There is a lot that goes into buying a house, and timing is certainly an important factor. In addition to putting together your financial documents, partnering with a skilled Realtor, and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you will probably want to think about what the best time of year is to buy a house.
Is There a Best Time to Buy a Home?
Before diving too far into the topic, I want to talk about where there is one objectively best time to buy a home. For the most part, best is subjective, meaning that what works for one family may not work for another. However, if your focus is on a particular factor, like low competition for properties on the market, then there can indeed be specific time frames where you will have more luck. I have broken up the remainder of the article around those factors to help you determine what kind of timing may work best for you and your family.
Best Time to Buy a Home: Low Competition
Springtime and early summer are generally pretty busy in the real estate market. Renters looking to purchase a home for the first time often look during this period because their leases are up during the summer. This also happens to be a popular time for people to list a home.
Because Florida is temperate year-round, there is not as much a winter lull in the real estate market as there is in snowy areas. It is easy for sellers to showcase their beautiful homes regardless of the season. However, there is still a rush of buyers looking for new homes in the springtime and early summer. If you want to avoid the crowd, late summer, autumn, and winter are your best bets.
Best Time to Buy a Home: Inventory
Want a wide variety of choices? If you have been keeping up with my posts, you know that there is low home inventory right now. That means that there are not as many homes listed for sale as there usually would be. This not only creates a more competitive market it can also make it harder to find a home that meets your must-have list.
If you have specific wants for your home—like plenty of land, a large master suite, or space for two home offices—then you are going to be better served by looking when inventory is high. This is often the case in spring and early summer. However, since we are still recovering from the Covid pandemic, there is no guarantee that there will be as many homes listed this year as there were in previous years. We are beginning to see more homes hit the market, which is very exciting. If you want to ensure you have your pick of the many available homes, be sure to talk to your Realtor about what you are looking for so that she can send you relevant listings and keep you informed about what is available that meets your needs.
Best Time to Buy a Home For a Family
If you do not want to disrupt your children’s school year, you may want to consider moving during summer break or even winter break. This way, your kids will not miss any school days, and they can help get their bedrooms set up just how they like them.
To time this, you would want to begin looking for a home a few months before you want to move. Have your mortgage pre-approval complete so that you can quickly put an offer in when you spy a property you love.
Of course, you can also purchase a home at one point and then move and transfer school districts later on at a time that better suits your schedule.
Best Time to Buy a Home: More Negotiating Power
If you are looking to get a good deal or want to have the ability to negotiate more on price, then you may want to look during the winter months or other periods of time when there’s a lull in the market.
By purchasing a home when there is high inventory or homes are staying on the market for longer, you may be able to negotiate more with sellers because they will be more motivated to work with you. Essentially, this would be during a buyers market. Because of historically low-interest rates on mortgages and low home inventory, the current market does not allow for much negotiation on price. Many homes are selling for more than their listing price. If negotiating is important to you and you want to take advantage of low-interest rates, look at homes that have been on the market for the longest.
Best Time to Buy a Home: The Market
Of course, market conditions can play a huge role in determining the best time to buy a home. The number of homes listed in your desired area, current prices, and mortgage rates all play a role. When those forces align—when there is a good inventory of homes listed at competitive prices and interest is low—then it is time to buy!
Don’t Forget Your Own Schedule
Ultimately, the best time to buy a home is when you are ready and when you find one that works for you. For some people, this can be a short process. While for others, it can be a longer labor of love. You do not want to feel pressured when looking for a place to raise your family, grow as a person, or just simply call home. When you are ready financially and find that house that has you daydreaming about sipping your coffee in your breakfast nook, that may just be the best time of all to buy.If you have more questions about buying a home or would like to learn more about the different things you may want to consider, let’s talk. I would love to hear about what you are looking for in a new home so I can help make your dreams a reality.