Buying A Home

What Time of Year Is the Best to Purchase a House?

Written by Hank Coleman

My wife wants to buy a boat. The summer is a horrible time to purchase one though. Everyone is out on the water. The sun is shining. The demand is high for boats, and sellers have the advantage.

My parents just purchased a Jeep Wrangler. The same is true about Wranglers. Don’t buy one in the summer if you want to get a good deal on the purchase price. Buy it in the winter when no one wants to drive around with the top down, and you can drive a hard bargain.

Purchasing a home is seasonal too. It’s all about timing. Supply and demand play a critical role in whether or not you will have to pay the full appraised value of the home or whether you can drive a bargain and get a discount.

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetimes. We want to do it right, and we are often desperate to score a great deal on our home. Understanding the best time of the year to purchase a home can help you negotiate the price you pay and how big of a discount you can find on a home.

October Is the Best Month to Purchase a Home

RealtyTrac, a leader in real estate data collection, recently released a study of over 32 million home and condo sales over a 15 year period from 2000 to 2015. And, RealtyTrac found that October was the best month to purchase a home. Buyers received a 2.6% discount on their home’s current fair market value in the month of October.

While 2.6% doesn’t initially seem like a lot, it can add up when you consider that the average existing home sale price in the United States is typically $188,900. That 2.6% equates to a savings of over $4,900. That’s over five months of mortgage payments you could save through negotiations and purchasing in October.

RealtyTrac specializes in providing buyers and real estate professionals with data on pre-foreclosure, auction, bank-owned, currently for sale, and recently sold homes in over 2,200 counties throughout the United States. The site also provides information about community backgrounds, schools, crime statistics, and a host of other stats home buyers and realtors need to know to make an informed buying decision.

Like October, December, January, and February also rank high in months that offer the best discounts. While they don’t rate a 2.6% discount, each month saw over a 2% discount on homes’ current market value versus the amount paid by buyers. The worst month to purchase a home, according to the study, was April, where buyers typically paid a 1.2% premium to the home’s value.

Which Seasons Are the Best to Buy a Home?

Spring and summer are the worst times to buy a home. It’s when everyone is moving and looking for a new home. It’s called the “summer moving season” for a reason.

The price disparity between the seasons is a classic example of supply and demand. If there are a lot of buyers and the supply of homes remains the same, the price will rise. Or, sellers will not feel the pressure to lower their prices because more buyers are just around the corner thanks to the summer moving rush. The sheer volume of families moving is why spring and summer are the worst time to buy a home if you want to get the very best deal.

About the author

Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the publisher or the popular personal finance blog, Money Q&A. He’s also a freelance journalist specializing in retirement planning, investing, and personal finance. You can also find him on Twitter @MoneyQandA.

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