While we contend that winter is actually a great time to buy a home, you may wish to wait until spring for any number of personal reasons. If you’ve decided to join the throngs of people shopping for a house in the spring, it’s vital that you use the time we have left this winter to get your ducks in a row.
Focus your efforts today on these tasks, and reap the rewards tomorrow when you find the house of your dreams!
If you’re planning to buy a home in the spring, you’ll likely need some sort of down payment – but you already knew that! However, there are all sorts of other costs involved in buying a home, from closing costs to moving expenses.
Some less-obvious expenses involved with buying a home include (but aren’t limited to!)…
- Outfitting rooms you don’t have in your current home (for example, furniture for a guest room or bathroom you don’t currently have)
- Rekeying your home, if needed
- Purchasing new appliances
- Care for children and pets during the homebuying and moving processes
- Dining out until the kitchen is unpacked
Make sure you plan ahead to cover these types of “unofficial” expenses that aren’t wrapped up in the purchase price of your new property.
Interviewing Real Estate Agents
Late winter is the perfect time to begin talking to real estate agents about your impending purchase. If you start connecting with Realtors early in the process, you’ll have more time to choose someone to work with when you’re ready to buy a house.
Take the time to chat with a few agents – we recommend identifying individuals in your area who meet your needs with our real estate agent search tool, then meeting with them to explain your particular preferences.
Helping Kids Get Acclimated
Moving with kids adds a layer of complexity to the homebuying process. Depending on your family’s preferences and the ages of your children, you may want to tell them that you plan to buy a new home in the spring.
For older kids facing a significant move, this will give them time to process (and make memories with their friends while they can!). Younger children may want to “play moving” to get used to the idea.
Teens and older children may even be involved in the homebuying process, attending open houses and showings. Make sure you tell your agent who will be involved in the process so that they can plan accordingly!
Try these tips for moving with kids to make the process smoother.
Preparing to Sell Your House
If you need to sell your current property in order to buy a new house, you’ll have some extra plans to make. In fact, it becomes critically important that you meet with a real estate agent to better understand the intricacies of selling a home while also buying a new one.
Make sure you talk to your agent about any exclusive programs that may be available to you! For example, Howard Hanna’s Buy Before You Sell program can help you purchase a new home before you sell your existing domicile.
Pruning and Packing
While spring cleaning may get all the attention, we believe that winter decluttering can be powerful – especially if you have a move ahead! Take time now to identify items you won’t want to move. Some prime candidates for downsizing are:
- Boxes you’ve moved from place to place without ever actually unpacking
- Ill-fitting, old, or uninspiring clothing
- Kitchen equipment you don’t use, and won’t use in a new home
- “Starter furniture” from big-box stores you don’t anticipate using in your new home
- Books you won’t read, games you won’t play, and other similar media
- Sheets, towels, and other linens that are past their useful life
- Unmatched plastic container lids & promotional mugs, both of which seem to multiply in any kitchen, regardless of its owner’s wishes
- Half-used bottles of alcohol, which are hard to move but probably pretty easy to dispose of while you tackle the rest of this list
Get Ready Now to Buy This Spring!
We know you’re refreshing HowardHanna.com’s search results all the time, dreaming of the day you’ll buy a house. But while you’re waiting to start actually shopping for a home, step away from the search and try taking practical action to get ready for your upcoming purchase!