This is a great post by Scott Hayes in regards to buying a home at this time of year. I understand that families with children prefer to relocate at the end of a school year, but if that is not your situation I encourage you to take advantage of all the season has to offer!
Tammy Pearce ~ 214-994-6474
People often remark that the real estate market slows down in November and December. Although this may be true, I certainly believe winter is one of the better times to buy. Not only do I encourage end of year purchasing for clients, but I've done so twice, the latest of which was last year.
Using Leverage To Your Advantage
Sellers don't typically expect to get lots of showing activity in the winter months, and they certainly have lower expectations when it comes to offers. No matter the local market conditions, this later time of year, can make for a a strong buyers market. Although we can't expect huge price reductions, there is nothing wrong with making a more aggressive offer given the lack of real estate activity. In warm climates, some estimates show sales activity dropping by twenty five percent. In cold weather regions, that number is north of fifty percent.
End Of The Year Tax Deductions
One of the best aspects of home ownership are the tax deductions that it offers. Buying at the end of the year will offer the buyer the chance to write off the loan origination points. And there are some other non seller paid closing costs that can be written off.
For states that offer homestead protection, home ownership has to be established by January 1 of the tax year. Buying by the end of the previous year will allow that to happen. Homestead laws not only offer owner protection, but in some states, such as Texas, it lowers the property tax basis for the home.
Sellers aren't the only ones who may end up discounting at the end of the year. I've found, that contractors business drops off dramatically in the winter. The same goes for retailers that deal in home improvement goods. While you may not experience tremendous savings, there is a good chance entities that deliver home improvement services, would have an incentive to offer attractive pricing, during this slow time of year. So if a house has *good bones*, but needs some updating, a buyer might be able to get favorable pricing on the home, and any work that might go in to it.
Timing Is Everything
There are thousands of articles devoted to the question of whether the current economic climate is a good time to buy. Investors don't write those commentaries, and likely don't read them. Because the market is now discounted, they know this when millionaires are made. Although we might not have the capability to increase our portfolio ten fold, the same thing applies to seasonal purchases. Buy when the supply is high and the demand is low. The winter is a great time to buy that first home, that rental property you always thought about, or that luxury home that has been sitting for sale for months.