Buying a house in North Carolina but not sure of the best time to buy? The answer to when you should buy depends on what you’re looking for and where you’re looking. Here are some tips on the best time for house-shopping in North Carolina.
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 North Carolina, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in North Carolina were lowest in January. On average, homes were $34,764 less expensive. While in October — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $27,419 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 North Carolina.
Best Month For
7.7% lower than average
23.4% more homes to choose from
2.96% 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 North Carolina
North Carolina has it all — from cities to coasts to mountains to the country. It also has a dynamic real estate market.
Remember: what’s right for one part of the state may not be right for another. If you’re looking for a mountain getaway, the timing of the market will be different from a beach house or downtown condo.
That said, there are some general guidelines you can follow, depending on your priorities.
What is most important to you and your family? Do you want the largest selection of houses? The lowest prices? Or something in between?
Biggest Selection of Homes
If selection is more important to you than price, you’ll want to look in the spring. April has the most listings of any month, and April, May, and June are far and away the three most popular months for new listings.
Spring is also the most expensive time to buy. In spring selling season, with the most availability comes the most competition. From March to May, one in every four houses sells above its list price.
For the lowest prices, you’ll probably want to start looking in the fall and aim to buy in the late fall or early winter. In fall and winter, there are fewer homes on the market but also fewer people looking to buy.
Homeowners selling from November through February are often selling because they have to, not because they want to — and that can lead to large discounts.
Good Selection & Good Prices
If what you want is a middle ground between the chaotic spring and stagnant winter, home shopping towards the end of summer just might be for you. There’s a larger selection of homes available than in the fall and winter, and unlike in spring, houses will be priced to move.
Homeowners who hoped to sell in spring or summer, but didn’t, will start to offer discounts towards the end of summer. Sellers still living in their homes want to move before the weather gets cold. Parents want to move before the school year starts. And because the end of the season attracts fewer buyers, good deals are still to be had.
These considerations are especially true for people looking to buy beachfront property — sale prices tend to plummet after beach season comes to an end.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in North Carolina
Asheville, known as "The Land of the Sky” for its elevation of over 2,000 feet, is known for its outdoorsy culture, fun restaurants, and art galleries. Situated along the Blue Ridge Parkway and between the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, Asheville is the perfect place for people who want to combine a love for the great outdoors with a fun, close knit community.
Morrisville, a suburb of Raleigh, is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in North Carolina. Its diversity, excellent public schools, and proximity to Raleigh make it one of the hottest spots in the state for Millenials and young families.
Winston-Salem is known for tobacco, but it brings so much more than that to the table. The fourth-largest city in North Carolina, Winston-Salem is family friendly, has good schools, and boasts more than 75 public parks.
Charlotte is a metropolitan area that retains its southern charm. If you like city life, you’ll have a lot to do in Charlotte, which is known for its restaurants and nightlife. Over the last several years, Charlotte has become a destination for transplants to North Carolina.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in North Carolina
1. Find a Great North Carolina Real Estate Agent
Finding the right, local real estate agent for you is an important step in the buying process. You need an agent who knows the local market inside and out and can advise you on the best time to buy in your locale.
Real estate agents are experts and can help advise you on what time of the year to buy to fit your family’s needs.
Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?
2. Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Each decision in the home buying process is personal, and how to time your purchase is no different. Some families care most about price, while others are more interested in having the best selection to choose from. Some are tied to a specific location, while others don’t have a particular area in mind.
Sit down and plan out what your needs and desires are. From there, you can get a better idea of when the time is right for you to look.
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 North Carolina, 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 North Carolina a typical house is worth $220,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $785. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $742.
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.
It’s easy to start your home buying journey – answer a few questions to get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
4. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
After you’ve found the right home for you, your agent will help you prepare and make your offer. Make sure you choose an agent who’s an expert negotiator and will save you money every step of the way.
If you’re looking to buy a home in North Carolina, get in touch with a Clever Partner Agent. Clever Partner Agents are all top-rated in their field and can help you with every step of the purchase process.
Fill out our online form and we’ll put you in touch with a Clever Partner Agent in North Carolina for a no-obligation consultation.