Median Home Sale Price Shows Gains For A Remarkable 81 Months Straight

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When you purchase a home, you want it to appreciate in value. That way, if and when you decide to sell your home, you can fetch more than what you paid for it (and make a handsome profit in the process). Well, if you purchased your home anytime in the last seven years or so, chances are you're probably doing just fine. According to recent data from Zillow, the median existing home sale price was $257,000 in November 2018. That's a rise of 4.2% from November the previous year—and marks a whopping 81 months straight of year-over-year gains.

The Takeaway

If you've owned your home for at least a few years, chances are it's appreciated in value so you'll be able to sell it for a higher value than what you paid. But these steady increases won't last forever. As new inventory hits the market in 2019, increases in home values are expected to level off. So if you've been thinking about selling your home, now is the time to make a move (and make the most profit).

Behind-The-Scenes Ways Your Real Estate Agent Supports Your Home Sale

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, there are obvious things you notice them doing to help your house sell. Things like: hosting open houses, bringing potential buyers on home tours, and marketing your property in multiple ways to make sure it gets enough exposure. But when it comes to adding value to your home sale, that's just the tip of the iceberg. A huge percentage of your agent's job takes place behind-the-scenes, and they're working around the clock to get your house sold — even when you're not looking. Here are 4 behind-the-scenes way your real estate agent is working to get your house sold:

1. Performing market research

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When it comes to pricing your home, your agent doesn't just pull a random number out of a hat. Your agent's recommendation is a result of extensive market research to ensure your home is priced in a way that's attractive to both buyers and you, the seller. Agents pull data on comparable properties in your area (from both the MLS and any public databases) for the past 12 to 18 months. They research how each home was priced and how the price correlated to the average time the property sat on the market before coming up with a CMA (comparable market analysis) to determine the market value of your property and suggest a listing price. All the insights gathered from your agent's behind-the-scenes research are crucial to pricing your property correctly — and wouldn't be possible without your agent's hard work.

2. Gathering relevant information for buyers

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A critical part of the home selling process is providing accurate and complete information to potential buyers. But most of the information buyers want isn't something you, as a seller, will have ready and available. Your agent gathers all the information a potential buyer might want to know so that if and when they request it, it's ready to go. Agents research things like the average utility usage of your property for the past 12 months, a breakdown of the home's floor plan, and a list of all available electricity and gas vendors in the area to make it available to buyers, which saves you a ton of time and hassle.

3. Phone calls and scheduling

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As part of their marketing efforts, your agent likely has your property listed on both the MLS and multiple public forums in order to get your home in front of as many potential buyers as possible. And while the increased exposure is great for driving interest in your home, someone needs to manage all the inquiries, follow up with interested buyers, and schedule viewings. And that person is your real estate agent. When your agent calls you to schedule a tour, that's just a small part of the process. Before they called you, they've already answered email inquiries, fielded multiple phone calls, talked to buyer's agents, and weeded out people who aren't serious about viewing — and potentially buying — your home. The call you get to schedule the tour is the last step in a lengthy scheduling process — most of which your agent manages behind-the-scenes.

4. Managing the close (and all the logistics that go with it)

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Now, once a qualified buyer makes an offer on your home — and you decide to accept it — your agent's job goes into high gear. Now, that's not to say that managing the close happens entirely behind-the-scenes; obviously, your agent is going to work with you to get the job done. There's plenty of the closing process (from negotiating with the buyers to reviewing contracts) that you'll get to witness up close and personal. But there's a lot more that goes into managing the close of your home then what you actually see from your agent. They have to make sure the signed contracts are sent to everyone who needs a copy, including the lender, the buyer's agent, the title company, and any involved attorneys. They have to file a status change with the MLS from "For Sale" to "Pending" and, finally, to "Sold." They need to schedule the final walkthrough with the buyers and their agent. Closing on your home? It's kind of a logistical nightmare. But luckily for you, when you work with a real estate agent, they take care of all the (many) details and logistics that need to be managed throughout the closing process, saving you immeasurable time, money, and frustration. When you work with a real estate agent, it's easy to see the value that they bring to the table during the process of selling your home. But what you see is just the beginning. The hours you see your agent putting in — the home tours, the open houses, the phone calls — are just a tiny fraction of the work they're actually doing. Your agent is working around the clock to get your home sold... and the majority of that work takes place behind-the-scenes.

