If you are considering buying a home, think about these five excellent times to do so:
1) When no one else is! This is very important and the other times below will be redundant to this point. Like it or not, people do tend to behave a bit like sheep and behave en masse. Buyers catch wind that the market is picking up and determine to jump in and get their slice of the pie before prices go up even further. This is reasonable thinking, but the more folks that jump onto that bandwagon at the same time actually create rapid inflation. This cycle can be very intense leading to serious multiple offer situations that may leave a buyer feeling that they overpaid when the flurry settles down. And they may have overpaid, which will mean that some time may have to pass until the home catches back up with the market. That is why it is very important to love the house you buy. If you are happy there, and you can afford it, then the price issue will not be unbearable. So, if you want to get a great deal on a house, buy when it appears that no one else is. When the papers are advertising a slow-down, or a sluggish market. You get out there and start shopping!
2) When a home has warts! Trust me when I tell you that things are not always what they appear to be. Our current home sat on the market for 180 days, and as a realtor I didn’t even go preview it during that time because the pictures online were so bad that I didn’t want to waste my time. Only when I was put into a rather dire time constraint did I take a drive out to see the property and was extremely surprised when I fell instantly in love! When you’re looking, look for homes that have been sitting on the market for a long time. If the house is in your square footage range, take the time to check it out. Sometimes these homes have fantastic bones and just need some love to bring out their beauty. And, conversely, some of these shiny, remodeled flips are just the opposite. Right under that shiny façade, achieved with inferior materials, is the famed ticky-tacky house. Try to use your super-hero vision and really SEE what’s going on.
3) Winter! Starting after Halloween and all the way through mid-January there are some excellent deals to be had. Like the bears and bees, humans slowdown in these cooler months, and folks who put their homes on the market during this time are usually doing so because they have to, due to any number of circumstances.
4) Christmas! Dialing down even further into the potential of buying in the winter, if a house is for sale at Christmas time you can be sure the seller is motivated. Not only do they most likely REALLY NEED to sell the house, but they may also have some feelings of good will boiling down to, “Let’s just sign this and get it over with, make a better holiday for everyone.” Or “Let’s not take this stress with us into the new year.”
5) When YOU are READY! Ultimately, regardless of the time of year, or what is happening with the market, the very best time to buy a house is when you are ready!! As long as humans have been roaming the planet they have been looking for a cozy cove to call their (and their clans’) own. The feeling that comes from knowing your home is your own, that you can decorate it, fix it, change it to suit your tastes and interests; that you can establish your own rules and live in a way that is consistent with your values; that you can be protected from the world and the elements; that you are literally building wealth with every mortgage payment as your equity builds—these are precious matters of great importance. There is a supreme sense of accomplishment in successful home ownership.
So, in summary, as November is right around the corner, get out there and swim against the tide. Keep a sharp eye peeled for a home that might not be for every man, but oddly just right for you. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Don’t think you have to wait for a house to sit on the market to consider writing a strong offer for a bit less than asking. Maybe you can end this year by achieving a great goal and focus your next year on enjoying that accomplishment!