When buying a home, timing is more than simply being financially and mentally capable. You should also consider market seasons. Why?
The market season influences vital metrics, such as home prices, availability, and competition. As such, buying your home in the wrong season may not only be costly, but it may also leave you with a property that is less than desirable.
This guide reviews the effects of seasons on the housing market and how they help you determine the best time to buy a house.
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall: When Should I Buy my House?
The four major seasons have their unique upsides and downsides when it comes to buying a house. Do you know what that means? The ideal buying season varies according to the buyer: it may be summer for you but fall for someone else. Let’s assess the significance of each season below.
Home Buying During Winter
Market experts consider winter the best time of the year to buy a house. Do you know why? There are usually few buyers, so sellers compete to sell their listings.
What does this mean? The winter season gives you significant negotiating power.
However, on the other hand, winter also means you’ll have to go house hunting in the chilly winds. So, while you’ll have more power and spend less due to fewer buyers, house hunting can be cold and uncomfortable.
Is there a solution?
Perhaps, enlisting the help of a real estate agent — although agents tend to cost more in winter due to the weather.
That’s not all:
Finding available listings can prove difficult, even for your local real estate agent. In addition, home inspections are often complex during this time of year. Accumulated snow can be a problem during roof inspections and the cold can make it difficult to inspect the house’s cooling system.
Notwithstanding these obstacles, there are still cost-saving opportunities for home buyers. The closing process is usually faster. Real estate professionals are often easy to reach, lending services have fewer applications to deal with, and inspectors are less tied up in unfinished work.
Home Buying in Spring
Want to buy a house in spring? Know that flower-time comes with lots of competition among house hunters. Thanks to the warm weather and the end of the school year.
What’s the significance?
There are more listings to choose from, smoother inspection, and more affordable realtors. But there’s a catch — and you know it already. Higher house prices, even in the local market!
Should that deter you? Of course not! After all, one key reason for this intense competition is that houses show better in the spring. In fact, spring may be the ideal time to find that dream property!
By the way, note that geography can impact the level of competition during this peak season. Urban neighborhoods are more likely to have competition than other areas.
Home Buying During Summer
Summer is also a competitive season in the real estate market. Expect plenty of bidding wars throughout the sunny months. You need to be ready to move quickly to secure your dream home.
Sellers are looking for serious buyers to close open deals quickly to avoid complications. You can swiftly sell your house and purchase a new one in no time.
However, despite the bidding wars, you may be able to secure an excellent deal in summer. How? By waiting until late summer.
Usually, the local real estate market slows down in August, especially in less busy parts of town. Having a competent realtor at this time can help to secure your dream apartment at a comparatively fair price.
Buying a House During the Fall
If you think fall is the best time to buy a house, you may not be wrong.
After all, there’s usually a high number of available listings despite the fact that most families have settled down (before the school year begins). Hence, there are fewer buyers in the market during fall.
How does this concern you? Home sales usually involve price reductions during this period, so you can get a good house for the best price.
By this time, sellers are more desperate to sell their houses to available home buyers (before winter). Coupled with the fact that real estate agents are more available during this period, you can capitalize on this opportunity to buy assets for the lowest prices.
However, it’s noteworthy that parents want to settle down before school begins. Therefore, fall may not be your ideal buying season if you have kids who are still at school.
Are There Other Factors to Consider When Deciding the Ideal Time to Buy a House?
Yes, there are numerous other factors to evaluate. Seasons don’t singlehandedly determine the best time to buy a house.
There are a number of other essential considerations.
Housing Market Conditions
Apart from the fact that the real estate market fluctuates according to the seasons, other factors greatly influence home prices, interest rates, and inventory. An example is mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates tend to align with the Federal Reserve’s interest rates. So, mortgage interest rates are lower when there’s a decrease in the fed rate.
Finding a Competent Local Real Estate Agent
Competent real estate agents make the home-buying process convenient and less stressful for their clients.
A realtor often has access to opportunities that simplify the home sourcing procedure. That means they can help find a suitable property easily, work out the ideal down payment costs, homeowner association fee (if applicable), and do much more.
