The $64,000 Question…of Homebuying

If I asked you how to save $64,000 today, how would you go about it?

Your first thought might be to break out your ol’ Calvin-and-Hobbesian cardboard box time machine and travel back to 1958 to try your hand at winning the $64,000 question.

Since it would take 5 weeks of game-showing to actually win the final question, you then might realize that you should actually have just traveled back a month earlier and quit after the $8,000 question and invested it, since it would now be worth $70,000.

Then you’d be all like,

“THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!”

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So, after briefly lamenting the loss of Jeeves, you’d head over to Google. Then after another oh-so-productive viewing of Baby Shark, you remember that your rich uncle told you he’d use some of his Wall Street money to help you with a downpayment when you get around to buying a home, and now here you are.

“Hold on just a second! My high-school-friend-Squee-the-realtor said that if I want to buy a house, I should shop when ‘the market is hot’ in the spring and summer, and it’s October!”

You’ve maybe heard about “seasonality” in real estate. Generally, it’s the idea that the housing market is slower in the winter. The concept probably isn’t that surprising because when you live in Boston, the struggle is real when it comes to even leaving the house once #winterhascome. We’re here to tell you that it is in fact worth throwing on the Bean boots and hauling your ass out there because if you’re in the know, fall/winter is actually by far the best time to buy in the Boston area. If you don’t believe us, check out this chart of sale prices by the month that people closed on their home purchases:

Prices over the past 4 years within 15 miles of Boston

For the chart reading-uninclined, this shows that if you were buying a home in the Boston area in February over the past four years, you would have expected to pay a median price of $505,000. If you instead waited until you could flex your Vineyard Vines at open houses, you would have paid $569,000 in June. The median number of days to get a mortgage hovers around 43 days, so if you’re going to actually buy in December through February, it means that you’re putting in your offer sometime in October through January.

So what this really means is that just by dusting off your Uggs and throwing on an insulated flannel, you could save $64,000. Side benefit, you know you really wanted yet another excuse to drink a pumpkin spice latte while chatting up strangers. Additional (maybe even more enticing) side benefit: you’ll face less competition in the chillier months. This chart shows that you can expect to pay a difference of almost $15,000 relative to list price just by buying with the right timing.

February is the lowest at $5,050 below list price. June is $9.673 above.

You get it. You check both Lyft and Uber, since the extra 20 seconds is worth the $2. You buy stocks with a zero-commission brokerage account. You would never make a restaurant reservation by calling, because after 50 times booking online, you get a gift certificate to splurge on a couple of Ramos Gin Fizzes next time you go out for “non-happy hour” cocktails. Since you’re already doing all of that, why wouldn’t you buy your house at a time that saves you enough to pay for your HBO Go account for the next 350 years?


If you’re thinking about buying a house, check out Torii. Not only will we give you data that your high-school-friend-Squee-the-realtor didn’t know existed, but we’ll also pay all of your closing costs. That’s enough to buy a Starbucks latte in the morning, an açaí bowl at lunch, and a late night taco every day for a year.

So when you’re ready, get in touch. We believe that homebuying doesn’t have to be hard, and we want to show you how.

About James Rogers