The Best Time to Buy a House
Supply, demand and the overall health of the economy have a major effect on housing prices — and believe it or not, so do the seasons. Cold weather often drives away homebuyers until warm weather returns and home sales dwindle during the school year because parents don’t want to inflict the stress of moving on their family’s busy school, sports, music and other activity schedules. So how can you take advantage of real estate seasonality and more affordable housing prices? We’ll show you.
Which Season Is Best for Buying a House?
Depending on where you live or where you’re planning to buy a home, each season can have a distinct effect on the housing market. Here’s how each season usually affects your home-buying process.
Spring. Most of the time, warm weather means higher housing prices. More buyers become active in their searches, driving up demand. Kids are still in school and cold weather still may be lingering, though, so spring certainly isn’t the worst season to buy a home.
Summer You’ll likely see the highest number of houses on the market in summer. And at the same time, summer represents the perfect time to move for families with three or more members. Competition can work in the buyer’s favor in some locales, but be ready to see higher prices with more households looking to upgrade their homes.
Fall. The summer rush has come and gone, and now you’ll likely see fewer homes on the market. That doesn’t mean all the good ones have been sold, though — different circumstances can motivate someone to sell their home, so keep an eye out during the fall. You never know what you’ll find — and you’ll probably find it for a lower price than you would in the spring or summer!
Winter. Is your main objective in your home search to find a bargain? Then shop in the winter. Of all seasons, winter generally has the fewest home sales. If you don’t mind weathering the cold, snow and ice to hop from open houses to scheduled appointments, your finances will thank you.
Is Now the Right Time to Buy a House?
Seasons aren’t the biggest factor in housing prices, though. That’s why it’s important to do your research, plan and figure out your needs and wants before you start your search. Scanning the market and seriously considering buying a home just because prices are good isn’t a wise choice for everyone. Take these tips into consideration when planning your home search:
Your family’s needs. If your family has outgrown your home and you just don’t have enough space to live comfortably, it might be worth forgoing the seasonal advice and starting your search as soon as possible. However, if a size and space upgrade isn’t totally necessary, you’d be wise to take your time and carefully plan your next move.
Your finances. If you need to cut back on expenses and trimming your mortgage payment is a necessity, you might need to start your home search as soon as possible regardless of season. If your desire to move isn’t driven by financial necessity, waiting for the cooler months to get a better price isn’t a bad move.
The market. While the markets can change somewhat predictably through each of the four seasons, that doesn’t mean they will. Doing your research and gauging whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market is a much sounder strategy than basing your efforts on the current season.
Location. Where a home is located is a major driving force in its price. If finances are the most important factor of your buying process, consider the amenities, proximity to work and school and access to metropolitan areas of cities and towns with cheaper homes.
Whether you’re thinking of buying a home, are on a home hunt right now or have already purchased your dream home, get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent to make sure your homeowners insurance is giving you the security, protection and peace of mind you deserve.