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The spring market is traditionally a busy season for real estate. If you plan on buying in the spring, you probably know you will be one of many potential buyers exploring the market. Everyone hopes to stand out and be the lucky person that sellers notice. How can you do that with the sheer volume of buyers out there? There’s no way to guarantee you will own a home within a week of entering the market, but there are a couple tips to help you along the way. Here are some ways to put yourself in the best possible position to buy this spring.
#1 Budget wisely
Housing prices are rising each month. With that in mind, buying in the spring means you will need a thorough understanding of your budget, both in terms of landing on a budget that is realistic for you and for this market, and finding a home that suits it. First, you need to do a deep dive into your finances to see how much you can afford to buy in this market. Look at your income, debts, and savings to see what your budget should be. Next, you need to see if there are properties that fit your budget. If not, you will either need to delay your house hunt or change the location you’re searching in. We don’t recommend buying a home over your budget. This creates the risk of defaulting on your mortgage, becoming house poor, and overall financial stress.
#2 Compare regions
You will need to do a lot of research before buying in the spring market. One of the key things that can be very revealing is comparing housing prices across different regions. Depending on your budget and preferences, you may not be sure where you want to buy a home in yet. This is where this form of market research is super useful. You can use sites like realtor.ca to examine housing prices across different regions and the property types certain budgets will fetch. We recommend this research so you have a full picture of housing prices in the province, and can find the region most suitable for you. You don’t have to do this work all alone, either! Your real estate agent will help you narrow down appropriate regions and neighbourhoods based on your needs.
#3 Make yourself attractive to sellers
Finding the home you want is only part of the battle. You then need the sellers to accept your offer. Is there anything you can do to give yourself a potential edge over other buyers? Sellers want an easy experience, and for the buyer to provide as few obstacles as possible while getting the sale price they desire. First, be sure you have your pre-approval in place. This shows sellers you are a serious buyer, and that you already have contact with a potential lender and you know how big of a mortgage you could potentially afford. Also make sure you use a real estate agent. Most sellers will pass over someone trying to buy without an agent when there are other buyers with mortgage professionals on their side to work with.
Finally, be clever with your offer and conditions. Your agent will help you determine the best offer price, and it’s best to limit the conditions to make for an easy experience. For example, try to avoid conditions that require the sale of your current home before buying this home, or demanding small fixes in the home at the seller’s expense. These may seem like minor things, but a seller is more likely to choose a buyer without these hurdles.
#4 Get ready for competition
Spring is often one of the busiest times of the year for real estate. For whatever reason, buyers and sellers come out of the woods in the spring to list and purchase homes. Something about the warmer weather and more attractive atmosphere motivates people to get into the market. With that in mind, if you plan to buy in the spring market, you need to prepare yourself for a competitive housing hunt. You will be dealing with several other buyers, and with low housing supply persisting, it will be challenging finding a home. We don’t say this to scare you, but to prepare you for the reality of today’s real estate market! Low interest rates — even with recent rate increases, they are still low — continue to drive people into the market, and lack of supply is contributing to sharp price increases and competition.
#5 Let a broker guide you
Finally, let a broker be part of your journey of buying in the spring market. Brokers are so much more than the middle person between you and a lender. We can provide you with advice on your budget and the products you should expect to be offered, as well as how these products work and which ones will be best for you. Getting this advice from an unbiased broker will be most useful so you can get a clear picture of the market. Plus, brokers can connect you with the best lenders for your needs, providing the most direct route to your best mortgage options. Brokers work with your best interests in mind!
Buying in the spring market is going to be a fast-paced experience. You will be dealing with high prices, several other buyers, and low inventory. You must be prepared for the competition you will face, as well as the potential stress. With that in mind, we recommend getting in touch with a mortgage professional now to help you begin your journey. We can give you a headstart to hit the ground running and find a house to call home this season.
If you have questions about buying a home, give us a call at Centum Home Lenders! You can reach us at 506-854-6847, or get in touch with us here.