It is hard to believe that today is already December first. I feel like we just rang in 2015 and in a few short weeks it will be over! I know most of our minds are filled with gift ideas, decorating plans, and hosting arrangements, but for many, thoughts are centered around open houses, closing costs, and moving. Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season is still pretty busy in the housing market. In fact, homeowners searching to buy a new home can usually find great deals in December.
According to Zillow, homes are historically priced lower in December than in any other month. Competition is pretty minimal at the end of the year, which would make you think the contrary, but placing a home on the market during this time of year is usually a sign of a motivated seller which puts the buyer in a great place to negotiate.
Secondly, and this is a big one, closing on a home before the end of the month will ensure some great tax savings. If you close before the 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and points on your loan on your income tax return. This can have a huge impact on your finances and is a great incentive if you ask me. As a side note, this may also add to the seller’s motivation to sell since they will want to enjoy tax benefits as well.
If you are looking to build a new home, you may find that builders are offering some great incentives as well to up their numbers for the year. While it’s important to note that winter weather will impact the actual building time, many builders will throw in extras to motivate you to work with them.
Additionally, the moving aspect is easier to coordinate. The summer, as we all know, is the busiest time of year in the moving industry. Movers are usually booked up to six weeks in advance, sometimes more! In the winter months, it’s much easier to book a mover on your desired date and with less notice. Just keep the holidays in mind and understand that most businesses are closed a few days around this time of year. Weekend or holiday moves will be higher in price than a regular weekday. Talk to your move coordinator about available dates.
With snow, decorations, parties, and holiday preparation, moving and buying a house isn’t a thought that crosses most of our minds around this time. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. A lot of people recognize the benefits of buying a home and moving during the winter and I hope that now you do too.
Have you ever moved over the holiday season? What benefits (or obstacles) did you come across? Share them in the comments below.