When Is The Best Time To Buy A New Home

When Is The Best Time To Buy A New Home

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One of the fundamental laws of physics is that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. That fundamental law also applies to real estate. Just as there is a better time of year to sell, there is a better time to buy. And that time to buy is during the winter months.


The real estate industry considers June through August its peak season. Buyers begin looking in May – in the hope of being able to move before summer is out – and sellers are all too willing to list in the spring in order to get the best possible prices. So what happens in the winter? Just the opposite, according to Time magazine.


Time's Sarah Max explains that 50% of the homes sold in the U.S. are sold during the summer. Furthermore, based on data from the National Association of Realtors, closings in January tend to reflect lower purchase prices. This suggests buyers making offers in November and December are getting more attractive deals as a result. Max cites data from 2014 that showed average housing prices exceeding $220,000 during the summer months only to fall under the $200,000 mark by January of the following year.


Winter Not an Ideal Time


When you step back and consider everything that goes into buying, selling and moving, it makes sense that winter is not an ideal time to be active in real estate. From the buyer's perspective, purchasing during the winter means moving when the weather is not as cooperative as it may be during the summer. But sellers have the same challenges. If they sell during the winter, they have to pick up and move as well.


Of course, the holidays present a problem too. Showing a house in November and December means keeping the property in tip-top shape even as you are trying to entertain. This is no easy task. The holiday season also brings with it higher spending habits that may make it difficult to put enough money into staging a home.


All of this adds to make the winter months a buyer's market. Because sellers want to minimize the hassles of selling, buyers can get comparably low prices on the same kinds of properties simply by waiting until October or November to begin shopping. But there is a downside: fewer houses to choose from.


The housing supply during the winter months tends to be lower for obvious reasons. So winter buyers need to be willing to settle for something less than perfect in order to get a good price.


Knowing the Right Time for You


As a home buyer, only you know what your needs and preferences are. Deciding on the best time for you to buy requires looking at your circumstances, how much you can spend, and whether getting the absolute lowest price is truly important or not. Suffice it to say that winter generally creates a buyer’s market with better prices and more eager sellers.


Charles D’Agostino Headshot
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Phone: 516-721-8885
Dated: November 3rd 2016
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