When asked to discuss the right time to buy a house, a realtor or financial expert might reply, “whenever you can afford it!” And indeed, that would be a good time to start looking! But there are other factors at play once you start to seek out a good deal. Just because you can afford to pay a premium for your dream home doesn’t mean you want to if you can get it for a little less. So, when is the best time to buy a house? We’ve got a few insights!
Buy a Home In the Winter
This is the advice you’ve probably heard before. Although, you might not know why the wintertime makes for good home buying.
It all comes down to competition, and there are a few reasons why it’s worse in the spring and summer. For starters, some climates (think New York, Michigan, Illinois) make moving in the winter a snowy, logistical nightmare. In those places, people are going to be much more keen on changing things up in the spring and summer. Secondly, anyone with kids is more likely to attempt a move in the summer, since the children will be out of school and thus, a move will be less disruptive for them.
On top of all of that, fall and winter both are abundant with holiday excitement. From visiting your neighbors door-to-door on Halloween to hosting everyone for Thanksgiving and opening presents in the month of December, there are plenty of reasons people prefer to be (and stay) settled come chillier months.
So now you may be thinking: You make great points. Why on earth would I buy in winter?
You might not want to, depending on how the above resonates with your lifestyle, personally. But if you can handle it, buying a home in winter could result in more motivated sellers who will settle for a cheaper offer and maybe even throw in some enticements, like furnishings or appliances. It also might make for a quicker and simpler process. Realtors, lenders, and inspectors are all much less busy during this season.
When Market Conditions Change the Game for Buying a Home
While seasonality has long been and will continue to be a great thing to think about when buying a home, there is another aspect of timing you should mull over: market conditions.
Outside of how they change month to month, there are always key takeaways you should be keeping pace with when you are thinking of buying a home. For example, at the moment we’re experiencing low inventory and high demand, which might make you think it’s a terrible time to buy. But, at the same time, interest rates are low. Like, historically, might-not-happen-again-for-decades (or ever) low. That makes entering a bidding war and paying more than you’d like worth it in some financial situations.
Before Local Popularity Growth
In the same vein as the above, you want to be observing the status of the local area you hope to buy in.
If it’s a place that reached most of its growth potential a long time ago and has been seeing a lot of people leaving, it might be fully feasible to play the waiting game and be more picky no matter what season you’re in or how national market conditions look.
Alternatively, if you’ve caught wind of new developments—proposals for transportation build-outs, announcements about restaurants and retail, etc.—you’ll want to keep a very close eye on rising real estate prices. The goal, of course, being to get in at a good price so you can take the most advantage of that equity-building area growth!
If you keep in mind these three timing considerations, you might just be able to get yourself a real steal of a deal! But in the end, the best time to buy a house is whenever it feels right for you, based on your unique needs and desires, budget and lifestyle.
To learn about the state of the market here in Savannah, visit our recent blog post on the topic (it includes expert takeaways from our realty team)! And if you’re thinking you might be ready to buy at Upper East River, email one of our esteemed realtors …
Heather Booth: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Corley: email@example.com
Mandy Maierhofer: firstname.lastname@example.org