All Generations Believe Renting Is More Affordable Than Owning - Even Though Its Not True!

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According to new research from lender Freddie Mac, every generation—from millennials to Gen Xers to Baby Boomers—are continuing to rent because they think it's saving them money. According to the report, 76% of Millennials, 75% of Gen Xers, and 81% of Baby Boomers said renting was the more affordable option. But with rents rising across the country, that's just no longer the case. According to the most recent Market Outlook Report from Realtor.com, rents rose year over year in nearly ¾ (73%) of counties across the United States. And according to Trulia, it is now more affordable to own a home than to rent in a whopping 98% of the largest metro markets in the US.

The Takeaway

The misconception that renting is more affordable than homeownership is not only costing renters of every generation money, it's also costing them the ability to own their own home. If you've been renting because you believe it's saving you money—no matter how old you are—it's time to look at the facts, reevaluate your situation, and consider transitioning to homeownership.

Total Housing Inventory Rises 4.1% From December

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It's been a tough market out there for buyers. According to the recent Housing Shortage Report from Realtor.com, the United States is in the midst of its worst housing inventory shortage in over two decades. But it looks like that might be changing. According to the National Association of Realtors most recent Existing Home Sales Report, total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to January, with 1.52 million homes for sale across the country. This is still lower inventory than January of last year, but it's a positive sign that the end of the housing shortage may be in sight. Most experts predict mid-to-late 2018 should see major changes in the number of homes on the market. According to a recent article from Realtor.com's economics team, the second half of the year will see a major increase in inventory flooding the market thanks to new construction—which is great news for buyers.

The Takeaway

The low inventory markets across the country have been experiencing has been a real challenge for buyers. But thankfully, it looks like the coming year is going to be a much friendlier environment for buyers looking to purchase a home.

National Foreclosure Rates in the US to Pre-Crisis Levels.

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After the housing crisis, foreclosures across the country skyrocketed, eventually hitting a peak of nearly 4%. But as the housing market has slowly recovered, foreclosures have dropped dramatically, and as of April 2018, they've finally dropped to rates seen before the crisis. According to CoreLogic's most recent data, foreclosure rates are dropping across the board. While foreclosure rates are significantly lower in non-judicial states (0.3%) than judicial states (judicial states, which are states that require lenders to follow a judicial procedure during foreclosures, are at 0.9%), the national foreclosure rate in April 2018 was just 0.6%, officially putting foreclosures in the United States at pre-crisis levels.

The Takeaway

The fact that foreclosures have officially dipped to pre-crisis levels is just another marker that the housing market in the US has officially recovered. So if you've been thinking about getting involved in real estate and purchasing a home, now would be a great time.

1 in 4 Homes In America Are "Equity Rich"

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When the housing bubble burst, many Americans found themselves underwater or, in other words, with a home worth significantly less than what they owed on their mortgages. But according to recent data, more and more Americans are finding themselves in the opposite situation—with a home worth far more than what they owe on their mortgage. According to the most recent Equity Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, which curates a well-known nationwide property database, as of Q2 2018, nearly 14 million properties in the US are now what's known as "equity rich"—meaning the balance of loans on the property is worth 50% or less than the current estimated market value. That's approximately one in four homes in the US that currently holds a mortgage! But what, exactly, is the advantage of being "equity rich"? Homeowners that are equity rich can sell their homes and walk away with a significant chunk of cash in their pockets—cash they can then use to make a down payment on a new property.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about selling your home and upgrading to a larger and/or pricier property, check the balance on your mortgage against the current market value. If you're one of the equity rich, you can use that equity to get into the home of your dreams.

First-Time Buyer Interest Strong Despite Rising Interest Rates

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Interest rates are rising. According to Freddie Macthe current rate for a 30-yr fixed mortgage is 4.81%, which is up a nearly a full percentage point from a year ago. While some were concerned the rising interest rates would have a negative impact on the market, particularly with first-time homebuyers, it looks as if the changes in interest rates are doing little to dampen buyer demand. According to First American’s most recent Real Estate Sentiment Index (which explores how sensitive first-time homebuyers are to rising interest rates), mortgage rates would have to hit 5.6% before first-time buyers delay entering the market. And because mortgage rates aren’t predicted to rise that drastically anytime soon, we shouldn’t see any negative impact on buyer interest in the coming months.

