When we think of fall, it’s more along the lines of football games, apple picking, and cleaning up the yard. Though for some, it’s about selling or buying a home.
Is fall a popular time to buy a house?
Yes, says Suzzette Deaux, Sales Manager for Jaqua Realtors. “Fall is an opportunistic time to buy a home. If a seller’s home has been on the market over the spring and summer months, they are typically motivated to sell and accept a lower price.” This is good news if you want a little more house for your money. On the flipside, if you’re a buyer, you should seriously consider the availability of homes on the market compared to spring. While prices tend to be lower in the fall and winter months, there is less to choose from. “Inventory is always more plentiful in the spring and summer,” adds Deaux.
Fall is the second best time to buy.
Spring is number one, and fall is the next best time to buy or sell a home. Sellers with school-age children have already found it necessary to move before school starts. Those are the sellers who listed during the spring market. “Sometimes there’s no other choice, but usually no one wants to move when it’s 98 degrees outside or negative 20,” adds Deaux. In the fall, you don’t have to worry about snowstorms and icy roads. Sellers also find the buyers in the fall more serious. “Individuals who must buy have fewer homes to consider,” continues Deaux. “And if they don’t move quickly, they soon realize they may forfeit their number one choice.”
Are there still deals out there?
Deaux says the deals will depend on how well the home was priced when first placed on the market, and how many days it has been on the market. “Of course, a seller’s motivation also factors into what they will accept for their home, and if they have a definitive timeline for moving to their next destination.” Like any major financial situation or change, personal circumstances, such as the birth of a child, job relocation, or getting married all impact a person’s motivation. “As those dates approach, a seller becomes more motivated to sell, and it can impact the price the seller is willing to accept for the home.” This scenario is advantageous to the buyer and often leaves more room for negotiating a lower purchase price.
Take a close look before buying.
In the fall, buyers should take note of the condition of the windows, the age of the heating system and condition of the roof. Defects with these items can lead to higher heating bills in the coming winter months. Deaux adds that the replacement cost for many of these items often increase during the winter months, and a contractor’s availability to install them is dependent upon the weather conditions. Similarly, take notice of the condition of the gutters and downspouts. Gutters need to be able to withstand the weight of the pending winter snow. Also, check the grading around the home so that drainage is angled away to eliminate water seeping into the basement.
Weather conditions can also affect what aspects of a home can be inspected. For example, colder temps make it more difficult to test the central air conditioning system. (Deaux explains that for central air to operate properly, the outside temperature needs to be 72 degrees for at least 24 hours.) Homes with pools can be complicated to inspect as well once they’re winterized. And when the snow hits, it becomes extremely difficult for home inspectors to fully inspect a roof.
Note that many of these larger items are in the ‘expensive’ category when it comes time to repair or replace them. Deaux recommends determining those items beforehand, so you can set your budget for repairs or move on to another home purchase.
No matter the time of year, see us for the mortgage.
Once you’ve found your home, look to ECCU for the financing. Our specialists are ready to help with a mortgage for your needs or to get you preapproved before shopping. If you have questions, speak with an ECCU Mortgage Loan Officer today by calling 269.544.3105.