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When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home?

One question that pops up constantly from both first-time and seasoned homeowners alike is “When is the best time of year to buy a home?” Potential homeowners want to know the best time of year to get the best home for the lowest price – and ideally, at a time that makes sense for their life.

It would be great if there were a simple and straightforward answer, like “the best time of year to purchase a home is between April 1 and April 7.” But unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Let’s take a look at the factors that play into answering the question “when is the best time of year to buy a home?”

Convenience

The first factor to consider when buying a home is convenience. This is particularly important if you have a family.

If you have school-aged children, you ideally want to move in between school years, so sometime between May and August. Pulling a child out of school in the middle of the year can be challenging, and children might have a hard time to adjusting to a new school in the middle of the year.

However, because so many potential homeowners have families that want to move during this time period, it drives up the prices, making the summer the most expensive time a year to buy a home.

So, if your main concern is convenience for your family, then summer is a good time to buy – just be prepared to pay a higher price than you would at other times of year.

Inventory

If your top priority is having a lot of houses to choose from, you’ll want to buy a house during the time of year when the most homes are on the market. That way, you’ll have your pick of multiple properties and are much more likely to find a home that has all the items on your wish list.

In most areas, the highest inventory peaks in the spring, right before the end of the school year. Inventory stays high throughout the summer and then starts to fall in early autumn, with the lowest inventory happening in late autumn and winter.

If you want a variety of homes to choose from, look to buy in the spring.

Price

If your main goal is to get an amazing home at a low price, the best time of year to buy is when competition is low. When there aren’t as many people looking to buy, it drives down the prices of homes, and you can purchase property at a significantly lower rate. On average, homes cost 8.45% less in January and February than they do in June, July, and August.

If you were looking at purchasing a $500,000 property, that would bring the price down $42,250 for a sale price of $457,750. That kind of price drop could save you a significant amount of money over the course of your mortgage and lower your monthly payments.

If you’re looking to get the most house for your money, purchasing a home in the winter is definitely your best bet.

The best time of year to buy a home is largely dependent on your needs and priorities. If you’re looking to buy at a time that’s most convenient for your family (and in particular, your children), buying during the summer is a great option. If you want to see as many homes as possible in order to find a property that has everything you’re looking for in a home, you’ll want to buy a home in the spring, when inventory is at its highest. And if your bottom line is you want to pay the lowest price possible, purchasing a home in the winter, when prices are significantly lower, will be the most advantageous.

Just keep in mind that finding and purchasing a home takes time; while it happens, the chances of finding a property during the first week of looking for a home are slim. On average, people spend 30 – 60 days looking for a home and another 14 – 60 days from contract to close, so make sure to give yourself plenty of lead time to take advantage of the time of year that’s best for YOU to purchase.

I’ve created a free guide to help my clients properly prepare for purchasing a home. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the near future (or ever…), grab a copy! The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide

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Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you’ve lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that’s far from the truth! Although it’s not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don’t want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That’s a misconception that homeowners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers. Let’s be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the “trend” of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition. Selling in the fall isn’t something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That’s why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summertime brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn’t make your home sit stagnant since everyone wanted your neighbor’s house. It also doesn’t devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood and draw all of the attention.

With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale.

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home. Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don’t feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

 

Are Investment Rentals Right For You?

When thinking about investments and retirement goals, many people think about owning rental properties.  After all, they pay for themselves, right? They can be excellent additions to a savings and investment portfolio, but there are also risks. Here are the things to consider.

First off, the good news

If you are considering purchasing a rental property, just about all of your expenses are tax deductible (unless you rent to family members). Your mortgage loan interest, property taxes, andinvestment-rentals-cover maintenance expenses are all allowable deductions. Your accountant may find other deductions for you as well, such as a 27-year depreciation rule.

Now for the risks

Many areas are too expensive for rental investments. You will want to know that your monthly cash flow from the property meets or exceeds your expenses. In pricey locations, you may wind up upside-down and spending more each month than you are taking in. Believe it or not, prior to the Great Recession, many investors did not worry about rental income meeting expenses because they had so much ongoing appreciation in property value. We know how that worked out.

Speaking of appreciation, the best rental properties are in areas with steady appreciation in value. It is tempting to purchase costly investment properties in high-end neighborhoods, but you may get better long-term increases in value in other neighborhoods as well. This is important because you will eventually want to sell your property and make a profit.

fixerupper-movein-ready-coverOngoing maintenance is necessary, of course, but may cut into your spare time. You may also get that yucky middle-of-the-night backed up plumbing calls. Do you really want to handle this? The solution is to hire a management company, which will add to your (tax-deductible) expenses but may provide you with a lot of peace of mind.

Then there are landlord-tenant laws to contend with. Be familiar with your locality’s laws before even considering purchasing. Is there rent control? If your tenant stops paying, what are the rules for eviction? How much notice do you have to give before entering a property? Just about every city has posted laws online. You may wish to consult a real estate attorney if you have detailed questions.

It is tempting to focus on your monthly return. Keep in mind that vacancies and maintenance expenses are inevitable and make sure your budget takes those costs into consideration.

Finally, can you afford another monthly bill and twice-yearly property taxes? If your finances are already stretched, another payment or two might be really unpleasant, even if you are achieving a cash return.

If you have considered everything and still would like investment properties, have fun becoming a budding real estate mogul!