You probably have plenty of things to check off on your holiday to-do list. And between buying gifts, decorating, baking some festive treats, and visiting with friends and family, buying a home likely didn’t make the cut.
But there are some very solid reasons to consider buying a home around the holidays if you’re ready to become a homeowner. Here’s how shopping for a home during the holiday season could work in your favor:
1. There’s less competition
Spring and summer are great times to buy a home if you’re looking for variety, as there are more properties on the market. But he flip side is that there are also more buyers out vying for the same homes.
You may find what you think is your dream house, only to learn that another buyer is sizing it up as well. In a worst-case scenario, you could end up locked into a bidding war.
Over the holidays, buyers may be more preoccupied with other things or they may be waiting until after the first of the year to buy so they can use their tax refund for a down payment. Buying a home around the holidays can mean a smaller pool of homes to choose from, but you may be competing with fewer buyers for the ones that are available.
2. Homes may be a bargain
Are you keeping an eye on your gift-buying budget over the holidays? While there are plenty of deals to be had on shopping, the savings also extend to home-buying. According to research from ATTOM Data Solutions, December 26th offers the deepest discount of the year for home buyers, with a median sale price that’s $2,500 lower compared to the rest of the year.
Home sellers may be more motivated to reduce prices before the end of the year to close quickly or take advantage of a last-minute tax break if they’re selling an investment property at a loss. Both scenarios could give you more negotiating power.
Of course, you’re not excluded from finding a bargain on a home if you can’t lock in a closing date around the holidays. According to ATTOM’s data, January and February still turn up plenty of discounts for buyers.
3. It may save on taxes, interest
The tax perks of owning a home also extend to buyers. If you’re buying a home around the holidays and you close before year’s end, you may be able to deduct any points paid towards your mortgage at closing, along with property taxes or homeowner’s insurance premiums.
You may also get a better deal when it comes to the interest rate on a home loan, as historically, rates tend to trend downward during the holidays. And if the new year may bring interest rate hikes, closing on a home over the holidays could help you secure a lower rate.
Buy when it’s best for you
Fitting in home-buying over the holidays could yield some valuable benefits, but buying at other times during the year also has advantages. For more on that, check out Finance of America’s seasonal guide to buying a home.