Making the decision to buy a home is a huge step. It’s quite possibly one of the largest investments you’re going to make, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re choosing to purchase at a good time. The best time to buy a home depends on whether you are more interested in finding your dream home and having the widest selection for viewing or whether you’re more interested in getting the best deal financially.
The Right Time to Begin House Hunting
Before you pull the trigger on the first home you view, set a plan for yourself to do some looking around prior to when you’ll actually be interested in buying a home. This will allow you a chance to feel out the market, and who knows, you might find something you fall in love with. Start to familiarize yourself with the house hunting process, how realtors and sellers communicate, and become comfortable with saying no. That’s really important because realtors are very pushy by nature, so don’t allow them to guilt you into something you don’t want, feel comfortable with, or love.
Now let’s consider your timeline. If you’re a first-time buyer, consider your finances first. When you buy a house, there are usually a lot of hidden and unexpected costs. To stay within budget, plan to move around the Winter when you’ll get the best deal and start house hunting in the Fall.
Those who are looking to upgrade or find their dream home and have set expectations for what they want, start house hunting in the early Spring where the most options are available and you’ll be able to have a comfortable Summer move-in.
The Best Time of Year For the Most Buying Options
Some people are looking for their forever home, their dream house, and when that’s the case, having more options to choose from is usually going to take priority over the end price. If this is the case, the most popular time of year for buying and selling is generally the Spring through the beginning of Summer, typically around April through July. Though there will be the most listings available this time of year, the prices are also higher, with the number of houses being sold above list price at its highest. During this period, houses are selling at their fastest rates and there are also more buyers, so chances of getting caught in a bidding war over your dream home are likely. Since the market is so flooded with buyers, many sellers are not likely to accept lower offers.
The Best Time of Year for the Best Price
If you’re house hunting on a budget, it’s best to avoid shopping during the warmer months of the year (Spring/Summer), as this is when most people are looking to buy and move right in. November and December are the months where the fewest percentage of homes sell for above the asking price. The pool of competing buyers is at its lowest, and many homes listed during this time of year have been on the market for a few months, at least. This gives you the advantage to capitalize and barter with the seller for a good deal. Many are just looking to get asking and have the house taken off their hands at this point. Unfortunately, since there aren’t a lot of sellers during this time, your pool of listings may be slim pickings.
Buying a house is an incredible accomplishment in someone’s life. It is not something to be taken lightly and you should spend some time considering what’s best for you before diving in.