When you're in the market for a new home, there are a lot of things to consider. Buying a house at the right time of year can save you tens of thousands of dollars.
It's best to look when it's a buyer's market, right before prices go up. Then, you end up with both a good price and instant equity.
Talking with a local real estate agent can give you the specifics about what's going on in your housing market. They'll let you know if it's time to pull the trigger on buying a house.
While you figure out if it's a good time to buy, here are some things to look out for.
Signs It's a Buyer's Market
In a buyer's market, there are more houses available than buyers on the market — in econ terms, supply exceeds demand. When there's more supply (houses) than demand (buyers in the market), it tends to be a good thing for buyers.
Also, keep an eye out for lower interest rates. When mortgage interest rates are low, you should think about buying. Getting a mortgage with a low interest rate can allow you to pay thousands of dollars less over the life of your loan.
Consider trends in your market. Local price trends give you the best bird's eye view of your market. If you map out the last year, five years, and ten years, what do home values in your neighborhood do? Are they moving up or down? How long have they been moving in that direction?
Use the data you find to analyze the health of your local market. Has your local market been growing and expanding? Was change gradual or sudden?
As a buyer, you want to see a market with the right balance of consistent growth and available homes.
Signs Prices Will Increase Soon
The best time to buy a house is right before prices go up. By buying just before a price jump, you not only save money — you also get instant equity.
Look at what percentage of listings in your area eventually sell. A high ratio of homes sold to homes listed is good news for your local market and indicates you might soon see a spike in prices. When a lot of people are moving into an area and there aren't a lot of houses available, prices can increase rapidly.
Note the current feel of your area. Is there a lot of new home construction? How many houses are on the market? Are you in a highly desirable school district or location? Are there any new amenities in your neighborhood? All of these things can affect home values.
Consider Your Priorities
The ideal time to buy will depend on your location and your priorities. Especially in areas with cold winters, there can be a marked difference between the winter and spring real estate markets.
If you want the biggest selection, look in spring. All across the country, May is the month to put homes on the market — but the flip side of that is May is also the month to buy. Spring is the hottest real estate season of the year, which means that prices are also higher. If you can afford to spend a little more money to find your dream home, spring is the season for you.
If you're looking for the best deal, start looking at real estate in the fall. Sellers who list their homes in the fall usually do it because they have to, not because they want to; and this leads to great deals.
Thinking About Buying a House?
You should be working with a local real estate agent. Local agents know their markets and can help you figure out the best time to buy in your area.
Clever Partner Agents are all top-rated in their areas and can help you figure out the best time to look in your locale. They know the micro-trends within their markets and will help you figure out if now is a good time to buy. Partner Agents also offer their clients Home Buyer Rebates of up to $1,000 back at closing in select states.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.