One of the best deals people can make is buying a home during the Christmas holiday season. There are a variety of reasons for buying a home during this time of year including less competition, year-end tax advantages as well as lower home prices, and faster closings. The inventory is limited with fewer people selling homes, but it is an advantage to buyers. The truth is negotiating a favorable price will be much easier than at other times of the year.
Closing on a new home before December 31 will bring tax benefits. Deductions can be itemized such as points paid upon closing, property taxes, and mortgage interest rates. Often times, a move at this time of the year has to do with an employment move which can bring more tax breaks. Sometimes even the costs associated with hiring a local moving company (if the move is work-related) can be itemized.
Sellers who choose to have their home on the market during the holidays are usually more motivated than the rest of the year. Listing a home during an off peak time such as this often means a job relocation, or some time sensitive issue that puts buyers in a position to get a better deal.
Everyone involved with the real estate deal – sellers, Realtors, title agencies, banks, inspectors, lenders – want to wrap the deal up before the holidays. This time of year brings about a much more focused and speedy process that takes longer during the rest of the year. Just make sure before you begin the process that the Realtor that you choose will not be leaving for vacation and become MIA for a week or so.
Favorable financing comes at holiday time. Interest rates on mortgages and loans typically hit a lower point around the holidays because fewer people are looking to borrow. There is historically, less financial business being done during December.
Find a well-connected Realtor. Fewer homes are listed between Halloween and New Year’s Day but a good Realtor knows other Realtors and they all talk about what’s coming on the market.
And, another pretty fine reason to buy a home during the holidays? January and February bring the seasonal sales. Think – new furniture, appliances, decor, even next year’s holiday decorations!
The Bottom Line: Buyers should watch the market conditions as well as look online at what is out there. Get the word out to Realtors that can help find any “pocket listings”. Check out the many online calculators that are available and see how much can be saved over the life of a mortgage with even a little decrease in interest rates that tend to happen during the holidays.