Some turn away from the idea of buying a home during the holiday season. Others may even discourage you from doing so. Typical real estate knowledge suggests that spring and summer are the prime seasons for purchasing as the weather is nicer and yards look better, as they aren’t buried under tons of snow.
There are some compelling reasons to buy a home during this time. However, tenacious and savvy home buyers are well aware of these opportunities, for ‘tis the season to be home buying and here are some reasons why!
Advantages of Buying a Home During the Holiday Season
1. More affordable homes
As compared to other seasons, listings during the holidays may be fewer, but buyers still have a good chance of scoring a good deal. This may not be the prime season for sellers, but you’ll still find homes on the market. This can put buyers in a leveraged position to negotiate for a lower price.
2. Enjoy less competition
During the winter, particularly during the holidays, people give gifts, indulge in shopping sprees and just hibernate. This makes it easier for you to search for and eventually buy a home as there are very fewer competitors. You’ll also be able to avoid heated bidding wars which can lead to exorbitant prices.
3. Score big savings
According to ATTOM Data Solutions, buyers are able to buy homes a day after Christmas and at a discount. That’s a sharp contrast to buying a home in June when people are paying about a 7% premium!
In a market such as in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), closing on a home during an unpopular season could score you big savings, even up to tens of thousands of dollars. According to a six-year analysis of house sales in the GTA, the sale price was about $43,000 less in January as compared to other months.
During the holiday season, interest rates on mortgages can be lower because fewer people are looking to borrow. Thus, always be on the lookout! Just stay in touch with your mortgage broker. As for sellers, they’re more flexible when it comes to giving home warranty or paying for renovations and repairs to give their buyers peace of mind.
4. Tax advantages for homeowners
If you close the deal before the year ends, remember to itemize the costs associated with moving, such as real estate tax and mortgage interest. These costs may be deducted from what you’ll be paying upon closing. You’ll definitely appreciate the benefits of tax breaks, especially since you have other costs related to moving.
5. Motivated sellers
Sellers want to close deals faster this holiday season. Use this to your advantage! Generally, most sellers want to complete transactions more quickly, especially before the year ends. Sellers want their profit sooner so that they can settle in their homes for the holidays. Of course, there’s you! You’d also want to settle into your new home as soon as possible too!
Since all parties are motivated, it’s expected that transactions run more smoothly and quickly.
6. More resources
While others are spending their extra money over the holiday shopping frenzy, savvy home buyers are taking advantage of the Christmas and year-end bonuses that are usually received during the holidays. For home buyers, particularly first-timers, this will definitely be a relief!
Important tip: When moving into your new home this holiday season, make the most of the holiday specials and discounts!
Home buying during the holiday season means more cash-on-hand, which can help as you place your down payment prior to moving in. When the new year comes, you’ll feel great that your money went to your very own home!
7. Faster mortgage approval
Generally, all parties involved in buying a home enjoy faster and smoother transactions. Lenders don’t have as many clients as compared to other months and they’re also about to close their books towards the year-end. Learn how to secure a great mortgage that’ll work for you. Chances are some lenders are more cooperative, so they may give a bit of leeway and reduce their fees during off-peak seasons.
Useful Tips to Keep in Mind
If you’re buying a home during the holiday season, you’re a serious buyer with immediate needs and no time to waste. Thus, here are some tips to keep in mind while buying a home this holiday season.
1. House tours and inspections are great during the holidays
The winter months reveal some serious problems not so prevalent during the warmer months. With the cold wind blowing in and snow piling up, you’ll be able to find out whether or not the furnace works. This is also the perfect time to inspect the house and find out if there are any maintenance concerns. Make sure to look at different parts of the home, such as the roof, driveway, fireplace, walls, foundation, porch, steps and the patio or deck.
Learning these tips can help you prepare and manage your budget for other related costs. You can even work on bargaining a good deal!
2. Dare to bargain
Always remember that sellers are highly motivated, which means that they want to close soon. Since there’s less competition, home buying during the holiday season is the perfect time to make bold bargains and negotiations.
The best thing to do is to dare to make a bargain by offering less for a home. While you’re at it, don’t forget to point out things that need repair. There’s a big possibility that you’ll get what you bargain for versus during other months.
3. Lean on the professionals for help
Shopping during the off-season means real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, lawyers and moving companies are not as busy as they normally would be during the spring or summer months. You should be able to get help more quickly, along with more detailed responses. Scheduling appointments and property viewings can be done on shorter notice, too, since everyone is not too busy (except for the holiday rush).
There’s a lot to be happy about during the holiday season. One would be the home buying advantages. After the crazy year that we’ve been through in 2020, it’s always best to end the year on a good note and buying a home can be a good idea.