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5 Things to Know When Buying a Home in September

There are many pluses to buying a home in September, from less competition to reduced home prices. You'll find motivated sellers, and the process can be easier. What are the pros and cons of buying in September? Find out five things you need to know.
There are many pluses to buying a home in September, from less competition to reduced home prices. You'll find motivated sellers, and the process can be easier. What are the pros and cons of buying in September? Find out five things you need to know.

Fall can be a great time to buy a home. In some parts of the country, the oppressive heat and humidity of summer have tapered off, and it’s easier to inspect the home’s exterior and yard. There will be less competition than during the summer, particularly in August when parents want to move and get settled before school starts.

While you’ll have less inventory to pick from when house hunting, you can still find what you’re looking for if you partner with a great real estate agent. If you’re trying to save money, find one who offers home buyer’s rebate or accepts lower commissions.

September is a Great Time to Find a Deal

Sellers who still have homes on the market after the height of the spring and summer buying season will be highly motivated to sell. They might have already reduced the price, or be offering other incentives to buyers.

Only 19% of homes on the market sell above their list price in September, five to six percentage points less than April through June.

An experienced realtor can help during the negotiation process to find other ways to save when buying a home.

September is an Easier Time to Buy Overall

Business has slowed down, so your agent will have more time to devote to finding the perfect house for you. There will be less pressure to buy. School has already started and if you do have children but still want to move there’s no avoiding potentially switching schools.

It’s also easier to walk around the exterior and find any issues that could have been hidden by flowering bushes in the summer or winter snow. Your home inspector can see more, too.

When Deciding to Buy Look at Interest Rates

The right time to buy a house will also depend on the mortgage interest rate a bank will give you on your loan. While the Federal Reserve doesn’t set mortgage interest rates, they do set the Fed Funds Rate. The Fed Funds Rate is what banks pay to borrow and lend to one another.

As the Fed Funds Rate rises, it becomes more expensive for banks to borrow, and they pass that increase onto consumers. Banks will only lend to consumers if they can get a higher rate than what they’d receive by lending to another lending institution.

Look at Your Financial Situation before Buying

There’s more than just a down payment when it comes to affording a home. While you might have finally saved up your down payment and be eager to start house hunting, consider other expenses related to homeownership. Your budget will also need to cover real estate taxes, upkeep and maintenance, and homeowner’s insurance after you buy a house.

If the whole picture says that you can afford to buy, you might also decide that you’re tired of paying rent. Average rents keep increasing nationwide. If you’ve grown tired of paying high housing costs and not getting the benefit of a mortgage interest deduction or building equity, now could be the time to buy. Your mortgage could end up being less than what you’re currently paying in rent.

Buy When You’ve Got Your Team in Place

Whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth, you’ll want a team of experienced professionals to help you make the process go smoothly. Not just a realtor but a home inspector, a moving company, and a mortgage broker.

Sometime early in the process, get pre-approved for a mortgage. It reassures owners that your offer is legitimate and unlikely to fall through. If you end up in a bidding war with another buyer who isn’t pre-approved, the seller will favor your offer.

A good home inspector will evaluate your potential new home to locate any current and major flaws which could cost you thousands of dollars to repair.

Ready to start your home buying journey? Contact Clever today. One of our representatives will put you in touch with an experienced, local real estate agent to help you get started buying a home in September.

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Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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