When the holidays begin to hit, the to-do lists also begin to rack up as gift shopping, sending out cards, planning family dinners, and other end-of-year tasks pile up. Home buying is the last thing on the list of tasks you should consider, right? Wrong. The truth is this: sometimes the holidays are the best time to buy a home. If you know what’s ahead and can appropriately plan, you may get the perfect home to claim as your own.
Here are five reasons why it could be a smart decision to buy a home this holiday season.
You’ll have less competition
If you’re thinking it’s too hectic to buy a home during the holidays, we can ensure there are many people who agree with you. The National Association of Realtors reports the slowest months for the real estate market are November through February. That doesn’t mean housing isn’t available, it just means fewer people are out looking to buy.
The Triangle market has started to ease up, with more inventory and fewer buyers looking for homes. You can take advantage of the less competition during this time, which means your searches won’t be frenzied and you can make offers that are closer to the asking price. This fact helps you save stress and money during an already-hectic season.
It can help with your taxes
When moving is top of mind, you’ll be more prepared to claim moving expensive on your taxes. Be sure to save receipts for everything from moving companies to storage units as you work through these details. You’ll need to fully understand North Carolina laws to ensure what you can claim as an expense. Talk to a tax professional to get a better understanding.
You’ll also be able to claim mortgage insurance and real estate taxes as itemized deductions, so keep those records close to make sure you’re getting everything that’s owed to you.
Sellers are motivated
Because sellers know they’re listing at a slower time and that there’s less competition, they are typically more motivated to accept offers. In addition, some sellers may be relocating for work, or banks may be looking to offload foreclosed properties before the end of the year.
Be sure to work closely with your Realtor to determine if a home you’re looking for has a seller who fits into a “motivated seller” category to best know how to tackle this type of sale. Just because they’re motivated doesn’t mean you should make an offer under asking price, either. They may just be more willing to move fast. Be sure to look for new construction in the Triangle, too. Some builders may be offering end of the year incentives that you can take advantage of.
Closings can happen faster
Just as the market is slower during the holiday season, so are mortgage companies. As sales slow, closings do, too, and these companies are more likely to do whatever it takes to hit their end-of-year goals as well.
As you look toward your closing date, try to be flexible, because office closures could create some delays if you aren’t careful. So, too, can the holidays themselves, as many of them are federal holidays that mean banks have fewer days open during the month. It will be well worth it to work through these delays as you plan to close during the holidays.
You can take advantage of seasonal sales
Once you have a new home to fill with furniture and accessories, those end-of-year holiday sales can help you get what you need for less. Watch for clearance sales from furniture, home goods, and specialty stores to find outstanding options for your new home.
For all these reasons, it’s an outstanding idea to close on a house at the end of the year. While things might be in disarray as you make the move, it’s certain you’ll never forget the memories you made while living out of boxes. It’s the great start to the holiday season.
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