It can be easy to put off important decisions and important action, and buying a house is one of the biggest and most important actions of your life. Unless you are planning to “flip” the place for a profit, this will be your home for years to come, and it pays to consider that decision carefully before putting any money down.
One of the most frequent and most difficult questions is that of timing. Timing is an issue because the real estate market is always in fluctuation. All markets fluctuate to some extent, but this one never stops! As such, we want to offer you a few general tips that will help you choose the best time to buy a new home.
The Best Time Of Year To Buy
It is generally accepted that certain times of year are better than others when it comes to buying a home. Most people will tell you that the best time to buy or sell is in the spring and summer. There is some logic behind this old belief, so it’s not entirely wrong.
It is true that most people will tend to be more active in the spring and summer. In the winter, people tend to stay in their homes unless they need to go somewhere. In spring and summer, people are eager to get outside and get things done. In some ways, this might be a natural reaction to being cooped up in the house all winter.
However, here’s what a lot of people don’t realize: Summer and spring are considered to be the best time to sell a house…but not necessarily the best time to buy one! From a seller’s perspective, summer and spring are the best choices. This is due to the fact that you will usually have more interested parties in the summer and spring. With more customers, there is a greater chance that one of them will buy.
Some disagree with this idea, saying that winter is the best time. Their logic says that summer and spring buyers are often not really serious. Winter buyers, on the other hand, wouldn’t be out hunting houses in the cold weather if they aren’t serious. Thus, they say you will have fewer interested parties, but they will be more likely to buy.
Is that true? We honestly don’t know. But here’s a better question: Why should we care? From the buyer’s perspective, this doesn’t matter! In general, we would recommend that you start shopping for a house at whatever time is convenient for you. If you have to pick a certain time of year, we would recommend looking for a house in autumn or winter.
Doing things in this way ensures that there will be less competition. This way, there is less chance of being pressured into buying something that isn’t your best choice. When you’ve got someone right behind you who is also interested, it is tempting to think that you’re in a “now or never” situation.
Also, with fewer competing buyers, it will be easier to get information from the seller. They will be able to devote more of their attention to you, and that will enable you to evaluate the quality of the home more easily.
Some people get hung up on the idea that you should sell your home at a certain time of year, but that’s only half the equation. While the time of year does matter, your financial timing matters a whole lot more.
Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase that most people will ever make. As such, it must be done at a time that is financially convenient for you and your family. Even if you have squirreled away enough money to buy the house, you still have to consider things like closing costs, moving expenses, utility switch fees, and all kinds of other extra fees.
If you don’t do this, it can be very easy to end up living like squatters in a house that you own. Think about it: Wouldn’t you feel silly if you spent all your money on a new home, only to realize that you can’t pay the utilities for another month? Or, if you want a less extreme example, you might end up having to sell treasured belongings to cover fees and expenses that were not anticipated. All of this comes down to one thing: The importance of good financial planning. Without that, a fool and his money will tend to be parted quickly.
What If My Home Is Being Custom-Built?
This is a good question that demands a good answer. If you are having your home built by a company of custom home builders, it doesn’t really matter when you choose to get started. However, the best home builders will probably want to get the process started in late winter. That way, you’ve got the remainder of the winter to work out the details so that the project can begin early in spring. Otherwise, bad weather can tend to slow down the project.
There is no way that anyone can tell you exactly when you should buy a house. In fact, it’s such a big decision that you really shouldn’t take anyone’s word on the matter! Only you know when you are actually ready to take the plunge and start a new life in a new home. When sellers try to push, that’s when you need to stand firm. Be aware that some sellers will exaggerate the demand because they want to pressure you into buying quickly. They might tell you that they have ten buyers lined up when, in fact, the only buyer is you.
Either way, it all comes down to the basic common-sense notion that the buyer must always beware. On this subject, the Romans used to say “caveat emptor,” which means “let the buyer beware.” We think this saying sums it up perfectly. If you agree, please feel free to fill out the contact form below.