The holiday season may seem like a less-than-ideal time to purchase a home. Many real estate agents may even advise buyers to wait until spring. However, while house hunting in the snow and cold temperatures may sound unappealing, many advantages exist for buyers willing to purchase a home in the winter.
So, what makes winter homebuying so great? Keep reading to learn more:
1. Quicker Mortgage Approval
Because so many buyers avoid the winter months, the holidays represent a slow season for mortgage lenders. This offers an advantage to you as the buyer, as you will likely not have to wait as long for approval.
Lenders have a higher incentive to close loans quickly when business is slower. Additionally, this quick closing may lead to lower overall costs and rates to your mortgage. Less competition with your mortgage lender may lead to a better rate!
2. Lower Home Costs
In winter, sellers may feel more pressure to sell their homes, leading to lower costs overall. Most sellers would rather spend the holiday season celebrating with their families than feeling the stress of selling a home, leading them to feel more anxious about selling quickly. This leads sellers to lower the cost of their homes.
Since sellers understand that many people see winter as a bad time to buy, they are more likely to lower prices in order to encourage offers and sales. This translates to huge savings to you as a buyer, making winter an attractive time for house hunting.
In addition, by the time December draws near many sellers have likely had their homes on the market since the spring or summer months. This leads them to drop their prices further, passing the savings on to buyers. Purchasing a home during the holiday season may just represent your best value.
3. Less Competition
Since most house hunters are focused on holiday celebration, the winter months offer the least competition when buying a home. This lack of competition saves you from potential bidding wars or multiple offers. Additionally, less competition increases your negotiating power.
Unfortunately, this competition may also affect the number of houses available on the market. Sellers may be deterred by the winter months the same as buyers, making your search more difficult. However, if you find a house that suits your needs available in the winter months, don’t assume you must wait to make a purchase.
4. Tax Benefits
Many people decide to buy a home rather than rent because of the tax benefits of home ownership. However, if you wait until January to close, you will miss out on the tax advantages until the following year. Buying in December offers deductions from home buying expenses such as property taxes, mortgage interest and even some of your closing costs.
5. Motivated Sellers
By the time the holiday season comes around, many sellers feel motivated and even anxious to sell their homes. This can mean they are more willing to negotiate with you on everything from the price of the home to closing costs. As previously stated, sellers would rather spend their holidays with family and friends than stressing over selling their home.
That being said, be sure you do not get swept up in the season when it comes to purchasing a home. Most sellers stage their homes, making a home feel more appealing than it actually is. Don’t allow yourself to be sold on a well-decorated home, especially during a festive holiday season. Make sure that the home really suits your needs, and you aren’t simply feeling emotional imagining your family celebrating holiday traditions in a well-decorated space.