Martocchia Realtors®'s Blog
It seems the way real estate trends go that everyone wants to buy a home at the same time. Buying a home during busy times has challenges. No matter why so many people are heading out to buy a house at a particular time of year, you may wonder if you should steer clear of the competition.
There are advantages to buying a home during more prominent seasons- namely that there is more inventory. You also will face plenty of roadblocks to buying during these times of the year.
Houses Look More Attractive In The Sunshine
The reason why so many people list during warmer months is that properties look more attractive at these times. It may be a great time for sellers in the spring and summer, but buyers do face more competition. You may find a home you love but end up being one of the multiple offers on the property. In the warmer months, you could be paying more for the same type of house that sold for less in the winter.
Buyers in the spring and summer are anxious. They have sat out the fall and winter waiting for the perfect house to come on the market.
The Spring And Summer Is A Great Time For Families To Relocate
It’s much easier to shop for a home with your family when the kids don’t have school, and there’s more freedom. If you do find the perfect home, you’ll have everyone moved in before the fall when school begins. Hopefully, the kids will have a few weeks to settle in and get used to their new surroundings before they start school.
Don’t let the pressure of time constraints lead you to a decision you’ll regret. Don’t buy a home only because it’s “good enough” and you feel the time crunch. There are always options, so be patient.
Houses Don’t Stick Around
One drawback to buying in the spring and summer is that no matter what your timeframe is, you’ll need to move fast on a house you love. If you want a specific home, chances are a few other buyers do as well. It can be stressful, but not moving quickly to buy a property can result in losing out on it. It seems like a catch 22. While you don’t want to make decisions you’ll regret, you need to think about an offer rather quickly to beat out the competition.
Money Can Be Tricky
Once spring hits, people may be feeling a bit more padded in their wallets due to tax returns and bill being paid off. Trying to make negotiations on a home amidst the stiff competition is next to impossible. Often, buyers will need to pay asking price for a property during busy times of the year.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’re upgrading to a larger house to fit your family’s needs, it’s vital to understand just how much house you can afford before you start shopping for homes.
When planning for your future home, there are two main things you need to figure out.
What is a smart amount to spend on a home for your budget
What are the key features in a home that will give you the most benefits for the cost
These two questions may seem simple, but there are quite a few factors that should go into determining each one.
So, in today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the process of determining what kind of house you can afford so you can make the best home buying decision for you and your family.
A smart home buying budget
To create an effective budget, you’ll need to gather some information and possibly create a spreadsheet with Excel (or a free alternative like Google Sheets).
On your spreadsheet, you’ll first want to add up all sources of income that your family has. This is the easy part for most people who only have one or two sources of income based on a salaried job.
Next, is the hard part--expenses. We can’t just use your current expenses to determine the new budget because we have to account for changes in several areas.
If you aren’t sure of the cost of living for the area you hope to move to, try plugging it into this cost of living comparison tool to see get a better idea of the cost of things like transportation, childcare, groceries, and more.
Likewise, it’s also a good idea to assume you’ll be paying more in utilities if you’re hoping to move into a home that is larger than your current home. Keep in mind, however, that different houses have different levels of energy-efficiency, so it’s a good idea to also ask the seller of the homes you’re interested in to determine what your costs might be.
Now, subtract your expenses from your income. The amount remaining should easily cover whatever mortgage payment you receive along with, ideally, 20% of your income going toward savings.
Deciding what you need in a home
The second part of determining how much house you can afford is to find out exactly what you’re looking for in a home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, the size of the backyard; all of these are questions that have a monetary value.
So, to really answer this question you’ll need a strong understanding of what you and your family’s goals are for at least the next 5-7 years, if not longer.
Once you have your long-term goals and a good understanding of your budget, you can start safely shopping for homes with a clearer idea of the type of home you’re looking for and just how much home you can afford.
When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to deal with a stubborn home seller. However, you may encounter a stubborn home seller, regardless of how well you prepare for your homebuying journey. And if you're not careful, a stubborn home seller may cause you to miss out on an opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.
Don't let a stubborn home seller get the best of you. Instead, use these tips to ensure you can handle negotiations with a stubborn home seller like a pro.
1. Don't Panic
If you are forced to deal with a stubborn home seller, there's no need to get discouraged. Conversely, consider the property seller's perspective, and you may be able to get the best results out of a tough situation.
Open the lines of communication with a home seller – you'll be glad you did. If you maintain open communication, you may be able to find out the root cause of a home seller's stubbornness and plan accordingly.
