I'm looking to move by the end of February. When is the best time to start looking for a new home?

Asked by Melissa Phang, Washington, DC Sat Sep 21, 2013

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Jaime Becker, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Mon Sep 23, 2013
Hi Melissa

It looks like you are talking about a rental, correct? If you are looking for a rental, it usually isn't that hard to find one. I would start around Jan beginning of Feb. Some rentals will even say available by a certain date.
Good luck.
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Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sun Sep 22, 2013
You won't be able to tie up a house for five months, unless it is new construction. If you want a brand new home, you should get yourself a buyers representative agent now to tour the subdivisions with you. There are many good reasons to do this. The first obvious reason is that the builders agent has a financial duty to the builder, not to you. A buyer representative is obligated to your best financial interest. This could save you money, or get more upgrades or appliances included in your deal with the builder.

A buyers representative will also show you competing used homes. Just like cars, a late model used home can save you thousands over a brand new builder delivered home.
If it turns out that the new homes don't fit your budget or lifestyle, you could turn your attention to used homes toward the end of the year. In either case get yourself prequalified now, then pre-approved for any mortgage loan that you will need. I can help you with all of the above activities as a buyer representative.
My contact information is in the link below.

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Grounded. Re…, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
If you're looking to buy, you can never start too early. I would suggest speaking with a lender to see how much you qualify for and see if there are any issues with your credit that can be taken care of before you start searching for a house in earnest.

If you're looking for a rental, I'd suggest looking no more than a month out from your desired move-in date. I own many rentals and know that by the time I begin advertising my homes for rent, I'm looking for someone to move in ASAP. If you're still more than a month out many landlords will want you to start paying rent before you move in.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions I'm here to help!

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James Tan, Agent, elk grove, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
HI Melissa,

Assuming you wish to buy a home here in the area, I would suggest the earlier the better.
You probably need to decide where in greater Sacramento, so you need to get familiar with the area.
Then you would need to find the right home, that will take at least a few weeks if not more.
Inventory is still low, so you may have to make a few offers before you can actually get into contract.
Once you are in contract, closing will usually take around 30-45 days.

Hope that helps,

James Tan
Bethany Real Estate
916 230 5250
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Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Sep 21, 2013
Melissa, I think we're assuming you're looking to buy a home, rather than rent. In the Sacramento area, realtors do not assist with rentals. you need to contact a property management company for that.

Backing off from moving in by the end of February....you'd need a month in general to do your due diligence, and probably at least 45 days to learn an area and make an offer ASSUMING that you are not running into competition on buying a home. That gives you about December as the latest you should start your search in order to move in by February and assuming everything just falls into place.

If you are looking at renting, you may have a little more leeway to start looking in January, but depending on where you're looking, a property management company may advertise its availability before the previous tenant moves out so that they have little downtime.

Again, it all depends on how much demand there is for the area you're looking in.
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Nicole Fedor…, Agent, Santa Ana, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
For a purchase, ideally you should start now! Its a long process of loan approvals, and finding the right property.
If you are looking to lease, you can start after the 1st of the year. Most places become available within 30 days of occupancy.
Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you!

Nicole Fedorchek, Realtor
Tarbell, Realtors
0 votes
Lee, , Sacramento County, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
Any time if you preapproved- normally its a 30 day approval- With the market with low inventory- i suggest start looking now- most homes are getting out bid by investors.
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Keisha Mathe…, Agent, Elk Grove, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
If you are looking to buy, it depends on the market you are looking in.

In general, because real estate is seasonal, the "boom" times traditionally fall around mile markers like the beginning of the year (new year, new home); the end of the school year (kids are out, let's find a new home - less disruptive), etc.

And the reverse is often true as well. The "cooling" times can be marked by the start of the school year (kids in school, not convenient to move now); fall (holidays equal family and friends, and colder, wet weather), etc.

Those are all very general in nature. Market conditions will also be a factor. Contact an agent in the market you are considering to get a more specific look at what's going on in your particular market.

Hope that helps.

Keisha Mathews, REALTOR®
CDPE®, HRC®, HAFA® Certified
SAR Masters Club Member 2012
SAR Masters Club Steering Committee
Mathews & Co. Realty Group
@ Century 21 Landmark Network
(916) 370-1803 cell
lic#: 01439130
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Ed Favinger, Agent, Folsom, CA
Sat Sep 21, 2013
Hi there Melissa...

Are you looking to buy or rent...?
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