What are your fall plans? For me, it's looking forward to cooler evenings around cozy fires while sipping pumpkin spice lattes. People thinking about purchasing a house might want to add homebuying to that autumn to-do list.
Although spring and summer typically show a rise in homebuying activity, if you're serious about scoring a great deal on your home purchase, you may want to get out of your comfort zone and get shopping.
Here are a few things to consider if you're thinking about buying a new home:
According to Trulia, between October and December there's typically a 7 percent boost in inventory. Builders generally plan their inventory to be released during the spring and summer months, but construction delays often push new developments to year-end. With many builders trying to wrap up their numbers at the end of the year, having unsold inventory on the books often leads to increased desire to sell them now.
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Leftover inventory doesn't always mean all the choice locations are gone. Trust me, homes fall out of escrow for many reasons. A sudden job transfer or job loss, messy family issues or just a change of heart can all happen. That's when the great floor plan in a great location will find its way back onto the market.
Because the winter season is the off-season for home shopping, there will be less competition. With the malls full and the sales offices empty, representatives will be eager to help in any way they can; plus, if you make an offer, there will be less chance of getting into a bidding war. The same is true for mortgage brokers. With fewer transactions to deal with, lenders might be motivated to offer special incentives.
Waiting to buy a home in the summer months can cost you more. Year after year, home prices have risen in the summer to their highest point annually – and that's without considering the possibility of higher mortgage rates and increased home values. In the nation's largest metro areas, home prices drop an average of 2.9 percent from September through November. In San Diego, with a median home price of $553,000, that's a savings of more than $16,000.
Many builders offer year-end specials such closing bonuses or included options. In addition to the possibility of scoring a better price on your home these next few months, if you can close escrow quickly, you could get an even better deal.
Bottom line: Your best opportunity to get a great deal on your new home has arrived. Maybe it's time to put down that pumpkin spice latte and go house shopping!