We know what you are thinking, spring is THE home-buying season, and traditionally, that is true. Spring has conventionally been what prospective home buyers begin their search for a new home. After the chilly winter months, people are excited to be outside, and freshly landscaped properties look their best. However, fall home buying is becoming more and more a trend for thrifty homebuyers. Here are some reasons why:
With so many people shopping in the spring and summer months, there is the potential to sidestep an overly heated market. You won’t feel as much pressure to make so many concessions, chase supply and max out your possible bid as a buyer. Additionally, you may have more opportunities to negotiate with the sellers. This will allow you to shop for your dream home instead of having to settle for what you can find.
If a homeowner is choosing to sell in the off-season, chances are that they are more motivated than your average seller. This could be for any number of reasons, but one thing most of these sellers will have in common is that they likely want to have the whole process completed ahead of the holiday season. Keep a close eye on how long your potential dream house has been on the market. The longer a home is listed, the more likely the seller may be willing to negotiate, not only on price but also on other relevant details like closing costs and move-in dates.
Year-End Tax Breaks
Your home is not only an excellent investment because it helps you build equity, but owning a home also grants you access to substantial tax breaks. Purchasing your home before the year is out allows you to claim some deductions on your taxes, such as property tax and mortgage interest deductions for the entire calendar year. Come April, this could be a significant advantage. Consult your tax professional when determining how to best leverage the timing of your home purchasing decision.
All Eyes on You
When spring rolls around and homebuyers are a dime a dozen, it is easy for real estate industry professionals, from agents to lenders, to be overwhelmed with the number of customers they are servicing. Completing your home purchase during the fall season allows these professionals to spend more time and energy assisting you through the process. Their lighter schedules and workload can make all the difference in an already stressful situation.
We all know that when you are home during the spring and summer months, when the neighborhood may be more vacant due to vacations, you only get a small piece of the puzzle. Real-life starts to kick back into gear around September, and this is when you will see a more realistic view of what the neighborhood is like; plus, neighbors will be around for you to meet and ask any lingering questions you may have, like do they like living in the community? How long do people typically live in the area? What’s their opinion on the local schools, etc. This will help you get the most context of your prospective neighborhood to better inform your home buying decision.
This is especially important for introverts in the home buying process, as a quiet neighborhood is a must.
Lower Listing Prices
Whether it is because of the cooler temperatures, a rigorous back-to-school schedule, or a motivated seller’s market, the fall is statistically when you get the best deal when shopping for a home. According to RealtyTrac, depending on where you are looking to purchase your new dream home, you could pay 2.6% below full market value if you buy in October. With an average home purchase price of $340,000 in 2021, the $8,840 in savings!
Real Deal Weather
Dream home shopping in not-so-perfect weather may sound like more of a chore than a perk, but that’s not the case. Touring homes during a rainy October afternoon or a freezing November morning will help take the rose-tint from your glasses and give you a crystal clear look at the home you are thinking of buying. Seeing a home when the grayer months roll around can answer some critical questions about it holds up under the inclement weather. Are there areas needing repair you wouldn’t have noticed in the warmer seasons? How does the interior feel when it’s dark and cold out? This is relevant to know when you and the family will be spending more time inside than out.
Evaluating a future dream home without pristine landscaping, which can camouflage many flaws, is also important. Not only you will be much more privy to exterior paint issues, worn roofs, and possible foundation cracks, but you will have a much clearer picture of the effort your landscaping will take once the leaves start to drop and the blooms have faded.
Home for the Holidays
Besides sellers being eager to complete their own real estate journey before the holiday season takes off, being able to celebrate the upcoming holiday season in your dream home can be another wonderful reason to choose fall as the perfect time to shop for your new home.
About the Author
Hippo is an InsurTech company that’s reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners – building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today’s consumers at up to 20% less than competitors.