Waiting for a Good Deal

Everybody wants to get the best price they possibly can.  Price is important, but how important is it compared to other factors?


Some feel that buying property in the winter months, when the skies are gray is the best time to get a good deal.  In reality, one should be as well prepared at all times and start actively looking no matter what month of the year it is.  You just never know when the right property will come up.

 Make sure that you are pre-qualified for your loan in advance.  Your offer will be taken more seriously if you show proof of a loan from a bank.  Don’t make any large purchases such as cars, boats, or RVs; these will dramatically impact your ability to borrow.  If your credit score is less than perfect, work on improving it to get the best loan rate.  

Do your homework and know what comparable prices are for similar homes in specific locations.  You will begin to see that larger homes with certain amenities have higher selling prices than smaller properties with fewer amenities.   Drive through neighborhoods to see what areas appeal to you.

Become aware of what’s presently on the market.  Check to see if any properties have been on the market for over 30-60 days.  See if there are properties that have been taken off the market that didn’t sell. 

If you are shopping for a home, you have to realize that you most likely will not get the perfect home at the very best price.  You need to be flexible and look at value.  Take into consideration that the home will appreciate over time.  Remember, the perfect home doesn’t exist.  You will need to make compromises.    

Locking in today’s price is probably one of the most important things to consider.  Also, look at today’s interest rates.  These 3.5% to 4.5% rates will not be around forever.  Today’s high prices may look like a bargain one or two years from now. 

Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy.  Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. 

The best time to buy is when you find the property you like and can afford. 

The single most important factor is jumping in and making the purchase you are able to make.  It may not be perfect, but you are invested in real estate.  

The sooner you start enjoying the security of owning a home the better and enjoying the tax benefits of home ownership.  You don’t have to worry about your house being sold out from under you.  You can start to improve your property, increasing its value.  Purchasing real estate is one of the safest long term investments a person can make.


Real estate is cyclical; it goes up and it goes down and then back up again. 

The longer you hold your real estate, the less important the purchase price becomes.  You will only be sorry tomorrow if your wait and don’t buy real estate today.   Yes, price is important, but the cost of waiting to purchase can be much more expensive.


Eric Ruxton and Larry Aikins are the owners of Terrace Realty Inc. and Terrace Associates Inc., in Redwood City. Terrace has been in business for over 50 years and in addition to being an independent Brokerage Company, also owns and operates rental properties.