The Takeaway

If you’ve been hesitant to list your home thanks to fears that rising interest rates will limit the number of buyers, there’s nothing to worry about. Buyer demand is showing no signs of slowing.

Crowdfunding For Home Purchases On The Rise

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For many potential buyers, one of the biggest obstacles on the road to homeownership is saving for a down payment. But thanks to a new technology trend, some savvy buyers are turning to their friends, family, and social networks for help. While crowdfunding has long been a popular trend, until recently it's been mostly limited to the business world. But according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, crowdfunding for home purchases is on the rise. There's even a crowdfunding platform specifically for homeowners. HomeFundMe is the first crowdfunding platform specifically targeted to potential homeowners looking to crowdfund a down payment. Potential homeowners are given 12 months to reach their down payment goal, and all funds are wired from an escrow account to the seller when buyers make their property purchase. HomeFundMe is still new (the platform launched in October 2017), but results so far are promising; according to the WSJ article, approximately 400 buyers have used the service to help crowdfund their home purchase since the launch.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about buying a home but haven't been able to save for a down payment, crowdfunding could be a way to make your dreams of owning a home a reality.

Couples Prioritize Homeownership Over Weddings

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Of all the purchases most people will make in a lifetime, two of the most significant—and most expensive—are weddings and purchasing a home. Because they're so expensive, it can be challenging for couples to save for both. According to a recent survey, it looks like the majority of couples are prioritizing homeownership over a fancy (and expensive) wedding. According to a recent survey from Open Listings, 64% of couples said they would delay or downsize their wedding if it meant being able to purchase a home sooner, and when asked what big-ticket item they were currently saving for, 29% of couples said a home (compared to just 17% of couples who were saving for a wedding). And the reason? Owning a home is just more important to most Americans couples than dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding—53% of couples and 65% of engaged couples claimed that home ownership was "very important."

The Takeaway

If you've been putting off saving for a home in order to have a large, fancy wedding, you might want to reconsider. A big wedding is a great day. But buying your dream home? That can give you a great life.

No Down Payment? No Problem, You Can Buy A House With A Down Payment of $0

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Most potential homeowners believe that in order to purchase a home they'll need to come up with at least 20% for the down payment. And with the median price of homes in the US at $240,900, that's a whopping $48,000. For many, coming up with that kind of cash just isn't possible. But while you traditionally needed a substantial down payment in order to secure a loan, today there are plenty of ways to become a homeowner—even if you haven't saved a penny for a down payment. In a recent video, the team at Realtor.com break down a few options available for potential buyers looking to buy a home without a substantial down payment. One option is a mortgage from the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office, which provides 0% down payment mortgages to buyers in towns with populations of 10,000 or less (which covers 97% of the US!). Other options include mortgages from credit unions, VA loans, and down payment assistance programs. In addition to the options outlined in the video, nontraditional lending options like FHA loans are also a great way to purchase a home without breaking the bank with a down payment.

The Takeaway

If you've been holding back on purchasing a home because you haven't been able to save a substantial down payment, you have options. Talk to your real estate agent and figure out which no (or low) down payment loan option is right for you.

Want To Increase Your Homes Value?

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As a homeowner, there are plenty of projects you can do around the house in order to increase the value of your home. But one of the biggest value-adds? Central air conditioning. According to Zillow's most recent Consumer Housing Trends Report, a whopping 62% of buyers list central air conditioning as a required feature in a home. Recent Zillow data also shows that buyers paid, on average, 2.5% more for homes with central A/C—and that number can jump to upwards of 5% in hot, humid areas. So what does that look like? According to Zillow's most recent data, the current median home value in the US is $217,300. Adding central air to a home at that price would add anywhere from $5,432.50 to $10,865 in value—not to mention make your home a much more enjoyable place to be in the scorching summer months.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about installing central air conditioning to your home, data shows it's a solid investment. Not only will it add value to your home, but it's on the top of the "must haves" list for a huge portion of potential buyers.

