While most people have their minds on holiday shopping, the season can be a good time to shop for a new home. Shopping malls can be crowded and e-commerce sites might be slow, but this could be the one market you have nearly all to yourself.
Yes, it’s a bit more difficult to get around in the late fall and early winter, and that’s what help keeps the looky-loos at home roasting chestnuts over an open fire.
The real estate pros at Realtor.com have come up with five good reasons for making an extra effort to buy a home at this time of year. Here’s their list.
Less competition from other buyers. As we’ve noted, most people have a lot of other things on their mind and have no interest in adding shopping for a new home to the list. This means less traffic to contend with at open houses and, more importantly, it reduces the possibility that the sellers will receive multiple offers.
Motivated sellers. People who are trying to sell their homes during the holidays are very likely to be especially motivated. Perhaps they need to move for a new job and want to get their kids started in a new school when the new term starts or their house has been on the market for a couple of months and they want to sell now. The end of the tax year also figures in for some sellers.
Tax advantages for buyers. While the proposed Republican tax plans could change the rules (a lot), under current law tax exemptions are available in some states and there are (for now) the mortgage interest and property tax deductions. Also, itemizing deductions may allow you to claim closing costs.
More realistic picture of the house. Unless you are looking for a home in a warm-weather climate, the homes you look at now won’t have green lawns and colorful flowers to distract you. You’ll also get an idea of how the house stands up to the cold weather. Is it drafty? Ask to see some recent heating bills. A thorough, professional inspection can help fill in any gaps about how the house may stand up to summer weather.
More help from real estate professionals. When traffic is slow, agents, mortgage lenders, inspectors and movers are a lot more available — and willing — to help you get the right house for the right price right now.
For more information visit the Realtor.com website.