Sunshine, warmer temperatures, and pretty flowers … summer is almost here! But what will that mean for the real estate market? We rounded up a few local experts to offer advice and market predictions. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or rent, they can help you plan carefully to find your dream home.
How do you know when you are ready to buy a home vs. renting?
At some point in time, first-time home buyers get serious about buying, after possibly getting sick of renting, and make that final decision to stop paying rent and get serious about buying their first home. A lot of factors come into play in the decision-making process: Do I have a stable income and career path? Do I know what city or area that I want to settle down in? Do I know what a comfortable monthly mortgage looks like, and does it fit into my budget? It’s best to speak with a lender, as they can help you better understand all that would be combined in a mortgage and what amount you can be pre-approved for based on your income. That will give you a better idea of what you can afford and what you are comfortable paying. — Lauren Maguire, Realtor/Broker at Greene Realty Group in Olympia
You know you are ready to buy when you can afford your area’s median rent, and you don’t plan to move in the next three to five years. In other words, if you can get pre-approved for around the median price range, then you should buy. Homeownership has proven to be the best way to build wealth. — Thomas Arndt, Managing Broker at Van Dorm Realty in Olympia
Is summer a good time to sell or buy?
Summer is always a good time to buy. The market is always booming, and who doesn’t like moving in nice weather instead of our usual Washington rain? — Maguire
Summer is a great time to buy because inventory is at its highest level in most markets. — Arndt
What are your predictions for what the market will look like this summer?
I predict that this summer is going to be a very busy market. Right now, the inventory is low for homes, which is known as a sellers’ market. This means there are more buyers actively looking for homes than there are homes on the market. You’ll find a lot of homeowners wait until spring and summer to put their home on the market. — Maguire
I predict the summer market being another steady but flat one. Spring will be another hot market, as anxious sellers are looking to take advantage of the high prices and buyers wanting to lock into the lower rates. I think the summer months will be steady, but held down by higher interest rates. — Arndt
You’ll find a lot of homeowners wait until spring and summer to put their home on the market.
Is the market predicted to jump in summer months? By how much?
Usually home values go up in the first six months of the year. I can’t 100 percent predict what the market will be like, but in the past two summers homes have appreciated by 11-12 percent. A lot of factors come into play with that as well, like home-loan rates and the inventory of homes. — Maguire
Are there downfalls to buying/selling in summer?
In any market, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages. For a seller, one disadvantage is there will be more homes on the market, and that might include a few in their neighborhood. It’s important to make sure your home will stand out from the others to bring the buyers in. Advantages for sellers in the summertime are, of course, the weather, along with more buyers actively looking. The nicer weather means yards are in tip-top shape. Plus, with summer break, it’s an easier time to move your kids before the start of a new school year. Home prices tend to be up, thanks to all these factors. — Maguire
Are there advantages to buying/selling in summer?
For buyers, the biggest disadvantage is there are more buyers out looking at the same time. This means that you might get into a multiple-offer situation on a home you love. It’s best that buyers are prepared and well-educated by their real estate agent about ways to approach a multiple-offer situation, like using an escalation clause or how to handle a request for highest and best offers. An advantage for buyers is knowing that there are other homes on the market, and they have the opportunity to view more properties and floor plans to find the perfect one for them. — Maguire
I think the biggest advantage with buying/selling in the summer has to be the convenience for families. The only downfall I can think of to buying/selling in the summer is competition. — Arndt