5 Reasons to Buy a Home During the Holidays
The year-end holiday season is a great time for entertaining, gift-exchanging, and overall merriment. But what about home buying? Few people like to uproot their families and go through the stress of home buying and moving during the holidays. But for those who aren’t hosting guests or parties, house-hunting during the holiday season can be extremely worthwhile. Here are a few reasons why you should buy a home during the holidays.
1. Homes are priced to sell.
Sellers who are actively trying to sell their homes during the holiday months often have great incentive to sell. If a house has already been on the market for some time, that incentive is multiplied. This can work in favor of savvy buyers looking to get a deal on discounted homes.
Buyers may be able to use this urgency to their advantage. This is a great time to negotiate firmly but fairly with sellers to extract a lower price or other compromises like paying part of closing costs.
2. There is less competition.
The final month of the year is known for frantic shopping and countless holiday activities, but not necessarily for purchasing a home. With fewer buyers in the marketplace, the available homes for sale are strategically priced to sell. Having less competition on the buyer’s side can also mean fewer counter-offers to compete with. In addition, less active buyers eyeing a potential new home give shoppers a greater chance of keeping savings on their side and avoiding bidding wars.
The holiday season is filled with family, school, and work activities. These occasions combined with the cold weather in many locations lead to fewer real estate transactions. Fewer people overall are looking to buy houses. So buyers can leverage the lack of competition to purchase the house they want at a more desirable price.
Sean Davidson, Mark Spain Real Estate agent, commented on the topic saying “home shopping during the holidays can give buyers an advantage because of lower home list prices, how well homes show this time of year, and the lack of other buyers.” The lack of buyers helps to drive house prices down as sellers want to compete to make their homes more marketable than others on the market.
3. Buyers can benefit from better interest rates during the Holidays
Within the general tendency of interest rates, there is often a repetitive trend of lower rates during the holidays. These lower rates result from the limited demand that forces greater competition among lenders. While there are factors that can obscure or change this trend cycle, in general buyers can expect preferable interest rates around the holidays compared to the times immediately before or after. This means that for those looking to buy a home, the holiday season may be the last time to lock in low loan rates that could potentially start to climb as early as spring of the following year.
4. Faster closings.
Toward the end of the year, it is common that all parties involved have an incentive to complete transactions at a faster rate than usual. Lenders want to close their books, real estate agents want to receive their commissions before the year ends, and both buyers and sellers want to settle into their new homes for the holidays. Since all parties are motivated and there are fewer transactions taking place during this time, it is often easier to put everything in motion for a smooth, fast closing.
5. Potential Tax Advantages
At the end of the year, it is common for people to look for ways to lower their tax bills. Closing on a new home before December 31st is one way to benefit from tax-saving advantages. Buyers can deduct home purchase costs, including mortgage interest, property taxes, and any points paid upon closing, as well as build equity on the new home. These deductions can be huge money savers, especially when paying off interest in the early years of a loan. Buyers should not make a decision on a home purchase strictly for tax reasons. However, closing before the end of the year has tremendous benefits.
There’s no place like home for the holidays – and that’s especially true if you’re looking to buy a home right now! Buying a home during the holidays can prove to be one of the easier purchases you make this season, especially if you shopped on Black Friday. If you are a potential home buyer, use the holidays to explore options and take advantage of the benefits to buy a home during the holidays.
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