What’s the Best Time to Buy a House in Seattle?

Published:
July 27, 2022
Last updated:
July 27, 2022
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Are you thinking of buying a home in Seattle, Washington? Knowing when to purchase can help you maximize your home buying budget. Buying a home in Seattle at any time can be an adventure, but right now the market is extremely challenging. What’s the best time to buy a home in Seattle and how can you know when to make your move?

Best Time to Buy a House In Seattle

The best time to buy a home in Seattle is when you can get the best home for the best price, at the best mortgage rate possible. Some of these variables you can control somewhat by managing your own expectations, but others are at the whim of the market and the economy.

Best Time of Year to Buy a House in WA State

There are seasons to homebuying when the regular progression of life isn’t interrupted by pandemic. Most homebuyers start looking for a home during the spring and summer, especially families who want their children to start off the school year in their new school.

This time of year is when the buying competition is normally stronger, but there are also more options available since more sellers tend to be listing their homes for sale.

That said, the best time of the year to buy a house can also be in midwinter, in the tight window between Christmas and New Year’s. You can find great deals on homes that have motivated sellers, and could pick up a good deal before the new year begins.

Looking for a home in the winter can also let you know what it’s like when the roads are at their worst, and can reveal if there are any leaks or other issues.

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Best Financial Time for Home Buying

There are financial advantages to buying or selling a home at different stages. If tax time is approaching, sellers may be worried about paying property taxes and might be more flexible on the price. A motivated seller can make it easier to snag the home you want.

Your own financial situation can also have an effect. Depending on whether you are going to make a cash offer or take out a mortgage, you’ll want to buy when you can sink as much as possible into getting a good mortgage rate. That might mean putting down a hefty down payment, or it could mean paying extra at closing for discount points to lower the interest rate.

How your credit looks will also affect your mortgage rate, so you might want to hold off on buying a home if your credit is very poor. Just a 20 point improvement could make a big difference in what a lender will offer.

If you are ready to settle down, buying a home can feel liek the natural next step. However, if you don’t plan to stay in the same spot for at least three years, you might be able to actually save money by renting until you are prepared to put down some serious roots.

That’s because the initial costs of buying a home aren’t defrayed until several years have passed, and selling before that time frame is up can leave you worse off than you were before you splashed out the down payment and closing costs to buy a home.

Also don’t buy a home if the interest rates are extremely high and it’s predicted they will go back down within the next year or so. Refinancing extremely soon after buying can reduce the benefit, so waiting a few months then buying after rates get lower can help you lock in at a better rate and remove the need to refinance quickly.

However, if interest rates are on their way up and are not likely to reverse course, buy sooner rather than later to avoid getting stuck with an even higher rate after a few months have passed. Your interest can account for a massive amount of your total payback on a home loan, and you want to minimize the total cost of home ownership.

Best Time to Buy a House Due to Owner Circumstance

If you have an ear in the community, you might get some hot tips about homes coming on the market. Many desirable homes go on the block at estate sales after the death of a homeowner, and these can be prime moments to get in on real estate action.

Family members who are liquidating assets may be looking for a quick sale, so getting your foot in the door fast with an attractive offer can help you bypass bidding wars and buy a home you can move into quickly.

Divorce can also mean a home goes on the market suddenly and the owners are looking for a quick sale to split their assets. Property that is part of a divorce settlement can mean a lot of pressure from one or both parties to unload it and free up cash.

Buying in a Seattle Sellers Market

Right now, it’s a “sellers market” in Seattle. This means buying a home comes with some additional challenges. Here’s how you can tell the market is competitive in Seattle:

Days on Market (DOM)

In a very hot seller’s market, the median number of listing days is extremely low. The national average days on market (DOM) in the US is currently 61 days, but in Seattle it is only 6 days, with an average of 6 offers on every house. That’s an insanely short amount of time for homes to stay on the market before they sell.

Inventory

Another sign of a sellers market is tight inventory. Right now, there are enough homes available across the country to cover 6.3 months of home selling, but in Seattle that figure is only 0.4 months. Again, this is drastically low, making the market extremely competitive in Seattle and surrounding areas.

Home prices

The median home price in the US is around $430,000. However, in Seattle homes are selling for a median price of $1,025,500, more than double the national median. The extremely high home prices are due to the competitiveness of the market and the bidding wars breaking out over highly desirable properties, which drive home prices up.

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Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?

At Sammamish, we believe educating homeowners is the best path forward to financial success. That’s why we put so much effort into our blog articles, to help create a resource for homeowners and homebuyers.

Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992, and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Washington State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.

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