If you're thinking about buying a home, you may be wondering if timing is important. Can you get a better deal in some months than in others?
It's a fair question. The answer is, it depends. That's not to ignore the question, but the fact is that the best time of year to buy a home is when you are ready for the purchase. That means you are confident about your financial situation and your ability to secure a loan. A professional real estate agent will be able to help you determine what your budgetary constraints are.
The second part of the answer is that there really are some months of the year that are better for home buyers than others. Typically, in the U.S. home sales decline in November and winter months. In fact, you're likely to find the best price for a home on Christmas.
But winter also means a smaller supply of homes for you to look at. So, while you may get your ideal price in late fall and winter, you may not have as big a selection to choose from.
So, home buyers need to balance their budgetary restraints with other considerations. Here's our guide for what you need to know about the best time to buy a house in Alabama.
Best Time of Year to Buy in Alabama
The best time to buy a house in Alabama is like in many other parts of the country. November to January are good times to start looking for a home, if budget is your main concern. But it should also be noted that as the year goes on, the supply of homes also gets bigger.
So, while it may be that you can find homes at lower prices in the winter, there is also less selection. Housing supplyin Alabama can rise dramatically even in a 30-day period. According to the University of Alabama's Center for Real Estate, historically, March home sales on average increase from February to March by almost 11%.
The real estate market in Alabama is relatively affordable. The statewide median sales price is $162,759. It has increased (by 2.6% from 2018 to 2019), but it is still a great market for buyers. Home buyers, particularly first time buyers, can enter at any time of year. If you work with a good realtor, you can negotiate a good price once you are ready to buy.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in Alabama
This industrial town of nearly 6,000 tucked between Birmingham and Chattanooga, Tennessee, has some of the most affordable homes in the U.S. The median home price is just $78,000, and that presents a lot of opportunities for investors. Last year, it saw an 8% hike in home prices.
Albertville, once inhabited by the Cherokee nation, has median home values at about $114,700. It saw a year-over-year change of 8% between 2017 and 2018.
This is a town with a thriving economy and a very low unemployment rate. It's expecting a recent jobs boom to continue into 2020.
This is one of the hottest real estate markets in the region right now. The median home price in Alabama is $86,000. The low home prices are attracting investors from larger metropolitan areas.
The city has undergone a major revitalization in the past few years and it has become a hub for banking, medical research, and construction. Its affordability and growing jobs sector is a major attraction for young professionals and families.
Huntsville home prices climbed by 5.7% last year. But at $153,200 they are still more affordable than in comparable urban centers. The real estate market is expected to keep growing into 2020.
Huntsville, also known as the “Rocket City,” is the home of rocket-propulsion research. Jobs in space and engineering sectors create a thriving local economy, while attracting professionals from across the U.S.
Four Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Alabama
1. Find a Great Alabama Real Estate Agent
Having the right real estate agent has never been more important. Towns and neighborhoods change rapidly and so do market trends. A professional real estate agent will always be up-to-date on the most recent data so that you can find your ideal home at the lowest possible price.
If you work with a great realtor you can find your ideal home well within your budget no matter what time of year you decide to buy. As noted above, prices may generally be lower in the winter, but there is more supply in the summer.
Your real estate agent will help take the stress out of buying a home so that you don't have to make one of the most important financial decisions of your life alone. A good realtor will guide you through the entire process of buying a home from the initial search stage to signing your purchase contract. In fact, they can even start working with you before you decide to look so that you can be sure that buying a home is within your financial reach.
Lastly, there are many national, state, and local regulations when it comes to buying and selling a home. A real estate agent's job is to represent your best financial interest. He or she will be able to suggest reliable home inspectors, lenders, and other professionals that you will need when buying a home.
Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?
2. Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
A real estate agent will be able to negotiate the best price for your home and then guide you through the closing details. But one of the most important things he or she can do for you as a home buyer is help you determine your needs and goals for your home purchase.
In other words, what must you have in your new home? Do you need to buy near a school? Does your prospective home have to be close to a major highway or shopping center? Do you need a two-car garage?
What makes a dream home is entirely up to you. You may not even have thought about the specifics of your ideal home. A professional realtor will be able to answer all of your questions and help you decide what works best for you. You and your real estate agent can then view homes that fit your criteria.
Learn More: What to Look for When Buying a Home
3. Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Once a seller accepts your offer, the real estate agent will work with you on having a home inspection done. They will also offer advice and lead you to professionals who can help with the legal paperwork. Just as importantly, they can point you to any state and federal loan or grant programs that may assist you with the down payment, closing costs, or even your mortgage.
One of your first steps should be to secure proper funding to purchase a home. There are many options available and it's best to speak to a professional realtor about which one is right for you. A good real estate agent will be able to lead you to a lender that you can trust, whether it's a mortgage broker, a bank, or a credit union.
4. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
Buying a home is an art form in many ways. There are many subjective aspects to it, not least of which is that you have to like the home you buy, not just its price.
But once you have found your perfect home, you will want a professional negotiator on your side. The difference between a good negotiator and bad negotiator could save you tens-of-thousands of dollars. Clever Partner Agents have access to up-to-the minute data and can help you put in a precise bid. They can also guide you through the counter-offer stage.
Fill out the online form, if you want to know more about the home buying process and how a Clever Partner Agent can help you. A Clever representative will contact you soon about any questions that you may have. You'll then be connected to a local Partner Agent for a no-obligation consultation.