The cooler autumn months are here. Football season is in full swing, the kids are back in school, and the holidays are right around the corner. But perhaps one of the least known advantages at this time of year is the ability to claim a deal on a home. Those looking to buy a home in the fall have many factors in their favor.
- 1. Less competition: Many buyers have kids settled in school and don’t want to change schools mid-year.
- 2. Weather: You never know what Mother Nature has in store, and if you’re willing to load up a truck and move all your belongings in the midst of a rain or snowstorm (this is New England), then you have an advantage.
- Motivated Sellers: Those with properties that have been on the market throughout the spring and summer may be more willing to negotiate on price, and you may be able to get price concessions from the seller on cosmetic issues, such as worn carpeting, chipped wall paint, or outdated appliances.
- Center of attention: In general, realtors are very busy in the spring and summer. When Labor Day rolls around, most agents see a drop in business, which gives them more time to focus on you. This also applies to other professionals you’ll use for your home purchase, such as lenders, home inspectors and appraisers. As a result, your experience may be less stressful and more snag-free.
October may be the best month to buy a home. After reviewing 32 million sales of single-family homes over a 15-year period, RealtyTrac found that properties that went under contract in the month of October sold for an average of 2.6 percent below estimated full market value.
As long as you purchase a home prior to December 31st, you’ll be able to take advantage of some tax breaks, like deducting mortgage interest and any points paid when filing your income taxes. And if you’ve been a lifetime renter and purchase a home in the fall, you’ll find lower pricing on items such as outdoor furniture, trees or perennial plants, gardening and lawn tools, lawn mowers and even snow blowers.
If you want to increase your chances of landing the best deal this fall, do your homework:
- Check your credit score and see if there’s anything you can do to improve it
- Find a lender and get preapproved for a mortgage
- Have the funds on hand for a down payment and closing costs
- Last but not least, find an experienced real estate agent.