Summertime is always the best time for real estate. More people are ready to buy homes, they tend to move more during summer months, and in Southern California, it’s no different. While in some aspects, the market has slowed a little because interest rates have gone up, this also means that housing prices aren’t as high as they’ve been. There are ways to get ready for the summer buying and selling season. Here are some of the most important things to know:
Be Prepared With Your Best Offer
The real estate market in Southern California is picking back up for summer, and now’s the time to be prepared with your best offer. Too often buyers put in timid and very conservative offers. If you know the market, you can certainly try getting a good deal, but you don’t want to lowball especially on homes in popular neighborhoods. When you’re looking for San Pedro houses for sale or something in Long Beach or Huntington Beach, you will need to provide a competitive offer for these coastal areas. Homes sell quickly because they are so close to the beach.
You May End up in a Bidding War
Bidding wars are more common during the summer months when there are more buyers looking at the same areas. Summer buyers tend to expect to pay higher prices as well which can make it more difficult to get a home with your first offer. If you love a house that has the potential for a lot of offers all at once, then get ready for a bidding war. You need to know the absolute maximum amount that you can purchase and be prepared to walk away from the deal if the seller wants you to go over this amount.
Prices are Down a Little, But Interest Rates Are Up
Home prices in Southern California have come down a little on average, however, mortgage interest rates are up. This isn’t all bad news, because if you can get into a lower-cost home now, you may be able to refinance the mortgage later at a lower rate. Consider getting a good deal on a house or condominium now, even with the higher rates so that you have more flexibility when the prices go back up.
Stay Flexible With Where You Want to Live
There are a lot of great neighborhoods in Southern California. Everyone has different needs. If you need a place closer to work, great restaurants, and schools, you can find homes within your desired radius if you stay a little flexible. If you need something closer to the beach. Consider options a little further from the city or other hot ticket places to find better deals. Being too picky can leave you waiting a long time for a house.
Consider Buying Smaller Homes
If you’re looking to buy a home, consider buying a smaller one. Smaller homes are more affordable than larger ones and they tend to be easier to maintain. They also tend to be more energy efficient because they require less heating and cooling. You can always add extra space to a home later on if you need an extra room. Plus, this strategy can help you find homes in more desirable neighborhoods that are within your budget.
You Can Negotiate More on Fixer-Uppers
Want more negotiating power? Consider something that needs a little work. Fixing up a house that looks like it’s stuck in 1975 isn’t always difficult. Paint, flooring, and a few new light fixtures can go a long way. Some homes are being sold for less than their asking price and it’s easier than ever to get help to take care of those updates and minor repairs. If you want a huge project house, sometimes you can score an even better deal.
Bring a Good Down Payment to the Table
To stay competitive in the Southern California real estate market, you’ll want to make sure you have a good down payment. While you can certainly buy a house with 3.5% down, sellers are more likely to say yes to your offer if you have more cash to bring to the table and you are getting a conventional loan. Conventional loans usually have fewer restrictions than FHA loans and can mean that the closing process goes more smoothly. Sellers are also more likely to choose you if you are paying at least a portion of the closing costs as they don’t want to be left footing the whole bill.