When thinking about buying a home, you need to be strategic. Believe it or not, the best time of year to buy a home is actually in the winter, despite the cooler weather and close proximity to the holiday season. There are a lot of unspoken perks that make the first few months of the year the best time to purchase a home, whether this is your first home or your last.
If you want to land a good deal, better value for your money, and beat the competition, you need to start your home search at the beginning of the year. What better way to start your year off than with the excitement of home shopping?
Why Choose the Beginning of the Year
First, let’s address what’s so special about the beginning of the year. If you’re familiar with the housing market cycle, you know that starter home listings increase and even peak during the fall months. This means there are more homes on the market that are considered “starter homes,” or homes ideal for first-time buyers.
With this logic, you’d think fall is the best time of the year to buy a house. While this isn’t necessarily untrue, the early bird doesn’t always get the worm when it comes to these listings. Yes, there is a wider selection during the fall months in most regions, but that might not be a good thing depending on your goals.
Unfortunately, in most parts of the United States, first-time buyers have to put an average of 40% of their income towards mortgage payments and this number is only on the rise. Finding a bargain is more important than ever, and that’s where the start of the year comes in.
Yes, the number of listings increases in the fall, but by the time the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, things have shifted. Prices for all categories of homes drop just like sales on Christmas merchandise. You’ll find the best deals during the months of January and February, and this makes it prime shopping time for smart home buyers.
The Benefits of Buying a Home in January and February
Now that you understand why the beginning of the year is the perfect time to buy a home, let’s discuss the primary benefits. Besides getting a better deal on all types of properties, you’ll also face significantly less competition. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a property only to have your offer beaten by the competition.
Getting the run around on an endless number of properties is tiring, and you’d rather spend your time shopping smart. When you look for a home at the beginning of the year, you don’t have to worry about getting in your offer first or outbidding the competition.
Those homeowners who weren’t able to make a sale in the summer or fall are eager to find a buyer, and they’ll usually accept a lower price. Skip the crowds and the big price tags and opt for the best time of year to find your dream home.
While you should always conduct your own local research and work with a qualified real estate agent, there’s a lot to be gained by shopping early for your home. There might be fewer homes on the market, but those available will be better equipped to match your budget. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong choosing winter as the time to buy your next home.