Is Fall a Bad Time to Buy?

6 Replies


My husband and I would like to buy a house to flip, but realistically will not be able to do that until some time in the fall.  Figuring 30-60 days to repair and then list to sell, we will be heading into winter which we figure is a slow time for sellers.

My question is whether it would be better to wait until the end of the winter to buy so that it will be ready to sell  in the hotter spring market.

What are people's experiences with timing their real estate purchases?

Thank you!

@Nancy Cummings  Winter might be a good time to buy as you may be able to get better contractor rates as their business tends to slow down in the winter. If as you say time it to be ready for market by early spring.

I am still seeking my first deal, but here are some BP posts on the topic.

You can find more posts and blogs via search feature using "what time of year is best time to buy" there are 300+ blogs.

Good luck

I don't necessarily think its a bad idea to buy in the fall and sell in the spring. Where I invest not only are the contractors more expensive in the summer months but I can't find as many deals on homes. So by buying in the fall-winter you may save money which could in turn allow you to hold a bit longer. If the house takes longer to close or the rehab runs over schedule (being that it's your first flip) you won't be as stressed. I think the best thing to do is write the math on paper and figure out if the deals will work if you hold the property longer, if not, wait to buy until closer to spring. 

Thank you Cheryl Pepper and Carrie Giordano.  I hadn't considered that contractors might charge less in fall and winter.  

I just worry that if a house doesn't sell right away, not only are the holding fees higher, but often the house sells for less in the long run.

I will check out the other posts on this topic.

I recently talked with a contractor friend and he said, "If you can get me inside work in the winter, I am all in." So yes, if you to buy in the fall or winter. Be sure to remember that your contractor is going to be happy to be working and indoors at that. Their fees should reflect that. You should make sure to get multiple bids, some will be happier than other.

Fall and early winter are the best times to buy (here in the northeast at least). Let me add that most of our renovations are rather exhaustive, but they are never less than 60 days, and usually 90-120. With that said, I like to try to have the exterior work completed before the first snowfall, and then the work moves inside. Neighbors spend all winter looking at the beautiful new house (outside only) and when it hits the market in early spring (March) there is a great amount of 'buzz' in the neighborhood. I'm hoping to lock up 4-5 this fall to work on through the winter.

Contractor rates are less in the winter, but other things can be higher. Homeowners spend a lot of money doing bathroom/kitchen renovations for the holidays, so expect your tile, fixtures, cabinets, and even appliances to be a little higher than in the summer.

People purchase less in the winter, but they still buy. If you can account for a longer hold time, maybe....then take the deal

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