When to Buy a House: How Seasons Affect Home Prices

Making sure you buy at the right time
Ryan Hanley headshot photo. Written by Ryan Hanley
Ryan Hanley headshot photo.
Written by Ryan Hanley

Ryan Hanley is a public speaker, podcaster and author of the Amazon best-seller, “Content Warfare.” Ryan has over 15 years of insurance expertise.

A tree throughout all four seasons.

If you are wondering when to buy a house, and whether there is an ideal season or time of year to do so, it's important to know the facts and figures. Real estate may be cyclical, with sales taking place year-round, but some times of the year may be better than others. 

Houses are a big investment, and you don't want to miss out on your dream home just because you think that one part of the year is better for buying a home than another. Timing is critical, and good timing can be the difference between securing your home and losing it to another prospective buyer. Take a look at the following guide to figure out when you should really be considering making a home purchase.

But first, make sure you're covered with an affordable home insurance policy.

When to Buy a House

Warm weather and the fact that school will soon be out for summer break leads many home buyers to believe that spring is the best time to buy a home. However, it turns out that many home owners are putting their houses on the market at the same time, and are probably keeping the price as high as possible since it's a competitive time of year for the real estate market. Unless you want to pay top dollar for your new home, which you probably don't, it can be better to sit back and wait for some prospective buyers.

According to newhomesource, the best time of the year to buy a home is toward the end of the year, in November or December. Although the market is generally slower this time of year, meaning fewer homes to view, the buyers and sellers tend to be more serious. For you, the prospective home buyer, this could mean that the seller is more willing to negotiate a better selling price.

Life events, such as starting a family, a sudden job or career change, or a marriage or divorce, occur throughout the year, and even as the year comes to a close. Such events often require the purchase of a new home as soon as possible.


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Best Season to Buy a House

When it comes to buying a house, there is a lot to consider, such as the overall shape of the property and the condition that it's in. If you're interested in getting a great deal, late fall or early winter can be a good time to buy a house. For starters, it's good to know that the average house price falls between the months of October and March. The same source notes that you can save anywhere from 7 to 10 percent when you buy a home in January, depending on the local market.

Aside from saving money, visiting a home during late fall or early winter can give you a good indication of any repairs that need to be made, as AOL Real Estate notes. On a cold day, you can get an idea of how well the heater works and whether or not the home has adequate insulation. In addition, you might see whether the roof leaks, how adequate the lighting is, and whether the pipes freeze. It's also a good time of year to determine how easy it is to get out of the driveway and to the store when the road is muddy or covered in snow.

However, there can be drawbacks to buying a home during this time of year as well, especially if you live in an area that remains cold and snowy for months at a time. Although you will have a better idea of whether or not the heating works or if pipes are prone to freezing during this time of year, you may not be able to see how healthy the grass is or what the landscaping looks like. Buying a home during the winter allows you to get a better deal in many instances, but if your new home turns out to need lots of landscaping work or repairs, you can easily spend quite a bit of money on fixing it up.

Spring is one of the busiest times on the real estate market, and the pace quickly picks up by early January. The housing market is in full swing by spring and summer, when many people find it to be a good time to look at new houses and sell their own. This means that  opportunities like those prime winter time deals are not as easy to come by.

Best Time of Year to Buy a House

Although it's true that the best deals are often available during late fall and winter, it is essential to include personal and economic factors in the decision as well. For example, realtor suggests putting off buying a new home until your interest rates are low enough so that your mortgage costs will be comparatively less. 

Economic factors such as inflation, living costs and market conditions generally affect interest rates. If you are waiting until later in the year to purchase a home, it would be wise to ask a tax preparer if tax deductions are possible. You may find that it would be financially better to purchase the home the following year, rather than before the end of the year.

Best Time to Buy a House

By now, you know that the end of fall or beginning of winter is the best time to buy a house, especially if you are most concerned about finding a good deal. However, there are some other key pieces of information to be aware of, such as what shape the home is in when you go to view it. For example, visiting the home during the spring or summer allows you to see the grass, landscaping, and foliage in full bloom, which will give you an idea of whether you will need to spend extra money on the home's exterior after you buy it. 

Winter time also lets you figure out how affordable the home is, including the added expense of mortgage payments and insurance. An independent agent can help you figure out the cost of homeowners insurance, which will allow you to better estimate whether you can actually afford the home of your dreams.

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