Timing your purchase just right can lead to thousands of dollars in savings on your Virginia home. Predicting the market can be hard, but it helps to have the guidance of a local real estate agent. We take a look at how home prices in Virginia fluctuate and how you can take advantage of the trends.
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 Virginia, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in Virginia were lowest in January. On average, homes were $43,834 less expensive. While in November — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $36,096 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 Virginia.
Best Month For
8.7% lower than average
19.3% more homes to choose from
2.89% 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.
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Best Time of Year to Buy in Virginia
As already mentioned, spring is when things begin to warm up in real estate markets across the country. That is also true in Virginia. March is when you start seeing the ‘For Sale’ signs start showing up in many parts of the state. That period lasts until the first half of May.
In terms of the range of choices, spring is the best time for buyers in Virginia. Inventory is at its highest and you get to take advantage of the increased supply. By the same token, it’s also the time when prices tend to go up.
If you’re looking for the most affordable purchase, it’s best to wait until summer. The uptick in supply seen in spring has gone down by then. Most families are busy taking advantage of the summer holidays and pleasant weather during that period. It’s a good time to make the most of a drop in competition for homes for first-time buyers in Virginia.
Waiting until after summer to buy a house in Virginia is a bit of a gamble. Sellers have had their houses remain on the market for too long by this point and may drop prices as a result. So it’s a good time to pick up a house at under market value.
At the same time, most of the best houses have already been purchased by late summer in Virginia. So waiting until then could mean not having access to the best properties in your area.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in Virginia
It may be the capital, but Richmond’s houses are generally priced below the median value for properties in the state. There is a large variety of housing types to choose from depending on which part of the city you decide to call home.
Not only is Leesburg one of the most picturesque towns in the country, it’s also an affordable one. There’s a reason why it has been named among the best cities for families in the past.
Suffolk is one of the largest cities in Virginia, but still manages to radiate a small-town charm. The median price of a house in the city is $229,900 and median incomes in the area tend to be high.
The median price of a house in Portsmouth is just $147,900. That makes for very affordable living in a city that’s known for its many historic sites and wealth of educational institutions.
Alexandria is consistently among the fastest growing cities in the state of Virginia. The growth in population continues to fuel the economy, making it a great place to own a home in.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Virginia
Here are a few things you can do to get a good price on a house in the state.
Find a Great Virginia Real Estate Agent
The best way to know what moves to make as a buyer is by hiring a highly-rated real estate agent. Agents are well-versed with the state of the local real estate market at different times of the year. In addition to that, they work with buyers to understand requirements, search listings, and oversee the closing process.
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
Understanding your own needs is imperative to finding the right home. The size of your family, your financial capabilities, and the duration of your stay will all come into play as you sift through local listings. This is another step during which an agent can help you align your personal goals with what’s available on the market.
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 Virginia, 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 Virginia a typical house is worth $299,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $1,067. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $1,008.
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.
Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
Now it’s time to put on your businessman’s hat. It helps to have an understanding of the real estate market in the area in which you’re buying a home as you go into negotiations. Good negotiators are also able to point out shortcomings in properties, which can lead to a reduction in the eventual price.
A highly rated real estate agent can add value to every step of the buying process. A buyer’s agent provides assistance with everything from assessing your needs or negotiating a good price.
Clever Partner Agents consistently save buyers thousands of dollars on their homes. Our full-service agents come with at least 5 years of experience under their belt and an in-depth understanding of their local housing market.
If you’re ready to buy a Virginia home for the best price possible, start by filling out your details on this page. A Clever representative will get in touch to set up a free consultation call, after which we match you with one of the top real estate agents in your area.