Autumn is officially upon us and that means the real estate market is ready for a bit of a change. Historically, the fall marks a time period when demand for housing decreases as many individuals have settled into their homes and the school year has begun. So, for those who want to buy a home when demand is lower, affordability will be a bit higher.
If you are looking for a home this fall, it might be a good idea to check out some of these tips for house hunting to the most pumpkin-flavored season of the year:
Move in before you're snowed in
No one likes moving during the winter, so Realtor.com suggested buying the house and closing before the first snow. Icy roads and snow storms can make for dangerous conditions no one wants to be stuck in.
Take advantage of more choices
Home prices have increased a great deal because demand was so high this summer, and available inventory wasn't able to meet it. Now that fall is here, demand will likely decrease, leaving more home choices to fewer buyers. You will be able to take your pick of the crop when it comes time to harvest the home of your dreams!
Understand current market conditions
Credit.com indicated the importance of knowing the market before you begin your house hunting. While there is typically a trend of falling demand, not every region is the same.
Consider working with a professional real estate agent who is familiar with the current market conditions in the area. They can help you determine what a fair offer is and when it's appropriate to negotiate the final price.
In addition, working with an agent gives you the opportunity to find a higher number of homes that match your wish list. Their expertise and access to available properties increase your chances of closing on your very own home sweet home.
'Tis the season for tax breaks (sort of)
While it's not time for year-end tax breaks, you might be thinking about them as fall moves in. Becoming a homeowner can land you a number of returns in tax breaks depending on your situation. It may be worth considering as you begin your search.
If you're already thinking about the money you can save in tax breaks, you might also want to think about the winter bills in a new home. New windows, heaters and insulation can cut down on energy costs drastically. In fact, according to Energy Star, the average savings for a typical home that replaced single-pane windows was between $101 and $538 each year. Moving into a home with new energy-efficient windows is an especially appealing option this fall when winter is coming.
When looking for a new home during the fall, keep these thoughts at the forefront of your mind. Ask real estate agents about upgrades in different homes and how old the windows and heater are.
It might be exciting to find the perfect new home that just needs a little work, but when you are shopping during the fall, those little fixer-upper projects can wind up being pretty painful. It's important to keep in mind that the weather is cooling and finding a contractor may be more difficult as the holidays approach.
Shopping for a new home requires some research and a little patience, but with a little of both and the help of a real estate agent, you can be in your dream home before Thanksgiving.