5 Tips for shopping for homes late summer in Minneapolis.
There are good, better, best times to shop for homes in Minneapolis/St Paul. Sales do follow the seasons, and late summer is one of the best times to shop. Why?
- Your competition just went on vacation. The spring market is always the most competitive and seems to start earlier every year. What used to be a late March spring market now starts in February. Furthermore Memorial Day to 4th of July buyers are distracted with weddings, graduations and trips to the cabin taking advantage for three weekends of warm summer that we waited for all winter. In short, there’re fewer serious buyers.
- Homes didn't sell within 12 hours have disappointed sellers who were expecting a stampede of multiple offers by sundown. Many are surprised that they're getting few showings and zero offers with all the noise about it being a sellers’ market. Because there is a really low inventory they overlook the fact that buyers have real budgets. Every seller expects top dollar for their home, which is why I’m seeing high numbers of price reductions, “back on the market,” and even expired listings in what it supposed to be a sellers’ market. We are in a market correction right this minute.
- If you think that, “I'll wait till prices come down," is a winning strategy, you're wrong. Think again. There is built up demand for housing for first-time buyers and those homes are in short supply. Take advantage of the still low interest rates, and look for homes that have lingered on the market. Then, make your move. Next year is always unknown and there's hardly anyone whoever said that they bought too soon. The buyers who bought while prices were plummeting during the recession against the trend found treasure. Buyers who hunt out of season find deals. There is no indication that prices are going down in the next few years. Neither is your rent going down. Are we clear?
- Buying a house is like dating, there is no perfect one. You might go through some zeros to find an 80% that you can love. Go with it and redecorate. It’s much easier to remodel a kitchen than it is to makeover the man of your dreams. Look beyond just the cosmetics, find one you can live with and make it yours. I got a call last week from a past client thanking me for dragging her out of a house she thought she loved, but it was all wrong. It was a ‘remodeled’ 1978 split level with new appliances, counter tops, carpeting, and painting. She LOVED the kitchen. The word REMODELED has a lot of interpretations. It means more than painting old kitchen cabinets. The 1978 house had the original 40 year old furnace and A/C, old windows painted shut, and an older roof. While she was drooling over what looked like a Pinterest kitchen, my calculator was whizzing numbers of what it would cost to replace the furnace, A/C, working windows, and roof. We went on to find the right house that she loves, and doesn’t have to replace everything costing tens of thousands of dollars.
- In late summer homes look their best with lush lawns (or not), wide-open spaces and are full of sun. It's easy to see the roof condition and you don't have to guess what a snow-covered lawn might look like. Buying late summer gets you in before the snow flies, get settled and have your first cup of coffee in your pj’s late on a Saturday morning.
Waiting is not a strategy. Late summer is your hunting season. Give me a jingle and we will get started.