Next to spring, fall is the busiest real estate time of the year. Although you can buy houses at any time, the fall real estate market offers certain benefits to home buyers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weather conditions for moving, a good selection of houses, and more. If you are shopping for a home during the fall and don't want to miss out on a great deal, it's a good idea to explore the possibility of pre-qualifying for a loan and to know what type of house you are looking for and what you can realistically afford to buy.
Who’s buying in the fall? According to an ERA survey, the fall buyer mix in the fall typically consists of:
- First-time homebuyers : 27 percent
- Move-up buyers: 20 percent
- Buyers downsizing/retiring: 17 percent
- Investors: 14 percent
- Relocating military: 11 percent
- Vacation home buyers : 6 percent
- Other: 5 percent
Benefits of fall buying include the following:
- End-of-the-year tax breaks: Come fall, people begin to think about what year-end tax breaks they may be eligible for. Fortunately for homebuyers, owning a house can yield great dividends in tax returns. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from gross income. Furthermore, if you have prepaid some interest before the due date of your first payment and you close your loan before the year's end, that amount will also be deducted.
- Motivated sellers: Often sellers will opt to lower their price in the fall because they're afraid of trying to sell during the holidays. They also know that potential buyer traffic drops in the fall, so their prices (and most likely incentives) have to be competitive.
- Low interest rates: With interest rates on 30-year mortgages still hovering around 4.0-4.25% buyers who've been riding out the economic downturn and the gradual housing recovery should certainly consider making a move at this time.
- Uninterrupted holidays: A fall home purchase will ensure that you will be comfortably ensconced in your new residence before the fall/winter holidays, allowing you to enjoy family and friends without worrying about packing and moving.
Comfortable weather conditions: Buying a house before the deep freeze of winter sets in is very appealing to most home buyers. No one wants to worry about icy roads, snowstorms, or blackout conditions on moving day.