It’s finally summertime, and with COVID restrictions lifting, people are coming out in droves to do all the things they have been putting off during the past 15 months. One of those things is buying a house this summer. Who can blame them? US Interest rates are still below 3% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and for parents who have the option to work remotely, this would be a great time to relocate. 

With all of that said, you have to keep in mind that you won’t be the only one looking to buy. In fact, 97% of surveyed real estate agents say they’re experiencing a very competitive seller’s market. Don’t worry, though, because we have three important tips that’ll help you kick off your house-hunt on the right foot.

Disclaimer: This is a contributed post.

3 Tips on Buying A House This Summer

1. Choose the right neighborhood for your family

This tip isn’t necessary if you love the neighborhood you currently live in because you already know the area inside and out. This tip is for those who are packing up and moving to a whole new city or even state! 

When you’re choosing the neighborhood you want to call home, you’re going to want to make sure the area meets all of your needs. For example, if you have young children, you probably want to make sure the area has good preschool and daycare programs. Likewise, if you have a teen interested in sports, you might want to see if there are any community sports programs available. 

Of course, you’ll also want to look into things like how expensive are the property taxes, what’s the crime rate, where’s the nearest hospital, shopping centers, and so on. 

2. Hire a top-selling real estate agent

Buying a house is a huge investment and you don’t want just anyone on your team. You’re going to want to choose a real estate agent who understands the local market and has the credentials to back it up. You can find the best agents in your area by asking for referrals, interviewing the agent and listening to your gut. If you don’t feel like they’re the right fit, then don’t hire them. Just because they may have 5 stars on Yelp, that doesn’t mean you’ll work well together. 

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3. Acquiring a mortgage pre-approval letter is crucial

One of the most important things you can do before submitting an offer (some would say even before starting the house hunt) is to have a pre-approval letter in hand. This pre-approval letter will: A) give you an exact dollar amount you can spend, B) let the seller know you’re a serious buyer, and C) give you the peace of mind in knowing that the transaction won’t be held up due to problems securing financing.

Get ahead of the game when buying a house in 2021

The real estate market in 2021 is incredibly competitive and you need to be as prepared as you can for the challenges ahead. It’s not going to be easy to find a house that’s within your budget because housing prices have risen by 19.1% as of May 2021. You may have been able to buy that $250,000 house a few months ago, but that same house is going to be more expensive and your money may not go as far. 

But, don’t be discouraged. You can find a property in an area with great schools, access to all of the amenities that are important to you and within your budget. You can get off on the right foot by doing your research, hiring a top-selling real estate agent, and getting that pre-approval letter.