Consumers are presented continuously with irresistible temptations, from clothes to food, always fighting the urge to make an impulse purchase. While it can sometimes feel great to treat yourself, there are just some products that you cannot purchase on a whim.
And of those things is, of course, a house.
Because purchasing a home is such a significant investment, there’s a great deal of preparation involved before you even begin your search. There is certainly no shortcut on the road to homeownership from saving enough money for a down payment, straightening out your credit score, and meeting pre-qualification requirements.
A question on the mind of many when considering buying a home is whether or not it’s the right time to do so. To make this part of the process easier, we’d like to help you answer that!
There are three major factors that you should keep in mind; the market, the season, and perhaps the most significant factor, you.
Let’s break it down.
The real estate industry segments the type of activity in the market into two different labels. You’re probably familiar with a “seller’s market” and a “buyer’s market”. If not, let us explain; a seller’s market occurs when demand exceeds supply (more buyers seeking to purchase homes than available homes on the market), often leading to multiple buyers interested in a single property, resulting in bidding wars. A buyer’s market occurs when the opposite scenario is in place, supply exceeding demand. This market creates less competition between buyers, lowering the overall value of homes.
While it’s undoubtedly advantageous for consumers to take advantage of a buyer’s market, it’s not realistic for those ready to buy to sit on their hands and wait for that time to come.
Home prices might be higher on average, and competition may be stiffer, but finding success in a seller’s market is achievable. The key is to be prepared and to be patient. In an aggressive seller’s market, some properties might go under contract the day they hit the market. Proper preparation will allow you to jump on your dream home ASAP. Patience will also be required on this journey as there’s a chance you might strike out on some properties but keep swinging, and undoubtedly, you’ll find success.
To help you determine the most appropriate time to buy, let’s break down how a typical year in the real estate market looks.
January – March
While shopping for your home might not be the most enjoyable with near-freezing temperatures and ice-covered roads, braving out the cold weather might help you find a deal. Though there’s less inventory, there are also fewer homebuyers. Eliminating competition can take some of the stress out of the buying process.
April – June
Bears, bats, and buyers. What do these three things have in common? Besides the letter B, these three species all hibernate in the winter!
In New England, when the snow melts, the homebuyers come out to play. Not only is there typically an uptick in inventory, but there are also more active buyers on the hunt. Bidding wars are more common, but with the right agent negotiating for you, there are ways to get around this.
July – September
With the spring home-buying craze over, and prices potentially coming back down to Earth, these months could be a great time to conduct your search. Besides, who doesn’t love attending open houses on beautiful summer days?
October – December
With the warm weather season winding down, so does the heat of the housing market. There are fewer buyers, but also fewer homes available. The one advantage of this, besides less competition, is that there might be individuals coming out of the woodwork to find motivated buyers. The right deal might strike in the Autumn months.
As we mentioned previously, you are the most significant factor when it comes to determining if you’re ready to buy a home. It’s not our goal to scare you but to enlighten you, hopefully making this process easier.
Buying a home is a significant investment, so it’s essential to understand whether or not you’re up for the task.
Consider these questions:
Are your finances in order?
Will you be purchasing the property with another person?
Are you ready to settle down in one area?
Can you play the role of a handyman?
Assessing whether or not you’re ready to tackle this challenge takes some self-awareness. From making monthly payments to fixing a leaky pipe, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes into play when you own a home.
So, no matter the market, or the time of year, embarking on the home buying journey will be the most fruitful only once you are ready. To help get you started down the path to homeownership, equity, and a lifetime of memories, the team at Century 21 is here to help. As experienced and local experts, we’ll ensure you’re in the right hands, no matter when you the time is right for you.
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