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When is the best time to buy a house?



Season

There tend to be fewer buyers in the market at the start and end of the school year. Same with March/Spring break time and the Christmas holiday period. Most buyers are busy with other things at these times. If a buyer is willing to stay in the market during these periods, they will face less competition. This is a huge benefit for a buyer.

Another seasonal consideration is that a lot of buyers do not want to move in the dead of winter. This means it's easier to book movers, cleaners, etc. during this time.


Finances

Buyers need to have a steady source of income to afford a house and the maintenance that comes with it. They need to understand their financial picture and what they can afford each month. Buyers also need to be aware of their credit rating and fix any credit problems. This will help a buyer get the best mortgage conditions possible.


Real Estate Market Conditions

Sometimes, regardless of market conditions, people need to move, that's life. If the market is ideal for sellers, it's tougher for buyers and vice versa. So, it's hard to win on both ends. If you HAVE to move when market conditions aren't in your favour, your best bet is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced agent. A great agent can help you work the market conditions to your best advantage.


Financial Market Conditions

People always need to move for various reasons. It's definitely okay to buy a house during a recession IF you can afford it. That's the key.

Regardless of the economic situation, if you can afford home ownership, do it! As a homeowner, you build your own equity by paying your mortgage instead of your landlord's.


How far in advance should you start looking for a house?

Ideally, you'll start looking at least six months before your desired moving date.


Any timeline and situation can work but, if you have 6-12 months lead time, you'll have time to:

  • assess the local market

  • assess the area and neighbourhoods

  • understand the economic conditions and mortgage rates

You will also have time to correct any credit issues. And time to wait if the right house for you isn't immediately available.


In the end, there is no wrong time to buy a house if it fits into your financial picture. These tips will help you manage the different time conditions you could face. Happy hunting!


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