Thinking About Listing Your Home? It's Almost Time To Make Your Move

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There's a decent amount of debate in the real estate community about what, exactly, is the best time to sell—but according to recent research from Zillow, if you're thinking about listing your home, the time to make a move is right around the corner. In the article, Zillow claims the best time of year to list your home for sale is in late spring, specifically in the first two weeks of May. According to their research, people who list their home for sale during this window sell their homes two weeks faster and for an average of $2.4K more than any other time of year. This stands to show some serious increases thanks to the current housing shortage. Because there are so few homes on the market, chances are many buyers won't be able to find property at the start of the spring selling season—which, as it gets later into spring, can push them to make higher offers in order to land a home before summer hits.

The Takeaway

If you want to make the most money on your home sale, the time to make your move and list your property is right around the corner. So mark your calendar!

House Prices Down Nearly 37% Since Pre-Recession

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There's a lot of talk in the real estate world right now about low inventory—and how that low inventory is driving up prices. But while there's no denying the inventory is lower than most buyers would like it to be right now, when it comes to pricing, things aren't nearly as bad as you might think. According to the Real House Price Index from First American (which factors in income, mortgage rates, and unadjusted home prices to track "real" house prices over time), real house prices in the US are down a whopping 36.9% from their pre-recession peak, putting consumer house-buying power at a near historic high.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about buying, don't let the low inventory stop you. There are plenty of homes on the market, and, according to this report, you still have the power to get those homes at a great price.

Think Buying A Home Will Be More Affordable in 2019? Think Again

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The real estate industry has seen extremely low interest rates for quite some time, but all of that may be about to change, and it's driving a massive increase in buying activity. According to a recent report from Freddie Mac, interest rates on home loans are expected to jump an entire percentage point in 2018 (from 3.9% in Q4 of 2017 to 4.9% by Q4 of 2018). That jump can mean a mortgage payment that's hundreds of dollars more per month—and tens of thousands more paid in interest over the course of the loan. And according to a recent article from the team at Realtor.com, the threat of rising interest rates is pushing a new stream of buyers into the market. According to the article, potential buyers who were "on the fence" about buying are now making purchases in order to lock in lower interest rates, creating even more competition and driving up prices.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to do it. With historically low inventory and a new rush of buyers into the market, there has never been better conditions to get the most value from your home sale.

Buying Activity Driven By Projected Mortgage Rates Increasing

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The real estate industry has seen extremely low interest rates for quite some time, but all of that may be about to change, and it's driving a massive increase in buying activity. According to a recent report from Freddie Mac, interest rates on home loans are expected to jump an entire percentage point in 2018 (from 3.9% in Q4 of 2017 to 4.9% by Q4 of 2018). That jump can mean a mortgage payment that's hundreds of dollars more per month—and tens of thousands more paid in interest over the course of the loan. And according to a recent article from the team at Realtor.com, the threat of rising interest rates is pushing a new stream of buyers into the market. According to the article, potential buyers who were "on the fence" about buying are now making purchases in order to lock in lower interest rates, creating even more competition and driving up prices.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to do it. With historically low inventory and a new rush of buyers into the market, there has never been better conditions to get the most value from your home sale.

Nearly 1.3 Million New Homes Completed in May - The Most In Over A Decade

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The housing inventory crisis—which, according to Realtor.com's recent Housing Shortage Report, is the worst inventory shortage in the United States in over two decades—hasn't been an easy time for people on the market for a new home. The low inventory and the intense competition for available homes has driven up prices in markets across the country, making it difficult for potential buyers to find and buy property. But it looks like building is (finally) starting to pick up to keep up with buyer demand. According to a recent report on new construction from the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, builders completed new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of a whopping 1,291,000 in May 2018—the most homes completed in over a decade.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about buying a home, this is good news! As new inventory becomes available (and as builders continue to construct new homes to keep up with demand), the fierce competition for property that's become the norm in today's real estate market will cool off, making it much easier to find a home (and, most importantly, to get that home at a reasonable price).

Total Housing Inventory Rises 4.1% From December

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It's been a tough market out there for buyers. According to the recent Housing Shortage Report from Realtor.com, the United States is in the midst of its worst housing inventory shortage in over two decades. But it looks like that might be changing. According to the National Association of Realtors most recent Existing Home Sales Report, total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to January, with 1.52 million homes for sale across the country. This is still lower inventory than January of last year, but it's a positive sign that the end of the housing shortage may be in sight. Most experts predict mid-to-late 2018 should see major changes in the number of homes on the market. According to a recent article from Realtor.com's economics team, the second half of the year will see a major increase in inventory flooding the market thanks to new construction—which is great news for buyers.

