Why Fall is a Great Time to Buy a Home
Many people think late spring is the ideal time to buy a new home. The thinking being, if you make an offer in the spring, you can move in by early summer, giving your kids time to get used to the area before school starts. The problem is, lots of others have the same idea, and the market gets crowded. Here are a few reasons to consider looking for a home in the fall instead.
Advantages to Buying a Home in the Fall
Buying a home in the fall comes with many advantages. First, the competition is usually lower. When there are fewer buyers on the market, sellers are more motivated to complete the transaction. They may reduce their prices or give up more during the negotiation process, since the odds of them getting another offer are lower.
Along with sellers being anxious to get their homes off the market, another reason they might be willing to give you favorable terms is because they're looking to sell their home before the end of the year to ensure a tax write-off. Or perhaps they want to wrap things up before the holiday season begins. Either way there is an incentive to move quickly.
One more advantage is that your real estate agent should have fewer clients once the autumn months arrive. That means more time dedicated to you and your home search.
Other Factors to Consider
There are several additional factors you should consider if you're thinking of shopping for a property in the fall.
During the fall season, you'll be able to gain a more realistic look at the home you're interested in. Most properties that are sold during the summer use pictures from the late spring and early summer months, which is when flowers are in full bloom and the weather is perfect. However, attractive foliage can hide or distract you from property flaws. If you visit during the fall, you should get a better sense of what the property is like when it doesn't look its best.
Since sellers usually don't receive as many offers during October and November, you may have more flexibility when it comes to the moving date. When sellers receive multiple bids at the same time, they can choose the one that offers the best terms. If your offer is the only one, you have more leverage to ask for your preferred move-in date, which makes it easier to get through the moving process without feeling rushed.
Every season has its advantages when it comes to shopping for a home. If you search for your dream home during the fall, you'll generally benefit from lower prices, less competition, and more attention from your real estate agent.
How To Find and Hire Contractors
Whether you're getting ready to sell your home or simply want to make some improvements or repairs, finding the right professionals for the job is essential. With the right approach, you can find a contractor who has the right skills for the job and properly communicates the scope of the project and how much it will cost you.
Start by asking for some recommendations from your friends and family. If someone you know has had renovations done on their home, they can tell you about their experience with hiring contractors. You can also speak to your neighbors to get recommendations or pose the question on social media.
Read Online Reviews
Today, nearly every contractor has online reviews you can read from past customers. Reading these reviews should give you a better understanding of what it's like to work with that contractor and the quality of their work.
Seek Multiple Estimates
Make sure you obtain and compare written estimates from three or more contractors. Consider the work methods, project timelines, and building materials that each contractor is using, in addition to their quoted price. Saving money is great, but the cheapest option often comes with drawbacks, like less experience or a longer timeframe.
Gather some additional information during or after the estimate. A few questions to consider asking include:
· Do you have experience on projects like mine?
· Can you provide a list of your previous clients?
· Are you licensed for this type of work?
· Will you obtain all of the required building permits?
· Will you hire subcontractors for the job? If so, who?
· What is the expected timeline for this project?
· How will my project be supervised?
· What’s your typical payment schedule?
· Do you anticipate any challenges regarding this project?
Verify Insurance and License
Every state has different licensing requirements for contractors. While some states don't require a license, all contractors need to have liability insurance that covers potential issues that arise during the project. Confirm with your contractors that they have the right coverage.
Check Past Work
Ask for some references of the contractor's previous work. If the contractor says that they specialize in the type of work you need for your home, checking references allows you to see their workmanship, customer service, and product quality. Look at the Better Business Bureau website to see if the contractor you're hiring is in good standing. Consider only working with contractors who have at least five years of experience.
Understand the Contract you Sign
Before signing a contract with the professional you're about to hire, make sure it lists all the information you need about the project at hand, including payment schedule, deadlines, and materials. This contract should also include any permits the contractor needs to apply for and a detailed description of the work.
Hiring the right contractor is the difference between a successful project and one that causes you to waste hundreds or thousands of dollars. By doing some homework first, you should be able to avoid a negative contractor experience.
Mariusz „Mario” Misiewicz
cell: (773) 412-0517
on line: www.MisiewiczRealEstate.com