Ah, summertime! A season of pool parties, beach trips, grilled burgers… and uprooting your entire life to move into a new home. If you’re like one of the millions of people who buy a new home in the United States each summer, this could be you right now! And while there is no objective “best time” to buy a house, summer could be the best time *for you*.
The key is to know your reasons and weigh them against the benefits of buying a home during the summer. Here are some of the reasons that make summer a great buying time in New Jersey. Do any of these sound like you?
You Want The Kids Settled Into School For September
This is probably the biggest driving factor for those who purchase homes during the summer. It can be tough enough getting the kids settled into a new routine, let alone into a whole new school. The kids may not be too pleased with leaving friends behind, either. And even if they’re on board with the move, it’s certainly easier to start a fresh school year than be uprooted in the middle.
It can take several months to find a home that suits your needs, and you can tack several more on top of that for the closing. That makes spring the best time to start shopping, and summer the best time to close.
You Wonder Just How “Touristy” That Beach Town Gets
If you were moving to Vermont, you might want to check it out during the winter so you know what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to snow! But if you’re moving to New Jersey you’re probably more concerned with what summer does to traffic and congestion.
Some beach towns have that local residential feel, where tourists may come for a quiet family getaway. Others are venues for raucous summer entertainment. Still others are caught somewhere in between, where the bumper-to-bumper beach traffic just never seems to end.
Whether you’re the pool party type or you want to avoid the beachgoers entirely, summer is the ideal time to get a real feel for a town’s seasonal activity.
You Want Options, Not Just The Cheapest Option
The *cheapest* time to buy a home in New Jersey is typically in the dead of winter – and that usually means January. But January is also one of the worst times for inventory.
If you plan to buy during the winter, more limited choices mean you may have a longer shopping time ahead of you. Summer pries may come in higher, but you also have the highest inventory to choose from.
If you can risk it, prices tend to drop during August and September as the summer nears its end and owners get desperate to sell. Plus, if an owner is motivated, you’ll have more room to negotiate, too.
You have a bit of the best of both worlds toward the end of summer. Lower prices than in June and July, but still a much better inventory than fall and winter.
You Want To Know What The Neighborhood Is Really Like
Spring and summer are great times to house shop because everything just looks better when it’s blooming. You’re more likely to fall in love with your new home when it’s at its best. And you’re more likely to get a sense of the neighborhood when residents come out of winer hibernation.
Summer can tell you a lot about a community, like how well the neighbors tend their property, and whether lawns are nicely mowed or startlingly overgrown. You can see whether there are kids playing outside, and what the activity is like. You can also get a sense of how friendly the area is, and whether you can expect an invitation to the neighborhood barbecue or if it’s a garage-to-car and back again kind of town.
You’ve Been Watching The Housing Trends
Since the start of 2018, mortgage rates have trended up to the highest they’ve been since 2011. There’s no expectation that they’ll drop again soon, either. So if you’re in the market for a new home this year, there’s an added sense of urgency to lock in the lowest rate that you can.
Home prices also continue to rise, as inventory declines. The New Jersey housing market experienced an 11% drop in inventory between spring of 2017 and spring of 2018. Inventory is still pretty tight, and as the fall season sets in, it will likely contract even further as people pull their houses from the market and wait until next spring.
Housing trends aren’t a science, but they can help guide you as you make a decision.
If you’re looking to relocate and want to do it this summer, the time to do so this year is winding down. Remember, once you find your dream home, you’ve still got a lot ahead of you, from inspections to closings. And when you’re at that stage, be sure that you have an experienced real estate attorney to represent your interests!
If that sounds like you, get in touch with us for a free consultation so we can take some of the hassle out of your move.