What’s the Best Season for Home Buying? Great question!

Just today I was asked this very question.ย  โ€œWhat’s the Best Season for Home Buying?โ€ย  And thought this article was interesting from the DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS.ย  I must say though โ€“ when buying a home, instead of trying to figure everything out on your own, sit down with a Realtor, ask some questions. ย We’re happy to meet with you. ย Because truly, the time to buy is when you – as a buyer – are ready to do so.ย  These days (2012 and early 2013) the housing market is competitive no matter what time of year it is.ย  On average, buyers entering the market today are faced with a minimum 3-6+ month house hunt due to a lack on inventory and an abundance of buyers.ย  So writing several offers on several homes over the course of several months is standard operations these days.ย  If you are ready to become a homeowner โ€“ jump in and get started. ย So much to learn, so much to see – The Caton Team is happy to help!

Enjoy this articleโ€ฆ

What’s the Best Season for Home Buying?

After the holidays, buyers tend to start getting more aggressive with their house hunting. Search activity usually peaks around March or April in most states, according to a new study of home searches from 2007 to 2012 conducted by Trulia.

In September, searches slow down. By December buyer searches ebb to their lowest point of the year.

โ€œHome-search activity swings with the seasons in every state,โ€ says Jed Kolko, chief economist of Trulia. โ€œBuyers and sellers can use these ups and downs to their advantage. Sellers looking for the most buyers should list when real estate search traffic peaks. Buyers, however, should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.โ€

The study revealed seasonal patterns of search activity state to state. Here are the months when online real estate searches peak in every U.S. state:

  • January: Hawaii
  • February: Florida
  • March: Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
  • April: Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • May: Real estate activity does not peak in any state
  • June: Mississippi
  • July: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming
  • August: Montana and Oregon
  • September-December: Real estate activity does not peak in any state

Source: โ€œTrulia Reveals Best Home-Searching Season,โ€ HousingWire (Jan. 29, 2013)

Sabrina’s 2 Cents: ย In my experience, especially this year with our beloved 49โ€™ers in the Superbowl, the market doesnโ€™t really start to pick up until after Super Bowl Sunday.ย  It is funny to hear โ€“ but it is true.ย  We see the buyers get off the couch once the football season is over and listings start coming on the market. ย We are ready when you are – give us a call or email!

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/01/31/whats-best-season-for-home-buying?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BRCsnAB8wncg3e&om_ntype=RMODaily

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.

Email Sabrina & Susan at:ย  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our Website at:ย ย  http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook: ย ย http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me:ย  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

SHOULD YOU BUY A HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS?

Funny โ€“ I was just writing my own blog about our local real estate market when I came across this article from San Diego.ย  Itโ€™s not local โ€“ but it hits home โ€“ thought Iโ€™d share and add my two centsโ€ฆ.

SHOULD YOU BUY A HOME DURING THE HOLIDAYS?

Once Thanksgiving is over, the real estate world starts to wind down for the holidays and it typically reawakens after the Times Square ball drops and resolutions come to life.

But if youโ€™re a potential homebuyer whoโ€™s prepared to close in todayโ€™s competitive market, you may want to keep shopping while everyoneโ€™s waiting for spring, some real estate agents suggest.

The Caton Team has found that buyers on a concrete budget find great values if they are flexible during the holidays. ย We’re ready when you are.

That advice may be especially relevant this year for consumers who have repeatedly lost out on deals because of a limited and continually decreasing supply of homes, but remain persistent. Buying intensity typically cools down at the start of fall through early January, which could increase the odds for those with more patience.

Related: Report: We’re in the midst of a housing recovery

Home sales have increased from October to November only four times since 1988, when DataQuick began to track home sales and prices locally.

In the other years, transactions have fallen from anywhere between 0.2 percent and nearly 26 percent. Home listings have dropped off from 3 percent to 11 percent during those months in the past three years.

โ€œDuring Christmas, people will be focused on the holidays and nothing really happens,โ€ said Ken Pecus, co-founder of San Diego-based Ascent Real Estate and 20-plus-year real estate veteran.

โ€œThe first week of January, the new mindset kicks in, resolutions kick in, and in the second and third week, people look at their taxes, and almost overnight, by the end of January, you have almost twice the buyers in the market,โ€ Pecus added.

