You may think December is too busy to consider house hunting, but expert Robyn Woodman at Trulia.com explains that lower buyer competition, motivated sellers, and year-end tax benefits are good reasons to make a purchase now.
If you are in the market, it may be worth taking a vacation day to work with a realtor who probably has more time available for showings.
Homes are priced to sell in December because there are fewer active buyers. You may get to avoid multiple offers, bidding wars and escalator clauses.
For a home to be on the market in December there may be a need to sell due to a job relocation, financial hardship or personal change of circumstance. It gives you the opportunity to negotiate a price and closing date that works for you.
Closing by December 31st allows you to deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points on your loan and interest costs.
December is traditionally a slow month for mortgage brokers, meaning they may be motivated to offer special incentives and possibly waive or reduce origination fees. Quick turnaround times should allow you to negotiate a better price with the seller if you are able to close in under 30 days.
The slow month may help you get a good price from movers, contractors, repairmen and home inspection services as well. It never hurts to ask!
If building a new home, ask about holiday incentives, which builders may roll out in order to finish their year well.
Or consider purchasing a new-construction home where a builder may allow you to choose upgrades like custom cabinets, stone counters, or special flooring by closing before year-end.
The curb appeal of flowering landscapes may be lacking during the winter but heating, plumbing, roof and gutters can be tested and checked.
But remember - don’t stretch yourself to get into a home. Being house poor is terrible financial stress. Do your homework, pray for discernment, and use your home for His glory!
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