Are you excited at the prospect of owning a home? Keep in mind that seasonality plays an important role when timing your purchase. After all, big shifts in inventory, pricing, and competition occur at different times of year. Plus, the ease of house hunting and moving differs from season to season.
This may have you wondering — is there truly a best time of year to buy a home? Every season has its pros and cons, which you should know about before you start house hunting. Here’s what to consider if you’re looking to buy in the spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Buying a House in the Spring
The warm weather and completion of the school year usher in the hottest time of year for real estate. Buyers and sellers both become more plentiful as those who sat out the winter season now show their interest all at once. This results in a thriving, busy market, which is both good and bad news for house hunters.
The good news is choices abound as inventory skyrockets. The bad news is competition increases as well. Sellers know this, so they typically set high asking prices when listing their homes in the spring. Then, bidding wars break out, creating a challenging environment to buy a home.
The prices may be high and the competition fierce, but spring is a popular time to purchase a house for several reasons. First, the warm weather increases the likelihood of a pleasant moving experience. Homes also show better, with flowers in full bloom and the days getting longer again. Plus, families with children often want time to settle into a new home before school starts in the fall.
Buying a House in the Summer
As an extension of the hectic spring season, summer continues the trend of an abundant home inventory and battle-ready competition. Be prepared to make a strong offer, both in terms of price and your willingness to move quickly. If you need to sell your existing home before moving, summer is the time of year to do it. With such a flurry of activity, you have a better chance of timing your home sale and purchase together.
In most markets, sales begin to slow down as August approaches. This is your chance to swoop in on a home that has languished on the market all spring and summer long, making the seller more willing to strike a deal. Don’t assume there’s something wrong with homes that don’t sell like hotcakes. They could have had bad luck with buyers or faced other issues that had nothing to do with the condition of the house.
Buying a House in the Fall
Fall could be your opportunity to land a great price if you’re willing to wait until then to buy. This time of year, sellers are usually more motivated to find a buyer and will lower their asking price as a result. Many want to sell their home as soon as possible so they can get a write-off on this year’s taxes.
However, many sellers remove their listings when the summer rush ends, opting to wait until the following spring to sell. As a result, inventory tends to plummet in the fall. Buyers are scarce as well, so at least you’ll have fewer bid wars to worry about. You may even get more attention from your real estate agent because they have fewer clients this time of year.
Buying a House in the Winter
Winter tends to be when you can get the biggest bang for your buck. Many sellers suspend their listings between Thanksgiving and the New Year because they assume buyers will be scarce. Sellers who keep their listings active are usually looking to sell as quickly as possible. This is good news if you’re looking to strike the best deal on a new home.
Of course, buying in the winter also has its drawbacks. Inventory tends to fall to its lowest level this time of year, making it harder to find your dream home. Even if you do, you have to navigate house hunting, open houses, and moving in less-than-ideal weather. You could also completely throw off your family’s holiday season, which is a deal-breaker for many homebuyers.
Other House-Buying Considerations Besides Seasonality
While the time of year plays a big role in the home buying process, it’s not the only factor to keep in mind. Weigh these additional considerations to help you determine the best time to buy a house for you personally.
Current Housing Market
Real estate trends fluctuate with the seasons as described above, but broader forces can influence housing prices, inventory, and competition amongst buyers. It’s also critical to consider mortgage interest rates, which can undo the apparent savings on a reasonable purchase price. Be sure to research market conditions in your area before deciding to move forward with a home purchase.
Your Financial Readiness
Determining whether you should buy a house at all depends largely on your financial situation. If you have a stable career, have money saved up for a down payment, and understand all the costs of homeownership, you may be ready to buy. However, if you have excessive debt and limited savings, think you might switch careers soon, or don’t want to be tied down to one place, you might want to stick with renting for a few more years.
Contact Us to Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
Buying a house is a big commitment, no matter what time of year you purchase. Of course, entering the market at the right time can help you strike a great deal on the home of your dreams. Ready to start house hunting? Show sellers how serious you are by getting pre-approved for a mortgage first. Financial Concepts Mortgage can make it happen. If you’re a prospective homebuyer in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, or Alabama, contact us at (405) 722-5626 for more information, or begin the pre-approval process online.