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Is there a best time to buy a house?

Family | Buying a House

If you're asking yourself, "When should I buy a house?," you're probably ready now. But that doesn't mean you can't time your house hunting around the ups and downs of the real estate market. While there's an off season and a more competitive season for real estate, savvy shoppers who do their homework learn that when it comes to getting the best bargains, the 'what,' ''where,' and 'how' are just as important as the 'when.'

The best month to buy a house depends on a number of factors like interest rates, housing availability, and home prices and really when you are ready—plus, getting the best deals means knowing what to look for, where to look for it, and how to put in a good offer. That’s where a good local Real Estate Agent can help. Here are some helpful tips.

Is it good to buy a house now in 2021?

Buying a house in 2021 may be a good idea. While the market is certainly competitive for buyers right now, mortgage rates are still sitting at historic lows, making 2021 an ideal time to buy a house for many people.

The housing market exploded in 2020, and it hasn't cooled down yet. Demand for houses has been outpacing supply, which tends to increase prices.

However, mortgage rates remain near historic lows, meaning you may be able to buy more house for a lower payment.

This combination of higher housing prices and lower mortgage rates may mean making a higher down payment, but it can also mean lower monthly mortgage payments. This is why the question of "When should I buy a house?" is such a personal one. For many people, the second example above is a better deal. Plus, you don't necessarily have to make a 10% down payment. If you're a first-time home buyer, you may be able take advantage of some loan programs that let you put as little as 3% down.

What is the best time to buy a house?

The best time to buy a house is when you're ready to become a homeowner. You can try to time your house hunting around fluctuations in the market or the best month to buy a house, but ultimately, seasonal changes shouldn't keep you from buying the home you want.

What is the slowest month for real estate sales?

According to information from the National Association of Realtors, the slowest months for housing sales are typically November, December, January, and February. Generally speaking, real estate starts to die down during the holidays and picks back up after winter ends.

What is the cheapest month to buy a house?

In today’s market, available housing inventory is harder to come by than under “normal” circumstances. That is making the homes that do become available sell quickly and for more money than they would have a few years ago. Add all that up and it means there likely won’t be a “cheapest month” to buy in 2021.

Ultimately, it comes down to when you are ready and when you find the house of your dreams. That’s going to be a different time for each family. The important thing is to be prepared and get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can move quickly if you need to. 

You should also consider current mortgage rates and your credit qualifications as well as the down payment, taxes, repairs, and moving costs, all of which can fluctuate throughout the year.

What is the best month to buy a house?

In a more typical housing market, buying a house in August or September is often a good idea. If you house shop in the fall, you'll hopefully get in after demand has dropped a little but while supply is still high. House shopping in the winter can mean fewer options, while buying in the spring and summer can mean less price flexibility. 

With all that being said, in today’s market, the best month to buy a house is whenever you feel you’re ready.

When should I buy a house?

If you're ready to buy a house now, then now is the best time to buy a house. The month or time of year you buy your house in isn't nearly as important as how you hunt for the best deals. Here are some great ways to score a bargain on your next home regardless of what time of year you purchase.

Get Pre-approved

You'll want to get pre-approved by a mortgage lender before you start the house hunting process. With housing demand as high as it is, houses don't tend to stay on the market for very long, and you will most likely be competing with other buyers. Having a pre-approval to submit with your offer will let the seller know you are qualified.

We all love great deals, real estate included. But there is no best month to buy a house—the best time to buy a house is when you've done your research and you're ready to go. By doing your homework, gathering market intelligence, and staying persistent and patient, you can find a home at a great price any time of year.

And you may even have money left over to buy that big screen TV, which, by the way, is best purchased in early February right before the Super Bowl, or that new king-sized mattress that goes on sale in September, just in time for Labor Day.

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge of how to score the best deals, check out our mortgage calculator to get a sense of what your budget is, and read through our guide to buying a house to get started.

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