Colorado Real Estate Market: When is the Best Time to Buy? - Team Lassen

Colorado Real Estate Market: When is the Best Time to Buy?

Summertime is a scorching hot time to sell real estate in Colorado, but what if you are in the market to buy? Colorado real estate market data points to the autumn and winter as the ideal time of the year to hunt for houses. According to a piece by businessinsider.com, families with pre-school children often lug their children around to open houses and home showings in the fall and winter. In the summertime, sellers know families with school-age children feel anxious to get settled into a home before the new school year. Data from trulia.com shows there is a 7 percent boost in starter home inventory between October and December. Throughout the U.S. the median listing price of starter homes is $171,000, but in Colorado some homes sell for as high as $400 per square foot. Starter homes with at least two bedrooms and one bathroom and about $1,000 square foot of space cost more than $300,000 in more prestigious communities, accoding to Zillow.com. If you are in the market for a starter home, prepare for a tight market with high demand.

Dealing with better inventory

The inventory of homes, in general, falls between July and September. Millennials face a difficult times finding homes they can afford. In fact, the starter home inventory went down 20 percent since 2012 because of high demand by millennials and retirees, according to businessinsider.com. To get the best  bargains, start looking for a home as soon as possible with plans to make an offer on a good deal by winter.

Getting your financing lined up

Instead of waiting for prices to come down, work on saving up for a down payment on a Colorado home. Trulia points out most first-time buyers put 40 percent of their income toward a mortgage. Getting a second source of income, picking up freelance work and locking down passive income with investments often gives buyers an edge. Get a pre-approval letter from a lender to take to your real estate agent that clearly defines your spending budget. Buy shopping for a home slightly below budget, it leaves room for negotiations. Also, consider FHA and other first-time home buyer loans that allow for a lower down payment such as 3.5 percent in stead of 20 percent down.

Enjoying the holiday season

Some buyers make the mistake of taking a too frivolous approach to house hunting during the holiday season. While it is fun to tour houses decorated for the holidays, don't lose track of your home-buying goal. Remember to let your real estate agent represent you so you don't say the wrong thing or show your cards to the seller. If you rave about every detail of a home, it's more difficult to negotiate a better deal. Keep a respectful but quiet attitude when touring homes for sale. Let your real estate agent pose questions to the seller or seller's agent. Also, detach emotionally from the staging, baking and other seller ploys. Instead, look for a home with potential that you can decorate for many holiday seasons in the future.

When house hunting for a first home or retirement home, reassess your must-have list. It's important to figure out what you want as well as what you can afford when prices dip after the holidays. If you need to sell a home before buying, the natural real estate market trends often work in your favor. Sell during the summer when demand is high. If possible, stay with relatives or rent out a short-term vacation property while hunting for a home. By working with a reputable real estate agent, you often learn about the best deals in Colorado. At Team Lassen, we specialize in real estate in Colorado where the housing market is remarkably robust. For more advice on timing a home sale in Colorado, please contact us today.