First off to be clear, I am aware I don't have to tell most of you to buy a house in summer months - they are the busiest of the year for a reason. But I still would like to take some time to shed some clarity on certain perceptions have regarding buying between June-August.
1) Prices aren't necessarily higher. At all. A common myth suggests it's always a sellers market during this time, and as such, prices are generally higher. Of course this can be true in certain cases, it's far from a constant. Don't believe me? Examine our current market as a good example. Saskatoon is squarely in a buyer's market last time we checked, and I'm writing this on June 19. The point is, each summer has to be examined on a case-to-case basis.
2) Generally bigger inventories. The large inventory offers significantly more opportunities for purchasers to identify specific floor plans, amenities, and location preferences. Obviously the plethora of options will give buyers more of a sense of comfort knowing they have so much to choose from.
Also, In some less competitive markets, knowing that there are plenty of homes for sale can give you more leverage for price negotiation. Easy to walk away when you know there are not only a bunch of others out there currently you might like, but also aware that you could always offer on something that will hit the market in next few weeks.
3) If you need to sell before you can buy, you’ll likely have an easier time with during the summer. Rather than getting trapped with two mortgages, you could have a more seamless transition in a busier market. Again, this goes back to having such a great amount of choice out there.
4) If you have kids, school being out makes it much easier to house-hunt. You can book moving days with more freedom, the kids' lives won't be disrupted too badly, and if they're old enough, having them along for the search is obviously important in regard to their preferences.
Also keep in mind, if sellers have kids, they may be more motivated to sell before the school year begins...just something to think about!
5) It's much easier to observe the lot. If you live in a snowy climate, as we do, snow can be the ultimate cloak. Not only can it hide cosmetically unappealing aspects, but it also makes it harder to examine more important stuff, like grade for example. When you buy in summer, there are no surprises in regard to anything on the outside of the house.
6) Finally, it's pretty damn awesome to move into a house in summer, and have your first drinks on the deck/patio after you move in. Maybe it's just us, but I think it's more exciting to crack a beer on the deck than in front of your electric fireplace in winter. Just sayin.