when is the best time to buy a home?

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Buying a home is a significant milestone for most people. However, deciding when to make that investment and what factors to consider can be a daunting task. We’ve done it 7 times, so I thought this may be a helpful topic of interest for many of you. 

The timing of your purchase can have a significant impact on your finances, which is why it’s crucial to consider various factors before making a move. In this post, we’ll explore the different elements that determine the best time to buy a home.  The “Best Time” doesn’t mean only what season it is on the calendar, read on…

Seasonal Trends

Seasonal trends do have a considerable impact on the housing market. Traditionally, the spring and summer months are the busiest periods for the real estate industry. The warmer weather makes it more conducive to tour properties, and families prefer to move during the summer when school is out. However, this results in an increased demand for homes, and there is often a higher competition for available properties, which can drive up prices.


Conversely, fall and winter are quieter months in the housing market. There are typically fewer homes for sale during these months, but there may also be fewer buyers in the market. This can work to your advantage, as there may be less competition for available properties, and sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are obviously a critical factor to consider. Mortgage rates can fluctuate throughout the year, and it’s essential to keep an eye on these trends when deciding when to buy. If rates are low, it may be a good time to lock in a favorable rate and save money on your monthly mortgage payments. Conversely, if rates are high, it may be better to wait until they drop before making a purchase.  Good article by Rocket Mortgage on Rate locks here.


The current state of the economy along with recent rate hikes makes this factor more significant than it has been over the last 5-10 years.  We discuss interest rates and how they should be considered in a little more detail in our post “Is Now A Good Time To Buy A Rental Property?”


Personal Finances

Your personal finances play a crucial role in determining when to buy a home. Before considering purchasing a property, you must have a stable income, a good credit score, and sufficient cash for a down payment.


The down payment is the upfront amount of money you pay when purchasing a home which impacts how much you need to borrow, your monthly mortgage payments, and the type of loan you qualify for. Some key factors in determining how much of a down payment you need to buy a house include:

  1. Purchase Price: The price of the property you’re buying is the most significant factor in determining your down payment amount. Most lenders require a minimum down payment of 3-5% of the purchase price, but it can be higher for more expensive properties.
  2. Loan Type: The type of loan you qualify for can also impact your down payment amount. Conventional loans typically require a 5-20% down payment, while government-backed loans like FHA and VA loans may only require a 3-3.5% down payment.
  3. Credit Score: Your credit score is another critical factor in determining your down payment amount. A higher credit score may allow you to qualify for a lower down payment, while a lower credit score may require a higher down payment.  A score of 620 or higher is considered good for applying for a mortgage.  If you can get your score to 760 or higher, you may be able to secure a mortgage with a slightly lower interest rate.
  4. Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders also look at your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) when evaluating your down payment requirements. If your DTI is high, you may need to make a larger down payment to qualify for a loan.   Lenders typically look for a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 43% or lower. Your DTI is a measure of your monthly debt payments compared to your gross monthly income. It is calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income.  For example, if your total monthly debt payments (including your mortgage, car payment, credit card payments, and other debts) equal $2,500 and your gross monthly income is $6,000, your DTI would be 42%. 
  5. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is an additional fee that protects the lender in case of default, and it can add to your monthly mortgage payment.
  6. Financial Goals: Your financial goals are also essential in determining your down payment amount. A higher down payment can lower your monthly mortgage payments and help you build equity faster, but it may also mean less money for other financial goals like saving for retirement or paying off debt.

Long-Term Goals

It’s also important to consider your long-term goals when deciding when to buy a home. If you’re planning to move in the next few years, it may not be the best time to buy. Conversely, if you plan to settle down in a particular area and want to build equity in a property, it may be a good time to buy.


Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Navigating the complex housing market can be challenging, which is why it’s essential to work with an experienced real estate agent. A knowledgeable agent can help you navigate the market, evaluate market trends, and provide valuable insights into the best time to buy. They can also help you find properties that align with your long-term goals and negotiate with sellers to ensure that you get the best possible deal.



Determining the best time to buy a home requires careful consideration of many various factors, some of which may not be covered in this article.    Take your time and don’t rush what could be the most significant investment you ever make.   Make an informed decision about the best time to invest in a property with real data that also aligns with your long-term goals.


Good Luck – Happy House Hunting!

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