When Is The Best Time to Buy a House?

Deciding when is the best time to buy a house can feel like a puzzle with no reference photo. Whether you’re eyeing Arlington, Midtown, Downtown, Lakeland, East Memphis, Piperton, Rossville, Collierville, Germantown, or any of the other Memphis communities, timing your home purchase right can make a significant difference. This guide from the JudyMac Team will walk you through the seasonal trends, personal readiness, and financial considerations to help you pinpoint the perfect moment to make your move.

Is There A Best Season To Buy A House?

The real estate market is like a rollercoaster because of its yearly ups and downs. It can seem daunting to know when and how much to spend, like if you wanted to gamble on sports without knowing the necessary statistics. Fortunately, you don’t have to pick a house-hunting season at random; there are, for the most part, trends in the market that can help make buying a house less stressful.

Typically, spring and summer are buzzing with activity. Yards and gardens look their best, families are looking to move during the school break, and the warmer weather makes the physical part of house hunting and moving more appealing. This blooming market means more homes to pick from, increased competition, and possibly higher prices.

As the leaves fall and winter approaches, the market tends to cool off with the temperature. Few people are looking to get out in the cold to look at a house, and many are anxious that if they speed through the house tours to beat the cold, they’ll miss something important. With less interest, sellers during these quieter months might be more motivated, potentially leading to better deals for buyers. The downside? Fewer homes are on the market, meaning your dream home might be harder to find.

Figuring out the best season for you to buy a house depends heavily on your needs. Here are some questions to consider when picking your timeframe for shopping:

  • Do you need to move right away? If so, the season might not matter.
  • Do you like to spend a lot of time outside? Maybe wait until the warmer months to get a full sense of the yard space and outdoor amenities.
  • Do you want a good deal? Winter might be for you!
  • Would it be easier for your family to move when the children aren’t in school? Perhaps summertime is best—the kids could even come along for the search!
  • Does your family or business have a busy season (i.e., your kid plays travel hockey in the winter, or you can’t easily get away from work during spring for a tour)? Planning around that can make a big move and purchasing decisions less stressful.

When Is It A Good Time To Buy A House?

Buying a house is as much about timing the market as it is about timing in your life. A home is a substantial financial investment; you want to invest your hard-earned money wisely. Before you start thinking about a season, you must thoroughly and realistically look at your finances, lifestyle, and future plans.

Financial Health: Does buying a house make sense with your budget?

Your financial readiness is critical. A good credit score opens doors to better mortgage rates, making your dream home more affordable in the long run. It’s more than just a number; it’s a snapshot of your financial reliability and discipline. It reflects how well you manage debt and make timely payments. 

A strong credit score is crucial when buying a house because it directly influences the interest rates lenders offer you. The higher your score, the lower your interest rates could be, which translates into significant savings over the life of your mortgage.

Debt-To-Income Ratio: Do you have any other major purchases coming up?

Lenders look for stability and assurance that you can manage your debts effectively. If you place your income and debt on a weighing scale (or seesaw), you want a balanced outcome. Consider paying off some of your debt if the overall amount you owe outweighs your income before buying a house. This will help you get approved for more loans, increase your buying power, and help get you better deals from lenders. 

Bonus: You should refrain from making any significant purchases that could affect your credit score or debt-to-income ratio or significantly deplete your savings account. For example, buying a car or taking out a large loan can impact your mortgage qualification. Even if your offer is accepted, if you haven’t closed on a house, don’t do anything without first speaking to your lender or real estate agent. 

Down Payment: Do you have money for the initial purchase costs?

Saving for a down payment is your first big step towards buying a house. The amount you need depends on the type of loan you get. For some loans, like those for first-time homebuyers, you might only need to put down a small part of the home’s price, around 3.5%. Other loans could ask for up to 20% or no down payment at all. Remember, the more you put down, the less you’ll need to borrow and the lower your monthly payments.

There are a few ways you can get the money for a down payment, such as saving a bit from each paycheck, getting help from family, your 401k, and more. For expert advice on saving money for a down payment based on your unique situation, ask Judy!

But don’t stop saving at that exact amount. You’ll also need a little extra for closing costs, which are the fees and expenses you pay to finalize your mortgage. These can add up to 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. 

Job Stability: Are you planning any big career changes any time soon?

A stable job is about more than a steady paycheck to pay the bills. It gives you and your lender confidence that you can make your mortgage payments (reducing your monthly stress levels), helps protect your credit score, and helps to ensure you can afford all the expenses of buying a house (you can’t call your landlord anymore!). 

Long-Term Plans: Does buying a house make sense with your current long-term goals?

When buying a house, you must look to the future. You might fall in love with the cutest adorable bungalow with no yard space, but if you plan on having a dog rescue, the house probably won’t work. On the other hand, you don’t want to buy a home that barely fits your budget if you want to spend the next few years achieving costly life goals, such as traveling or restoring an old car. Perhaps you don’t plan on staying in one place for a long time. If so, now might not be the best time to buy a house.

Get Expert Advice On Memphis Real Estate From A Life-Long Memphian.

Buying a house is a deeply personal decision. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, our Crye-Leike experts at JudyMac are here to guide you throughout the entire process. The steps in buying a house can seem intimidating, but when you have seasoned agents who know Memphis like the back of their hand and genuinely care about your satisfaction and success, you’ll find buying a house exciting and fun.

Contact Judy today on her cell at 901-277-5839 or email her at [email protected] today and formulate your homebuying plan with a local agent!


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