Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you start thinking about buying a home, what month or time of year you decide to buy can have a huge impact on your home-buying experience in Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Although questions of where you want to buy, what kind of home best suits your needs, and how best to finance your home are important questions too, what time of year you go house-hunting can be a deciding factor in what options are available to you and how much the home ends up costing.
The best months to buy real estate in Flagstaff:
This answer to this question mostly comes down to location. In Arizona at large, March through April are usually the hottest months for buying a home, meaning that for most of the state, early winter can be the best time for finding a wide variety of homes on the market, but summer tends to be better in terms of bargain-hunting. In Flagstaff, however, things tend to play out a little differently. Here’s the rundown on the best times of year to buy a home in Flagstaff.
Summer Months are the Peak Buying Season in Flagstaff
Home buying season in Flagstaff begins around Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day, encompassing the majority of the summer — June, July, and August in particular. This is the opposite of home-buying trends in the southern part of Arizona, where the average summer high reaches over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and buying a home (or moving, for that matter) usually seems less appealing. In the cool, high-altitude summers of Flagstaff, meanwhile, summer is a hot (figuratively-speaking only) time to buy both for locals and other Arizona residents looking to escape the heat. However, there are both benefits and drawbacks to buying in the busy summer season. While potential home-owners are likely to find a wider variety of homes and properties for sale during this time of year, they may have to contend with higher prices, too. For this reason, don’t be too quick to discount older listings — a buyer may have just changed their mind and the price may come down at any minute. This can also be a great time of year to buy “fixer-upper” homes, which — if you’re up for the challenge — are less expensive and there are usually many to choose from in the real estate market.
Winter Months Are the Off-Peak Buying Season in Flagstaff
As you may have already deduced, home-buying in Flagstaff tends to slow down once the temperatures start falling, too. Although Flagstaff provides beautiful, snowy white winters with a range of winter sports opportunities — with a yearly average of 81 inches of snow, it’s not always the ideal time of year for touring properties or moving into a new home.
On the other hand, because months like January and February are less popular months to buy or sell a home, home prices tend to be lower and would-be homeowners can often find some amazing deals on a great property. Buying a home in the winter also means you will benefit from reduced competition among buyers and motivated sellers, which can also help expedite the process and produce faster closing times. And although the idea of moving your belongings into a new place in the cold and sometimes inconvenient weather of winter might not sound particularly appealing, it’s often a great time to hire movers, if you need them. Because moving companies are typically less busy in the winter, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to book them for the exact days and times you need them.
Fall, Spring, and Everything in Between
Of course, summer and winter aren’t the only seasons to buy a home, and buying in between Flagstaff’s peak and off-peak seasons has its own benefits and drawbacks, too. Fall, in particular, has been said to be the best season overall to buy a home because it generally provides more inventory than the winter season, but also slightly lower prices than the busy and competitive summer season. Prices usually drop as sellers become impatient and increasingly willing to negotiate, and while there will likely be less inventory than in the spring and summer seasons, there will still be more homes on the market than in the winter, when many businesses begin to slow and both sellers and buyers alike get too busy with school, work, or holiday plans.
As for spring? While spring can also be an attractive time of year to start searching for a new place to live — especially with school semesters coming to a close and temperatures warming up — it’s usually not a great time for buying a new property. There may be a good selection of homes for sale as sellers list their properties in anticipation of the coming summer season, but prices can be just as high or higher than summer prices, and with Flagstaff’s unpredictable spring weather (including snow as late as early May), it could be just as inconvenient for buyers as winter.
The truth is, there’s never one “perfect” time to buy a home. It all comes down to what’s most important to you, what your budget looks like, and when the most convenient time is for you to buy (or move into) a new home. The good news is, even as a small town in northern Arizona, Flagstaff has a hot real estate market, and there are always homes for sale. For more information on real estate in Flagstaff (and a more personalized recommendation regarding the best time for you to buy a home), please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team of REALTOR®s at the Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak Properties.