Been thinking about buying a home? Well, maybe you should put it on your Christmas list. Whether you're shopping for must-have holiday toys or a new home, this season you're going to find a ton of price cuts.
Most people aren't looking to move during the holidays, but the average home that's on the market during this time will reduce its price somewhere between $2,000 to $10,000. Homebuyer traffic is very low in the winter, so usually only the most serious sellers having their homes for sale during the holidays. The asking price on some homes may have been reduced in price after they did not sell during the busier fall and late summer seasons. In fact, home prices are typically at their lowest of the year in December, although broader trends must still be taken into account. People showing their homes at that time of year are often hopeful of getting a sale nailed down by year’s end, so they may be more amenable to negotiation. The fact that it’s the holiday season also tends to put people in a more generous mood as well.
Although the holidays tend to be an off-season for the real estate and mortgage industries, there are some good reasons to buy a home toward the end of the year. Although if you’re going to do it, you need to get cracking now. Buying in the off-season can have many benefits for buyers. To entice buyers further, sellers will throw in extra "gifts" in the light of the holiday season, such as washer, dryers, refrigerators, even sometimes flat screen TV's at no extra cost.
For one thing, the fact that the holiday season is a slow one for the housing market works in your favor. There are fewer people shopping for a home at that time, so you have less competition bidding for the good properties. The competition among buyers is also low during this time, making the bidding process easier. Real Estate agents and mortgage lenders also have a lighter load, so they are more likely to focus on you more or process your deals quicker because they've got fewer deals to handle. Lenders may also be more willing to shave a few points off mortgage offer in order to make a deal, both because business is slow and also because they may want to get the loan on their books before year’s end.
There can also be a few downsides to buying a home over the holidays. Real estate agents may be on vacation, since it’s already a slow time for them. There may be fewer open houses where you can visit homes for sale. Your own schedule may be crowded with your own holiday preparations and activities. That being said, there are still some pretty good deals to be had by buying a home over the holidays. If the timing works for you, a new home can make a very nice Christmas present for you and your family.
It's clear that some serious deals can be had on real estate purchases at this time of the year, so if you're in the market for a home right now, you might want to skip the mall and go to an open house. If you are looking to catch an open house this weekend, check out 1505 11th Avenue North. This is a great home listed by one of my colleagues. If you think this might be your chance to find that special home you've been looking for, give me a call at 250-305-7034 and we'll start working on making your Christmas wish come true.