While the holidays aren’t usually considered a great time to buy a home, less competition, motivated sellers and year-end tax benefits are some underrated pros of doing so. Here are a few reasons December is a great time to house hunt:
December is known for many things but purchasing a home isn’t one of them. This can work in your favor. With less buyer competition, homes are priced to sell. Multiple offers and bidding wars are also much less likely.
You don’t have to cram five open houses into your free Saturday or Sunday. Use your end-of-year vacation day to go check out available inventory during the week. Your agent probably has some time on their hands during the slow season and will be happy to accommodate your schedule.
If a home is on the market in December, there’s probably a specific reason the seller is moving like job relocation, financial reasons or personal circumstances. This gives you the opportunity to negotiate – come in under asking and pick a closing date that works for you.
Buying a home in 2016 is good for your bottom line when tax season hits. If you close by December 31, you can deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions can save you a ton of money, especially in the early years when you’re paying off interest.
With everyone off celebrating, December is a slow month for mortgage brokers. That means you can build the best mortgage possible. Since there are fewer real estate transactions, loan officers are more motivated to offer special incentives and waive or reduce origination fees. With so few loans going around, underwriting turnaround times will be quick. You can negotiate a better price with the seller if you can close in under 30 days.
You’re much more likely to find movers available at a convenient time for you in December than say September (when everyone is moving). You’ll probably also get a deal as well. The same logic applies to contractors, repairmen and home inspectors.
If you’re building a new home, ask about holiday incentives. Builders usually roll them out to finish the year with bang. Looking into new construction? December is the perfect time to buy. With fewer units sold throughout the month, the last few days are particularly important for sales.