Washington offers beautiful scenery and an active lifestyle that many people find appealing. One way to make buying a house there easier is starting the process at the right time.
In recent years, listing prices for homes in Washington were lowest in January. On average, homes were $38,972 less expensive. While in November — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $59,275 more than the annual average.
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 provider to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible.
Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Washington.
Best month for
5.7% lower than average
12.0% more homes to choose from
2.98% 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 the Evergreen State, the first step is to connect with a realtor who's an expert in the local market. Economic conditions in Washington change quickly, and an experienced realtor can advise you on the best times and locations to start your home search.
To find a great realtor, use a free service like Clever Real Estate. Clever will match you with top agents from trusted brokerages like Keller Williams and Century 21.
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The best time of year to buy in Washington
Historically, March and April are the best months for buyers in Washington State. During these months, there are typically more homes on the market for buyers to choose from, many of them move-in ready.
However, if you're hoping to purchase a home at a discount, winter is likely a better time to buy. In winter, prices in Washington tend to plateau. Sellers typically prefer to list in the summer, so homeowners who sell in the winter are often more willing to negotiate their home price.
That said, Washington is a large and diverse state, and real estate trends vary greatly depending on local factors. 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 Washington.
The best cities to buy a house in Washington
Washington is home to many small neighborhoods and towns, each with its own personality. While you won’t find a shortage of beautiful and desirable places to live, having a starting point for your search can make house hunting easier.
Here are five of the best places to buy a home in Washington.
This suburban area is safe, features many parks, and has relatively good weather compared with the rest of the state. It’s popular among families, with a population of around 13,797, and is close to a good selection of restaurants, cafés, and shopping. The median home value is $217,700, and 81% of residents own their homes.
Known for its unique coffee shops and suburban feel, Canterwood is still accessible from surrounding cities. This combination of local aesthetic and location makes this city popular among young professionals. Around 3,220 people call Canterwood, Washington, home. The median home value is $440,600, and 84% of residents own their homes.
Wauna is a charming suburb that’s popular among retirees. It’s quiet and close to outdoor activities and areas, perfect for nature lovers. Wauna also offers plenty of dining and coffee options and is home to a population of 4,412. The median home value is $294,200, and 87% of people own their homes.
This suburb is safe and close to several good schools. It’s popular among families, especially those with children, and young professionals. Currently, 7,683 people call Duval their home. The median home value is $426,500, and 88% of residents own their homes.
Richland is an attractive location for families, retirees, and young professionals alike. It boasts excellent weather compared to other areas of the state and attracts people who love the outdoors. Richland’s population is 53,991, with a median home value of $226,300. About 65% of residents own their homes.
Four ways to get a great deal on a home in Washington
Finding a good deal on a home can be challenging, especially when local market fluctuations get in the way. But some strategies can help you negotiate the best deal for your home. Here are a few tips to help you buy a house in Washington at a good price.
1. Find a great Washington real estate agent
No matter how much experience you have in real estate, it’s critical to find a local real estate agent who can help you through the process. Experienced realtors know the market inside and out and can help you navigate the home buying process. They’ll advocate for you the whole way, helping you avoid traps or bad deals.
2. Determine what you need and want in a house
Work with your real estate agent to narrow down what you truly need and want in a house, what you can be flexible about, and what you can’t compromise on. Your real estate agent can help you understand what to look for in a house, what to avoid, and things to be aware of that you might not have thought of before.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you and your real estate agent can begin your search. Your agent will personalize your real estate search, putting you on the fast track to a home that meets your needs.
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 Washington, 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 Washington a typical house is worth $451,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $1,609. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $1,521.
4. Negotiate for the best possible price
Once you find your dream home, your agent will help you determine the right amount to offer in order to win your home. They'll also negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you pay a fair price for the home.
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.