Buying a home, whether your first or your fifth, is a big decision. Everyone wants the most bang for their buck, so looking for ways to save big on the most important purchase you’ll ever make is a good idea. With the competitive nature of the market, it is essential to know when to take advantage of interest rates, home purchase prices, and even closing and title company specials.
One way to determine the right time for you to buy a home is to study the market in the area you wish to purchase property in. Taking into account market and personal factors, you can then best determine how best to strike when the iron is hot.
Market factors are things like interest rates, house prices, and property values. A lower interest rate will allow you to reduce payments, paying a lower monthly value over time.
Depending on where you are in your home buying process, you’ll be looking for the market to do certain things for you. A buyer’s market caters to home buyers—there are an abundance of available homes to look at, and prices are fairly competitive. A seller’s market caters to people selling their homes, as they know that available property is scarce, and they can afford to ask for top dollar for their properties, knowing that people will buy at their set prices.
Personal factors affect your home buying decision in different ways. Your financial situation will be a major factor in how you choose to go about acquiring your first property or your next property. You’ll need to examine your current debt to income ratio, your credit score, and what types of loans you can qualify for to determine if this is the right time for you to purchase. In many cases, slight adjustments in your financial situation can impact your ability to get a lower interest rate, so it is in your best interest to go through your finances and determine if there are areas that can be improved. You’ll also need to ask yourself what kind of down payment you are prepared to put forth, as well as whether you have the necessary assets to cover homeowners expenses and property taxes. Take your time, as these decisions might mean the difference between being able to keep your newly acquired property and the unfortunate situation of loss due to the fact that you are unprepared.
Too often, people get lured into the deceptive trappings of a home that they either can’t afford or they cannot afford to maintain. If you are not at the stage of life where you are prepared to handle all the responsibilities that go along with home maintenance, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and evaluate what you are prepared to handle; if home ownership is a goal that you’d someday like to attain, work to embody and accept all of the responsibilities that go along with home ownership. Asking yourself questions about what lies ahead for you and for your family will also help determine if it is the right time to buy a first home or transition to a new one.
Seasonal Supply And Demand: How It Impacts You
Although it would be nice to contemplate the perfect time of year or the perfect conditions for home buying, there is no one right answer that works for everyone. Supply and demand is a major player in the game of home ownership, and all four seasons provide advantages and disadvantages that come with purchase. With summer comes additional property for sale, which you might think would drive prices down. In many cases, however, you see prices go up, as homes tend to look and feel more attractive to buyers in warmer temperatures. Fall and winter tend to be slower times for property listing and people looking to buy, so prices fall a little lower than expected to keep the industry moving forward.
Some real estate experts say that the best month to buy a property is January, with home buyers getting the most value for their dollar. Many of these homes have been on the market for about three months, with many sellers willing to make deals to close. Typical hot months to sell a property in are May and June, as more listings are available for sale. Sellers are able to ask for top dollar for their properties, knowing that if you say no to their asking price, there is likely someone behind you who is willing to close the deal.
Bottom Line: The Right Time Is Unique To You
The best time for potential home buyers to begin looking for property is a decision unique to them. A combination of seasonal statistics, personal situation, and property features will determine what is right for you. Here are some other things to consider when you buy a home:
1. First-time buyers must consider their financial situation and goals before deciding to purchase. If you are on a tight budget or you have other financial constraints, consider looking at the beginning of the year with property listings that sellers are looking to release quickly at lower prices.
2. Seasoned buyers will likely be making their next purchase based on lifestyle choices, so if you have specific home attributes you are looking for, consider starting your search in the spring, when home choice is at its highest. While property values might not be as low as you would like, you’ll be more likely to find what you are looking for.
3. If you need to sell your current home before acquiring your next property, list your home in late spring for the best visibility and the most potential business. Consider the fact that you will have to join the June rush to acquire your next property or find an alternate housing option to give you more time to make a discriminating purchase.
Timing Is Everything
Making the decision to purchase a home is a life-altering event, one that should be approached deliberately and with forethought. While there is no way to beat or control the market, you can work with economic and personal factors to make your purchase enjoyable and with advantages to you. Be aware of your financial situation, look for market upswings and down surges, and be ready to take advantage of what the real estate market throws your way. Happy home hunting!