Does the housing market really chill out as temps do? The numbers – and the experts – say yes.
When the fire’s so delightful, many stay nestled all snug in their beds instead of house hunting. So if closing on a home of your very own has replaced visions of dancing sugar plums, you’ll be happy to know that the end of the year can be one of the best seasons to buy a house.
Prices may be lower.
Need some other smart reasons to consider buying a house in the winter? Here are five that made the nice list.
Take it from Nationwide: If you’re buying a house in December or January, they “typically cost 8.45% less than they do in June and August, according to a study from NerdWallet. Sellers are often encouraged to wait until spring to list their homes, and those who keep their properties on the market through fall and winter may be more willing to negotiate a deal.”
A savings of even 5% off the national home price ends up being tens of thousands of dollars. That also lessens your closing costs, putting even more back in your pocket. Just think of all the presents you’ll be able to buy!
Fewer Buyers Are in the Market.
Many buyers in the market means more competition for the home or lot you want. When there is a lot of interest in a property, a buyer has less negotiating power. You may even find yourself in a multiple bidder situation, which can really drive up the sale price.
But the holiday season (and the year’s end) is so busy that many people put off house hunting for a few months, meaning there will likely be less competition for the home you want.
Another factor: cash is typically tighter during the holidays. Your traditionally financed offer is less likely to be up against a competing buyer’s all-cash offer.
You might actually close quicker.
By this point in the year, everyone is looking forward to a little time off. No one wants to start their holiday break with tasks hanging over their heads. And that includes lenders and mortgage brokers.
With fewer files to manage, and the promise of some R+R around the corner, you may find that your loan officer actually has more time to devote to you. Since they may get paid per file they close, it’s an additional motivator to get you through the pipeline and into your dream home.
Capitalize on end-of-year tax savings.
Becoming a homeowner offers you more tax deductions than being a renter – yet another reason this can be the best month to buy a house. So long as you close before December 31st, you’ll have a lot more that you can write off on your taxes during the same calendar year.
Some of the most common home-related tax deductions include:
- Mortgage Interest
- Discount Points
- Property Taxes
- Home Office Expenses
- Mortgage Insurance
Sellers may be more generous.
Buying a house in December? Be prepared for sellers to be in a more giving mood. It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all.
It’s a time when folks are more likely to make compromises or throw in some extras just to make the season extra merry and bright. Be sure to stay reasonable with your asks and think twice before offering a fruit cake as your bargaining chip.
Holiday Homebuying FAQ:
Why are the holidays a good time to buy a house?
Less foot traffic and lower listing prices are just a few of the reasons why winter months can be a smart time to start your home search.
Should you buy a house during the holidays?
If you are looking to buy a home when demand is decreased, the holidays can be a great time to look. Just be sure you have time to devote to house hunting and closing.
Is it better to buy a house at the beginning or end of the year?
Buying a house at the end of the year can be your last opportunity to take advantage of some helpful tax savings. Of course, buying at the beginning of the year will earn you a bigger write off for deductions like property taxes.
Be Home for the Holidays at Hillwood
Why is December a good time to buy a house? This special time of year is different from spring and summer months when the real estate market is at its peak. Haven’t made your holiday wish list yet? Find the Hillwood lifestyle community that’s right for you and explore your new home options online so you can spend less time house hunting and more time hanging those stockings with care.