When should you start home shopping in Massachusetts? The time of year that you begin your search can impact everything from the available inventory to the amount you eventually pay for your new home. Here are some tips on when to buy in Massachusetts.
Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You'll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.
One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In Massachusetts, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in Massachusetts were lowest in January. On average, homes were $130,329 less expensive. While in September — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $140,605 more than the annual average.
In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Massachusetts.
Best Month For
13.3% lower than average
7.9% more homes to choose from
2.87% interest for 30-year mortgage
Realtor.com data (October 2020)
Bankrate data (December 2020)
If you're interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting preapproved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.
You can fill out the form below to be instantly matched with a licensed lender who knows the area and can guide you through the process.
Best Time of Year to Buy in Massachusetts
The best time of year to buy partially depends on your home buying goals. If you want to have the largest selection to choose from, shop in the first few months of spring. If your goal is to be moved before school starts, look at the beginning of summer rather than the end, when other families with small children will be getting desperate and bidding up homes.
While the median home prices in Massachusetts is $407,800, prices vary significantly by the part of the state where you want to live. In Springfield, the median home value is only $160,400, but in Cambridge, it’s $804,100.
March through April is peak home buying season in Massachusetts. If you don’t mind moving in winter, however, any seller with a house on the market will likely accept a much lower offer.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in Massachusetts
The best place for you to buy a home will probably come down to your lifestyle and family situation. Whether you want a short commute, great schools, or options, here are three great places to live in Massachusetts.
Just a short commute from Boston, Wilmington is a community with a percentage of home ownership, but lower monthly costs than being in the city proper. With highly rated public schools and active sports and activities programs throughout the city, it’s a great place for families.
Burlington is close to Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, making it the perfect location for families with partners who have to commute in different directions. It’s a technology hub, with a strong Microsoft presence, and you might not have to commute. Schools are well-ranked, too.
Southwest of Boston, you’ll find Franklin, a smaller town where housing is reasonable. Local employers are concentrated in manufacturing and scientific research and development, so not everyone will have to commute.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal on a Home in Massachusetts
1. Find a Great Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts
Local real estate agents help along every step of the home buying journey. They can offer advice on getting pre-approved for a mortgage, as they’ve probably dealt with every lender in town. By asking questions, they’ll help you narrow your search to the best neighborhood to meet your needs and budget. Once you’ve made an offer, an agent handles with the all-important negotiations over price, move in dates, and closing costs.
You’ll want an agent who works as a buyer’s agent, advocating on your behalf. Clever Partner Agents agree only to represent you while you’re buying a home. Our network consists of top agents from nationwide brokerages such as Century21 or Keller Williams. Agents join Clever because we make it easier for them to find buyers. They agree to accept flat fees or low commissions, and many offer home buyer’s rebates.
2. Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
A couple that’s retiring wants to downsize, whereas a pregnant couple is probably looking for more space. Every home buyer has different needs. Your real estate agent will ask many questions to assess what you’re looking for and will help you prioritize your needs.
After gathering information, an agent then describes the types of homes which are within your budget and guides you in identifying items on your list where you could compromise. If you have specific goals financial goals, such as a target monthly mortgage payment, they’ll explain what you can get for that price and where you should concentrate your search.
To start putting together your list, readWhat to Look for When Buying a Home.
3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Massachusetts, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
For example, in Massachusetts a typical house is worth $462,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $1,648. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $1,558.
Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.
» Get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
4. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
Once you’ve found your future home, your agent prepares and submits an offer. If you ask they’ll come to the home inspection, so they have first-hand knowledge of needed repairs. Based on what the home inspector finds, they’ll then negotiate price reductions for major repairs or items that should be fixed before moving in.
Not many people have negotiation skills, but negotiating terms and a sale price can save you thousands, which is why it’s so important to Find a Buyer’s Agent That’s a Good Negotiator.
If you’re ready to begin house hunting in Massachusetts, fill out the online form. A Clever representative will connect you with a local Partner Agent for a no-obligation consultation, or to just answer any questions you may have.