Fall is a time for making change – the leaves change colors, daylight-saving time ends and sports teams switch from baseball jerseys to football cleats. You know another good thing to do in the fall? Look for a new home.
According to industry experts in real estate, mortgage and home improvement areas, looking for a home during the fall has several positive factors, such as tax breaks for the next year, and time to get settled before the holiday season really kicks in.
Emily Walter of the Faulkner County Board of Realtors said a good thing about shopping for a home during the fall is that there is not as much competition with other homebuyers fighting for the same desirable homes. A con: the inventory is probably not as large as what you would see in the spring and summer months.
On the flip side, sellers may be more motivated to sell in order to avoid winterizing an empty home, and prices may fall due to sellers being worn out from viewings that resulted in no offers. Brian Davis, a real estate investor and director of education at Spark Rental, told Trulia.com that “many sellers are very motivated to sell before the holidays. If possible, buyers should let these sellers know that they can close before Thanksgiving or before the school winter break.”
An added tip: if you can schedule viewings during a weekday, you will have more opportunities for home visits. With busy families, weekends will be a peak time to house hunt. Walter said that when the days are shorter, “it shortens ideal times to view houses because it gets dark sooner.” Curb appeal may not be ideal with leaves falling and trees dying off for winter. However, the stripped back landscaping may actually show potential flaws in a home, such as peeling paint and foundation cracks.
When it comes to monetary factors in addition to a lower selling price, property tax and mortgage interest are deductions that can benefit your family at a later date. “Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year,” said David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert in the Trulia.com article.
According to the National Association of Realtors, contract signings over the last four weeks ending Sept. 20, were up 23 percent year over year. An article on housingwire.com said strong interest in home buying has carried over to the fall. Experts have noted in a variety of publications that the Covid-19 pandemic may have boosted home buying due to changes in lifestyle. With more family members working and learning from home, different home configurations are needed to provide quiet spaces for everyone and places for isolation if needed. Mud rooms are particularly popular in home design during the pandemic, as they provide a place for clothing and accessories that have been potentially been contaminated.
More benefits to fall home buying include:
Seasonal shopping specials begin in the fall, with lower prices on home décor and furniture.
Families are more active in neighborhoods once school starts and vacations are on the back burner for a few months. This will allow you to see a truer picture of the atmosphere in your prospective new area.
If buying a new home is on your to-do list, consider taking some time this fall to call your favorite real estate expert and sign on for some viewings. And if you want to sell, you might consider looking into adding your home to the list of available properties this fall.