When is the best time to buy a home? As a real estate agent, potential homebuyers ask me this question frequently.
Buying a home is the biggest investment most people make in their lives. It's scary to some people to think about having to make this kind of decision. First of all, ask yourself if you are ready. Here are a few questions to find out if you are ready to buy a house.
Do I have good credit? This is important. You must have FICO scores above 640 to qualify for a loan. Work with a licensed loan mortgage officer to help you know if you will qualify.
Do I have a home to sell? If you have a home to sell, you may have to sell your home first before you can buy another home. A Realtor can make this process move along smoothly.
Have I saved enough money for a down payment? There are 100 percent financing options available, usually at a higher interest rate. There are conventional loans available with as little as a 3 percent or 5 percent down.
How long am I going to live there? It's usually not a good idea if you are not going to live there for at least two years due to capital gains tax and your own equity growth.
Am I ready to take care of a house? Condos and townhomes offer little to no exterior maintenance. However if maintaining the interior is not your cup of tea, you may want to see what handymen would charge you. Just be aware of maintenance costs before you buy.
So you are ready to buy a house. When should you buy? Just like there are seasons to buy a TV, cars and coats at a good prices, this is also true of homes.
Typically most people move in the spring and summer. Inventory is up but so are buyers. Sellers tend to be more optimistic about their sales prices in the spring. Sellers tend to hang on tighter to their sales prices. With more buyers, there can be multiple offers, and up goes the sales price.
The time to really hunt the good deals is in the fall and winter. Here is why; home sellers usually are a little more serious about selling. They are less optimistic about what they can get on their home. Inventory goes down a little in the fall and winter but so do the buyers. Having fewer buyers in the market is a beautiful thing if you are buying a home. Sellers still want to sell, and seeing the decreased activity on their home is depressing. It's a great time to make an offer. You can see this seasonal swing by looking at statistics in Utah.
The sweet spot for getting the best deal (yes, there is one) is between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This is the best time for real estate agents to take a vacation. Why? No one wants to think about buying a house in the middle of the holiday mayhem.
So if you are worried that you may have “missed the boat” in getting the best deal on the market this summer, just wait until fall.
Christine Alleman is a licensed real estate agent with the state of Utah. She has 12 years of experience selling real estate full time with Alliance Realtors.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon