When is the Best Time to Buy a House?

House Keychain on a Yellow Background

The specific season or month – or even the week or day – can impact how much you pay for a new home. A real estate agent can help you navigate local variables to determine what’s best for you. But on a broad scale, is there a widely recognized time when purchasing a home is best?

Like many aspects of life, there are “seasons” in the real estate industry – specific highs and lows regarding things like inventory and price. These factors tend to be consistent throughout the course of a year, and are usually steady year to year.

Let’s take a look at how home buying varies between seasons.

Buying a Home in the Winter

Most people choose not to sell or buy a house in the cold winter months. For starters, depending on which part of the country you live in, it can be difficult to view a home if it’s covered in snow. From the roof and outside living spaces to the yard and property itself, the ability to assess and inspect a home during winter months can be murky. And nobody wants to be fighting the weather while holding or attending an open house.

Because of these conditions, and the busy holidays, housing inventory tends to be low – but, so does the demand. People who do sell in the winter are likely very motivated, and therefore a buyer can secure a better deal than in other seasons.

Takeaway: If you’re looking for the best deal and aren’t deterred by weather and other seasonal factors, winter is a good time to buy.

Buying a Home in the Spring or Early Summer

Spring brings a renewed sense of motivation – hence the time for sprucing up the yard and “spring cleaning.” It’s also peak season in the real estate market – the time of year when most sellers choose to list their homes and when most buyers begin searching.

As a buyer in the spring, you’ll find new listings hitting real estate websites daily. Houses show better in warmer weather thanks to the sun shining, greener grass, blooming landscape, and an easier time navigating the property.

Additionally, young families tend to buy in the spring so they can settle into a new school district before fall.

These factors create high inventory, but also high demand. You might find yourself in bidding wars with other interested buyers, and you’ll end up paying for it.

Takeaway: If your goal is high inventory – and there’s wiggle room in your budget – spring can be a good time to buy. Otherwise, avoid purchasing a home in the spring if possible.

Buying a Home in Late Summer or Early Fall

Late summer into early fall is considered the sweet spot for home buying. There are still many houses for sale, but they usually dip in price from the spring. And while many people search for a home in late summer or early fall, competition isn’t nearly as high as during spring months.

Also, many sellers become nervous they won’t find a buyer in time for school to begin or before winter weather returns. There can be room, therefore, for negotiations on price or on what is included with the sale of the home.

Takeaway: Late summer into early fall is recognized industry wide as the best time to buy a home due to decent inventory and decreasing list prices.

In Conclusion

Seasons change and so does the home-buying process. While there are positives and negatives to buying any time of year, late summer into early fall provides the best opportunity for buyers.

However, the best time to buy a home is when you’re ready and you can afford it. This is dependent on your personal situation, including things like income security and expenses, as well as external factors such as mortgage rates.

We have previously shared articles on mortgages and financing options, which – paired with seasonal industry changes – are pieces of the home-buying process that are critical to understand.

At Sunrise Banks, our mortgage loan officers work hard to find the best home loan option for you. We know every buyer’s journey to home ownership is different, and we’re here to help with yours.