Last week I wrote an article that addressed the best time of the year to sell a home. This week I will attempt to answer what time of year is the best time of year to buy a home. I understand why people ask this question. Everyone buying a home would like to purchase a home for a fair market value or even better for a “good deal”. The entire marketplace hopes to do this and most end up buying their next home at fair market value. I say that with the caveat that in multiple offer scenarios a buyer can pay a perceived fair market value that is higher than the asking price due to the competition created through multiple parties’ interest in the same home. In that heated moment of competing for a home and paying more than the asking price, many buyers want to know if they are paying fair market value? Many would argue yes. Market value is actually what any buyer is willing to pay for any home in an arms length transaction. The marketplace, through the buyer, paid market value. Right? I would argue that market value is actually based on what applicable and recently sold statistics show to be the value of a property with an additional analysis of the specific attributes of the property one is thinking of purchasing. My team and I always try to offer our clients an accurate market value so they proceed with a purchase knowing where they stand in the value line. Fair market value, good deal or future value. A healthy way of looking at your purchase if you’re paying over the asking price and statistics prove that you are overpaying is that you are buying the future value of the property. Last year Concord median price appreciated by 4%. One could make the argument that by paying 4% over the calculative/comparable value of a home you are buying this year’s appreciation if its appreciation continues at the same pace as last year, 4 %. That said, buying a home is not always a business decision, in fact, it is often an emotional decision. Specifically when one sees it as the backdrop kids will grow up in or where memories will be made. It can be emotional if it’s a life achievement or even if it simply meets your rightsizing needs. For many if it fits the bill or is a long term acquisition then they buy. For others if it fits the earning power runway for where you are in their life cycle then many don’t do much investigation as it relates to value and buy. Lastly some simply look at whether they can manage the monthly payment and or expenses and don’t consider value at all. My job is to bring up value to our clients even if it’s not top of mind. My team’s job is to do the same. When working with my firm please know we have your back when it comes to coaching you about what you’re buying and if it’s worth it.
Now to timing and what the best time of the year is to buy a home. There is no best time of year really, that’s the truth. I can say that more homes are on the market in the Spring than any other time of the year. I can also say that Spring is when most buyers are out buying so buyers have the most competition when they have the most inventory to pick from. So is Spring the best time of the year to buy because it has the most inventory? Maybe, as long as you find the right house and buy it at the right price. Is the Fall the best time to buy? Maybe, as there is less inventory in the fall and a bit less buyers. Is the Winter the best time to buy? Maybe, the least amount of inventory to choose from but some leftover merchandise from the Fall may be available at a better value. Is it then all about the Summer? The summer offers less buyers above median value in our community and could be a good time to make an offer for a home slightly above your price range. With all that said the best deals are not by season but by days on market folks……good ole days on market are a buyer’s friend. If your deal shopping and value is your ultimate priority then you should do all your house shopping based on days on market if you really want the best deals. In a market that tends to move houses quickly, even two or three weeks can be insecutitizing to a seller who is getting mediocre real estate guidance. You’re really opportunity shopping if you’re a value driven consumer who prefers a good deal instead of a perfect home. I want to be clear that opportunity does not always come with many days on the market. Seller circumstances, and ultimately discovering what a seller will take for a home, has to be discovered by writing offers.
So if you’re ready to enter the market without any emotion and are ready to write several offers on several different houses then you could find yourself either severely disappointed with the process or joyfully discover the best deal ever. Opportunity in the end has to be discovered via negotiation. Make sense?
With everything shared above, my dad would have said “Leave me alone with all this talk about houses! I don’t buy a house to make money! I buy a house to live in it! I make my money from what I do for a living and if I wait for my house to make me money then I am out of business already”. Get a sense for the guy? Intense would have been one way to describe my father but he did know business and he did teach me a thing or two about hard work.
Hire me and put us both to work. I am a kinder, gentler version of the guy I assure you. In his own way my dad was saying a house is your home and a home is not a business. Get the right one for you at a price that makes sense for your circumstances. Any time of the year is what I would say.