When is the best time to buy a house?

By Maera Tezuka

A couple looking at a house before purchasing

Research is the name of the game when it comes to purchasing a home: everyone wants to get the best value they possibly can. It takes a lot of effort, and that's just learning about mortgage options and property investments. It' so in depth that one of the most important aspects of the process, the best time to buy a home, rarely makes an appearance, even in otherwise comprehensive lists.

Before we dig deeper into the best time to buy a residential property, though, we need to tackle the best time to apply for a home loan.

When to apply for a home loan?

Before you get into the fun part of visiting properties and going to open houses, it's important to look into getting a pre-approved loan if you're really looking to buy. That way, when it's time to make an offer, the seller will know you're serious.

You can certainly apply any time of the month for a loan, but there is a window of time where most lenders are keen to serve your needs as a borrower – the first week of the month. Why? Because it marks the start of the period when lenders gather applicants and process applications.

The middle and end of the month are the time periods where things get heavy for lenders, as they want to close off loans at the end of the month. If you apply during these times, you might feel like you are not being properly attended to or prioritized.

When is the best time to buy a house?

There are some people who believe that they should base their purchasing decisions on the seasons. While it might sound too good to be true, it's actually the case that each season has different impact and effect on the real estate market.

Spring.

Described as the busiest period for property sellers, flowers in bloom marks the start of stiff competition among prospective buyers. Many people turn up to open house inspections during this season, as many of them want to settle in their new houses before vacation starts.

Because of the high volume of mortgage activities that accompany the crush of would-be homeowners, property prices are inevitably higher here. It's a seller's market through and through. 

Summer.

With endless sunshine and Christmas break in tow, summer is when most mortgage deals are sealed.

Sellers take advantage of this season as the weather starts to lighten and brighten the surrounding, which creates a good backdrop for domestic properties – especially those with in-demand extras sought out by prospective owners, like a good garden, or a pool.

Similarly to the spring,a high demand for properties will boost prices. Fortunately for buyers, this can be offset by an abundance of options to choose from, so summer offers a slightly better chance of finding the right home for you.

Autumn.

This marks the beginning of holidays, which can cause a dent in the real estate market as one of the most-courted homebuying groups – families – will, most often than not, be on vacations with their kids.

Now that the peak of the year's house buying frenzy is dying down, there is less competition among buyers, so the prices will naturally come down, even if only slightly.

Of course, The drawback to this is there may potentially be fewer properties up on the market – vendors often hold off on selling homes while they wait for the next hot market so they can take advantage of buyers willing to pay full price.

Buyers, though, can take this time to reach out to vendors to try and negotiate prices, as well as terms and conditions.

Winter.

The prime time for property buyers, the cold weather gives purchasers the chance to snag their own residence for a lower price tag. Why? Because of a lack of competition.

Properties up for sale during this period usually suggest that the vendors are hoping to get some quick cash through a fast sale. As a result, they are usually willing to compromise with the buyer on terms and conditions, even the price. Of course, a slower market means that prospective owners will have a smaller number of properties to choose from, which can be a downside for particular buyers.

Start of the New Year.

January is usually the trough of the real estate market, with November and December being the crest.

The first month of the year is likely the most opportune time to for buyers to get a house since they can be able to find a bargain on a property that was passed in before Christmas as most buyers also want to settle in before vacation starts.

Another good thing about purchasing properties during the beginning of the year is that most transactions will be regarded as a private treaty sale, wherein price negotiations along the way can be made between the two parties.

 

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