If you’ve been living by the notion that December is the worst month to purchase a home, we’re about to change your life. It’s actually one of the best times of the year to buy.
We get it―the weather is less than ideal; people are feeling slightly sluggish due to the shorter days; and the holidays are straight-up stressful. Believe it or not, these cons work out to be pros for motivated buyers who are willing to look in December.
1. Competition is low.
According to Zillow, only 46% of buyers actually get the first home on which they make an offer – an aggravation that contributes to a 4.2-month-long search, on average.
Because a lot of people are operating under the idea that fall and winter are off seasons for real estate, there are fewer buyers on the market. However, there are still homes out there for sale! If you happen to find your dream house at an incredible price during this time of year, the odds are in your favor.
2. You get a realistic view of the home.
It’s a fact of life: Winter is cold, and it can get dreary. While you may not like seeing homes as cold droplets fall from the sky, it’s a huge benefit in the long run. You’ll get a realistic view of the home. If the roof leaks, you’ll see it. If the heat doesn’t work well, you’ll feel it. Come next December, you won’t run into any unpleasant surprises.
3. There are fewer loans being processed.
Some 88% of recent homebuyers financed their home purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. That makes for tons of loans for mortgage brokers to process. Again, because there are less people buying in December, loan officers will get through your paperwork faster, and you’ll have a better opportunity to negotiate some of the terms.
4. Sellers are likely to be more generous.
The holidays tend to put people in a giving mood. As a buyer, this could definitely work in your favor. If you happen to like a particular piece of furniture or TV setup, there’s a good chance the seller might be willing to cut you a deal.
5. You can claim the tax benefits.
Ah, taxes. Regardless of whether you buy a home or not, you still have to file them. But if you do happen to make the purchase, you can reap the tax savings. Mortgage interest, property taxes, origination points on your loan and interest costs will make for huge money-saving deductions in the coming year.
Things are smoother in December.
Ultimately, shopping for a home in December leads to a smoother process. Not only are sellers and mortgage brokers more inclined to negotiate with buyers, but the lull in activity also means that movers and contractors have more availability.
So, go ahead and make some moves. You might just be able to kick off the new year in your dream home.