December isn’t what you’d call prime home buying season. In many states, home buyers can’t see the yard or flower gardens because everything is buried under snow. There’s a reason that the top months for selling homes are May and June. But you might not have a choice about buying in December.
Maybe you’ve just taken a new job and are relocating. Or perhaps the opportunity to scoop up a deal on your dream home is too good to pass up. Whatever your reason for buying a home in December, you can save even more if you hire a realtor willing to offer a home buyer’s rebate or lower commissions. What else should you know about buying in December?
December is a Great Time to Get a Deal
The end of the year can be a perfect time to buy if you’re looking for a deal. If sellers still have homes on the market they’re highly motivated and, likely, must sell. They’ll be willing to entertain lower offers than they might during the spring and summer.
Data supports this, as buying in December can save you up to $2,500. And seven of the top ten days to get price discounts on homes are in December. The smallest percentage of homes sell above their list price in December, only 16%, which is something to consider if you’re in a seller’s market.
Work with an experienced realtor to help during the negotiation process, as they can identify why the seller has their home listed and how to prepare an offer that will appeal to them.
December can Save You on Other Home Buying Expenses
Moving during December if it’s icy and snowing outside doesn’t sound like a great time, but you’ll get a great deal if you hire movers. While many moving companies hire seasonal labor and might have laid off workers after the summer, but they’ll still have a few employees on call. And because there’s less demand, they’ll have the flexibility to fit your schedule.
But expect delays, whether due to fewer daylight hours or weather conditions. If you’re making a move cross-country, try to ship ahead a few items such as pots, dishes, and towels, to see you through a few days if your mover is late.
Consider Interest Rates when Deciding to Buy
The right time to buy a house also depends on overarching economic conditions. The Fed Funds Rate strongly influences prevailing interest rates on mortgages. They don’t set the rates, but they do set the rates that banks pay to borrow and lend to one another.
The rate that a home buyer pays on their mortgage will always be higher than what a bank could receive by lending to another bank. As the Fed Funds Rate rises, it becomes more expensive for banks to borrow, and they pass that increase onto consumers.
Look at Your Finances before Buying
Your financial situation could lead to purchasing a home in December. If the money you’ve saved for your down payment could buy you more house when prices are lower, you may choose to buy. Or you may finally hit the savings threshold you were shooting for and don’t want to wait or keep paying rent.
Average rents are at an all-time high nationwide. Many renters are growing tired of paying high housing costs without the benefits of a mortgage interest deduction or building equity. Sometimes your monthly mortgage could be less than what you’re currently paying in rent.
When making that decision, however, make sure that you take into account other expenses related to homeownership, such as real estate taxes, upkeep and maintenance, and homeowner’s insurance.
Buy when you’ve Got Your Team in Place
While you’ll find many people eager to work with you in December, you want to find the best realtor, mortgage broker, and moving company to make the entire process as smooth as possible. It’s especially important to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Though sellers may need to sell and could have become desperate by December, they also don’t want a deal to fall through. And you probably won’t want to drag out the moving process this time of year. An experienced team will be moving you into your new home in no time.
If you think it’s time to buy your first, or a new, home in December, contact Clever today. The experienced Partner Agents in our network know how to maximize timing, no matter what month it is, to find you a great deal.