Yes, we’ve heard (the same as you) that December is the worst month to buy a home. But as Forbes reports, there may be advantages you had overlooked! Here are a few reasons why December might be the best time to give yourself a new home for the holidays!
While not exactly a Black Friday sale for the housing market, December does represent a lull. And let’s face it… a lot of folks are spending their savings at the mall right now.
“With fewer buyers in the marketplace, the available homes for sale are priced to sell. Plus, with fewer active buyers, there’s less likelihood of multiple offers, bidding wars, and escalator clauses.”
No need to worry about cramming your house hunt into weekends only, when everyone else and their grandmother is packed into the same open house you are!
“Rather than using up your precious weekends, take an end-of-year vacation day on a weekday to check out the available inventory (especially if your company has a “use it or lose it” policy). Chances are, your agent has some time on their hands as well and would appreciate staying busy throughout December.”
If someone has their house on the market during what is for most of us the busiest time of the year, there’s likely a reason.
“It could be job relocation, financial hardship, or personal change of circumstance. Regardless, it gives you an opportunity to negotiate a sweet deal — lowball the listing price and ask for a closing date that works with your schedule.”
Like marriage, childbirth, and everything else that’s deductible, closing on a home before December 31 could be advantageous when it comes time to file your taxes.
“If you close by December 31, you can deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points on your loan, and interest costs — all while building equity in your home.”
Lull in Lending
Since everyone is busy spending their money online and at the mall, December is traditionally slow for lenders. This gives you a real advantage in negotiating your mortgage.
“Since there are fewer real estate transactions, loan officers may be motivated to offer special incentives and possibly waive or reduce origination fees. With so few loans in the pipeline, underwriting turnaround times will be quick.”
While your own calendar may be booked solid during the holidays, a moving company is going to have the opposite problem. You should find that you can book convenient times on shorter notice. You may even be able to get a deal!
“Ask the movers to consider throwing in a couple of moving hours for free or additional packing materials and boxes at no cost. The same tactic may also work with contractors, repairmen, and home inspection services.”
If you’re buying a new construction, ask your builders about incentives. Since they’ll typically sell fewer units in December, the last few days are especially important for year-end totals!
“If upgrades such as custom cabinets, quality carpeting, and designer paint colors are on your holiday wish list, December may be the ideal time to purchase a new-construction home.”