Also, don't panic if a home seller fails to communicate with you, and try to avoid assumptions at all costs. By doing so, you'll be able to remain calm, cool and collected and maintain your patience as you try to figure out the best way to acquire your dream house.
2. Be Prepared for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios
In the best-case scenario, a stubborn home seller will explain his or her demands. Then, you can negotiate with a home seller, find common ground with him or her and work toward finalizing a home purchase agreement.
On the other hand, it is important to understand the worst-case scenario as well.
In the worst-case scenario, you and a home seller may be unable to find common ground. And if this occurs, you should be prepared to walk away from a potential homebuying negotiation and restart your search for the perfect residence.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Are you unsure about how to deal with a stubborn home seller? There's no need to worry, especially if you consult with a real estate agent.
With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should be able to overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.
An expert real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. He or she will learn about the needs of a homebuyer and home seller and ensure both parties can achieve their ideal results.
Furthermore, an expert real estate agent can respond to any homebuying concerns and questions. This housing market professional can teach you about the ins and outs of purchasing a residence and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you simplify the homebuying process and ensure you can secure a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can get the support you need to deal with a stubborn home seller.
Buying a home represents a life-changing decision. As such, you'll want to look beyond the price of a residence as you search for your dream house.
Ultimately, there are many factors beyond price that you should consider as you pursue your ideal residence, including:
1. A Home's Location
For most homebuyers, a house's location is the number one factor when they explore the real estate market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Finding a home in a location that is convenient for you is priceless. And if you know how to conduct a comprehensive home search, you can quickly discover a high-quality home in a wonderful location.
As you prepare to kick off your home search, consider whether you'd like to live in a city or town. This will enable you to narrow your home search.
You also may want to consider homes that are located near work or school. By doing so, you can ensure that you won't have to travel too far to get to destinations that you frequently visit.
2. A Home's Condition
A home may look like a great investment at first, but its condition may have deteriorated over time. Thus, you'll want to take a close look at a house's condition before you finalize a home purchase.
Typically, a homebuyer will complete a property inspection after a home seller accepts an offer on a residence. This inspection will enable a homebuyer to perform an in-depth assessment of a residence and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. Then, a homebuyer can determine whether to move forward with a home acquisition.
If a property inspector discovers myriad issues that impact a home's condition, a homebuyer may want to reconsider his or her offer. At this point, a homebuyer can still walk away from a home purchase. Or, a homebuyer can ask the home seller to complete various home improvements as well.
On the other hand, a homebuyer who falls in love with a house may choose to proceed with a home purchase, regardless of the residence's condition. If you choose this option, however, it is important to consider the potential long-term ramifications of your decision.
3. Your Future
It is paramount for a homebuyer to find a house that he or she can enjoy for years to come. Therefore, a homebuyer should consider his or her future before finalizing a home purchase.
For example, if you plan to settle down and start a family, you may want to evaluate houses that are close to schools. Conversely, if you eventually want to work in the big city, you may want to consider homes that will make it easy to commute into the city day after day.
Don't forget to hire a real estate agent to help you during the homebuying journey too. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a broad range of top-notch houses that won't force you to break your budget.
The homebuying journey is exciting, particularly for an individual who is pursuing a residence for the first time. Ultimately, there are many questions that a buyer should consider before he or she searches for a house for the first time, and these include:
1. What is my "dream" home?
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the homebuying journey involves defining your dream residence. Because once you define your dream residence, you'll be able to narrow your house search and move closer to purchasing your first home.
Think about what you absolutely require in a new home. For example, if you want to own a house in a region where the weather is hot and humid year-round, you may require a central air conditioning system. Or, if you want to enjoy a fast, easy commute to work, you may want to pursue residences close to your office.
2. How much can I afford to spend on a house?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. Because if you have a mortgage in hand when you begin your house search, you may be able to gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.
To obtain a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.
In addition, don't hesitate to get expert insights into assorted mortgage options. The longer you wait to get pre-approved for a mortgage, the longer you may need to wait to kick off your home search. Thus, you risk missing out on a potential dream house if you fail to get your home financing in order.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
Hiring a real estate agent is a must, especially if you plan to embark on the homebuying journey for the first time. In fact, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will offer comprehensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she first will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent then will keep you up to date about houses that match your criteria and set up home showings. And when you find a home that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf.
Let's not forget about the advice that a real estate agent will provide, either. A real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with you and will provide feedback throughout the homebuying journey. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your first house – employ a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support as you move along the homebuying journey.