The Spring Home Buying Season is the time of year that has home buyers and home sellers alike excited!
For buyers, it’s a great time to purchase a home because the school year is coming to an end and residents have all summer to move before it’s back in session. For sellers, it’s a great chance to reach a lot of home buyers as they navigate the market searching for their dream home.
In preparation for the spring home buying season, we wanted to share with you some tips on how you can shop smart as a home buyer.
4 Home Buying Season Tips
Don’t just rely on the Internet for your home searches.
While you can certainly find a treasure trove of information on the Internet, it’s not the only way to find your dream home. In addition to searching real estate websites, you might consider calling your real estate agent and also getting out and canvassing homes for sale the old fashioned way.
After all, Internet pictures and listing information only tell part of the story. For full context, you need to view the home in person. And don’t hesitate, either! This year’s Spring home buying season is expected to be particularly competitive and so you want to make sure you get to that home before other buyers do.
Learn about current market values and trend.
Obviously, every market is going to be slightly different and so it behooves you to learn about our local housing markets specific trends.
Let’s consider the recent Case-Shiller 2014 home price index, which shows you how much of a difference there can be among major markets. In that report, San Francisco saw the largest annual regional gain at 9.3 percent. Meanwhile, other major markets like New York, Chicago and Washington DC saw less than 2 percent. Even so, that level of increase can decrease the loan amount you can obtain and make your home search more difficult
A qualified and experienced agent can talk with you about current trends and how they impact you during the 2015 home buying season
Lock in your mortgage as soon as possible
These near-historic lows won’t be around forever. Therefore, you need to make loan application before looking at any homes to establish a price range. Loan pre-approval strengthens your position when you make an offer on a specific property. Then, make sure you get a good mortgage rate as soon as you are under contract for a home. By doing so, you ensure that your monthly mortgage will be reasonable for you. And in some cases, you may qualify for a larger or more expensive home thanks to low mortgage rates.
Here’s another reason to get a mortgage now: In January, the Federal Housing Authority (which backs loans for borrowers who make modest down payments), lowered the annual insurance premium it requires from 1.35 percent of a home loan to just 0.85 percent. All told, the Housing Department estimates that will save FHA homeowners roughly $900 a year.
Keep “Sweeten-the-Deals” Strategies in Your Back Pocket.
This is going to be a competitive spring home buying season. In other words, you may face a bidding war. To prepare, consider ways that you can sway the seller in your favor.
- Consider flexibility in a settlement date that would be more attractive to the seller
- Offering list price will enable the seller to say, “we got our price. However, do not waive the appraisal process, unless you can and are willing to pay cash above the appraisal. The maximum you can borrow is based on the appraised value, not the purchase price
- Reducing or eliminating a request for closing cost assistance by the seller will increase the seller’s net price
We Are Your #1 Resource For Home Buying Service
We hope you found the above information helpful as a prospective home buyer. Please make sure to check back here soon for even more tips that will help you as you navigate the Spring home buying season.
The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket
Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS
If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you