- I'm thinking about buying a house but I'm concerned about the
timing. I know summer is supposed to be a good time to sell, so
doesn't that make it a good time to buy? - Missy
Hi Missy - Summer is generally when the most inventory is
available, and you'd think that would make it the best time for
buyers. However, because demand is so high and homebuyers are ready
to pounce when their kids aren't in school, you can expect to see
the highest prices from May through September.
Of course, the season is just one factor when it comes to finding
an affordable house. You have to know the housing trends in your
particular area before you can make any sort of generalization,
as costs will be vastly different from state to state and city to
city. Do you live in a big college town or a small rural area? Those
details matter much more than the time of year, and they also factor
into which season is best for real estate in your region.
Real estate investors will tell you to always be on the lookout
for a good deal. House prices might be sky high at present, but
someone can throw a fixer-upper on the market at any time. If you
broaden your search to include a bigger variety of house sizes and
styles, you might come across something at a good value and in a
Rising interest rates should factor into your decision as well.
Rates just went up, which isn't great for homebuyers, but there's
a decent chance they'll go up again, in which case you might save
a chunk of change by purchasing sooner than later.
Home prices have been steadily rising since about 2010, and lots
of analysts are expecting that trend to slow down in the coming
years. Some areas have already seen prices plateau, while home value
in other regions continues to climb. Again, this is why you have
to skim over some local indicators before making any decisions.
If you're looking to buy a house that you'll keep for the foreseeable
future and you have enough money to buy responsibly, I wouldn't
put too much thought into what season it is. Start by figuring out
your price range and seeing what that gets you in the local market.
If you can't afford anything you like, don't settle right away;
wait to see if the prices recede a little in the fall and winter.
Get in the habit of frequently checking listings and speaking to
realtors, and hopefully you'll be ready when a good property comes
along. Happy house hunting, Missy!