5 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Fall

[Edited Transcript]

1. Less Competition

Anthony:            The real rush of home buying is typically in the spring and summer, so there’s less activity in the fall and that makes it less frantic. And if you’re one of a smaller pool of buyers, perhaps you’re more valuable to the sellers.

Janice:            Everyone’s selling in the summer, they want to move in before school starts, so come the fall it is a little bit more relaxed because there is not as much competition.

Anthony:            If I’m reading this correctly, if you’re in the market in the fall … I don’t know about your area Janice, but in New York, typically it takes from the moment you have an accepted offer, it takes at least a month or two to actually close, sometimes longer, so you’re really gonna be closing and moving in in the winter, so there’s that to think about as well.

Janice:             Correct and depending on where you live, that could be a problem. When you add in snow, that makes it harder, but I found it interesting where it said less competition means that the buyer has more time to make a decision. Have you ever had a house where you’re so excited about and you don’t even have time to put in an offer because it’s gone.

Anthony:            Oh, right on, right. In the hot spring and summer months there might be bidding wars, yeah you’re right, you’re absolutely …

Janice:             You get to look at a house if you’re lucky and not just see it online and you have that day or half a day to put in your offer, that’s it, but they’re saying in the fall there’s not as much competition. You can sit back, relax, and make a decision.

Anthony:            Yeah, I think that’s great actually, that’s a huge advantage to be able to be contemplative in your decision making.

Janice:             Yes, and it’s not hasty because you’ll have … even if you have a few extra days, that’s pretty big when it comes to you can think about it, sleep on it, make a better decision.

2. Motivated Sellers

Janice:             We just talked about in the summer time they’re motivated differently. They want to sell, they want to move out, they want to be settled before school starts, that’s important when you have a family, but the sellers that are selling in the fall are a little bit different. They may have moved their home or they have different reasons for putting their house on the mortgage at that … I’m sorry, putting their house on the market at that time, so they’re motivated differently. So they may be more flexible with timing, with price, it’s just going to be a little bit different than buy now, let’s get out, lets go, then okay, we can wait a little bit, your move in date can be a flexible time, we can talk about the numbers. Again, going back to the overall theme I felt in this was it’s relaxed a little bit, a little more relaxing.

Anthony:            So wait, I think I’m getting mixed signals from this point, because it’s kind of saying that the reason … correct me if I’m wrong here Janice. The general reason why summer and spring is so hectic is because everyone is kind of moving in sync with the school year, or a lot of folks are doing that.

Anthony:            But if somebody is selling in the fall it’s because they typically have a different reason like changing jobs or having to move for something like that, but to me that sounds like it might actually be a more urgent … like I need to move now because my job is relocating me, so it feels like it could cut both ways.

Janice:             That’s very true and it all depends on why they’re selling in the fall, did they just want to wait til after, are they retired, are they ready to move to Florida, jealous. There’s … there could be lots of different things that maybe more likely to make them flexible but again, like you said, there could be that … they got a job, they have to start it in a month, they must leave on a date, so it’s not a guarantee but I guess you’re more likely maybe, is that what they’re saying?

3. Service Providers Have More Time for You

Anthony:            So this is where I would like to point out that these reasons all seem to be tied to the fact that it’s just less hectic than in the summer and spring and I think this reason is basically your brokers, your mortgage … if you have a mortgage broker, if you have a realtor, your attorney, just because there’s generally less activity, you’ll get more attention from all of your team members, your whole professional team, is that what you got from this one?

Janice:             Absolutely what I got from that one, yes. When you have a realtor that has tons of clients and they have lots to do, I can respect that, but it’s hard to get that one on one time, it’s hard to schedule a meeting, same with repairs and inspections. When you have the home inspector that is looking at 10 houses in a week, that’s a lot, it takes hours to do it. It’s going to be easier in the fall when you only have one or two a week, so it’s very different.


4. The Weather… Need we say more?

Janice:             People love fall, it’s very nice. I kind of … I mean I agree with this, fall is beautiful, it’s really nice to look at a house when you’re not sweaty and hot and the kids are miserable if you have them in tow, but you also run the risk in fall … I don’t know about where you are but we could get a snowstorm in the fall and that could really put a damper on the whole week of buying a house. We’ve had massive snowstorms in … on Halloween before where we had no power for a few days, so you do take that risk depending on where you live, that although fall is beautiful, you can run into some weather that’s questionable.

