The housing market has had its fair share of airtime and print space in recent years in New Zealand, and for good reason. Entering the property market, or moving within it, has been challenging for many, with skyrocketing prices and demand far exceeding supply in many areas. You only have to turn up to an open home in an Auckland suburb on pretty much any given weekend to get a glimpse of the level of competition. Glaring eyes across a stranger’s living room suggest no one is going to back down. You’ve got to be quick if you want to snap up your slice of real estate.
So, what can you do as a buyer to ease some of that house-buying stress and to increase your chances of walking away with the deal? We’ve got some reasons why skipping the beach this summer weekend in favour of a real estate agent’s welcome might be the way to go.
Reason one: You could beat out the competition
Auckland in late December/early January is a relative ghost town compared to the rest of the year. And, while many Auckland commuters will wax lyrical about the smooth run into town during this period, the bustle-turned-sleepy-town time has more advantages than that. If you’re out looking to buy a property, the summer period could not only make for a more relaxed experience, you could have a smaller pool of potential buyers to compete with. What’s more, the seller may have the house on the market because they’re planning to start the new year in a different location, so you might even get the upper hand in price negotiations!
Reason two: Avoid the “drowned rat” look when moving between open homes
I know what you’re thinking: it’s an open home not a fashion contest, who cares if you get drizzled on before a house viewing? True, you don’t need to wear your Sunday best to an open home. But, if you’re soaked through after making a mad dash from the car to the property during a winter storm, you will probably have more on your mind than whether the kitchen has sufficient storage. What’s more, it’s probably not ideal to be traipsing wet feet through someone’s home, even if one day the property could be yours.
Reason three: You could get into a house in time for the start of a new school year
As we mentioned earlier, the seller might have their house on the market because they’re moving to a different region. If they have children, they might even be relocating to be within a specific school zone. Likewise, you as a buyer might be looking for a home in an area with your pick of schools. If you play your cards right, you might be able to have one last Christmas or New Year period in your current house, before making the move to a new home in time for the school year.
What to watch out for when buying a house in summer
You know how people walk around a little bit happier during summer months? The song is “Walking on Sunshine” not “Walking on Rainclouds”, after all. Well, if a house could walk around in summer, it would be walking on sunshine, too. Everything looks better: flowers are in bloom, leaves are on trees rather than scattered all over lawns and the birds are singing. Here lies the trap. You love that sun-soaked deck and kitchen in summer, but will you feel the same about the home in winter’s gloom? It’s really important to avoid getting swept up in your sunny disposition when looking at a property. Keep a critical eye and ask the real estate agent plenty of probing questions.
Regardless of what season you buy your house in, it’s always advisable to visit the bank first, arrange pre-approval and have that all-important chat about finances. It might not be as fun as shopping for a home, but it’s crucial to the process. We’ll leave the house selection process to you, but supporting the home loan selection process is right up our street. Canstar compares home loans, looking at features, fees and rates, so you can find out what’s available on the market before you meet with any providers. To use our home loan comparison tools, for free, just hit the button below.