There seems to be an endless amount of considerations when it comes to buying a house. At any point in the process, you can find endless discussions about the proper way of doing things, lists of what to look for and advice from Realtors, real estate agents and other property professionals.
Take, for instance, the house inspection or walkthrough. During this time you should:
- check all the faucets for water pressure
- compare any hinges in the basement to check for flooding
- look for signs of mould in ceilings and dry, damp areas
- ensure the foundation is free of cracks and damage
- visually inspect the roof for damage or missing shingles
And this is just a brief set of examples for checking potential issues. You probably noticed that there was an example from the top to the bottom of the home, meaning that the inspection must be thorough and comprehensive. Still, home inspectors are their own industry, so perhaps some of these items can be left to the professionals.
But the checks don’t just stop at the physical attributes of a property. No, they also continue into the administrative and historical aspects of the house as well. Outdated and dangerous materials, like asbestos or lead, are perfect examples of such information. Performing due diligence on these items can be the difference between a great deal and a money pit.
These examples highlight the sheer breadth of variables involved in the average house sale. Obviously, they also do a great job of showcasing the importance of real estate agents, who are often the individuals responsible for ensuring these problems are addressed before the final sale. Today JD Real Estate will focus on just one variable, which your real estate professional can help with, but which ultimately ends up in your hands.
The Best Time of Year to Buy a Home by Season
Spring brings many good things to the real estate market. The most important is the buzz around home sales during this time. Pent-up excitement and interest are at their peak in this season, which is great for availability and pricing. The excitement goes both ways as well, meaning that buyers are motivated to sell before the summer and sellers are motivated to buy after a winter spent waiting.
Still, the busy season for real estate does come with some disadvantages as well. For instance, prices may actually rise as sellers see a large number of buyers showing interest and proposing new offers to get their favourite property. This is the most popular time, after all, so you can expect a higher chance of a bidding war during this season.
Summer is still a busy time for buying and selling homes, but not quite as frantic as the spring. During the start of the summer, families are looking for a home to get settled in before the new school year, and couples generally have the extra time to go house hunting. Still, many of the most hotly contested properties will already be sold, leaving less inventory up for grabs.
Fall may be the perfect balance of supply and demand in the average year. The house sellers who still have properties after the busy months are likely getting desperate and offering lower and lower prices to incentivize buyers. Similarly, the most eager and competitive buyers have long since found their home, leaving more time and space to find the perfect new dwelling.
Plus, real estate agents are also likely less busy during the autumn months. Not only does this mean you get more time with them/ access to their knowledge and resources, but it also means they are more likely to spend time on all of those extraneous factors mentioned above.
The cheapest time to buy a home is in the winter months. You’re dealing with the smallest housing inventory of the year, but also the most motivated sellers. As a result, there is more potential for a fantastic deal than at any other time of the year, but it will be all the much harder to find too.
Other Time-based Factors to Consider
As you can see, each season brings different advantages and disadvantages for the real estate market. Working closely with your real estate agent of choice is a great way to find a property independent of the season, and get the house you really want when the market is hot. Still, buying a home based on the season is not the cut and dry best way, as other factors play their own important roles.
Things like the weather, location, school schedules, readiness, market conditions and more will play their own part in making or breaking a real estate deal. Let’s take a look at each of these factors, as well as what we should consider when buying a home in spite of them.
Weather is mostly a pain when viewing homes. Mucking around in muddy or snowy yards can be demoralizing and paint an otherwise beautiful home in a negative light. This is why there is such a surge in interest during the bright and sunny months of the year. Still, if you are aware of this problem going in, you are much less likely to let it negatively affect your decision.
Don’t forget that the most important part of buying a home is being ready for the investment and responsibilities that come with what is likely to be the largest purchase you have made up to this point. This means that your finances and personal obligations should be in order, so that they do not interfere with the house buying process, or cause unnecessary stress. It may also mean waiting until you have a larger down payment for a property, or waiting for a home that you are interested in buying to drop in price during the quieter months.
Both the actual city and the neighbourhoods within it can change throughout the year. Some of this is due to market conditions, but local news and gossip can also affect house sales. Choosing the right location should be done in conjunction with your real estate agent for the best results.
We briefly discussed this during the summer months, but school schedules are an important consideration throughout the year. Making children move schools and during the year can cause all sorts of problems with socialization and adjustment, not to mention all the scheduling programs that tend to arise.
Perhaps this is the most obvious of all the factors that bear consideration for buying a home, but market conditions nonetheless deserve their spot. Buying in a down market is a great idea if you expect that it will bounce back in short order, but it may not be worthwhile if the location is not likely to recover.
Similarly, market conditions can change rather quickly based on external factors. For instance, subdivision approvals by municipalities often lead to increased interest in the area but lowering prices on the available homes. For best results in all of your real estate endeavours, ensure you use the professional services of an experienced real estate agent.