Anthony:            So for me this cuts both ways, just to answer your question, no, I don’t think New York gets snowstorms in the fall as much so that’s not as much of a risk for us but … so for me personally this cuts both ways. I don’t like the summer that much, I’m more of a winter person, I don’t like it when it’s hot and I would be very grumpy going from open house to open house in the sweltering heat but it cuts both ways because the fall is one of my, you know, for me is the perfect climate. Very breezy and cool and I don’t get a sense of how the apartment or house would feel or how well the air conditioner works, right.

Janice:             Very true.

Anthony:            I mean there’s no way you can test both summer and winter but it feels like you should test at least one extreme of the two, right. I mean you don’t know if it’ll heat properly until you live in there in the winter, right, and if it’ll cool to your liking until you’ve seen it in operation in the summer.

Janice:             That’s very true because in the fall we hardly use either one because it’s like a perfect temperature.

Anthony:            Same here, right, everyone just cracks the window right.

Janice:             Yeah, right, that’s a good point.

Anthony:            I want to see if that air conditioner is strong enough or if I’m going to have to replace it or if … sometimes units are laid out so that it’s just impossible … not impossible but very difficult to adequately cool the whole apartment, I mean just because of the twists and turns and what not.

Janice:             That goes back to what we’ve talked before on previous, is that home inspections are really important, if you can’t try the heater or you can’t try the air, you want a professional to go in and say yes it will handle it or no it won’t.

Anthony:            Good point, good point. Just on a slight tangent, I personally enjoy the aesthetics of those what do you call it, vaulted ceilings in the living rooms, but I just know from an engineering perspective, it’s just really hard to cool and heat all that dead air.

Janice:             Right, you have to have a good system, a good working system that will fill all that space.

Anthony:            Yeah, and it’s actually just a lot of wasted energy.

Janice:             It is but if you’re not a professional you can look at an air conditioner and go oh yeah that looks nice but you don’t know, so that’s where that home inspection is so important if you’re going to look in the fall.


5. End of the Year Sales

Anthony:            Last is end of the year sales, and I don’t quite get this about the furniture but maybe you can chime in on it.

Janice:             Totally, this is where the shopping lover in me comes in. So end of the year sales is … if you buy … let’s say you buy a house and you moved in this week, what do you have coming up? You’ve got Black Friday, you’ve small business Saturday, you’ve got cyber … what is it, Monday now, where they’re just unloading stuff so if you need to buy furniture, bedding, drapery, it’s a great time of year because everybody has their sales, especially when it comes to those types of things that people aren’t buying necessarily for the holidays. They’re blowing out the couches because they still want to make their end of the year quota, so I think it’s a great time to try to buy something as compared to the spring and the summer where everybody bought a house, everybody needs furniture, and you don’t have those Black Friday-type deals. So I get this part of the end of the year sales, especially since I’ve never bought anything that wasn’t on sale, that this is a good time to buy those type of things.

Janice:             Don’t buy it before as we’ve mentioned in previous podcasts, you want to wait until you move in.

Anthony:            So let me ask you as a guy who doesn’t do much shopping, does that rationale apply to Home Depot or Loews, like the nuts and bolts and the hardware to fix up the closets, because that’s what I think of when I think of moving, yeah?

Janice:             It’s … absolutely, they do have sales. So same thing, think about it, you have to fix the nuts and bolts, some people may not own the tools to do that, it is a great time to go. You can get kits and sets and all kinds of things at the Home Depot and the Loews.

Anthony:            What about, again, thinking from the guys perspective, this is so stereotypical but whatever, the big ticket items, washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, would you be getting big savings end of year?

Janice:             Yes, definitely, again if you’re looking for something like that, if you can stomach Black Friday, that’s a good time because not everyone is going to look for a washer dryer, they’re looking for children’s gifts and gifts for family. Go in there and you’ll see there’s really big sales.

Anthony:            Cool, very good, all right, so yeah, this was actually pretty thought provoking, these five reasons to buy a home in the fall.

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