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when is the best time to buy a home

When is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

Renting vs. Buying a Home

There are many benefits to both renting and buying your home. If you’re currently renting, timing is important to take into consideration when buying your home. While you can always extend or break your lease for whichever timeline is best for you, it’s important to think about both benefits of renting and buying.

With renting, you have the flexibility for changing where you live, and depending on your lease agreement, home maintenance is usually not your responsibility. You also face rising rental costs if you sign or renew a lease.

On the other hand, owning a home will help you build equity. You also stabilize your housing costs for the length of your loan. While you are responsible for any home maintenance that’s required, you have the flexibility to customize your space in any way you want.

If you choose to take the next step to homeownership, McLean Mortgage has you covered for every season so you can be informed about industry changes and trends while weighing your options.

Buying a Home in the Winter

Winter is typically the most affordable time of the year to purchase a home. However, there is little inventory since most sellers wait until after the new year to list their homes because they think buyers are scarce. Sellers that keep their listings through this season, however, typically want to sell as soon as possible, leaving a little wiggle room for a negotiation, or maybe even throw in a few extra perks such as new appliances or flooring. Not to mention, you can expect the weather to be cold out on moving day so make sure you’ve got gloves on!

If you do choose to buy in the Winter, real estate professionals and home inspectors are usually more accessible because of the lack of inventory, meaning a speedier closing process. However, the inspector may have a difficult time gauging the condition of the roof if it’s covered in snow and testing the AC unit because of the cold weather.

Buying a Home in the Spring

Spring is when the real estate market heats up with plenty of inventory and much higher prices as opposed to the Winter months. Houses show better when temperatures start to rise, and with the school year ending and Summer right around the corner, it creates an ideal marketplace for both buyers and sellers. With all the demand and plenty of buyers to go around, you may find yourself in a bidding war. If you’re buying in the spring be prepared to move fast and with a good offer, families want to get settled in their new home before the school year begins.

Buying a Home in the Summer

Much like Spring, the Summer is still a busy season with motivated buyers until around late August. Sellers are usually more motivated before the start of Fall, so if you’re willing to wait until then, you may be able to get a deal on your dream home.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the South, temperatures are less than ideal to go house hunting during the Summer, so this season and the competition depends on the location you’re in. In the south, you may have better luck house hunting in the winter months whereas in the north, you’ll be more inclined to look in the spring and summer months. If you do find your dream home during these months here are some tips to save money on your electric bill during the summer.

Buying a Home in the Fall

When heading into Fall, you’ll likely miss the rush to get a home before the school year starts, but it’s important to keep in mind the holidays are right around the corner. Fall is still a great option for lower home prices, and just like the Winter months, inventory is lower than it would be in Spring or Summer. Due to the lower inventory and fewer buyers on the market, Fall still gives you an opportunity to negotiate closing costs or added perks.


The bottom line is every season has its pros and cons to purchase a home in- what matters is when the time is right for you. One of the most important things you can do to start the homebuying process is to get a mortgage preapproval, this will help you understand how much you can afford and make you a more attractive homebuyer. And to learn more about the mortgage process, visit our First-Time Home Buyers page for more information!


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Step 1: Plan Your Home Buying Budget

You do need a few items readily available before you start contacting lenders about a mortgage. Having these things up front will make the process easier and less stressful.

Step 2: Get Mortgage Preapproval

Both the approval process, and the rates available are very subjective. What might have been a factor in your friend’s mortgage approval or the rates they received might not affect your approval or rates, and vice versa.

a couple sit in the kitchen of a show home and discuss some figures with the estate agent or mortgage advisor

Step 4: Closing on your new home

Your comprehensive guide to what to expect when buying a home: who you’ll work with, what timeline to expect, and what you’ll need to do to ensure the process runs smoothly.

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