The end of the year is upon us, and you still haven’t found a new home. Friends and family are likely advising you to put your real estate search on pause until spring, but something tells you this isn’t the best idea.
This is definitely a time to go with your instincts and keep searching, as your dream home — and an amazing deal on it — might currently be on the market or soon making its debut. GOBankingRates spoke with several real estate agents who shared seven advantages of buying a house at the end of the year.
Connect With a Highly Motivated Seller
“Ask yourself this, who thinks it is a good idea to put their home on the market around the holidays or sell their home so they have to move during the holidays?” said Greg Hriso, a real estate agent at Homie Colorado. “Typically, a more motivated seller.”
During this time of year, he said buyers can take advantage of the opportunity to pick up a home with little-to-no-competition.
“Once the snow flies, most sellers still on the market have a pretty important reason for selling,” he said. “Otherwise, why deal with strangers with snow on their shoes touring your home at inconvenient times?”
If you’re concerned about the affect rising interest rates will have on your monthly payment, he said buying at this time of year can help you save money.
“There is also a better chance of getting seller concessions to buy down the interest rate this time of year,” he said.
Score Builder Incentives
“Depending on a home builder’s fiscal year, there may also be more incentives to get existing inventory off their books,” Hriso said. Therefore, he said buyers might be able to get some of the best builder incentives of the year to move into a brand new home.
“One of the best deals I ever got for a client was on a builder’s existing inventory that they really wanted closed before December 31,” he said. “The client and I still talk about what a great deal that was every time we see each other.”
Be Home for the Holidays
“I have had buyers that wanted to close a week before the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas to be able to enjoy the city and host in their new homes,” said Andy Feiwel, a real estate agent with Compass in New York City. “New York City is always an extremely festive and vibrant place during the holidays with window displays, tree lighting ceremonies and lots of socializing and parties.”
Whether you happen to live in New York City or elsewhere, securing your new home for the holidays can be an amazing gift to yourself and your family. Host a gathering or simply enjoy the comfort of knowing you have your own oasis to come home to amid the chaos of the season.
Enjoy Tax Benefits
Buying a home at the end of the year offers a huge tax advantage, said Ron Wysocarski, a real estate broker and CEO of the Wyse Home Team Realty in Florida.
“The benefit is the ability to save tax from property taxes or by deducting the mortgage interest,” he said. “The seller benefits from minimizing deductions and is therefore always open to discussion.”
He said even accepting a loss that will balance their income can be acceptable to a seller. “The transfer of ownership results in significant tax advantages for both the seller and the buyer during this [time of] year,” he said.
Cash In on an Income Property
If you’re thinking of purchasing an income property before the end of the year, Ryan Pineda, CEO of Tykes, said this can be a lucrative idea.
“For many investment properties, you have the opportunity to do a cost segregation and get a huge write-off for bonus depreciation,” he said. “Tax write-off is a huge advantage before the end of the year.”
See the Property at an Off-Peak Season
In many parts of the country, the end of the year brings less-than-ideal weather. This gives you a unique advantage, according to Michael McGivern, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Integrity Lakes, because it’s a lot easier to make a home look pristine in the summer months.
“When homes are on the market in quarter four, suddenly, you realize how daunting raking the front and back yard is, there are a couple of rough patches in desperate need of fresh sod and there is a lot of moisture in those windows in need of replacement,” he said. “Ownership comes with home maintenance, and people who buy in the summer often realize their home isn’t faultless in the fall.”
If you find a place that looks great at the end of the year, he said you can probably feel confident it will look even more amazing next summer.
Get All the Help You Need Without a Wait
Moving is hard work, but during peak homebuying months, it can be hard to find professionals with availability to take on new projects.
“Due to the lower demand for movers and contractors in the colder months of the year, you should have no problem getting help,” said Cameron Berens, a real estate agent with B&B Home Advisors in Kentucky. “Whether it’s hiring movers, or getting that kitchen remodel started right away, the wait time should be less this time of year.”
By Jennifer Taylor
November 15, 2022