Whether it’s an enduring myth, popular wisdom passed from generation to generation or just a habit we have gotten into as a society, many people believe that the best time to shop for a new home is in the spring and summer months. This is arguably the time when there is the most inventory on the market (since many homeowners also believe that it’s the best time of year to list a home), but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for the warmer weather to go out and find your dream home. In fact, January is a great time to start your search for a place to live. Here’s why.
Since everyone else also believes that spring and summer are the best times to build or buy a home, there are fewer buyers to compete with during the winter months. In a hot housing market, that can make a huge difference, allowing you to take your time to check out several listings or builders and not feel pressured to make an offer immediately or worry that you will miss out on the house if you don’t.
Because there is less inventory on the market, and fewer buyers to compete with, homeowners that put a house up for sale in the winter often list it for less than they would in the summer. Even if the listing price is high, you may be able to put in a lower offer and have it accepted, saving you thousands on the purchase of your new home. In fact, the personal finance website NerdWallet analyzed two years or real estate data from 50 U.S. metro areas and found that home prices in January and February are 8.45% lower than any other time of the year. Home builders also know that the winter is a slower time of the year, so they may be offering incentives like free upgrades or other benefits to get you to start your home building process now during a slower season for subcontractors.
It may not be true every January, but in 2020 mortgage rates continue to be at historic lows, which saves you money on your monthly mortgage payment and also saves you thousands in interest over the course of a 30-year loan. Nobody can predict what might happen to interest rates in the future, so now is a great time to lock in those rates.
Ready to start shopping for a new home? Contact Integrity First Lending to get prequalified for a mortgage and find out what your rates will be.