Why fall might be the best time to buy a house
House hunting during fall months might sound crazy to most people. Colder months often mean opting to stay at home, reading a good book, or doing whatever fall activities that you can enjoy at home - really anything at all as long as it means that you get to stay warm and toasty indoors. But this season could actually play to your advantage and here are some of the reasons why.
By fall, sellers who were “testing the waters” with listing their home in spring are either eliminated or are now serious sellers. These motivated sellers often want to get their house sold before the end of the year so they can complete their own move before the holidays. The longer a house has been on the market, the more likely a seller is willing to negotiate on everything from price, to closing costs, to move-in dates.
New inventory is appearing on the market, around this time of the year and there are fewer potential buyers after summer. And more often than not, sellers who put their house up for listing during the fall season need to move for a job and are eager to make a deal.
Colder months also bring about a more gloomy appearance to the surrounding area of homes. This will work to your advantage because it will give you a better idea of how the home’s interior looks like in low light. Another advantage-point is being able to see any flaws around a home’s exterior when there are no leafy trees and shrubs around that would otherwise hide anything that might need repairs.
People around the neighborhood will be back home from summer vacations around September. Checking out homes around this time will give you a first-hand experience on what the traffic is like around the area, as well as how well you and your family would likely adjust there when you see the neighborhood in action on a “normal” day.
Even if you close on the last day of the year, you can apply the property taxes you paid and any interest or points on a home purchase to offset your income for that entire calendar year. This could be a significant advantage when April rolls around. Consult with your tax or financial planning professional to determine how to leverage the timing details and other aspects of your purchase to your benefit.
If you are purchasing a house that needs new carpet, paint, appliances or other upgrades, buying in the fall may save you money beyond the purchase price of the home. Many of these items are at their lowest prices during fall and winter seasons.
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