If you are ready to buy a home this holiday season but haven’t yet ventured into house hunting, I have some compelling information for you to consider. Just because the winter months aren’t typically the busiest time of year in the real estate market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy or sell a home. Although low inventory and steep competition have made it a challenging year for home buyers, there are advantages to buying during this typically “off” season. Read on for three advantages that showcase the benefits of why you should buy a home this holiday season.
1. Lower Prices
If the past is any indication, we will likely see a drop in home prices along with the drop in temperature. This year, the seasonal dip for inventory isn’t expected to be as low as previous years since the spring market had a slow start. Yet still, January tends to be the month where home prices bottom out, in contrast to the high prices we find in the summer months. A drop in prices will mean lower median prices, making it easier to get a better deal when purchasing a home.
“Over the last decade, the median home price on average falls close to 10% from its peak in June to its seasonal low in January of the following year. On a median-priced home, you could be saving more than $30,000 if you’re willing to deal with less choices in the second half of the year.” – Ruben Gonzalez, KWRI Chief Economist
Take this for an example – if a home outside your price range didn’t sell over the summer or fall, there’s a good chance that the listing price will decrease and put that same property within reach for your budget. For first time home buyers, house hunting during the winter may seem less intimidating and stressful without the high price points that we’ve seen over the last two seasons.
2. Sellers are potentially more motivated
It’s no secret that the past two years have been a seller’s market. Yet anyone looking to buy a home this holiday season should be aware that someone listing a property in the middle of a busy time of year could be a signal of need rather than want. Selling a house during the holiday season may be driven by a new job offer requiring relocation, a property passed on from the loss of a loved one, or a financial challenge that necessitates listing a property for sale. Either way, sellers face a unique set of challenges during this time and avoiding that added stress may lead to a better deal for buyers.
For example, think of how much you have going on between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If you were on the other side of the negotiating table, you’d hardly think that a busy holiday season was the best time to sell. Seller’ that are serious about selling their property must keep their home clean and available, often on short notice, during a busy time that may include hosting friends and family for holiday gatherings, wrapping presents, and decorating.
While you shouldn’t assume that every seller in the holiday market is under financial stress, you should know that the majority of sellers may want to avoid the hassles of moving during the winter months, and that could lead to you scoring your dream home for much less than during the warmer months.
3. Less Competition
Summer is typically the busiest time in the real estate market because buyers are more likely to purchase a home with enough time to settle in before the school year begins. That means that by the time winter comes around, they are less likely to want to uproot their children and switch schools, which typically leads to less competition in the market. If school is not a factor in your home search, this can open new opportunities for you. While lately multiple-offer scenarios are the norm, with less buyers in the market, there’s a better chance you will have your offer accepted and avoid a bidding war.
No matter the season, you can count on me
With winter weather may come lower prices, motivated sellers, and less competition in the real estate market. If you are ready to buy a home this holiday season, winter offers attractive options that could lead to you getting a great deal on your next home. The only thing left is partnering with a local mortgage professional who’s ready to customize home loan solutions that meet your needs. Working with me at Fairway Independent Mortgage Newburyport, can give you the advantage that you need to secure your dream home. Through our FairwayAdvantage® Pre-Approval program, I’ll work with you to get you conditionally approved for a mortgage by a Fairway underwriter before you even see a single house! Contact me today to start the process or for more great home buying advice now and in the future.