House Hunting Made Easy: When To Buy A New Home


According to the recent timeline outlined by Ryan Homes at Brunswick Crossing, first-time homebuyers should begin looking for a new home about a year in advance of their desired move-in date.

After three months of researching home builders and homeowners association-regulated communities, potential homebuyers should go on model home tours. You can check out the entire 14-month timeline here, and keep reading for more information about house hunting:

If You're Looking For A New Construction Home...

New home inventory boosts from October to December. If you’re looking for a brand-new home, fall is the time for you to start house hunting. As reported by Business Insider in 2017, “Between October and December each year, starter home inventory...gets a 7 percent boost, according to new data from Trulia.”

On top of the largest variety of model homes to choose from, October is also the month that’s known to have the lowest listing prices. According to the Trulia report, these listing prices can last until January, depending on the location.

Starter home seasonality difference in regards to inventory availability is the largest in the following metros:

  1. San Jose, California

  2. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  3. Portland, Oregon

  4. San Francisco, California

  5. Phoenix, Arizona

  6. Fresno, California

  7. Wichita, Kansas

  8. Denver, Colorado

  9. Grand Rapids, Michigan

  10. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida

Starter home seasonality difference in regards to listing price is the largest in the following metros:

  1. Wichita, Kansas

  2. Seattle, Washington

  3. San Jose, California

  4. Oakland, California

  5. Denver, Colorado

  6. Kansas City, Missouri

  7. Dallas, Texas

  8. San Francisco, California

  9. Sacramento, California

  10. Portland, Oregon

The best time to buy a new home is in the winter. We recently touched on the reasons that the winter months are the best time to look for a new construction home, and Business Insider agrees. While house hunting peaks during inventory season for obvious reasons, waiting to purchase until the winter is a smart homeownership move.

You’ll move in sooner than if you bought a home in spring or summer, and mortgage rates are known to increase with spring resale listings.

If You're Looking For A Resale Home... 

The best time to buy a resale home is in the spring because it’s a seller’s market. This means an influx of resale homes go on the market. With this sudden, sharp increase in available homes (and a tax refund check in hand), homeowners that are looking to trade up are inclined to research, tour, and purchase quickly.  

The best time to make an offer is on the first Tuesday of the month. According to Time, “The homeowner...wrote a mortgage check for a house he no longer wants – or needs to sell — and he doesn’t want to write another one. Why Tuesday? Because by Tuesday, he’s starting to worry that he won’t get any offers from house hunters who saw the house the weekend before.”

Tips For House Hunting During Every Season...

  • The location is the most important aspect. You can change a lot of aspects of your home after its purchase, but you can’t change the city. Consider its proximity to your office and recreational activities, traffic, access to public transportation, and other factors.
  • Think about practicality. Your dream home may look like a Pinterest photo, but do you really need four bedrooms and three baths? Are you prepared to clean a backyard swimming pool? Is a home office a must-have feature?
  • Consider the finishing touches. It’s easy to check off your needs when visiting resale homes and going on model home tours. However, what really turns a house into a home is the finishing touches. Consider the amount of natural lighting, crown molding, the porch swing, and other interior design features.