Buying a house can be expensive, but you might be able to get a better deal at certain times of the year. Of course, a host of personal factors will also influence your decision on when to make a purchase.
If you have some flexibility in terms of when to buy a house, pay attention to the market. If there is a buyer’s market with lots of homes for sale, sellers may be willing to lower their prices, especially if they are eager to move. In a seller’s market, there are fewer homes available, which means you will likely face stiffer competition.
Demand for houses can vary widely based on the season. More homes tend to be listed in the spring and summer than at other times of the year. That is also a popular period for people to move, which makes it a competitive time to buy.
During the fall and winter, fewer homes are listed and fewer people are thinking about moving because of the weather and holidays. Buyers may be willing to lower their prices in the colder months if their houses have been on the market for a while and they are eager to sell.
Your own financial circumstances will help you decide on the right time to buy a house. You will need to be confident that you have enough money for a down payment, a high enough credit score to qualify for a mortgage with a reasonable interest rate, and enough income to cover your mortgage, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can act quickly when you find the right house.
If you need to move by a specific date so you can start a new job or so your kids can start school, begin looking for a house as soon as you can so that you will have plenty of time to explore your options without feeling rushed. Starting to look early can also allow you to keep searching if you are not sure that a house is right for you or to negotiate the price with the seller.
If you have a limited budget, you might be able to get a good deal by purchasing a house in the winter. If you are looking for a house in a particular area or one that has specific features, you might have the best luck in the spring or summer, when there tends to be more homes on the market.
When Is the Right Time to Buy a House?
There is no particular month that is the ideal time to buy a new home. You will need to consider your own financial situation, any scheduling issues and the local market to figure out the best time to buy. Ask a real estate agent for advice on market conditions and when to begin looking for your next home.