Spring has long been considered the busiest homebuying season of the year. Summer is often thought of as the exact opposite. But if you struck out buying a home during the spring, don't despair. This summer can still be the perfect time to land a house before mortgage rates go up again.
Here are seven ways to land your dream home this summer:
No. 1: Scour old listings
While the real estate market traditionally peaks in the spring, not every seller gets a buyer by Memorial Day. Summer is a great time to look at homes that have been on the market for 50 or 60 days. The sellers may be finally ready to come down on price, says Alex Coon, the Boston area market manager for Redfin, a nationwide company of real estate agents.
"After about two months on the market, sellers will start to think about dropping their price." With a little luck, says Coon, you can get there before a price reduction goes public.
No. 2: Summer diamonds in the rough
There are some real bargains to be had during the summer, but first you have to find them. These "diamonds" can include homes that didn't sell in the spring because they were overpriced or need work. You'll need the vision to look past the worn out kitchen or ugly carpet, says Rona Fischman, owner of 4 Buyers Real Estate in Somerville, Massachusetts. Always opt for the house in bad shape over the one in a poor location, she says. "Condition is variable. Location is forever."
That said, you should avoid homes that show serious signs of abuse, including holes in the wall, says Chris Whitehead, broker/owner of HomeBuyer Experts in Akron, Ohio.
The opposite is also true, says Whitehead. Something as simple as scuffed cabinetry can say a lot about the overall condition of the home. "If they are not taking care of the home's visuals, what else are they not taking care of beneath the surface?"
No. 3: Go house hunting when others aren't
Summer is a slow season because most of us are preoccupied with vacations and BBQs. The last two weeks of July and the first half of August "can be a really good time to look and not be in such a competitive situation," says Coon.
No. 4: Cruise the neighborhood
You are not just buying a house, you're buying into a community as well. And there's no better time to find out what a neighborhood is really like than during the summer months.
"Go wander around," Coon says. "Get a feel for the area. You have a real decent chance of meeting someone in the neighborhood."
No. 5: More time with your agent
"House hunting gets more civilized" in the summer, Fischman says. "Buyers benefit from the slowdown. As an agent, I have more time on the weekends because there will be fewer new listings that could be subject to fast sales."
No. 6: Summertime is bargain time
Summer may be the last chance for some sellers to cut a deal before they pull their house off the market or even before they go on vacation. "I hear that a lot in the summer," says Fischman. "Sellers want to get their house sold. They want to get the offer and go away for a week."
No. 7: Offer a summer temptation
Some sellers are reluctant to list their homes because they are fearful that they won't be able to find a new place to buy due to the limited inventory, says Coon. And it may very well be a hassle your sellers are reluctant to deal with in the middle of the summer, he notes.
If you own a vacation home or time share, put it to good use. Offer a free summer vacation to your sellers -- it could be a great incentive during the hot days of July and August and it will give your sellers more time to think through their own plans.
"What we are really talking about is being open or creative," Coon says. If you don't have a vacation home to offer, don't worry. If feasible, you could let your seller stay on in their home at a low or nominal rent for a couple months after the deal closes, suggests Coon. Or, if you are a buyer who is currently renting, offer up your apartment as an alternative, he says.
Home & AutoGoing in with friends to buy a vacation home will save you on the mortgage and expenses. But if there's conflict, it could end up costing your more.
Home & AutoUnderstand what makes London such a desirable place to live and why it is so expensive. Learn about the top five most expensive neighborhoods in London.
Home & AutoFinancial experts will argue that there’s no problem with allocating 50% of your net income to housing, but that barely leaves enough money for living comfortably. Reducing housing expenses to ...
Investing BasicsThe tiny house movement throws all assumptions about household budgeting and mortgage management out the window, and creates new market segments too.
InvestingWhile saving up for a down payment, where should you keep your money. A bank? The stock market? It all depends on your timeline.
Home & AutoUnderstand why Manhattan has some of the priciest residential real estate in the world. Learn about the top four most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Home & AutoUnderstand the layout of the greater Los Angeles area and what is driving up home values. Learn about the top eight most expensive places to live in LA.
Home & AutoMany remodeling projects sound good in theory, but don’t recoup their costs when it’s time to sell the house.
Home & AutoBoost your new home's value and curb appeal with smart and cost-effective landscaping tips.
Credit & LoansA special type of FHA-insured reverse mortgage called the HECM for Purchase lets seniors use a reverse mortgage to buy a home.
You can borrow from your annuity to put a down payment on a house, but be prepared to pay an assortment of fees and penalties. ... Read Full Answer >>
Once you reach 59.5, you can use the funds in your 401(k) retirement savings account to buy a house or any other expense ... Read Full Answer >>
Under the standard regulations for 401(k) retirement savings plans, you may elect to withdraw funds from your 401(k) for ... Read Full Answer >>
Anyone who has ever tried to purchase or sell a home has probably heard a lot about the property's fair market value, or ... Read Full Answer >>
The American Dream at its core is the belief that every generation should enjoy greater prosperity than the generation before ... Read Full Answer >>
As soon as an agent or broker accepts an earnest money deposit, he becomes an escrow agent. This means that, in most cases, ... Read Full Answer >>