Shopping is a huge deal during the holidays. The stores are bustling with shoppers looking for the latest gadgets, the hottest outfits, and the best toys a kid could ever wish for. Holiday tunes are pouring out of the speakers amidst the sounds of the cash registers constantly chiming with sales.
While it may be a great time for retailers, what about homebuyers? Is a house on your shopping list for the holidays?
Believe it or not, taking out a mortgage and buying a home during the holidays is often a great idea – and here are 6 reasons why.
1. Fewer Buyers in the Market
Remember, during the holidays, people are busy shopping with their friends and family trying to gather the perfect gifts. The last thing on their mind is the housing market.
Because of this, the market tends to slow down over the holiday season. So, if you are a buyer, you may have less competition with fewer offers being made – and it could boost your chance of landing your future dream house.
2. Motivated Sellers
Just as everyone is out enjoying the holidays, sellers who aren’t too motivated will likely wait until after the holiday season to list their property. That way they can enjoy the holidays without having to deal with the stress of staging their home and going through the entire real estate transaction process in a season that is already busy.
In other words, if you see an active listing during the holidays, you can feel confident that the seller is most likely motivated to sell. They may be willing to negotiate with you when it comes to things like the sales price and/or the closing costs.
Keep in mind that many homes are staged when they are trying to sell. And during the holidays, the staging really tries to pull at your emotions as it is the season for warm feelings. Don’t get lost in the emotion and make a poor decision. Be objective.
3. Lower Home Prices
For those who do the research, December seems to always be the month with the lowest home prices. As mentioned above, this probably has to do with the combination of fewer people looking to buy homes and sellers who are eager to sell.
The good news is that because the home prices are lower, you can usually find yourself with more home than you initially thought you could get for the price of your loan.
This can be one of the biggest reasons buyers choose this time of year to buy their new home.
4. Potential Tax Benefits
Have you ever wondered why companies give their donations and make big purchases right at the end of the year? It is all about the tax benefits.
Buying a home will give you some huge tax advantages. If you buy the home this year, then you get to experience the perks going into the new year when you file your taxes. On the other hand, if you wait until January to finalize your purchase, you will have to wait until the following year to reap the tax benefits.
For those who are out there searching for properties while everyone else is looking for gifts, there is always a big push to have that closing by December 31st – all for the tax benefits.
5. Quicker Loan Approval
During the spring and summer months, mortgage lenders are often overloaded with applications and the process to get approved can be very slow. However, during the winter holiday months, applications slow down which can be great news for you. Mortgage lenders can pump out quick loan approvals during this slow season which can really help you get your search started quickly.
It is worth mentioning, too, that since the volume is lower, the level of customer service is often higher. And who doesn’t love a great customer service experience?
6. An Overall Better Home-Buying Experience
When buying a home during the holidays, you open yourself up for a great experience. You don’t have to fight with others trying to get in to see a place for sale, nor do you have to battle competition when putting in an offer.
It is the holidays, and everyone in this industry is a little happier, and a lot less stressed. So, you can enjoy everything that comes with home buying without all the hassle. And that makes this a great time to buy.
Besides – what better way to kick off the new year than in your new home?
Tips for Buying a Home During the Holidays
It may be a great time of year to buy a home, but there are a few things you can do to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as you envision. Check out these tips:
- Always get pre-approved for your loan. Don’t hold off just because the market doesn’t seem busy.
- Find a great realtor. Having an expert on your side with your best interest in mind can be a game-changer.
- Know that some sellers can be pushy. Remember, sellers this time of year are motivated so they may come off a bit aggressive so be prepared.
- Again, don’t get caught up in the emotions. Someone who has a well-staged home may be able to entice buyers purely on their feelings. Tread lightly or you may regret it later.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many buyers are afraid to negotiate in case the seller decides to go with someone else. Don’t be afraid. Let your realtor be the messenger.
Buying a home anytime is exciting (albeit stressful) even more so during the holiday season. Take advantage of all the potential benefits: such as less competition, motivated sellers, potential tax benefits, and quicker loan approval.
You may just find great satisfaction in the overall experience as you move into your new home in the new year.