Are you waiting until spring to buy a house even though you could do it now? Rates are low, the economy has improved, and great deals are out there during the holidays. So if you're waiting it out, it has to be because of one of these four compelling reasons:
1. You like paying more
If you'd rather wait until everyone else in your area gets up off the couch and decides to get in the market, well, OK. But you will pay the price. Literally.
"Sellers who are actively looking to sell their home during the holiday months - namely, October through December - are serious about shedding the weight of their residences, said US News. "This often works in favor of savvy buyers looking to get a deal on discounted homes."
2. You like competition
You're not unique in your desire to get through the holiday season and the winter before undertaking the massive life change that can be a move to a new home. After all, the spring buying season is called the spring buying season for a reason: it's when buyers get it together to list their home and look for another, hoping the efforts of finding and selling and moving all line up perfectly - and over the summer when the kids are out of school. Makes sense, which is why everyone does it. And that's exactly why you should be doing it now, when very few people are.
"Less competition from other buyers during the holiday season might mean you'll be able to negotiate a favorable price for a home you want to purchase," said Bankrate.
Added Veterans United: "Winter is a buyer's market. With less competition and fewer dedicated house-hunters, the colder months present an opportunity to snag a good deal. Not only are asking prices typically lower, but you'll face fewer buyers offering competing bids. Even a small difference in price can mean significant savings in the long run. For example, let's say you're buying a house with 6 percent closing costs and a 30-year mortgage with a 3.25 percent interest rate. If your house costs $500,000 as opposed to $550,000, the total cost of your mortgage will fall by over $80,000. You'll feel the benefits of buying low for decades to come."
3. You hate getting a great deal
"Sellers tend to avoid the end of the year due to the short days, wintry weather and conventional wisdom that says buyers are otherwise occupied, said Bankrate. "But those who do choose to sell at year-end are often under pressure and highly motivated to cut a deal. And that's why the year-end might be a smart time to buy: Determined house-hunters can take advantage of sellers' urgency."
4. Interest rates, shminterest rates
Who cares if they're near the lowest levels in almost two years and are projected to go up next year. We've already established you're OK with the idea of paying more.
"The mortgage loan market is ‘at the cusp' of a turnaround when it comes to rising interest rates," said US News. "This means that for those who are looking to buy a home, the holiday season may be the last time to lock in low loan rates that could potentially start to climb."
It's hard to get motivated when there's fudge to eat and Christmas Vacation to watch
Yes, relaxing with a plate full of goodies and a holiday flick sounds great. You know what sound even better? Relaxing in your new home knowing you made a great investment. The ability to kick up your feet isn't going anywhere. But the house with the pool and the perfect layout that just listed in your ideal neighborhood for a reasonable price definitely is. The movie can wait. But will that home you've been eyeing still be there when it's over?