The Evergreen State is often sought out as a place to settle down and start over — and it’s no wonder. Its beautiful scenery, active lifestyle, and vibrant social scene is enough to draw anyone to its suburban neighborhoods and downtown.
But looking for a new home doesn’t come without its struggles. Location, as they say, is everything — and that’s true. However, location alone won’t help you find the best house at the best price.
Equally as important as location is timing. In fact, time-related factors can have a massive impact on everything from price to availability. Market-specific influences and seasonal fluctuations mixed with local inventory and property values can make for a volatile and hard-to-predict marketplace.
Fortunately, working with an experienced, local real estate agent can help you find the home of your dreams for a great price. They know the market better than anyone and can walk you through the entire home buying process.
However, walking into the realtor relationship with your own knowledge is helpful, too. Here’s what you need to know about the best time to buy a house in Washington.
Best Time of Year to Buy in Washington
Historically, March through April represents the best months for buyers in Washington State. Winter is also a good time to purchase a home, though, since this is when prices tend to plateau.
Native Washingtonians might be used to the cold, but most of them still don’t want to brave the snow and rain to look at homes. This also makes winter a great time to buy, since you’ll have less competition.
The current market in Washington is promising. Home values have declined 2.4% in Seattle in the past year and are expected to drop an additional 0.2% in the next year. Home prices will be higher in the third quarter of 2019, around October, than they were at the same time in 2018.
For those reasons, now is a great time to purchase a home if you’re not keen to wait until the winter.
Best Place to Find a Home in Washington
Washington is home to many small neighborhoods and towns, each of which has its own personality. While you won’t find a shortage of beautiful and desirable places to live, having a place to start can help make your search easier.
Here are five of the best places to buy a home in Washington.
This suburban area has a large number of parks, relatively good weather compared with the rest of the state, and is safe. It’s popular among families, has a population of around 13,797, and is close to an enjoyable selection of restaurants, cafés, and unique shopping selections. The median home value here is $217,700 and 81% of residents own their homes.
Known for its unique local coffee shops and suburban feel, it’s still accessible from the surrounding cities, as well. This set of features makes it popular among young professionals. There are 3,220 people who call Canterwood, Washington home. The median home value is $440,600 and 84% of residents own their homes.
Wauna is a charming suburb that is popular among retirees. It’s quiet and close to many outdoor activities and locations that nature lovers enjoy. It also has wonderful dining and coffee options. There are 4,412 people in Wauna, the median home value is $294,200, and 87% of people own their homes.
This suburb is great for families. It’s safe and is 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.
Finally, Richland is an attractive location for families, retirees, and young professionals alike. It boasts excellent weather compared to other areas of the state and is great for those who love the outdoors. There are 53,991 people in Richland, the median home value is $226,300, and 65% of residents own their homes.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal on a Home in Washington
It can be hard to find a good deal on a home, especially when local market fluctuations get in the way. But there are still some strategic tips that can help you negotiate the best deal for your dream home. Here are a few tips to help you buy a house in Washington and land a deal in the process.
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. Local agents know the market inside and out on a microscopic level and can help you navigate the home buying process.
What’s more, they’ll advocate for you the whole way, helping you avoid traps or bad deals and keeping you on the best path to buying your new home. They can personalize your real estate search, as well, putting you on the fast track to a home that meets your needs and fulfills your goals.
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
If you only have a vague idea of what your dream home should be, you’ll waste a lot of time when you’re house hunting. Work with your real estate agent to narrow down what you truly need and want, what you can be flexible about, and what you absolutely can’t negotiate 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.
Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Without adequate financing, finding the home of your dreams won’t do you any good. While obtaining a mortgage might seem straightforward, the home loan process is rather nuanced and can become complicated fast.
That’s when your real estate agent comes in handy. They can work with you to evaluate the funding options available to you based on your current financial status and goals. Be aware that the closing process typically takes around 30 days, so if you’re on a fixed timeline, you’ll want to keep that in mind.
Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
If you didn’t see the value of a real estate agent before, you will when you go to negotiate. Finding a buyer’s agent that’s also a keen negotiator can make the difference between saving money or paying thousands more than you needed to.
Once you find your dream home, your agent can help you formulate a realistic and reasonable offer. When the process moves forward, they can also assist you with post-inspection negotiations to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your new home. They can even help you find rebates and discounts you didn’t know existed.
In order to find an experienced real estate agent in your chosen area, complete our online form. A Clever representative will get in touch with you to answer all your questions and connect you with a local Partner Agent.
Clever Partner Agents are verified top performers in their local markets, so you know you’ll be working with an expert. They’ll offer you a no-obligation consultation, so there’s nothing to lose. Get started with Clever and start your journey toward owning your Washington dream home.