While for some homebuyers, the best time is whenever they decide they want to settle down, many prefer to wait until the right moment to do so. So, is there really an optimal time to buy a home? And if so, when should you buy a house? Here’s how to decide when it’s best to pull the trigger on a new home.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the best time to buy a home would be during the spring, but this isn’t always true. The spring tends to be peak buying season as it’s when most homes hit the market in most parts of the country. More overall supply is great for buyers as you have more to choose from. The season is also ideal from a logistical standpoint as the weather is pleasant, making viewing homes you’re interested in buying more convenient. It’s also great for families as they can plan on closing in late spring or early summer and moving once school’s out.
However, numerous studies suggest that the optimal times tend to be during late summer, fall, or winter.
Though this flies in the face of the old school way of doing things, there are some very viable reasons why this happens to be the case. The reasons why they tend to be great months include:
- It’s not during peak house buying season: Since most people like to move in warmer weather, buying off-season means you get better rates with moving companies. It also can mean that sellers will be more motivated to sell at a discount.
- You’ll likely have more time to negotiate: Being off-peak means that you also don’t have as much competition from other buyers. This, in turn, means that you get more leeway when it comes to time, without having to worry that another buyer will swoop in while you make up your mind.
Now isn't a great time to buy a house as homes are very expensive and unaffordable. Interest rates have risen drastically throughout 2022, making mortgages much more expensive, and house prices have yet to drop too much from their all-time highs. If you don't have to buy a house now, it's best to wait as prices are expected to drop in 2023.
An important thing to think about when deciding when to buy a house is your situation. Do you have a strong desire to buy now? Do you want or need to buy a house during a specific time of year, say during summer, to avoid disruption to your kids’ school situation? Or do you have flexibility? And what are your reasons for purchasing a home?
If you’re looking at things from an investment perspective, the best time to buy a house is when home prices are dropping. This usually happens during recessions (due to buyers being scarce) and during times of economic uncertainty. If you can time it out to match one of these moments, you will most likely get a better deal on a home.
Of course, some seasons and months are said to be better times to buy a home. So, if you just want to make your move more pleasant or more affordable, keeping an eye out for the right timing can be a smart move.
The peak home-buying seasons tend to be summer and spring, primarily because it’s easier to move your stuff during these seasons, and most people want to make the transition before school starts once more. If you move during the spring, expect to pay a slightly higher price than what you would usually pay.
Price-wise, the best months to buy a home include August, September, October, November, and December. The best day to buy a house is December 26th as almost nobody is looking to purchase during the holidays, so you’ll see the highest price reductions the day after Christmas.
But if you’re interested in more options or have school-aged kids, you’ll likely find that springtime is the best time to buy a house. More specifically, May and June see more activity than any other month in most US states.
It depends on your situation. If you are looking for a deal, then you might want to avoid the spring. Among realtors, “spring fever” is the sign that you’re going to have to pay extra on a home. This is because demand spikes during this season, making it harder for buyers to negotiate.
But if you’re talking about convenience, you might prefer to avoid the inconveniences associated with buying in the cold winter months.
Believe it or not, statistics have revealed that there are days that are better for price reductions. Mondays and Fridays are linked to the highest chances of a price reduction, though it’s not certain why this happens to be the case.
Meanwhile, if you want to close on a deal in the middle of the week, be forewarned. This is when you will most likely see the highest asking prices. Much like the dip in prices at the ends of the week, there’s no data explaining why this phenomenon occurs.
If you need to buy a home soon, then the best time to buy a new house is now. Every town and city will have its own unique real estate trends that can affect your home buying experience. It can take a while to learn the “pulse” of the town you want to move to.
If you aren’t sure when a good season to buy a home tends to be, it’s best to ask a real estate agent with experience. You might be surprised at what you find out.