We get asked this question a lot: How do I know when to buy a home? There’s no easy answer beyond the obvious (whenever you find the right home for you). Still, different seasons have their advantages. Spring is the most popular time to buy, although that’s not necessarily when you’ll find the best deal. If you’re eager to find your dream home at a dream price, autumn has some serious advantages:
Lower home prices
Real estate information company RealtyTrac has analyzed more than 32 million home sales over 15 years. The firm discovered that buyers are more likely to pay below market value for a new home in the fall – and the best month to buy, according to the data, is October, when the average buyer pays 2.6% below the estimated market value at the time of purchase. Those are some big savings, especially compared to springtime, when increased demand drives up home prices and leads some buyers to pay more than they would during other seasons.
Year-end tax credits
There’s a particularly sweet (and often overlooked) incentive to buy a home toward the end of the fiscal year: tax breaks! While you certainly can’t escape paying income tax, you can make a big dent in how much you have to fork over if you become a homeowner. Closing costs, property tax and mortgage interest are all tax-deductible, so finding your home late in the year means you don’t have to wait as long to take advantage of a major deduction.
One of the biggest reasons for the autumn dip in home prices is simple: Not as many people are out looking for homes at this time of year, which makes fall the off-season for real estate. Some prospective buyers will decide to wait until the following year to make a purchase, while others already found homes during the spring and summer months, leaving you with less competition. Another reason the marketplace clears out is that a variety of factors—a new school year, shorter daylight hours, the impending holidays—make it harder for buyers to get out and look at houses. The upshot is that sellers often drop prices to entice the smaller number of buyers (like you) who are still looking.
By the time fall rolls around, many of the homes on the market have been out there since summer or even spring. Therefore, sellers are very serious about handing over their keys before the year is up. That puts you in a strong position as a buyer because some sellers will lower their asking prices as summer turns to fall, and many will be more likely to negotiate than they were earlier in the year.
Your real estate team is less busy
With fewer folks out there looking for homes in autumn, you should be able to enjoy the full attention of your house-hunting team as they help you know when to buy a home. Your real estate agent, mortgage broker and real estate lawyer don’t have a lot on their plates right now, so they can focus more of their time and energy on helping your find your dream home.
At the end of the day, buying a new home is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed, but if you’re lucky enough to find your dream home during the autumn months, you might just find the best deals of the year. Contact us today to learn more about when to buy a home in Austin, Texas.