Mortgage Tips for Summertime Moves
Buying a house during the summer can be hectic. Summertime is high season for moving, as families scramble to sandwich their moves between school years and military personnel turn over to new assignments. Moving company schedules will be booked further out, prices will be higher, and your ability to roll with last-minute changes may be curtailed.
The summertime crunch may affect the housing market you’re moving into as well. If you’re buying a house in the summer, use these tips to get time on your side and stay ahead of the crowds.
Summertime house buying advice
Get help. Summertime’s no time to try your own hand at running a home search in a new-to-you city. Competition is stiffest during the summer, and the market may be turning over more quickly than usual. Get help from a real estate agent who knows the local market and can help you move quickly when you find the right house.
Multitask. What if you have to sell your current home and buy a new house at the same time? Follow our advice on how to manage a simultaneous home sale and purchase. Consider adding a house sale contingency clause to your contract, which allows you to back out of a contract if you can’t sell your current home in time to make the deal.
Rethink the definition of an early start. Spring starts in January in the real estate world, when early birds are already beginning to plan their summertime moves. If you know you’re going to be moving, it wouldn’t be too early to start on your moving and mortgage to-do list soon after New Year’s.
Consider a fixer-upper. If you have limited time for house shopping in your new location or you’re having a hard time moving quickly enough to nab the homes you really like, consider a fixer-upper. Many home shoppers have a hard time looking past cosmetic flaws like lime-green carpeting or dated kitchen appliances, so a fixer-upper of this sort could be an easier catch.
Mortgage tips for summer markets
Be ready to close. Shopping for a house during the summer may mean you won’t have a lot of time for window shopping or comparisons. If you find The One, you’ll want to snap it up before someone else makes an offer. Line up the paperwork for your mortgage beforehand so everything’s ready to go as soon as you are.
Protect your interests when you’re away. Especially if you’re making a home purchase long distance, you may need a little extra security to make sure things get done right. Protect yourself with the right contingencies on your contract.
- Appraisal contingency. This clause makes the sale contingent upon receiving a property appraisal at least as high as the purchase price. If the appraisal comes in lower, you get to ask the seller to drop the sales price or terminate the contract.
- Inspection contingency. Also called a due diligence contingency, this clause gives you time (usually three to 14 days) to conduct a home inspection, appraisal, and walk-through before accepting and proceeding with a sale.
- Cost of repair contingency. These contingencies are often a part of an inspection contingency. They set the maximum amount of money you’ll pay for necessary repairs. If the recommended repairs exceed that amount (often 1 percent to 2 percent of the sales price), you can terminate the contract.
- Survey contingency. If you’ll need to build a new driveway, fence, or swimming pool, a survey contingency lets you confirm property lines to ensure the property will suit your needs.
- Insurance contingency. In areas prone to floods, earthquakes, toxic mold, or hurricanes, this contingency gives you a chance to obtain written confirmation of insurability from your insurance provider.
Even if the summertime housing market is sizzling, PenFed’s online Home Ownership Center can help you keep your cool. Learn how much home you can afford, compare loan types, and more.