When you’re ready to start shopping for a new home, there are endless things to consider: price, location, financing, and more. But have you considered the time of year that you search to be a factor?
Inventory can often be higher in the spring, but looking for your new home in the fall has plenty of advantages as well. Winter may be quieter in terms of market movement, but summer shopping may see an increase in your competition.
The best time of year to buy a home is, realistically, when you and your family are ready, but there are plenty of pros and cons of home searching in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Shopping in the Spring
When the final snows of winter melt, do you feel more motivated to get out and tackle all the things you’ve been waiting months to do? The same happens with the real estate market. Everyone is ready to buy and sell in spring, which is why you’ll often find more inventory available and eager real estate agents who are ready to help you buy.
However, the downside of this excitement is that you’ll have even more competition. You’ll find fewer opportunities to negotiate sales prices, and more bidders focusing on the same properties.
Shopping in the Summer
Warm-weather months will give you a better idea of the overall quality of the home you’re purchasing. It can be difficult to tell what a roof looks like when it is covered in snow, so shopping in the summer means you see properties for what they are. Plus, you’ll find it more pleasant to attend open houses and survey properties when you’re not ducking for cover because of rain or snow.
However, if you are looking for properties in a seasonal area, such as by the water, you may find higher prices during the summer season, as these areas command more attention and interest.
Shopping in the Fall
Looking for a home in the fall can give you a great opportunity to find deals. Year in and year out, October, November, and December are the months where you can find the biggest discounts. As kids head back to school and the summer months wane, sellers are getting antsy about holding onto their properties come winter. With the rush of spring and summer over, these sellers may be more likely to negotiate deals.
You’ll likely find less inventory available during this time, but if you know what you are looking for, you may find that fewer options make your choice even easier.
Shopping in the Winter
If you are looking in a location that gets hit by winter weather, you know that looking for homes will be a little more complicated. If everything is covered in snow, you’ll need to do more due diligence to ensure that the property is as stated. However, during the winter you can also tap into one big benefit – the holiday season. When people are in the mood to celebrate the holidays, you may find they are more willing to accept easy terms and even discounts.
Again, if you are shopping during the winter for a seasonal location – such as warm weather in the south or a ski resort up north, you’ll be in the high-sales season with more competition.
Ultimately, there is no better time to buy a house then when you are ready to do so. Keeping an eye on the time of year will help open up more options for both inventory and savings, but even during the high seasons, you’ll be able to find the right place, with a little work. Get started on your home buying journey today by getting pre-approved for a mortgage, so you know what you can spend. Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you with options.