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Home Buying During the Holidays
Christmas decorated front porch
Q: Is it a good idea to buy a new home during the holidays?
  A: While spring and summer tend to see the bulk of home sales, it doesn’t mean they’re the best times to buy a house.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of buying a house around the Christmastime.
The myth about buying in the spring  
Contrary to popular belief, springtime can be the worst season to purchase a home.

Sellers tend to mark up their prices when they see the demand for their homes. Also, the flooded market can lead to expensive bidding wars with buyers who are interested in the same homes. Plus, if you do find a new home during the spring, the closing process can drag out longer than necessary since title companies, inspectors and movers may be tied up during their busiest season.

Why winter holidays can be a better time to buy  

Shopping for a home during the winter, and especially during the holidays, offers the following advantages:

1. Homes are priced to sell
Most of the houses you’ll find on the market during winter will be holdovers from the previous seasons. At this point, homeowners may be desperate to sell and will likely be willing to compromise on their asking price.

2. Holiday spirit makes people more agreeable
Let this factor work in your favor by shopping for a home during the holiday season. You can walk away with a dream home at a dream price.

3. Fewer buyers on the market
You’ll have less competition when house-hunting around Christmas time.

This will give you an edge in bidding and make it easier for you to negotiate a lower price.

4. Professionals are available
December is usually the slowest month of the year for home sales. This can work to your advantage if you choose to buy a home around the holidays.
Your real estate agent will have plenty of time to show you around, and the various professionals you’ll need to hire during the home-buying process will be able to serve you promptly as well.

Before you go house hunting

While buying a house during the holidays can be a great idea, keep these factors in mind before starting your search:
 
  • You’ll have fewer homes to choose from in the winter.
  • Daylight hours are short, giving you less opportunity for house hunting.
  • You won’t be able to see a home’s property in full glory during winter.
  • Some sellers may refuse to show homes during the holidays.
  • Inclement weather may delay some parts of the home-buying process.
 
If you’re in the market for a new home, make sure to stop by OCCU to ask about our home loan options.
For articles and tips on home buying, refinancing and home safety/maintenance check out out the new  OCCU mortgage blog!
Shut the Front Door - Mortgage and Home Advice with Renee West
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