dream home in your price range could genuinely be. Then convey this to your real estate agent and house-hunt together.

5) Consider New Constructions

Don’t limit yourself to your idea of what home buying looks like. The housing market is in a unique place right now, and the best options are only sometimes in the center. Consider new-construction homes and neighborhoods where materials are brand new. Add to that where neighborhood standards are eco-friendly and still need inflated values. You can also consider older houses and fixer-uppers with good bones if you’re handy and ambitious.

6) Never Skip Due Diligence

Of course, whether the home is brand new or old and established, always do your inspections. Ensure your contract includes an inspection contingency (i.e., if you discover problems, you can back out or ask the seller to fix it first), and always conduct a full sweep of inspections before home buying. It will cost a little more, but any real problems with your first home purchase are worth avoiding.

Also, consider the neighborhood in every season. For example, your street may become busier in the fall if your home is near a school.

7) Act Fast on Homes You Truly Love, or Wait for Late-season Deals

Summer is always the hot home-buying season, so there are two strategies for closing. The first is to close fast before other buyers swoop on a home you love. If the summer is ending and you have yet to find the perfect home, wait until late summer or early fall when prices drop and snag a late-season deal.

8) Negotiate Like a Pro

Lastly, work with your real estate agent to negotiate in your favor. If the inspection finds flaws or the seller wants extra time (perhaps to buy their next home), bargain for lower prices or early repairs. The best negotiations have some win-win for everybody while leaving you in a better position than a boilerplate contract would have.

Happy House Hunting

Now that you’ve brushed up on your summer home-buying tips, it’s time to dive into the market. Everyone deserves to find their dream home, and the summer is the best time of year to explore the largest number of homes on the market. Happy house hunting from W Marketing New Homes!

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