Buying in Peak Season: A Good Idea?

Spring is generally considered the peak season for buying (and selling) a house. Trulia’s excellent Real Estate 101 series looks at the pros and cons of buying in the spring as summarized below:

  • More inventory vs. more competition
    Without a doubt April brings with it a huge increase in property listings. Which sounds great for buyers. Except April also brings a huge increase in buyers, which potentially means decisions must be made quickly, bidding wars etc. In short, the choice may be fabulous, the competition fierce.
  • The best time to move vs. compromise
    If you buy in the spring you should be able to move in the summer and get the kids all settled in before school starts anew in the fall. Sounds ideal, right? Except in the rush to get the timing down, other considerations might go by the wayside. It can be difficult to make important decisions when rushed.
  • Better weather vs. quick decisions
    Sure, its more fun looking at houses in nice weather – but you’re not the only ones who feel this way. Sometimes getting the deal can take on an importance that actually outweighs the deal itself. Would it be better to search for houses when the weather isn’t so ideal – and the competition must less fierce?
  • Extra cash vs. non-negotiation
    Some analysts argue that spring is the perfect time to buy because the Christmas bills have been paid off, the tax return is sitting nicely in the checking account and the fall school bills seem a long way off. On the other hand, spring is not the time to get a bargain, you may very easily get into a bidding war and all that extra cash – gone.

In short, whatever your circumstances it’s important to have a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of buying in the spring.

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