Everything goes through upheaval in the Spring. That’s an old saying describing farming and gardening, but it holds true for new homebuyers, too.
Spring is when the whole world wakes up from a winter nap and people start to feel like they need to put down new roots. Depending on where you live, the home-buying season might even start earlier, but for many, spring is the perfect time to start house hunting.
But there are some things to know before jumping in. Let’s break it down.
Homes show better after winter ends.
House hunting in winter is tough. The days are shorter, the weather’s not exactly inviting and it’s hard to get a sense of what a place really looks like when everything’s brown and bare outside. By spring, open houses suddenly become a breath of fresh air! Gardens are planted, the grass is green and sunshine pours in through the windows, making everything look brighter and more inviting.
Of course, you’ve got to be careful: some houses can look a lot better in the springtime, so make sure you’re not getting fooled by all the pretty flowers. Still, it’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities when the world around you is coming back to life!
More inventory means more competition.
Sellers who may have been sitting out the less active winter selling season are pumped to sell their homes once the weather warms up. So, real estate listings tend to explode in springtime.
While there are definitely a lot more homes to choose from, there are a ton more buyers looking at those homes. People have shaken off the winter blues and are ready to start fresh with a new home. But more activity means more demand, and sellers may have priced their homes slightly higher than they would during winter.
You might feel flush with cash…
By April, many people feel like they have more cash to spend. With holiday expenses well in the rearview mirror and school-related costs winding down, your wallet may be looking a little healthier than it has in a while.
Plus, if you’re lucky, you might even have received a nice tax return to beef up your down payment, cover closing costs or hire a moving company. So if you’re feeling financially secure and ready to take the plunge, spring might just be the perfect time to start house hunting!
…but negotiating can be a challenge.
While it’s true that springtime isn’t typically the season for bargains in the real estate market, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about house hunting during this time of year. For one, the housing market is generally more active, which means you’ll have a greater selection of homes to choose from.
The competition may be stiff, and bidding wars are still a factor. But, that can also work in your favor, especially if you’ve been preapproved before you start househunting.
Looking for new construction?
If you’re considering buying a new construction home, springtime can actually be a great time to start your search. While northern states may have fewer new houses on the market due to slower construction during the winter, southern states with warmer climates often have a surplus of new homes available. That’s because northern builders often head south to stay busy over the winter. So, down south, you may have your pick of new construction. Up north, you may have more competition for something brand-new.
The kids will be out of school soon.
Springtime is an excellent time to buy a home if you have kids in school. That’s because the timing allows you to move into your new home and settle in before the start of school in the fall. But keep in mind that the home-buying process can take 60 to 90 days to close, so start your search in April or May and aim to be in contract by July or August.
And don’t let the pressure of finding a home in the right school district push you into settling for less than what you want. Remember, you’ll be living in your new home for a while, so take your time to make the right decision.
What about moving over the summer?
Nobody wants the stress of packing and moving during the school year, which is why so many people start the homebuying process in the Spring. And with the kids out of school for summer break, they can help with the move and have more time to adjust to their new surroundings before the new school year begins.
The longer days in the summer also provide more daylight hours to work with, which means you can start and finish your move earlier and have more time to settle into your new home. Plus, since it’s peak moving season, moving companies are more competitive and may offer better deals on moving expenses.
Forget the seasons, buy when it’s right for you!
The best time to buy ultimately depends on your personal circumstances, like your financial situation, family makeup and lifestyle needs. Do your research and find a real estate agent who can help you make an informed decision.
And to make sure you can act quickly when you find that perfect home, you’ll want to be pre-approved before you begin house hunting. This way, you’ll know exactly what you can afford, and keep from falling in love with properties out of your price range!
If you’re a prospective homebuyer with questions about home financing, please contact one of our local loan officers to get started.