The Takeaway

The low inventory markets across the country have been experiencing has been a real challenge for buyers. But thankfully, it looks like the coming year is going to be a much friendlier environment for buyers looking to purchase a home.

Less Than 5% of Homes in The US Have Negative Equity

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After the housing crisis of 2008, many homeowners found themselves "upside down" on their properties, with their mortgage balances significantly higher than the value of their home. According to Zillow, negative equity in the US peaked 31.4% in Q1 of 2012, meaning nearly one-third of all mortgage holders in the US owed more on their homes than it was valued. But luckily, the housing market has rebounded from the housing crisis, and homeowners have almost completely regained equity in their homes. According to CoreLogic's most recent Home Equity Insights report, in Q4 of 2017 only 4.9% of all mortgaged properties had negative equity, with the number of homes with negative equity dropping 21% year-over-year (from 3.2 million homes to 2.5 million homes).

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about selling but were waiting for your home to recover its value, now is the time to make a move. The dramatic decrease in negative equity, combined with the current inventory shortage, make it an ideal time to sell and to get the most value for your home.

Will A Home Warranty Ease Your Worries

You know that old phone prank...

Someone calls and says, “Is your refrigerator running?”

The person on the other end then says, “Yes. Why?”

And then the caller says something like, “You better catch it before it gets too far away!!”

The joke worked because, for the most part, everyone has a fridge, and it is probably working. And that is when you should have a home warranty in place... when your fridge is working, not once it is broken.

Do you have a list of worries?

There’s a lot of things you probably notice, but ignore around your house. Until it is too late, and becomes a much bigger problem. It’s not broken...but maybe you notice that your fridge is making a different sound lately. Your garage door isn’t working quite right. It goes half way down and gets stuck. The bathroom faucet is dripping. You notice a little leak in your bedroom ceiling. Little worries like these are super common for homeowners. Maybe you have an even longer list of little worries than those...

What’s the real worry?

But worries like those aren’t the real worry. The real worry is the cost of getting them fixed. For a lot of people, it is hard enough just paying the mortgage and other household bills. It’s not like there’s tons of money sitting around to fix the little worries. So you probably ignore it for as long as possible. Then the little problem becomes bigger and bigger. And the little problems become more numerous. You figure you will deal with it when and if it becomes too big of an issue…which is usually once something is broken, or not working at all. You deal with it once you have to spend the money.

Get a home warranty before it is too late...

If all of that sounds too familiar to you, a home warranty can solve a lot of your worries. But you need to get one before your appliance, your furnace, your air conditioning, or whatever else, is actually broken. They won’t cover your problem if it was a pre-existing condition… Part of the problem might be that you don’t want to spend the money to buy a home warranty. They can cost hundreds of dollars. Maybe even upwards of a thousand or so, depending on the plan and coverages. But in comparison to how much it could cost you if your furnace or water heater stopped working, the cost is really not so bad. And, it isn’t like you can go and just buy a $500 home warranty once the furnace goes kapoot, call them up, and presto, have them send someone over to install a new one. You can try... but they are gonna deny.

Expect some aggravation

As with anything... not all home warranty companies or plans are reputable or great. Just do a little research online, and you will see tons of complaints about home warranty companies. Enough to scare you away from even buying one. With that said, sometimes it is a matter of having the right understanding, expectations, or following the right protocol. For instance, a home warranty company won’t necessarily get you a new furnace...if the existing one can be fixed. A lot of people complain that they wanted something replaced, but the warranty company merely fixed the problem. They have that right. If it can be fixed, they fix it. If not, they replace it. Sometimes, people misunderstand what to expect, or simply want more than they should expect. Or, some people will feel that they should be able to call their own contractor to have a problem fixed or replaced, and expect that the warranty company will pay the bill. Most don’t allow that. The warranty company needs to be called first, and they will usually give you a choice of a few contractors that they have relationships with. Not necessarily contractors you know, or want to hire. A lot of times, people complain just because they presumed that something would be covered, when it really isn’t. You need to know what your policy will cover. (A pool, for instance.) There are usually a few options within each home warranty company. Obviously, the more and better the coverage... the more the cost. And it isn’t uncommon to have to fight a little bit (or a lot a bit) to get something covered. They certainly have their loopholes and language in the policies that allow for them to deny coverage if they want to. Or even just do things as cheaply as possible. So, do expect that just buying a home warranty is not a direct ticket to getting everything you want, at least without question or a little fight. It’s aggravating, but the old adage about the squeaky wheel gets the oil is probably a good way to approach dealing with your home warranty company. Expect to squeak.

