The Best Season to Buy a House

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Spring is the busiest time of year to buy a house, and you won’t find lower market prices than in the winter months. But ultimately, the best season to buy a house comes down to your personal readiness to become a homeowner.
If you’re house hunting, you know that seasonal trends affect the prices, inventory, and pace at which you’re able to find your dream home—but how much do these trends really matter, and is there one time of year that’s better to buy a home than the rest? 
In real estate, timing is everything—which is why Jerry, the home insurance comparison super app, wants to help you get it right and save money. In this article, we’ll cover what you can expect to encounter on the housing market each season, as well as what it takes to truly time the perfect home buy. 
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Is there a best season to buy a house?

There’s no single best season to buy a house, but rather pros and cons to each that should be taken into consideration along with economic and personal factors. Your readiness to be a homeowner is an important part of the timing, too. 
In general, spring sees more houses on the market than the Winter, but at much higher costs—and seasonal trends aren’t completely removed from broader local, regional, and national trends in the housing market. 
You’ll have to think big picture when you’re deciding to buy a home—but we’ll cover the basics of what it’s like to house-hunt each season below. 

Spring

The busiest time of the year to buy and sell, you’ll find the most choices during the spring—and also the highest competition. Warming weather and lawns in bloom make for perfect showing conditions and lots of open houses. It’s also a great time for families to shop, as the school year winds to a close and there’s more free time to move in and get settled
Buyers and sellers abound this time of year, so it’s important to move fast when you come across a property you’re interested in. Sellers typically want to close deals as quickly as possible, so coming in with a fair and strong offer can convince them you’re the right person to get the job done—and help you avoid a nasty bidding war. 

Summer

The early summertime market much resembles spring with a high volume of busy transactions. Once the market picks up in April, it tends to stay hot through May, June, and even July. But by the time August rolls around, the market slows—and sellers start slashing their prices. 
If you can wait out the busy summer months, you’re likely to find great deals come August. And as the market demand dwindles, you’ll also regain greater negotiating power on both house prices as well as closing and commission costs.
Your timing with the home-buying process matters—and in summer, so does your location. In the southernmost states, summer house-hunting may not be the comfortable and enjoyable experience that most northerners tend to think of, meaning you may find cheaper prices depending on where exactly you’re looking to move.

Fall

Come fall, sellers tend to be more motivated. Many sellers will suspend their listings through the holiday season due to low market demand—so the goal is usually to sell before November. Because sellers feel more rushed to find a buyer before the holidays, you’ll have better luck finding deals.
On the flip side, there’s generally less inventory in the fall. Your selection when house-hunting will be significantly more limited than in the spring and summer. Of course, you’ll also be facing less competition from other buyers. 
You’re likely to find the best deals in October, as sellers hurry to close a deal before the holiday season. 

Winter

Once the holidays hit, your home-buying choices are limited. Most sellers will suspend their listings over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. On the bright side, sellers who remain on the market are usually highly motivated.
For that reason, winter is the cheapest season to buy a home, and it’s typically a buyer’s market. You’ll retain great negotiating power with both sellers and realtors, and you’ll also probably see a faster closing time. 
The downside to house-hunting in winter (aside from low inventory) is undoubtedly the weather. Snow, ice, and unfavorable road conditions can make it hard to travel to showings, and you may not be able to appreciate the full beauty (or know the exact condition) of a house when it’s hidden behind sludge and snow.

How should I decide when to buy a house? 

Understanding the pros and cons of home-buying in each season is important—but it’s not the only factor to consider. Broader trends in the economy and housing market can make some years better (or worse) to buy a house than others. And, of course, your own personal and financial preparedness to become a homeowner is the most important factor of all. 

The Housing Market

Every season has its highs and lows, but annual market trends can have a larger impact on these fluctuations. The local, regional, and nationalhousingmarkets all play a role in how homes are priced and whether it’s a prime market for buyers or sellers.
You should also keep in mind the role that your location plays in the market itself. In hot locales (think NYC, L.A., San Fran) you’ll likely find greater competition and lower inventory regardless of broader market trends, due to popular demand. 

The Economy

Since the end of 2021, the housing market has leaned heavily in the favor of sellers across the country. Some of the factors that influence the housing market—like mortgage rates, interest rates, and credit availability—are controlled in larger part by U.S. economic forces.
When there’s low credit availability, it’s harder for home buyers to qualify for a mortgage—and even when they do, higher mortgageand interest rates make loans less affordable
Mortgage and interest rates tend to be tied to systems like the Federal Reserve and economic factors like inflation—so if you’re looking for the right time to buy a home, you may want to consider what state the economy’s in. 

Personal readiness

Whether it’s spring, summer, winter, or fall, you’ll want to time the purchase of your new home when it’s right for you. Your career, relationships, and interests all matter in the decision-making process. The right timing for you might not align perfectly with trends in the housing market—but ultimately, the decision to buy a home should be that’s one made on your own time.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re financially ready to invest in a home:
  • Credit: To qualify for a mortgage, you need a good credit history. Lenders are loathe to offer loans when your credit score is low (below 600) and to qualify for the best rates you’ll want a score much higher—ideally, 740 or above.
  • Debt: The more debt you have, the harder it is to qualify for a mortgage loan. Lenders who feel you’re in too much debt may not trust you to repay their money—to determine this, they’ll look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). 
  • Savings: Several upfront costs come with buying a home that you’ll need to be prepared to pay, including closing costs and the downpayment on your mortgage loan. 
Homeowner expenses don’t stop there—once you’ve closed on a home, you’ll still have to think about moving costs, plus the regular maintenance involved in keeping a home running properly year-to-year.

Timing is everything

There’s no clear-cut answer to when the best time to buy a home is. You’ll want to consider lots of factors—from seasonality to broader market trends, your financial preparedness, and what homeownership will mean for you. There’s no “perfect size,” much less a “one-size-fits-all” approach to buying a home—everyone’s process must take into consideration the key details and particularities of their own lives. 
No matter when you’re ready, you’ll find pros and cons to purchasing a home in each season, from the high market availability in the springtime to the lowered prices of the fall and winter. Late summer is typically when you’ll find the best deals without sacrificing inventory, and if you can stick it out until October you may find even better deals. 
Overall, the best way to determine what season to buy a house in is to know your own priorities and start from there. 

How to find the right home insurance

From moving in, to making personal changes and touch-ups, there’s a lot to take care of when you’re buying a new house. Home insurance, though incredibly important, can often get overlooked
Put your home insurance on autopilot with Jerry the insurance super app. Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a home or auto insurance policy that is customized for you. All you have to do is download the app, answer a few questions, and Jerry will take care of the rest. 
We’ll do a comprehensive cross-analysis of policies from the top, name-brand insurers to make sure you have a policy that suits your needs. Choose the policy you like, then we’ll do the hard work for you—that means handling all phone calls, paperwork, and renewals. 
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FAQ

The “best” month to buy a house depends on what your home-buying priorities are. If you’re looking for the cheapest month, you’ll tend to see the lowest prices in January—but you’ll also find fewer options. If you’re hoping for lots of choices, on the other hand, you’ll want to look during more competitive months like April or May.

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