It’s a fairly safe assumption to say that not many people want to be buying a house during the holidays and move during the holidays. In fact, many would warn you against it — which means that it could, in fact, be in your favor to close on your new home at the end of the year. Here are a few reasons why!
You could get a good deal
Since the holidays are not prime time for sellers, you’ll likely find that the homes on the market need to sell. This puts you in a good position to negotiate a lower price, or to get certain repairs or upgrades included in your buying cost. For those who are just on the fence of being able to afford to buy a house, this could be just the edge you need to get you out of renting and into a home of your own. Just be prepared to move quickly once you strike a deal to ensure you close before the end of the year (see #3).
You’ll have less competition from other buyers
The holidays aren’t generally the time of year when most people get excited to buy a house, so you’ll probably be able to house shop with very few competitors as well as have your pick of real estate agents. Compare this to summer home buying madness, and it’ll feel like a refreshing break to know you don’t have to be ready to run to a house viewing at any moment or you’ll lose it. For those who live in cities or areas where the market is tight like Portland, OR, this is especially true.
It will help with your taxes
If you can close on a new home before the end of the year, you can itemize some of the costs associated with moving like Real Estate tax and mortgage interest– sometimes even the costs associated with hiring a local moving company if your move is work-related. With all of the other costs associated with moving, you’ll appreciate the benefits of that tax break now rather than a year down the road.
You might get a lower interest rate
Interest rates on mortgages and loans go through swing cycles, and typically around the holidays, they hit a lower point because fewer people are looking to borrow. Get in touch with the bank early to ask about rates, and be willing to watch the trends to jump on a mortgage at the best time. Also, keep in mind that banks will be closed more around the holidays, so do the majority of your preparation a little bit before the prime holiday season.
Sellers will want to close quickly
Everyone just wants to wrap things up before the holidays — sellers, agents, banks — so you are likely to find that people are willing to work with you to get things moving along. Before signing on with your agent make sure you are both clear about your timeline and if/when they are taking a significant period of time off for the holidays. That way, you won’t be left hanging when they go missing for two weeks.
What else do you need to think about before you make the leap? Have a look at our preparation tips for buying a house this year.