A good, simple trick...

Hey, you may find a great home warranty company who addresses you and your problems thoroughly, quickly, and with little hassle. Without needing to squeak, even. If so, that’s great. But probably not... judging by so much of what you read online. It is hard to find one that has an absolutely favorable reputation. So a good trick you might want to consider is this… ...call your real estate agent.

Ask your real estate agent for their advice.

Advice on:
  1. Does a home warranty make sense for you, your needs, and your specific concerns?
  2. If so, what home warranty companies do they recommend?

Here is the real “trick” to this trick...

Real estate agents often have affiliations with home warranty companies. They are are in the business day after day. Home warranty companies do not want to be on their bad side. So, if you are having an issue with a home warranty company, your real estate agent may just be helpful in getting the warranty company to get things done. Especially if it is one that they have an affiliation with, or recommend. All it might take is a phone call, or an e-mail from your real estate agent, and whatever issue you were having might just get resolved more quickly than by you spending hours on the phone, sending e-mails, or writing a scathing complaint online. Too often, some of the in-between-the-lines benefits of a real estate agent get overlooked.

This is one of those benefits. Don’t overlook it.

If you have any little worry around your house...or a long list of them...call your real estate agent. Ask their advice. Most agents will give it freely, and for free. And gladly.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home?

One question that pops up constantly from both first-time and seasoned homeowners alike is "When is the best time of year to buy a home?" Potential homeowners want to know the best time of year to get the best home for the lowest price - and ideally, at a time that makes sense for their life. It would be great if there were a simple and straightforward answer, like "the best time of year to purchase a home is between April 1 and April 7." But unfortunately, it's not that simple. Let's take a look at the factors that play into answering the question "when is the best time of year to buy a home?"

Convenience

The first factor to consider when buying a home is convenience. This is particularly important if you have a family. If you have school-aged children, you ideally want to move in between school years, so sometime between May and August. Pulling a child out of school in the middle of the year can be challenging, and children might have a hard time to adjusting to a new school in the middle of the year. However, because so many potential homeowners have families that want to move during this time period, it drives up the prices, making the summer the most expensive time a year to buy a home. So, if your main concern is convenience for your family, then summer is a good time to buy - just be prepared to pay a higher price than you would at other times of year.

Inventory

If your top priority is having a lot of houses to choose from, you'll want to buy a house during the time of year when the most homes are on the market. That way, you'll have your pick of multiple properties and are much more likely to find a home that has all the items on your wish list. In most areas, the highest inventory peaks in the spring, right before the end of the school year. Inventory stays high throughout the summer and then starts to fall in early autumn, with the lowest inventory happening in late autumn and winter. If you want a variety of homes to choose from, look to buy in the spring.

Price

If your main goal is to get an amazing home at a low price, the best time of year to buy is when competition is low. When there aren't as many people looking to buy, it drives down the prices of homes, and you can purchase property at a significantly lower rate. On average, homes cost 8.45% less in January and February than they do in June, July, and August. If you were looking at purchasing a $500,000 property, that would bring the price down $42,250 for a sale price of $457,750. That kind of price drop could save you a significant amount of money over the course of your mortgage and lower your monthly payments. If you're looking to get the most house for your money, purchasing a home in the winter is definitely your best bet. The best time of year to buy a home is largely dependent on your needs and priorities. If you're looking to buy at a time that's most convenient for your family (and in particular, your children), buying during the summer is a great option. If you want to see as many homes as possible in order to find a property that has everything you're looking for in a home, you'll want to buy a home in the spring, when inventory is at its highest. And if your bottom line is you want to pay the lowest price possible, purchasing a home in the winter, when prices are significantly lower, will be the most advantageous. Just keep in mind that finding and purchasing a home takes time; while it happens, the chances of finding a property during the first week of looking for a home are slim. On average, people spend 30 - 60 days looking for a home and another 14 - 60 days from contract to close, so make sure to give yourself plenty of lead time to take advantage of the time of year that's best for YOU to purchase.