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Time’s a Tickin’: When is the Best Time to Buy a House?

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When is the best time to buy a house? Click here to check out this complete guide to find out everything you need to know!
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Should you buy now or hold off for a better price? When is the best time to buy a house? In the guide below, we’ll show you how to find out.

You see, the answer is situational. It depends on each homebuyer’s specific situation and status of the relevant local housing market. There’s no single answer that would be true for all homebuyers.

But there are factors you can use to determine the best time for you personally to buy a home. These factors are listed in the guide below. 

Follow this guide to determine when to buy your next house.

The Generally Cheapest Times of Year To Buy a House

It’s true that the best time to buy a house is determined by situational factors. But there are certain times of year that, in general, tend to have a more favorable market for buyers.

In that respect, late summer/early fall is the best season in which to buy a home. At this point in the year, there tends to be far less competition with other buyers than in spring or early summer.

But there are still plenty of houses left that didn’t sell during the busy buying season. And that means a lot of them will have to be marked down. Sellers who priced too high early on may drastically cut the price to get it sold by a certain date.

Additionally, as school and cold weather start up again, buyers have to get resettled back into their daily lives. Most no longer have any time to keep looking for a house. For that reason, August and September are the most likely months to see price markdowns.

Cheapest Days to Buy a House

To be even more specific, certain days are amazing for buying houses. But that’s only because they’re the most inconvenient in all other respects.

A study of 4 years of data concluded that the best day to close a home purchase is December 26. Why? Because it means the buyer spent Halloween through Thanksgiving through Christmas shopping, inspecting, making offers on, and negotiating the closing of their new home.

Very few buyers are willing to go through that. But the ones who are win an average discount of 1.3% off the closing price. Other favorable purchase dates found in the study were December 1, 4, 7, 8, 21, and 29, February 9, October 12, and November 9.

In addition, a different study found that the day of the week the sale closes on makes a difference, too. According to the study, closing a sale on Monday yields an average discount of 2.3%.

Best Times of the Year For Finding Your Dream Home

“But wait a minute,” you say. “Price isn’t the only factor buyers look at.”

You’re right. Price is the most important factor for most buyers, but less important to others.

Many are more interested in finding the perfect home for their needs regardless of the cost. For those buyers, there are certain times of year that tend to have more listings on the market. And more options means a better chance of finding exactly the house you’re looking for.

Not surprisingly, these are opposite the months where you’d get the best price. That is, the best time of year to find the most buying options is spring/early summer, April through July.

But buyers beware. As we said, the prices are definitely going to be higher.

And so will competition with other buyers. There could be many others who want that same house just as badly as you. If you’re absolutely set on a particular home, be prepared for a bidding war.

Buy When You Can

Now please don’t get mad but we have to be honest. Unfortunately, marketing trends and ideal shopping times are almost always irrelevant.

For one thing, the housing market is never truly predictable. Unbelievably cheap foreclosures pop up like weeds at any time of the year and maybe gone in a day. 

Plus, most buyers have time constraints or other pressures that make choosing the ideal months impossible anyway.

And regardless of when you want to buy a house, most buyers aren’t that lucky. It’s common to be outbid again and again and again.

Now, it may seem like cheating to tell you, “throw everything we just said out the window.” But bear with us; we promise there’s a point.

The point is, if you have a choice of buying season, the general guidelines above are the best advice you can go on. But, for everyone else, you’ll have to depend on other factors to make your choice. Here they are below.

Your Financial Situation

The first and most obvious factor is your financial situation. Can you even afford a downpayment anytime soon? Is your employment history a lender’s worst nightmare?

You may be hoping that a home purchase will lower your monthly housing payments and rescue you from your current financial situation. But that’s not how it works.

To get a home loan, you need good credit, stable employment, and quite a bit saved up for a down payment. That’s not even including the cost for home inspections, upfront closing costs, moving expenses, or any other extra costs associated with buying a home.

Without a decent financial standing, buying a home just isn’t an option.

Your Availablity

On the other hand, while you may have the money, you might not have the time. It makes sense that buyers who have the money they need have it because they stay busy. Shopping for a home is a huge time commitment.

Remember how we said the holidays are the cheapest time to buy a home? That’s because almost no one has time to go home shopping then.

Whatever your financial situation, you’ll have to free up some availability as well.

The Best Time to Buy a House

The housing market is always changing. And no one knows what the future holds. So when is the best time to buy a house? 

Using this guide, you can finally answer that question. Follow the tips above to determine your best time to buy a house.

Now, check out Should I Sell or Rent My Home?