If there's ideal timing when buying a home in the expensive Bay Area, it's now. It's the best week of the year to buy, according to a new report from Realtor.com.
Prices are usually lower this time of year, and there's more selection, the report says. It has to do with a combination of things, mainly kids are back in school, so there isn’t as much competition among buyers trying to get into a house right away.
The Schatz family just sold their San Jose home this month and were able to buy a bigger house in Elk Grove with a pool.
"It was time. Time to retire, time to look forward to the future," Frances Schatz said. "There was a big selection, as to what we both wanted as far as our (his and hers) want list."
The inventory is at its best at the beginning of fall, Realtor.com said. When kids are in school, families hit pause on their home buying.
In the Bay Area, there are nearly 30 percent more homes on the market this week than the average week, giving buyers a lot more to choose from.
The report also found that in the West overall, prices are 4% lower than normal and 9% of homes have had a price reduction.
"We had to adjust the price a few times based on what the market was selling," Schatz said.
Realtor Craig Gorman says the market has leveled off in the Bay Area, but he expects it will stay steady with the low interest rates.
"What's happening is it's turning into a normal market," Gorman said. "Last year, everybody brought stock options, so that's why the prices got so high. This year, people aren't bringing stock options, so it's not that the prices are falling or that the prices are getting soft; it's just people are paying what the house is worth. Last year, they just didn't care; they just wanted to get in."
The Schatz family sold for less than they would have made a year or two ago. But they're happy to move on.
"Maybe a year ago, it would have maybe been a different story on how much more we would have gotten," Schatz said. "But you can't predict the future."