When Are The Best Times To Buy a Home?

So different in the winter
Creative Commons License photo credit: Unhindered by Talent

As the housing market continues to change and fluctuate, potential home buyers find themselves facing a series of questions. Some of these questions are new issues in the market. For example, many seniors who had planned to sell their big homes and buy smaller places are asking whether or not to do this in the face of declining home values. However, many of the questions that home buyers face today are the same basic questions that they have faced over time. One of the most common of those questions to plague people who are interested in buying a new home is “when is the best time to buy?”

The answer to that question has varied a little bit with the market. However, many of the things that you’ll want to take into consideration regarding that issue are things which will be relevant no matter what’s going on with the housing economy. Factoring in seasonal differences in home prices and your own individual needs will help you determine when the best time to buy a home might be.

Debating the Changing Market

There is a lot of debate about whether the current housing market is a good one in which to buy a home. Some people say that it’s a great time because home values have gone down and that means that prices are lower than they’ve been in a long time. Others say that it’s a bad time because the housing market crisis has caused the mortgage market to change; rates are higher and loans are harder to get so people might not want to buy now. Determining whether or not the market should impact your decision about when to buy really depends on your reasons for wanting to buy a home (temporary move, permanent move or investment property) and your financial situation in terms of qualifying for and paying for a loan. If you want to buy a home at a low cost and live in it for a long time and you can find a rate that’s good then now is a good time to buy.

Assessing the Impact of the Seasons

There are benefits to buying a home at different times throughout the year. However, there is some debate about what those benefits are and how they may vary from one area to another. Here are the two basic ways that people might look at this issue:

  • Families want to move during breaks from school. People who look at the housing market this way figure that this means there are more buyers right before a break than when kids are in school. As a result, they say that the housing market is slow during the school year for sellers which means that prices are better. In this school of thinking, the best time to buy a home is right after the kids have gone back to school in the fall or right after Christmas break.
  • Holidays are slow for sellers. Although some people do make their moves during the holidays, the seller’s market tends to be slow at this time. This way of thinking says that people who are buying Christmas gifts and planning to entertain family are not people who are looking at homes. These people say that the best time to buy a home is during the Christmas season.

As a general rule, any major holiday is going to slow down the housing market a little bit from a seller’s perspective. This means they may be more desperate to sell and will be more likely to sell to you at a lower price. As a result, looking to purchase a home near Christmas?or Easter could be a wise move. Keep in mind that this varies somewhat by location.

Individual Needs and Preferences

The bottom line is really that the best time to buy a home is when you are ready to make the purchase and complete the move. Those people who say that now is a great time to buy may be right in a way but if this is a bad time for you financially then their advice doesn’t apply. Likewise, home values may go down after Christmas break and the price might be right but if you can’t move your kids at this time because of school then that may not be the right time for you to move. The main thing that you’ll want to consider is what’s going to work for you.

Pay attention to the housing trends in your area. Watch the sales of homes that interest you so that you can get a sense of how long they are taking to sell and what prices they are going for. As the trends change, you’ll get a sense of whether the market is moving in your favor or away from your favor. This can impact your decision about the best time to buy. Taking your time to make the decision and factoring in seasonal, location and market changes will help you to make sure that you make the purchase at the best time for you.