By Elizabeth La Riva
With the holidays over, heading into the coldest months of the year, many people might assume that now is a terrible time to buy a home. However, now is the best time to score a deal on that dream house!
Here are a few reasons why it may be in your best interest to buy a house this winter:
The colder months tend to see less activity as far as listings and sales go. This may seem like a disadvantage; however, if you're able to find a house that meets your needs, chances are you'll also have found a motivated seller. The majority of homes are listed in the spring/summer, so if you've stumbled upon a listing that's been on the market for a while, the seller will likely be ready to negotiate.
If the home is newly listed, the seller may be eager to sign a contract before the new year. Tax implications or forced relocation are a few reasons sellers will be willing to accept lower offers.
We've all heard the story of the dreaded bidding war. It seems today's market is seeing this happen more than ever. Not only can it drive the price of the home above asking; you also run the risk of emotional overspending or losing the property altogether.
With the majority of buyers taking a break from house-hunting, now is an optimal time to start your search. With the likelihood of competing offers dropping significantly, buyers can regain some control during negotiations.
Lower Interest Rates
This is not a guarantee, however. Loan and mortgages interest rates fluctuate throughout the year, and historically hit lows during the holiday season. With less people looking to buy and borrow right now, interest rates tend to dip, which is a bonus for borrowers.
It may appear to be an insignificant rate difference; however, over the term of your mortgage, you'll be in for some serious savings. So while you're out and about this winter, make a trip to your bank for a mortgage pre-approval!
With fewer homes on the market, real estate agents tend to find themselves with more overall availability. If you're ready to buy a home, you'll benefit as your REALTOR® will have more time to dedicate to your search and negotiation once your dream home is found.
Not only does the real estate market slow down during the winter, so do related professions. Mortgage brokers, home inspectors and legal professionals all may have some extra time on their hands, meaning your deal may be able to close quicker.
Buying a new home during the winter can seem like a daunting task; however, if you're able to close on a deal in January or February, chances are you'll be enjoying the benefits for years to come! Lower purchase price and better interest rates are just a couple of the reasons why buying that dream house right now may be worth it!
Elizabeth La Riva, (R) ABR®, e-PRO®, MRP, is a native of Lima, Peru, and speaks fluent English and Spanish. She services the area of Oahu, Hawaii, and assists buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community.