The Best Time of Year to Buy a House

house for sale in autumn

To everything there is a season, and buying a house is no exception. Every season of the year has its benefits, as well as its drawbacks, when it comes to purchasing a house.

So when's the best time of year to buy? Let’s tear off a page on the calendar and compare all four seasons.

Fall

Why it’s a great time to buy: Lower prices. One survey shows that the average October closing price of a home can drop a few percentage points lower than its full market value. With holidays approaching, sellers may be eager to close the deal before moving on to the busy season. That could mean an early holiday present for you.

When it’s not: Of course, sellers aren’t the only ones looking ahead to the holidays. Between seasonal celebrations and the start of school and more kids’ activities, you may be too busy to give a house hunt the time and attention required. And the dwindling hours of sun reduce the chance of viewing homes in full daylight.

Winter

Why it’s a great time to buy: Less competition. Fewer people shop for homes in the winter, so you may have a better chance at finding your dream home at a good price. Sellers may accept a better price or agree to other perks, such as a longer contingency period, especially if the house has been on the market since the summer.

When it’s not: Inventory is limited, so you have fewer options. Snow and ice make navigating roads, sidewalks, and walkways more challenging. You won’t get a full look at the home exterior in bloom, which might give you the fuller sense of its appearance through the majority of the year. A covering of snow can mask structural problems, such as an aging roof or sunken ground, leading to expensive repairs down the road.

Spring

Why it’s a great time to buy: Increased inventory. If you've been looking at houses over the winter, you're probably discouraged by how few good properties there are for sale, which is why spring can be a breath of fresh air in your house hunt. With more listings to look at, you'll have a better chance of finding the right property. Plus the entire theme of the season — new beginnings and the promise of longer, sunnier days ahead —  can bolster and inspire your mood. Homes also tend to look their best in spring, with greenery bursting from the soil and flowers in bloom.

When it’s not: Like daffodils and croci, home prices blossom in spring. In addition to facing higher price tags, buyers also will find a lot more competition. That means homes may not only sell for more money, but they sell quickly, giving you little time for contemplation. You'll definitely need to add some extra "spring" in your step to get the house you want at a price you can afford.

Summer

Why it’s a great time to buy: Peak inventory. This is traditionally a popular time to sell, so you'll find more homes on the market. More supply means more options if your first choice is snapped up. More daylight brings more time for viewing homes, opening up more evening options as well as the traditional weekend open houses.

When it's not: You may not be taking a summer vacation, but others — including sellers and even real estate agents — may be, making scheduling a challenge. Once the sale is finalized, movers can be more expensive as they tend to be in greater demand during the summer months.

So when is the perfect time to buy a home? The answer is the time that makes the most sense for you, your needs, and your budget. So consider your options and block off some calendar space. Happy hunting!

Whatever time of year you decide to purchase a house, Hanscom FCU's mortgage experts are here to help you every step of the way during your home-buying journey. Whether you’re looking to refinance your mortgage, buying your first, second, or third home, vacation home,  or investment property, we have a mortgage product to fit your needs with competitive mortgage rates. Contact us today!

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About Author

Sandra Quadros Bowles
Sandra Quadros Bowles

Sandy Quadros Bowles is a veteran journalist who has received local, state, and national journalism awards. A resident of New Bedford, MA, she is an animal enthusiast, an avid reader, and an enthusiastic traveler.

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