There’s a factor of the home buying process that can often be the catalyst for everything that follows. That factor is timing. Much of the dialogue—rightfully so—around buying a home is focused on the “what.” However, it’s often the case that the “when” is just as important.
So, when is the best time to buy a house? The answer is simple: the best time to buy is the right time for you. Fortunately, knowing when the time is right isn’t some sixth sense, it’s much more concrete. It’s a matter of understanding local market conditions, your financial situation, the status of mortgage rates, and how those factors fit in with your lifestyle changes and your motive for moving.
When is the Best Time to Buy a House?
With so much subjectivity in the decision-making process, it can be helpful to look at cold hard facts to determine whether it’s the right time to buy. Although every real estate transaction is different, your local market conditions will give you a good sense of how to approach the housing market. There are two basic categories: a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. In short, the characteristics of a buyer’s market—high inventory, fewer buyers, lower competition—favors buyers, and the characteristics of a seller’s market—low inventory, many buyers, high competition—favors sellers. You may be in a position where you’re able to wait for favorable buying conditions or you may be thrust into a highly competitive market due to external factors pushing the agenda of your move, such as a career change or starting a family. Regardless of the market conditions you face as a buyer, it’s critical to work with a buyer’s agent to efficiently navigate your local housing market and, when the time comes, prepare a winning offer.
Which homes can you afford?
Your financial situation also looms large in deciding whether it’s the right time to buy a house. Before you start looking for homes, assess your buying power. Having greater buying power will show the seller that you’re fully capable of purchasing the home and may vault your offer over others.
To get an idea of what you can afford, use our free Home Monthly Payment Calculator by clicking the button below. With current rates based on national averages and customizable mortgage terms, you can experiment with different values to get an estimate of your monthly payment for any listing price. By using the Home Monthly Payment Calculator, you can make a well-informed estimation of whether it’s the right time to buy.
The Home Buying Process
Moving often goes hand in hand with lifestyle changes. As you’re preparing to buy a house, you may be juggling an employment change, the birth of a child, or any combination of other life-altering events. Buying a home takes time, and although an agent will streamline the buying process, it will inevitably impact your day-to-day schedule. Here’s a quick glance at the steps in the home buying process.
- Find the right agent
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage
- Search for homes
- Attend open houses and showings
- Make an offer and negotiate
- Put down earnest money
- Closing process
- Move into your new home
For helpful resources on the home buying process from start to finish, visit our website:
Buyer Basics – Your Guide to Buying a Home
You’ve undoubtedly heard the age-old real estate maxims about buying in different seasons and how to use the calendar to your advantage to score a good deal on your next home. There’s an element of truth to these sayings, but the best way to get a firm grasp on the effects of seasonality in your area is to work with an experienced, local real estate agent. Their expertise and access to data and tools will be your ultimate resource in tailoring your buying strategy to your local housing market.
Originally posted by Sandy Dodge