Buying a beach house or a vacation home can be a huge expense, but there may be a certain time of the year when it’s best to purchase.
Most people have a beach house in mind when the temperatures start to get warmer. There will be a lot of inventory on the market in the spring and early summer, just as those temperatures start to rise, but it may not be the best time to purchase that dream beach house.
According to a Trulia study, the best time to buy in coastal markets is in the early fall, particularly September and October. The reason for this is there are still a number of houses on the market, but also a lot less competition. Less competition will mean there is a better chance for negotiating a better deal. When buying in a less competitive market, there is a greater opportunity to negotiate a deal. Sellers that are impatient may want to offload the property, and buyers who want to enjoy the beach house in the summer months may have already scooped up a property. The good deals should last until the end of the year, but in January and February, many sellers will wait since they have already had their house on the market so long and the next season is approaching.
The study also found that home searches for beach areas, especially Hawaii and Florida, were below average. In Florida’s Gulf Coast, the number of home searches saw the greatest decline.
Owning a vacation home can be a great investment. Not only can the owner build equity, just like in the primary home, in the right market it can be a great rental property when not in use by the owner. To find the right location, spend some time there during the peak season to make sure it’s the right place to own, even though the peak season is not the best time to buy.
When buying a beach house, work with an agent that has a lot of experience in the market. If visiting the area with some homes in mind, keep in touch and monitor listings toward the end of the prime season. A pre-approval letter will help the negotiation process and buyers can jump on a deal when they see it.