March 12 2015

Survival Guide to the Home Buying Season – 5 Tips for Your Dream Home Hunt

Survival Guide to the Home Buying Season

Signs of spring are starting to arise; buds on the trees are sprouting, birds are singing…. and “For Sale” signs are starting to pop up on lawns across the country. Before you know it, house hunters will crowd the streets and the bidding wars will begin as the weather and home buying season heats up.

Here are 5 tips to help you survive the hunt for your dream home this spring.

Your Dream Home Hunt Tip #1: Know Your Market
Knowing your local housing market can save you a costly mistake. Perhaps there is a high demand for townhomes in your market or nearby new home communities are placing a premium price over resale homes. The quicker you know the value of the local housing market, the quicker you can make the smart home buying purchase.

Your Dream Home Hunt Tip #2: Have Your Laptop Charged and Your Car Gassed Up

A great place to start and narrow down your search for a new home is online; about 90% of home buyers began their home buying process on the Internet. Online directories are a quick way to find a home in the location you want, with the right size and the price range you are searching for. This saves you time and money instead of driving to several communities that may be out of your price range or don’t offer a floor plan that fits your needs.

Once you narrow done your search, it’s time to enjoy the warm weather as you visit each property. Make sure and hit the road running when you find a home that is the perfect fit. They don’t call it a home buying season for nothing. Inventory goes quickly during the warmer months and you will not want to miss out on placing a bid on your dream home.

Your Dream Home Hunt Tip #3: Take Advantage of the Low Mortgage Rates NOW!!!!
We may never see mortgage rates this low during a home buying season EVER again. In fact, rates are so low that in many neighborhoods, monthly mortgage payments are lower than rent! The longer you wait to purchase that dream home the higher the chances interest rates will rise and along with your mortgage payment. It has been predicted that we should see rates remaining low through spring.

Spring home buyers will also benefit from the Federal Housing Authority new lowered annual insurance premium that went from 1.35% to .85% of a home loan for those who make a low down payment. This should save home owners on average of $900 a year.

Your Dream Home Hunt Tip #4: Your Dream Home needs a Dream Team
First things first: make sure you have completed the mortgage application and know the amount you are prequalified for before you even start to shop. Once this is done and you found a home that was built for you, make sure you have a professional home buying team in your corner to avoid those costly bidding wars we see during this season. You will need a realtor, lender and inspector all ready and at your disposal for when that times comes to place a bid on your dream home.

Your Dream Home Hunt Tip #5: Winning the Bidding War
Ok, you did your research on the local housing market, you narrowed down your home search online, your dream team is ready and at your side and you finally found the home of your dreams up for sale… but now you are stuck in a bidding war with another home buyer. Here are some ways to help you win that war, without bidding more than you can afford.

One bidding war strategy that does not affect your pockets is a contingency clause. Are you willing to forego any contingencies in the terms of the contract, like home inspection or appraisal contingencies? Warning though; forgoing any of these is a risk to the home buyer. For a safer route, you can always add an escalation clause to the offer. An escalation clause is a set amount you are willing to pay over any other bid on the same home. Say you add an escalation clause of $1,000. If another home buyer places a bid for $200,000, your bid will automatically be $201,000.

There are little ways you can win over the seller as well. See if the seller has a close date they are aiming for and let them know you will make that deadline.

Now you are ready to swing into spring’s home buying season and find your dream home!

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