At first, the holidays might seem like the absolute worst time to buy a new home. After all, it is the season for decking the halls and entertaining guests so there may not be as many options as during the spring and summer months. However, if you are house hunting over the holidays you most likely have a serious and immediate need. And, as it turns out, you are in luck because there are several key advantages of buying a home this time of year.
The first advantage is less competition. As expected, not as many people are house hunting over the holidays as compared to other months. This lack of potential buyers lowers the chance of multiple offers and bidding wars, which often cause a house’s price to rise. If you research your market and compare prices, you might end up with a serious discount on a great home.
Homeowners who are putting in the work and time to sell during the holiday season are serious home sellers. This means that need to sell as soon as possible or feel compelled to do so before the end of the year for tax purposes. This means excellent advantages for you as a buyer. These include less hassle when negotiating prices, greater willingness from the seller to agree to concessions, and increased respect for your offer, even if it’s lower than what the seller was hoping for. Again, this might help you score a fabulous deal.
Like the housing market itself, mortgage lenders are not as busy around the holidays and receive a smaller number of requests. As a result, you may receive faster mortgage approval than you would during the peak housing season. Lenders might even offer reduced fees as a way to gain your business. However, do not fall for the first offer from the first lender that comes along. Shop around, compare quotes and look at lender reviews.
Lastly, in general, you will encounter more affordable houses and lower interest rates in December than any other month. As the housing market slows down around the holidays, overheated markets ultimately become more affordable than they have been over the last year, especially during those peak to high seasons.
If you have been thinking of buying a home, do not delay but also do not rush into it. It may be a busy time of year, but still make sure to shop around, talk to sellers, compare prices and do the research.