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Home > Home Buying Tips > The Best Time to Buy a House

The Best Time to Buy a House


Buying a home is a major financial commitment. The roof over your head is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make, and you will likely be paying for this purchase for decades to come. Therefore, getting the very best possible deal up front is vital to the long term health of your investment.

The question of when to buy a home is a difficult one to answer, and in some ways the answer depends on how the buyer plans to use the property. The first time home buyer looking for their first house will have different needs than the serious real estate investor who is looking for a property to flip or an apartment house to provide income.

As with any other major purchase, it pays to educate yourself about the market you are about to enter. The real estate market can be a confusing and intimidating place, and the more you know about it going in the better off you will be when it is time to make the purchase.

Start off by examining the real estate section of your local newspaper week after week. Look for properties that have been on the market for a long time. Taking a long time to sell can mean that a property is in less than stellar shape, or simply that it is priced to high for the local market.

When you begin looking at homes in the Multiple Listing Service, be sure to also get a list of recently sold homes in the same area. Compare the prices of these homes with the prices being sought currently. Having a sense of the history of home prices in the areas you are looking can be a big help in determining the true market value of the properties you look at.

It is also a good idea to keep track of home selling prices from week to week and month to month. This advance information can help you predict the future prices of homes and help you spot the hot areas for real estate. You have no doubt heard the old adage that the three most important things in real estate are location, location and location, and this adage is true. A home in a hot area will sell for far more money than a similar house in a less desirable part of town. Identifying trends early can help a real estate investor make an excellent profit on the properties they buy.

When timing a real estate purchase, it pays to carefully track the direction of interest rates as well. Interest rates have a huge impact on the housing market, and any rise in interest rates can quickly cool off a hot housing market. Conversely, falling interest rates will greatly increase the number of buyers who qualify for mortgages and help those who do qualify buy more expensive houses.

Timing a home purchase or real estate investment is not an easy thing to do. However, some hard work and some advance planning can greatly increase your odds of success in this interesting market.


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