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Spring Real Estate Market Buying Tips

What you'll learn: Learn the best tips for buying a home in the spring

EXPECTED READ TIME:4 MINUTES

When you're considering buying a home, you might be asking yourself this question: What is the best time of year to buy a house? And whether you know it or not, the busiest real estate season isn't always the best time to buy. It depends on several things, including your budget and timeline. Read on to discover our top spring home buying tips. These will help you no matter what part of the country you live in.

Is Spring the best time to buy a home?

When does spring housing season start? In the past, the answer to this question was easy. It begins in the spring months of March, early April, and continues through May. With April being the hottest month. But with home sales heating up sooner each year — that April date is moving up. In fact, in many areas of the country with warmer weather — January is the new April.

That's especially true with interest rates remaining low. More homebuyers are getting preapproved early so they can put an offer in on a home as soon as it comes on the market.

Peak Season for Selling Houses

As a seller,are you wondering — When does the spring housing market start? The answer is still early spring. That’s why March and April are the best time to list your home for sale. This peak season carries through the summer. Spring real estate season is one of the busiest times because, with the warmer weather, it’s easier for realtors to show houses. But it’s not unusual for determined shoppers to start looking before the snow melts.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the sellers need warmer and less wet weather to make any exterior repairs before putting their home on the market. So even though buyers are ready — sellers might not be.

As a buyer, the very best thing you can do is get pre-approved as soon as possible. That's especially true if you're shopping in a seller's market where houses are sold as fast as they're listed. On the other hand, in the buyer's market, there aren't multiple offers on homes, so the competition isn't as fierce.

But, in any market — it's good to get preapproved right away. It might require you have to update some of your documentation, like current pay stubs and bank statements — but it’s worth it.

Best Time to Look for Houses

Make springtime real estate shopping a family affair. Map out your weekend and take a drive. Traditionally, the month of April has the newest home listings. So, if you want the most extensive selection possible, that's the time to start looking. It's also the best time to find a real estate agent that fits your needs.

While you're waiting for homes to come on the market, be sure to be saving for your purchase. Having as much money as possible saved up for a down payment and closing costs gets you one step closer to your goal.

Generally, the busiest time in the United States for home listings is April. Summer follows with the most sales, making sense because it takes an average of 30 to 45 days to close on a loan. This may vary from lender to lender.

The best time for you to start looking for homes to purchase mainly depends on your weather. In the warmer states, sales can be healthy all year. But in the colder states, spring marks the start of the real estate season.

In the northeastern and midwestern states, real estate sales get much busier in the spring. Most likely because the harsher winters make home sales slump. The southern and western regions, on the other hand — have strong sales throughout the year, although spring sales still do increase.

Worst Month to Buy a Home

If you're looking for a deal — April is the worst month to buy. Homes especially newly listed are at their peak price. That is unless there’s a price war with multiple offers. If money isn’t an object and you need to buy in April, just know you most likely won’t find any incredible deals. Buying a house in March, April or buying a home in spring means you have more to choose from and pay top dollar.

If you can wait and are willing to brave the elements — hold out for the winter. December, January, and even February can bring some motivated sellers. Historically homes on the market during the winter stay on the market longer. Having your financing lined up and not being in too much of a hurry to buy can give you a big advantage as a buyer.

The professional mortgage team at PenFed hopes you've found these spring real estate tips helpful. Please keep us in mind the next time you need a new mortgage or are thinking about refinancing.

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