Ensure you’re paying a realtor that’ll make the whole process cheaper, quicker, and more manageable.
How Long Are You Planning to Stay?
All the time, work, upfront costs, and other expenses that you’ve invested in the house will probably not be worth it if you’re not planning to stay in your home for a long time.
So, if you don’t intend on staying in your house for a long time, buy a home with fewer upfront costs, mortgage rates, and other expenses.
Your finances play a huge role in determining whether you’re able to buy a house or not. Your credit score will let you know if you’re capable of handling mortgage repayments, maintenance costs, and property taxes.
If you can’t handle these costs while having a significant amount of money left, it’s not advisable to buy a house.
The Property’s Condition
Unless you’re buying as-is, most houses are in good outward condition. Nevertheless, that mustn’t stop your due diligence–faults are rarely noticeable at a glance!
Take your time to assess the property’s foundation, the state of available appliances, and the vulnerability to common environmental threats.
A house in terrible condition or one that requires significant maintenance means more expenses apart from the cost of buying and other upfront costs.
Home Prices in the Local Market
Depending on the area, some houses are expensive, and we’re not just referring to the down payment. Maintenance and other costs are also significantly expensive.
As such, it’s necessary to consider local house prices before making a down payment.
The Benefits of Homeownership
Before house hunting, it’s essential to note the benefits of investing in the real estate market. Some of these advantages are:
Unlike cars and other assets, a house increases in value over time. Even though each property is affected by different factors, the average home appreciates every year.
With this in mind, selling a property is sure to bring a significant amount of profit. Furthermore, residential apartments can generate income when rented out to tenants.
As a homeowner, you enjoy certain benefits that you don’t have access to as a tenant. Sharing toilets, kitchens, and bathrooms are common among tenants.
Also, living with a noisy next-door neighbor is no longer a problem, as homeownership gives you the choice of either renting a portion of your house or not.
Homeownership reduces the anxiety of increased rent or immediate eviction. Also, moving from one rental to another may be tedious, frustrating, and draining, both emotionally and financially.
Homeownership is beneficial for the stability it grants, thereby reducing the financial strains that come with a tenancy.
The Cons of Homeownership
While owning a house comes with great benefits, there are also downsides.
Although a house grants stability, it may sometimes be limiting. For instance, you’ll have a hard time accepting a non-remote job that’s far from where you live.
In situations like this, you’re tied down unless you intend to take the difficult route and move out of the house.
Another issue with homeownership is the necessity for maintenance. Houses require maintenance if you want them to maintain their value.
Maintenance can prove quite costly, especially when damage is significant.
As the landlord, you must shoulder these home issues and fix them as soon as possible to prevent them from getting worse.
Maintenance includes calling and paying for professional services to address the issues with the house.
Property Values Tend to Fall
Houses tend to increase in value, but sometimes they fall. When you fail to maintain your home, structural and mechanical problems surface. Also, as these problems worsen, the house’s value drops.
The house’s value can even drop to the point where it’s worth even less than when you bought it.
Buying a house is a huge responsibility that requires a lot of forethought. Therefore, It’s imperative to note the factors that influence your decision to buy a house.
All of these factors can help you answer the question: “when is the right time to buy a house?” One of these elements is the season or time of year. Some seasons bring fewer homes and buyers to the market, while others increase both demand and supply.
Other factors, such as the condition of the property and the intended duration of stay, may also affect your house hunting. It’s necessary to consider these factors before you make a decision.
Likewise, there are various advantages and disadvantages to homeownership. These pros and cons may change your mind or further increase your desire to buy a house, so it is crucial to consider these factors.
Kris Reid is the CEO of Ardor SEO, a company that helps real estate professionals get more leads and customers to predictably grow their business.
Over the years, Kris acquired extensive knowledge of SEO and its practical applications in various industries, with the main focus on real estate.
In 2021 Ardor launched the Icons of Real Estate Podcast to share proven strategies from the top producing icon agents with the real estate community.
After obtaining the real estate license in 2022, Kris joined eXp Realty and launched Homes by Ardor, the platform that was built to be the fastest way to buy or sell a house. Homes by Ardor also provides leads for its partner companies and realtors.