When is the best time to buy a house in North Carolina? The short answer is: it depends.
In recent years, listing prices in North Carolina have been lowest in January — with home prices $34,764 cheaper than the annual average. In October, prices spiked to $27,419 more than the yearly average. But these seasonal trends fluctuate year by year, and there are other factors to consider, such as where you live, what kind of house you're looking for, and your price range.
Mortgage rates, on the other hand, were lowest in December. But with interest rates currently on the rise, it pays to explore your options with a trusted mortgage providerto make sure you’re getting the best rate possible.
Read on to discover which time of the year is best to buy 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 (10/1/2020)
Bankrate data (12/1/2020)
If you're planning to buy a home in North Carolina, the first step in the home buying journey is to find a realtor who's an expert in your local market. Home prices spike and drop quickly, and a knowledgeable realtor will help you navigate the ups and downs of the market.
To find a great realtor, use a free service like Clever Real Estate. Clever will match you with top agents from trusted brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams.
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Best time of year to buy in North Carolina
North Carolina has it all — from cities to coasts to mountains to country. It also has a dynamic real estate market.
Keep in mind: the right time to buy 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 than a beach house or downtown condo.
That said, you can follow some general guidelines based on your priorities.
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 by far the three most popular months for new listings.
Spring is also typically the most expensive time to buy in North Carolina. 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 and good prices
If what you want is a middle ground between the chaotic spring and stagnant winter, home shopping toward the end of summer might be right for you. There’s a larger selection of homes available than in the fall and winter, and unlike in the spring, houses will be priced to move.
Homeowners who were unable to sell in spring or summer may start to offer discounts toward the end of summer. Sellers want to move before the weather gets cold, and parents want to move before the school year starts.
Because the end of the season attracts fewer buyers, it's easier to find good deals. This is especially true for people looking to buy beachfront property — sale prices tend to plummet after beach season comes to an end.
Whether you're looking for a home on the coast, in the mountains, or somewhere in between, the best way to find a home in your target market is to connect with a local realtor. They'll help you navigate the ins and outs of your market and find the best time to buy a house in North Carolina.
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 popular because of 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 most popular spots in the state for Millennials 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.
Four ways to get a great deal on a home in North Carolina
Once you have an idea of where you want to move, you'll want to have a plan for securing a good deal on a house. Check out these four steps to save when you buy.
1. Find a great North Carolina real estate agent
Finding the right local real estate agent is an important step in the buying process. You need an agent who knows the local market inside and out and who can advise you on the best time to buy a house in North Carolina. A realtor can even make specific recommendations on the best areas to search for your dream home.
2. Determine what you need and want in a house
Sit down and figure out what your needs and desires are for your future home. What features do you care about the most? Are you picky about location? Once you know what you want, make sure your realtor knows what you're looking for. They can help you find the best deal that balances pros and price.
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 rate is one of the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing some upfront research and comparing options to find the best rate 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.
4. Negotiate for the best possible price
After you’ve found the right home for you, your real estate agent will help you make an offer. Make sure you choose an agent who’s an expert negotiator and who will help you save money where possible.
If you're looking for a realtor, Clever can connect you with the top buyer's agents in your area for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Fill out our online form, and a Clever representative will reach out to get the process started and answer any questions you have.