3 Tips for Buying a House in the Summer

We are in the heart of summer and the real estate marketing is booming here in Hampton Roads.  Here are three tips to remember when you are buying your home in the summer. 

Tip #1:  Be Ready to Close

If there’s one rule to the real estate seasonality of summer homebuying, it’s that there’s “little time for blinking.” The ability to take quick, decisive action is vital in any homebuying environment, and this is doubly true during the summer months.

This means doing the following:

  • Be prepared to make offers quickly: Know your budget and what you’re comfortable offering before you get into the nuts-and-bolts of looking for a home.
  • Don’t expect a lengthy negotiation: With low inventories and added competition, it’s likely you’ll get push-back on a request to the the seller to lower the price.
  • Know your wish list: Are there features you have to have in a property? Is there a location (or two) that are deal-breakers in your home search? Know ahead of time what your homebuying priorities are so you can churn out those offers quicker than the competition.
  • Begin with the end in mind: Do you want to move in before the kids start school in late August? Do you want to enjoy your first Labor Day barbecue in your new home? Well, it may take months to finalize a home purchase, so start looking earlier than anticipated.

Tip #2:  Don’t Miss the Warning Signs

Summer is a pleasant time to look for a home, but the warm, dry weather can mask serious problems under the “hood” of your potential property acquisitions.

For one, summer weather can hide moisture problems that may exist in a home. This can be countered by examining doors and window frames to ensure there’s no warping, swelling or large gaps that let unwanted moisture and air into the property.

Another area to look at are walls and ceiling. Check for watermarks and don’t forget to look for hints of mold or mildew that are warning signs there may be something more serious going on in the house.

This whole cursory examination shouldn’t be relegated solely to the interior of the property. Be sure to walk around the outside of the home; discolored patches of grass — surrounded by green — can indicate issues that need to be addressed. Though most homebuyers won’t do this, stooping down and taking in a quick whiff underneath the house will often tell you more about a property than an open-house info sheet.

Most of these warning signs should be noticed during a thorough home inspection. (Please, oh please, don’t skip the home inspection!) Speed is a crucial part of your homebuying repertoire, and the more time and energy you spend on properties that won’t end up satisfying you — or have serious structural issues — is time and energy that could have been spent on something far more to your liking.

Tip #3:  Make the math work

Buying a home in summer is not like an algebra equation, where (x + y) always equals (z). Buying real estate in summer is more of a calculus operation, making sure the different variables — such as location, price, budget and timeline — all coalesce into a result that fits your need.

If you’re able to focus on that, and not get bogged down in the stress of homebuying in summer, you might find outpacing the competition for summer inventory easier than you think.

As always, if you are looking to buy or sell, I am your girl!