While the unusual amount of snow experienced in Nanaimo in recent weeks may have some people questioning it, the reality is that spring will be with us in just over a month. For many the return to the warmer temperatures, the blooming of flowers and the return to a green and vibrant time makes spring the perfect season to buy or sell a home.

Here are just a few reasons why now can be the ideal time to seek out a new home, or to place your home on the market.

Planning for the summer: often people will house hunt during the spring with the intention of moving in the summer once the school year has ended. Few things can be more traumatic for a youngster than being uprooted during the school year. By carrying out the search for a new home in the spring there’s time for a family to wrap up the school year and make their move before classes resume in the fall.

Finding out what you can afford: while not an item specifically linked to spring time house hunting, it’s vital to find out beforehand just how much you can afford when beginning your search. Check with your banker or mortgage broker before launching your search. There’s no point being disappointed when you find the home of your dreams only to discover that it is financially beyond your reach.

Put it in writing: there Are plenty of costs involved when buying a home so it is often considered a good idea to create some form of personalized cost sheet. In this file you simply jot down all of the anticipated costs you will likely have to cover in addition to the cost of the home itself. These could include REALTOR® fees, cost of a home inspection, legal fees and others. Talk to the professionals you’re working with to help create the list including the sales person, mortgage broker or lender, Notary, home inspector moving company or anyone else who might become involved. As a rule of thumb when you finalize the costs, add another $1,000 to cover those things you hadn’t thought of.

Get strata minutes: if you’re buying a property that is administered by a strata corporation it’s a good idea to request copies of strata minutes and annual reports for at least the past two years. This information will help to show you how effective a group the strata corporation is as well as alert you to any pending expenditures. The last thing you want is to purchase a townhome only to discover that a major capital levy is about to be passed onto the owners to cover the cost of a new roof or other major expenditure.

Get out there: while a lot of information is available online take advantage of the more pleasant spring weather to go and check out properties with your own eyes. Do some surfing, come up with a short list of the properties that have appealed to your special tastes and then go and see them on your own. A lot can be determined just from a casual drive by viewing. This will allow you to make that short list of homes even shorter.

Find yourself a REALTOR®: the best advice at any time of year is to find the real estate sales professional that you want to work with. Bring them the homes you’ve found and it’s very likely he or she will know of others that also match your personal criteria. Working together the spring could become the perfect season to locate your new home.