November 12th, 2015
Buying a home during the holidays may be the best time to find your new home. Because there’s less inventory, you may have to review your game plan. You do have a plan for must have features and would like features and deal breaking features, right? This allows you to go into a house and figure out how closely it matches your dream home and what you’re willing to settle for. Keep in mind the “bones” of the house and the lot size. You can always look into remodeling or adding on.
Most people have stopped looking because they want to have a larger selection. Plus, there are a lot of family, work and school activities combined with bad weather in many locations. So even though the inventory may be lower, you may have a better chance at getting a home because there’s fewer people competing. You may also find better prices.
People selling their homes have often lowered their prices or are willing to make other concessions in order to get their place sold quickly. Some people had their homes overpriced and are more open to negotiating.
If it’s a recent listing, they’re very serious about selling this house. Perhaps they’ve recently gotten divorced, have to relocate for a new job opportunity, or are under some other personal pressure. This puts you, the buyer, in a much better position to negotiate and ultimately cut a deal, particularly since competition is minimal this time of year.
There are some strategies for finding hidden gems that aren’t on the market anymore. Work with your real estate agent and see if you can find some.
One strategy is to research “old expires,” which refers to homes that were for sale several years ago but weren’t sold at that time.
Another approach is for the broker to send letters to homeowners in your preferred neighborhood, fishing for someone who’s willing to sell a home that meets your criteria.
A third technique is to call brokers who sell a lot of homes in your target area and ask them about homes that aren’t yet listed, but are being prepped for sale and are “coming soon.”
Interest rates tend to trend down during the holidays due to limited demand which creates greater competition amongst lenders. Get in touch with a professional loan officer to get a rate locked in when you get pre-qualified.
Everyone is motivated to get the deal done and there are fewer people needing to go through the closing process.
Make sure you talk with your real estate agent and mortgage about their holiday plans and get your expectations set.
Consult with a tax professional before you make your purchase. You don’t want to make the decision solely on a tax advantage, but it helps to get good advice before purchasing so you know what you can deduct. Usually, you can deduct home purchase costs, including mortgage interest, property taxes and points.