Timing the Real Estate Market

Should You “Time” the Real Estate Market?

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March 26, 2024

In this era of economic uncertainty, it’s common to wonder when is the best time to buy a home. Should you wait for mortgage rates to drop? Should you pounce on an available property? The question isn’t always a simple yes or no and has many factors to consider. But when it comes to building a custom home, it doesn’t always make sense to wait.

Here are a few points to consider when weighing whether you should wait to make the move on building your custom home:


1. The market is unpredictable:

Simply put—timing the market is extremely challenging. Even mortgage rates; no one predicted they would go as far down as they went a few years ago nor as far up as they climbed last year. Waiting for that “perfect” moment is often a gamble.


2. Information is old:

Similarly, the length of the real estate cycle and the building cycle is long, so the information you act on today may not equal what it will be when you sign your papers a month or more later.

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3. Remember that custom homes typically take longer:

Custom projects take longer to build, so you’re only going to know if you were successful 12 months or more later.

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4. A custom home is more than an investment of money:

Building your dream house is about creating a home that fulfills your unique needs and lifestyle. It’s the culmination of years of hard work. If the home meets your needs and fits your timeline and budgetary planning, then isn’t the timing already right?


5. Material prices only go up:

Even if inflation eases and prices drop a bit, over time costs always go up. So even if you were to save a bit on your interest rates by waiting another year to start building, the material costs to build your home could increase.


6. Great properties aren’t abundant:

Due to the popularity of the Puget Sound region and the challenges of our topography and terrain, good parcels in your desired ZIP code don’t always come around often. Waiting to buy could mean missing out on.

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7. Timing the market creates a challenge of urgency:

When you don’t worry about timing the market, there’s less urgency in the process. You can focus on what you need. There’s also less competition to find the best builder for you, rather than trying to snag whoever is available when the timing is “just perfect.”

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We’ve seen customers get burned by waiting and trying to play the market. During a delay, other factors can end up increasing prices in other areas of the build. Labor, supply, and regulations are always tightening; there’s always going to be something.

Along with these considerations, it’s also important to take into account those things that impact you personally. If the timing is right for you—in your family’s life, your budget, your future plans—waiting probably doesn’t make sense. If you were to wait out the market to save a few thousand dollars, are you keeping your children in a school longer, making it harder to move? Are you missing out on hosting a large family gathering next Christmas? Are you delaying starting a new side hustle from a home workshop? Are you spending even more money to maintain your current home? You’ve saved long and hard for your dream home—these considerations are important, too.

Instead, time your custom home to what makes sense for your life. Those factors that impact your ability to and your need to build—Do you have the funds? Are you ready/wanting to relocate? Are you retiring? Is your family growing?—are what you should primarily focus timing on, rather than a fairly unpredictable market.

In simplest terms: Time the market to match up with your desired move-in date.


Find a Custom Home Builder That Works With You

The right builder for your needs will help you in this process. For example, Estes Builders has worked with clients early on in the process, even before they’re ready to build, and kept them apprised of how their plans may need to shift due to changes in material costs. A good builder will make that time to have a relationship.

Plus, our Guaranteed Fixed Price gives you peace of mind against material price changes and other obstacles during the months when your home is being built.


Contact Estes Builders today for a free Custom Home Investment Study and get the answers you need to start your custom home project off on the right foot.