Many people dream of being home for the holidays, laughing around a roaring fire, sharing magnificent meals, and making memories they will cherish forever. But no matter how idyllic that sounds, it’s not uncommon for potential homebuyers to put off purchasing a new home during the winter months because they’re afraid of adding more stress to an already busy season.
Although buying a home is never going to be stress-free, here’s some good news: There is substantial evidence that shows winter might be the most wonderful time of the year to give your family the gift of a new home.
Housing Market Trends
According to real estate data curation provider ATTOM Data Solutions, the winter months are the best time for homebuyers to get a good deal. The group analyzed sales data for more than 39 million single-family homes and condos over the past nine years. The results show that October is the best month to close on a house. In October, homebuyers average a 3.3 percent premium compared to 10.5 percent if they purchase in May.
5 Reasons Why the Holiday Season Is a Great Time to Buy a House
If you’re still on the fence about whether it’s worth adding a home to your holiday shopping list, here are five more reasons it’s the perfect season:
1. Less Competition
Homebuyers are out in force during the spring and summer, but fewer people are motivated to move during the winter. With less competition for the available inventory, you aren’t likely to end up in a bidding war and paying more than the listing price for a home.
This brings us to the next point:
2. Lower Prices
If a home is listed for sale during the winter, there’s a good chance the owner needs to sell. Most houses are priced to move quickly this time of year, as opposed to the summer months when there is high demand and houses are priced to maximize profit.
3. Motivation to Get to Closing Quickly
Sellers aren’t the only people who want to get to the closing table fast. Real estate agents are excited to squeeze in one last commission, lenders are ready to close their books for the year, and everyone—from underwriters to inspectors to closing agents—wants to free up time to spend with their families.
4. Possible Tax Benefits
Depending on your unique tax situation, closing on a new home at the end of the year can have significant benefits. For example, if you itemize deductions, you may be able to claim mortgage insurance premiums, property tax, or any points you paid when you closed on the mortgage.
5. End-of-the-Year Sales on Home Furnishings
Almost every brick-and-mortar and online retailer runs an end-of-the-year clearance sale. This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade the furnishings in your new home and start fresh.
Potential Drawbacks to House Hunting During the Holidays
There are many reasons to consider buying a new home during the holiday season, but it’s also important to conduct your due diligence. Here are a few obstacles to watch out for when house hunting in the off-season:
- There is less housing inventory this time of year, so you’ll have fewer choices.
- Inclement weather might make it difficult to identify problems with the house, but it could also uncover other issues you may have missed.
- Key players in the buying process may be slower to respond or out of the office more frequently.
Are You Ready to Be Home for the Holidays?
The winter months aren’t typically considered a prime time to buy real estate because many families are busy planning, preparing, and celebrating the holiday season. However, if you are looking for a great deal on a new home, October through December is when you are likely to find one.
The FFB Mortgage Lenders team is excited to help you get into your new home just in time for the holiday season. Contact us or apply now to learn about all of the mortgage options we offer. Unlike that sweater Aunt Ida crocheted for you last year, we’re sure we’ll find your perfect fit.
About the Author
First Federal Bank Mortgage Lenders
We’re honored to be your partner in the homebuying process. And like any good relationship, it helps to know who you’re working with. A home is the most important purchase we can make in a lifetime. At FFB, we’re built to deliver exceptional customer service from your first call to your closing day and beyond. First Federal Bank has helped families find the right loan to fit their needs for decades.