Articles continue to say that now is the right time to buy a house. Is now the right time for you? Two approaches to the answer should offer a clearer picture. Learn about both strategies and decide if one or both is best for your situation.
Month & Season
If you prefer a roundabout answer, going by season or month will offer some insight. Because there are advantages and drawbacks of each, let’s explain each part.
The Best Season
The best seasonal choice to purchase a home is during winter. There is less inventory and fewer buyers during this time because of the weather and holiday season. However, motivated sellers will negotiate the purchase price, closing costs, and incentive with buyers. Furthermore, the buyers in this climate are serious about finding a home. The closing process goes faster because of less paperwork with lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, and more. Autumn is the second choice for similar reasons. The buying and selling season slows down around autumn once children are in school.
The bottom two are peak seasons spring and summer. Both spring and summer offer more inventory, sunny weather, winding down school schedules, and a buyer influx. Sellers will not negotiate on home prices during those seasons, and buyers must make an excellent offer to secure a sale.
The Best Month
Most articles feel the best month to purchase a house is a tie between August and September. Those months are the sweet spot between the fast-paced summer market and the cool-down autumn market. Expect expensive homes to dip slightly in price because the bulk of buyers leave and the sellers who didn’t score a sale will negotiate. Winter months January and February are the cheapest months to buy a home because of fewer homes for sale and fewer buyers to purchase those homes. November and December are honorable mentions in affordable months to buy a home.
Meanwhile, June is the sweet spot between the end of school and the official start of summer, making it the worst month to buy a home. There is a massive wave of buyers ranging from one person and couples to families and multi-generational families on the hunt for a home. Sellers are also inflexible during this period because of potential bidding wars among buyers.
Personal Finances and Market Climate
If you prefer to allow your finances or the real estate climate to tell you, one answer is definitive while the other answer fluctuates.
Get Finances in Order
It’s crucial that personal finances are in order before buying. View your credit history for discrepancies and know your credit score. Improve credit score by paying off debt, paying bills on time, and avoiding big purchases until the home closes. Save money for a 20% down payment, search for a mortgage company that embraces your credit score, and maintain a steady income to pay mortgage payments. Make room for HOA fees, home repairs, closing costs, home inspections, home insurance, landscaping, and property taxes in the financial budget. When finances are stable, that is the definite time to search for a home.
Research the Market Climate
The market climate focuses more on national, state, and local factors. National factors include interest rate, mortgage rate, national job outlook, and the economy. State and local factors include state/local job outlook, real estate development, and buyer’s market versus seller’s market. The answers to the market climate nationally, statewide, and locally are in constant flux. Research is imperative in uncovering the truth because one answer does not fit all.
So, when is the best time to purchase a new house? There’s no clear-cut answer to this question. However, there are strategies to guide you toward discovering that perfect time to buy a house. Then, the answer will be clear.