When is the best time to buy a home?
The first thing that we should cover is seasonality. Many buyers believe that the best time to buy is between spring and summer. The worst time to buy would be winter – which is partially true. If you’re looking to buy a home in spring or summer, you will find a bit more inventory on the market. Many sellers wait for these times to put their home up for sale. So this means that if you’re a picky buyer looking for a very specific property, chances are this is going to happen when there’s the most inventory on the market. That usually happens to be spring and summer.
However, the thing with that is that many other people have the exact same mentality and wait until spring and summer to start looking to buy. And that means that you typically end up competing with more people during those months. And as we all know from a buyer’s perspective, more competition typically means that you end up paying a slightly higher price. Now on the flip side of that winter can actually be a better time to go and buy a property, contrary to popular belief. In the winter, I found that fewer people are looking for homes and because of that fewer sellers tend to list their homes for sale.
The sellers that do list their homes for sale are typically more motivated than anyone else. This means that as a buyer, you can typically find a slightly better price. Secondly, fewer people tend to look for homes in the winter. And this means less competition which means that you can usually get a lower price.
There is no best or worst time to buy a home.
It really comes down to when you find the right place as a buyer. Though, if I were to totally generalize here, if you’re looking for the best value and the best deal, typically those are found in winter months. And if you’re looking to find the perfect place, that is very niche and maybe there aren’t a lot of homes that fit those criteria. Typically you’re going to find that in spring or summer when more sellers tend to list their homes for sale. But on the flip side of doing that, you typically pay a slightly higher price. Again, just generalizing here, this isn’t the case 100% of the time.
The second point that we should talk about is in terms of market timing and market crash. Now we could debate this topic; what the market may or may not do in the future. There are economists out there that dedicate their entire lifetime the trying to figure this out. And my personal answer is that none of us know what is going to happen with the real estate markets in the short term.
If you’re planning to buy a property and then sell it between the next one and four years, my recommendation is that most likely, you’re going to be better off just renting.
On the other hand, if you’re buying a home for yourself to live in personally and you plan to live in the home for longer than seven years, then trying to time the market and wait for the lowest price possible doesn’t really make much sense. When it comes to buying something for yourself. It’s very hard to put a price tag on your own personal enjoyment. Buying something that is actually owned by you, not having to worry about landlords or dealing with rent increases. Not worrying about painting walls or anything else that comes along with that..
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Always Consider a Potential Market Crash
In terms of waiting for the market to crash, my advice is this… First of all, no one knows when the market is going to crash. It can very well stay flat over the next few years, and it can very well go up 5% a year for the next few years or it could very well go down over the next few years. My recommendation here is just to wait until you find the right deal on a property you can afford. Something that you intend to keep long term. In this way, if the market ends up going down, it doesn’t really matter that much because you weren’t planning on selling anyway. You got a property that you can afford that you really like and that fits your criteria.
If the market does end up going up after you buy, then that’s great, too, you’ve just made a little bit of money on paper. It’s more important that you find the right place that you can afford then go and wait for a crash. And who knows, a crash could potentially take years. I know people that have been waiting for a real estate crash since 2012. Meanwhile, they’ve lost out on gaining 200% returns on their money, because they just waited for the crash that never happened. So don’t go and try to time the markets, instead just plan to buy and hold if need be.
Okay, so now that you figured out about market timing, it’s now time to write a list of exactly what you want in a home and really put some serious thought into this. Figure out exactly what is going to be a deal breaker for you. These are not things that you could eventually live with. They are not things that you would just like to have, these are not things that you can change. These are things that you cannot change that must be an absolute deal breaker for you. For instance, what location do you need to be in? How many minimum bedrooms do you need to have? Do you need to have a yard? Do you need to have a very large kitchen?
You need to think of these things very thoroughly. It’s really important that you start to think about the things that you would really like to have. Would you like to have a pool? Would you like to have a view? How about an open floor plan? Would you like to have avocado toast included? Literally, think out all these details.
Doing all of this is really going to clarify your home search. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed. This also helps because you know you won’t go into all of this blindly. And it’s really going to help you to find a place that’s really the best fit for you. No need to settle for something you don’t want or can’t afford. This is your home; where you and your family will live your best life. Choose wisely, take your time and don’t feel pressured to make a fast decision.
How to Buy a Home
Timing Your Home Purchase
Go to Part 4 – Getting an Agent >>
The Home Buying Timeline
Making an Offer
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