West Virginia is a unique state with a variety of unique real estate markets. Covered with mountains, valleys, and rivers, the time to buy in West Virginia depends on a number of things, including your goals, your budget, and your location.
The only state that exists entirely in Appalachia, West Virginia is a dynamic place of mountain highs and valley lows.
Due to seasonal fluctuations in supply and demand, the best time to buy in one place is not necessarily the same as another — even across the same state. Finding the perfect time for good supply and low prices can be tough!
If you’re trying to time the West Virginia market, try getting in touch with an experienced local real estate agent. Local agents understand the seasonal variances and how to get the most for your money.
Here’s what you need to know about the best time to buy in the Mountain State.
Best Time of Year to Buy in West Virginia
West Virginia has everything from ski lodges to mountain cabins to suburbs of Washington, DC. Where to buy in one part of the state isn’t necessarily the best time to buy in another — the hot season in Snowshoe isn’t going to be the same as the hot season of the New River Gorge.
Before you think about timing, you need to think about your priorities: What’s most important to you and your family? Do you want the lowest prices? The largest selection of houses? Or something in between?
For the lowest prices, you’ll probably want to start looking in the fall and aim to buy in the late fall to 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.
Biggest Selection of Homes
If selection is more important than price, spring is for you. April has the most listings of any month, and April, May, and June are by far the three most popular months for new listings.
Unfortunately for buyers, 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.
Good Selection & Good Prices
If you want a middle ground between the craziness of spring and the lull of winter, home shopping towards the end of summer 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 who are still 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, there are good deals available.
Special Considerations in West Virginia
Always keep in mind the specifics of the area where you’re buying. Is it a winter skiing area? Summer rafting? Difficult to get to in the winter?
Like many other things in West Virginia, real estate doesn’t follow one set of rules all across the state. It’s important to study local trends and talk to your realtor about the timing of your market.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in West Virginia
The Eastern Panhandle
The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is known for its history, charm, and proximity to Washington, DC. It includes historic small towns like Charles Town, Shepherdstown, and Harpers Ferry, as well as larger Martinsburg. Just 70 miles from Washington, it’s an appealing area for people who work in DC but want to make their home in a smaller community.
The Eastern Panhandle is the fastest-growing part of West Virginia and expected to remain that way.
Home to the New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Area, Fayette County is a forested area in southern West Virginia, known for its views and summer attractions. Small towns like picturesque Fayetteville dominate Fayette County and create a great place for young and old alike — as long as they appreciate the great outdoors.
Cheat Lake, found along the Pennsylvania border, is also home to Coopers Rock State Forest. Known for its outdoor beauty and just 20 minutes to Morgantown, home of WVU, Cheat Lake offers an outdoors experience with a bustling college town just miles away.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in West Virginia
1. Find a Great West Virginia Real Estate Agent
It’s important for every buyer to find the right real estate agent. You need an agent who knows the local market inside and out and can advise you on the best time to buy in your area.
A good agent will know the trends and when a buyer like you should look most closely at the market. Realtors 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
When you’re buying a home, every decision is personal, and how to time your purchase is no different. Some buyers 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.
Figure out your needs and priorities before you start looking. From there, you can get a better idea of when the time is right for you to look.
Learn More: What to Look for When Buying a Home
3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing.
Home buyers have many different financing options open to them, from government-sponsored and subsidized loans to traditional mortgages from private lenders. Your agent can help evaluate your financing options and figure out what will work for you, given your goals and current financial situation.
Remember that the closing process typically takes around 30 days, so if you’re on a fixed timeline, be sure to tell your agent.
Learn More: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Home Loan Process
4. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
After you’ve found your dream home, your agent will help you prepare and make your offer. When looking for an agent, make sure you find an expert negotiator who will save you money every step of the way.
If you’re shopping for a home in West Virginia, get in touch with a Clever Partner Agent. Clever Partner Agents are all top-rated and can help you through every step of the purchase process.
Fill out our online form and we’ll put you in touch with a Clever Partner Agent in West Virginia for a no-obligation consultation.