Benefits of Buying a House in the Fall Season
The real estate market never sleeps for anyone. Open all 365 days of the year, the real estate market tends to run on cyclical trends depending on the season you are in. For example, the market in the spring season often blooms like beautiful flowers, having a fast pace. However, in the fall season, it is quite the opposite. The market often grinds to a crawl with wilted leaves. This slower pace is actually ideal for buyers. Though there may be some pitfalls to account for, the benefits of buying a house in the fall season are impossible to ignore. In no particular order, here are the following benefits to buying a house in the fall.
Remember the Year-End Tax Breaks
You should start thinking about which year-end tax breaks you could be eligible for, especially in the fall months of September and October. If you own a home you can receive great dividends in your tax returns. One example of this would be both property taxes and mortgage interest being deductible from gross income. Even if you wait all the way until November or December to buy a home, you can still write off qualifying expenses when you prepare for tax-filing season in the spring. Also consider that if some interest was prepaid before the due date of your first payment, and if your loan is closed by the end of the year, interest can also be deducted.
It is less likely for a family to search for a home to buy when kids go back to school at the tail end of summer. While this may not be good news for home sellers, this is great news for you as a buyer if you intend to close a deal in the fall. You will have less competition to deal with when you place a bid for a home in the fall season, which means you get more viable opportunities.
The Weather Reveals a Home’s Condition
While April showers can bring May flowers in the spring season, the fall season is the true test of a home’s character. The design of the home, its unique features, and the condition of its landscape will all be put to the test during the fall because of the dreary weather that comes with the season. Before you make any offers on a home, it is advantageous to see if it has any glaring flaws. If it does, then you may need to reconsider buying that home altogether unless you can afford to fix it. While you may not like being in the rain or snow, doing a property inspection in the fall is a wise move because the flaws of a home will be exposed.
Holidays are Motivational Tools
It is a common fact that many people celebrate holidays throughout the year. When it comes to the fall season, there is no exception. Whether it is Labor Day, Patriot Day and Constitution Day in September or the 16-day folk festival of Oktoberfest, sellers will be motivated to close a deal so they can plan for parties and events surrounding these holidays. Sellers generally have the mindset of needing to sell their homes by November, or else they will put aside all the distractions that come with listing a home on the market.
You Can Strike a Better Deal
Most sellers will likely put their homes on the market in the spring season. Oftentimes the listing prices of their homes are too high right from the start. As the spring and summer months pass by, the prices of homes will be reduced. If you encounter these kinds of sellers, then you will have a chance to strike a better deal by the time the fall season rolls around. After Labor Day these sellers have fewer chances to secure buyers, and by October these sellers become desperate enough to list prices below a home’s market value.
Sellers Want to Close as Soon as Possible
Having a complete understanding that a home is first and foremost an investment, owners realize that there comes along with the responsibility of keeping the home secure and viable for selling consequences that are tax-related. Sellers always look to take advantage of gains or losses throughout the tax year, and because of this, they may be willing to make deals so they can close as soon as they can. At the latest, they want to close before December 31.
The Pressure to Buy is Off
It may appear to be discouraging to see homes get bought left and right during the spring and summer seasons while you still have not bought your ideal home. However, you will be given the freedom to carefully assess your home-buying process at the pace that you prefer during the fall. If the pressure isn’t there for you to buy right away, you can appropriately compare homes and choose the one that best suits the needs of you and your family.
It is Safer to Buy in Fall
According to SafeWise.com home safety expert Sarah Brown, there are peak seasons for burglars to wreak havoc on homes. July and August are the prime months for burglaries, to be exact. As a buyer, when you conduct research on a home you are interested in, you will get to know more about the new neighborhood you are moving into. This includes information on how safe the neighborhood is. Should you be concerned about the safety of your home in this neighborhood, you can wait until the fall season to buy the home. Therefore, you can give yourself enough time to take precautions such as setting up a new alarm system before burglary season begins again.
Home-Buying Tips for Fall
1) Spend time in your fall house listing search
The amount of house listings going on the market in the fall season tend to thin out, so the best thing to use is patience. Give yourself time to hunt for homes, and don’t feel pressured into settling for whatever is available on the market initially. The local real estate market is always being updated throughout the year, and that means new opportunities appear if you are not satisfied with what is available early on.
2) Create a list of priorities
It must be understood that as your options may be more limited in the fall than they would be in the spring and summer, it is important to prioritize what you need in a home. Also, take note that priorities and wants are two different things. For example, having a large master bedroom may be appealing and impressive, but the main priority is to stay within a short enough traveling distance to work. Communicate these kinds of issues with your realtor so that you can identify which homes best fulfill your priorities.
3) Understand what motivates the seller
Fall is not the time most sellers decide to put their homes on the local real estate market. When a house does go on the market in the fall, however, it is important for you as a buyer to understand why it has gone on the market then. With the exception of it being on the market for months since the spring, there may be more unique situations sellers may find themselves in. The seller may need to suddenly relocate because of job-related purposes, or because of a family emergency. Having this kind of knowledge on hand can help you when negotiating for the right price.
4) Define your budget
Money will always be one of the most important things to consider when buying a home. It’s unavoidable. How much money should you save? How much money are you willing to put down for a new house? How much money should you keep in reserve? These are the kinds of questions to ask yourself because you need to know where you stand financially. If you intend to make an investment this big then you need to make sure that your new home isn’t just something to be proud of, but also that you didn’t have to break the bank to buy it. Having a defined budget will help you determine the kind of property you can purchase, its location, how much space it has, and how young or old the house is.
5) Picture the house throughout the year
Houses may not always look their best during the fall season. However, remember that there may be seasonal issues to address with the property you may buy. It is best to use your imagination and picture what a home could look like during the spring and summer. Ask the seller if you can view any photographs of what the property looks like in different seasons. Sometimes it is hard to get a clear vision of what a house actually looks like in the fall because of the fallen dead leaves covering both the house and the land. In other words, you will need to keep an open mind when searching for homes during the fall. Test a home with your eyes and see if it has a passing grade.