Best Time to Buy a House

Best Time to Buy a House

This topic gets worked over periodically, and today I heard Mark Di Vincenzo on NPR talking about his new book, Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00 – all about the best times to do various things throughout the year. Sounds like a good read. He offers “some timing tips from real estate agents” so let’s see if we agree.

Best Time to Buy.

Mark says January due to cold weather, less competition, fewer bidding wars, and “more motivated” Sellers. He opines that Sellers may be insecure after Christmas spending, and their timing indicates they’re more “willing to risk.” (see also TIME, Real Estate Markets, Oct 10, 2012)

I mostly agree – but some things are different in Denver right now:  there’s plenty of competition for good listings, and more than a few bidding wars regardless of the temperature  (one of our neighbors just got five offers (!) after making a price reduction and it’s 10 degrees outside).  As for “motivation”, it works both ways:  if a Seller has the luxury of waiting until spring to sell, how motivated can they be?  If you’re taking a job transfer, or getting a divorce, or settling an estate, there’s no waiting for spring.  If you’re an investor who did a ‘fix-and-flip’, you’ve still got a mortgage and construction costs to pay back.  So buyers who wait until spring may have more selection, but not necessarily better.

Still, Mr. Di Vincenzo is right about most things:  interest rates are great right now, there’s less competition from other buyers, and nationally inventory is pretty abundant (not so much in Denver, tho).  In Denver, the real paradox is that January is a good time to be a buyer – but not such a bad time to be a seller, either!

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