Holiday home buying: is it good or bad? We get asked this a lot as real estate agents, and the truth is there’s no hard and fast answer. As with anything, there are pros and cons to buying a house during the holiday season.
The best choice for you depends on your timeline, your budget and how picky you are with the property you want to buy.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages now.
Why Buying During the Holidays Might Be Best
The holidays are hectic. And while off the bat, it might not seem like the best season – both money- or time-wise, to buy a house, there are actually quite a few serious benefits to entering the market during this colder time of year.
Here are a few reasons why buying during the holiday season just may be best:
There’s less competition.
During the holidays, there are fewer buyers looking for properties. Plain and simple. Most people are strict with their cash this time of year, and they’re not willing to put down the big bucks to purchase a new home while also trying to trim the tree and stuff their little ones’ stockings.
As a buyer, this can work in your favor. It means fewer bidding wars, more affordable listing prices and sellers who are more amenable to negotiating (more on this below).
Sellers are more eager to sell.
With less buyers competing for their properties, sellers are usually a little more desperate than they would be other times of the year. They’re willing to entertain lower offers to get their home sold quickly and efficiently, and they may even be willing to negotiate other parts of the deal, like covering your closing costs, realtor fees and other expenses. In the end, that can mean a better, more affordable home purchase for you.
Your interest rates might be lower.
Just as sellers have fewer buyers to work with, so do lenders. During the holiday season, mortgage lenders are forced to pull out all the stops to attract the few buyers on the market – and often that requires slashing rates to stand out from their competitors. And a lower mortgage rate? That doesn’t just save you money at the outset. It means a lower mortgage payment for the life of the loan – the entire time you’re in the property.
Your team may be more responsive.
Since the market is slower during the holidays, your real estate agent, loan officer and other helpful vendors along the way likely aren’t backed up or dealing with too many transactions at once. This means they can give you their full attention, be responsive to your needs and give you all the help you want as you go through the home buying process.
Potential Holiday Hang-ups
Despite all the holiday home buying benefits, there are a few hangs-up that might make buying a property a little bit more difficult than during other seasons.
For one, there’s less inventory. There just aren’t as many buyers looking to sell their homes, move and find a new property amidst the busy holiday season. They’ve got Christmas presents to buy, kids already enrolled in school, and the cold weather just isn’t ideal for a move. For these reasons, there may be fewer homes to choose from around this time of year. If you’ve got a specific type or style of home you’re looking for, this may make buying during the holidays more of a challenge – especially if you’re limiting your search to a small geographic area.
Another hold-up could be the availability of home buying help. Loan officers, agents, title companies and other vendors throughout the process may be off visiting family or offices could be closed for days or weeks at a time. This can make a fast and efficient home purchase a little harder to come by. Ideally, you would want to close on your property by the close of the year, so you can capitalize on the tax deductions your purchase would qualify you for.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
In the grand scheme of things – and given today’s historically low mortgage rates, the benefits of buying a home this holiday season far outweigh the drawbacks. Do you want help finding a home for your family this winter? Then contact The Claus Team today. Our Schertz experts are here to help every step of the way.