When school is back in session…

Karen KesselReal Estate News

Back-to-School…Homebuying ramps up for a busy fall

School is back in session and that means routine has returned. Real estate professionals and homebuilders are now ramping up for a season of new opportunities in home ownership. If a new home is on the horizon for you this fall, the kids aren’t the only ones with homework to do.

Homebuilders know that those seeking new homes this fall are eager to view new projects, new releases and new opportunities. They oblige by using  September to unveil their plans for the coming months as they introduce a vast selection of new home sites and new phases of development. Often these announcements address pent-up demand from the summer months, and are offered with special pricing and incentives to encourage prompt decision-making so construction can begin before the snow flies.

Be ready when they roll out these specials by obtaining mortgage pre-approval. By knowing what you can afford, the house hunting is much easier. When looking at a three- to four-month build, there is no time to waste and those who buy in early fall are rewarded with a home that can be ready and waiting for the holidays.

Homebuyers looking to make a move often want to do so before Thanksgiving, Christmas or the new year. Others are looking at the end of the school year. With deadlines like these in mind, it’s essential to do your research. Key decisions such as location and housing type need to be addressed first. Lifestyle and amenities, schools, medical services and transportation access are the important factors when choosing a community – whether it’s detached, a condo or a townhome.

If you’ve got a young family, you may want to be near parks and rec centres; if you’re empty-nesters, perhaps an adult lifestyle community is more in line with your needs. How much time do you want to spend on maintenance? If you don’t, a condo might be the answer. Find out what is being built and where and determine if it’s a good fit for you and your family. Other things to research include your builder and their reputation for meeting deadlines and customer satisfaction. If it’s a condominium project, find out the status of sales and construction. A delay in construction can create a domino effect when you need to sell your own home or give notice to a landlord.

At this time of year, there are plenty of builder incentives to encourage buyers to commit now, rather than later. You’d be surprised at what might be included. First, you need to be aware of the standard features so you can compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Some builders might offer enhanced standards that are reflected in a higher price point. If you learn your standard features, you’ll recognize a great incentive and price when you see it.

By doing your homework now, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the incredible housing opportunities you’ll come across this fall.