Would-be buyers historically have bowed out during the winter season because they are overwhelmed by holiday spending and commitments. Thereโ€™s also the aversion of moving in the middle of a school year. Consumer interest typically picks back up again in the New Year and peaks in the spring.

Related: Demand for homes stays strong during the fall

Certain buyers may be well-served to buy during the winter because of sellers who must move because of:

โ€ขโ€‰A job change or transfer.

โ€ขโ€‰The possible sunsetting of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, said Donna Sanfilippo, president of the San Diego Association of Realtors. The potential expiration of the law, which lets certain home sellers get tax relief on mortgage debt forgiven by lenders, has pushed home sellers scrambling to list and short sell their homes before the end of the year.

In some cases though, the rush to do that is unwarranted. Consult a tax pro to determine if short selling is right for you.

โ€ขโ€‰The fact theyโ€™ve been waiting to sell their home for a long time and need to buy something quickly. If you can wait a little longer to sell your home and want to maximize your profit, then wait until the peak spring months.

Even with the expected holiday homebuying slowdown, buyers should know that the inventory level may still be a challenge.

Right now, there are more than 4,700 active listings in the county, down 11 percent from October and down more than half from the same time a year ago, based on numbers from the San Diego Association of Realtors. The current level marks at least a three-year low.

In the San Francisco Peninsula โ€“ inventory has been low all year, fueling multiple offers on homes and driving prices up due to competition outweighing supply.ย ย  There has been moments, for example in San Carlos we had 25 listings and Redwood City had 36 โ€“ for the whole city.ย  Thatโ€™s not enough homes for the volume of demand out here.

Buyers also may deal with the challenges of bidding against cash buyers and investors, who can look more attractive than traditional buyers.

The Caton Team has witnessed Cash Buyers at all price points โ€“ under $500,000 to over 1,500,000.ย  Sellers have the opportunity to pick the best offer among several.ย  And sellers are being savvy โ€“ taking higher down payments when possible.ย  When The Caton Team prepares an offer, it is more than just price.

Their share of the homebuying market has remained strong. Almost 28 percent of total homes sold in October were purchased by absentee buyers, many of whom are investors. Thatโ€™s up from 27 percent logged a year ago and in September.

Hovering near the peak, almost one-third of buyers bought with cash in October.

โ€œIโ€™m expecting 60 to 70 people at my open house,โ€ said San Diego Realtor Miguel Contreras before a recent Wednesday showing at a property in La Mesa. โ€œThe property is a fixer, so itโ€™s mostly investors.โ€

Sounds familiar in the SF Peninsula market.ย  Open houses visitors are strong, and often there is enough activity to warrant an offer day before the following weekend.ย  Iโ€™ve seen homes have one open house and take offers on Monday.ย  Thatโ€™s a break neck pace if you ask me, and Iโ€™m a veteran.ย  My first time buyers canโ€™t move that fast.ย  And with prices climbing, the early bird getโ€™s the worm if he canโ€™t process the information fast enough.

Related: Another hurdle for short sales

Contreras, who worked during Thanksgiving week, said heโ€™ll make himself available throughout the holidays to cater to what he expects to be a continued interest from investors, cash buyers and traditional buyers.

The same goes for Cherilyn Jones, another local real estate agent. Last week, she was preparing for two new listings to come online. Her most common clients are first-time homebuyers and investors.

โ€œThe investors have not slowed down,โ€ Jones said. โ€œWe get holiday freeze, but not for investor clients. Itโ€™s hard to find them properties because their criteria is very, very specific … and the deals are not as good as they used to be.โ€

Article By: Lily Leung

Last Thoughtsโ€ฆ

In our 25+ years of local Real Estate experience, buying during the holidays can truly benefit buyers whoโ€™ve been outbid all year.ย  Weโ€™ve found homes for buyers over the holiday season that would have been snapped up in a hot second during the spring or summer.ย  As long as buyers are flexible and open minded โ€“ there is definitely some Christmas Miracles in the making this time of year.ย  Keep a look out for my next Cinderella Stories about Russ and Natalie and the home we found over Thanksgiving!

I read this article at:ย  http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/dec/01/does-it-make-sense-buy-home-during-winter/?page=2#article

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.

Email Sabrina & Susan at:ย  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our Website at:ย ย  http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook: ย ย http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-cityรฅ

Or Yelp me:ย  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina