Secrets to Finding Your Dream Home in the Summer Real Estate Market

Evaluate the Home Inside and Out
First impressions count for a lot, and summer is a great time for first impressions in many areas. The yard may be immaculately maintained, the flowers may be in bloom and the pool in the backyard might look clear and inviting. Don’t get swept away by the beautiful summer appearance of a home and overlook amenities you want indoors. Evaluate a home based on everything you want from it – not just the outdoors (or not just the fact that it has air conditioning in the middle of a heat wave) – make sure it meets all of your needs.
Look for Problem Areas in the Summer Heat
The summer heat can reveal problem areas you wouldn’t necessarily notice at other times of the year. When you go indoors, look for areas that are particularly cool or particularly warm. If the central air is running and it’s still warm, it may be a sign that the central air needs to be replaced, or that the home is poorly insulated. Look for “hot zones” where the air is warmer than other parts of the home, and be alert for cracks around windows and doors that may be causing the problem areas.
Take a look at the lawn. Is the lawn well-maintained, or is it dying? If the lawn is pristine, does the current owner use a landscaping service, and are you willing to use one, too? Are there any good shade trees, or is the lawn a wide open area? Shade trees might be great in the summer sun, but they could cause problems if they’re too close to the house and tree limbs fall during a wind or ice storm.
Some Summer Markets are Seasonal
In many areas, the summer market is a highly active real estate market; second only to the spring market. Parents who have school-age children move during the summer, so people are looking to both buy and sell while the kids are on school vacation. In some areas, though, the spring market booms until June, when the market dies down again and picks up in the fall. In other areas, like Arizona, the market stalls during the hot summer months and the market doesn’t boom again until October. Check out the market in your area and determine whether it’s active or seasonal. In a seasonal market, you’ll have fewer options but less competition.
Look Out for the Summer Competition
Because the summer market is booming in many areas, summer competition is also booming. If you’re looking for a home in an area where the market is active all summer long, you might be facing stiff competition for your dream home. Avoid paying too much for a home, no matter how much you might want it, because it’s your dream home in a busy market. If the competition gets too stiff, you should move on to another property instead of overpaying for the home you think you want.