Many optimistic homebuyers begin their search in April, hoping to find their dream home among the vast array of new property listings. Spring is when there are more real estate listings than any other time of year. But, when homebuyers don’t find the perfect home after months of browsing listings, attending open houses, and touring model homes, it’s easy to become discouraged.
Springtime may be peak home buying season across the nation, but cooler temperatures shouldn’t put the freeze on your new home search. Concern about a smaller housing selection might be unnecessary when homebuyers recognize the benefits of buying a home during the winter months.
Here’s why shoppers should purchase a home this winter instead of waiting until next spring.
There’s less competition for your dream home.
Say goodbye to packed open houses and bidding wars. Since there are fewer homebuyers during the winter months, there’s less competition. All-cash offers or offers over the asking price should be less of a concern if you were repeatedly outbid during the peak shopping season. A traditionally financed contingency offer has a better chance of being accepted when there are fewer total offers per home.
Buyers might have access to additional funds.
Many employers offer annual bonuses to employees, paid at the end of the year or in early January. The extra money can help with the down payment and closing costs on your new home.
Shoppers obtain a realistic view of the potential home.
Winter weather can bring heavy rain, high winds, and other harsh conditions that can provide a preview of how the house will perform in less than ideal conditions. Shopping for a home in the off-season allows buyers to see past the lush landscaping, and instead witness first-hand if a backyard floods each time it rains.
Negotiations may extend beyond asking price and closing costs.
Homes may not sell during the peak season for a variety of reasons that have little to do with the house itself. When sellers continue the listing through the summer and fall seasons with few offers, lower bids are more likely to be given serious consideration.
Potential buyers are in a better position to request that the seller pays for repairs or improvements identified in the home inspection report, which are unrelated to structural or mechanical defects. Motivated sellers may be more willing to accept requests for non-essential items such as upgrades to appliances and light fixtures, deck staining, or landscaping.
Buyers can take advantage of tax savings sooner than later.
Closing on a home before December 31 can mean additional tax savings when you itemize deductions. It’s possible to deduct mortgage interest, which could be substantial, depending on your closing date. Consult with a certified tax professional to determine how buying a house will affect your tax liability.
Don’t leave your dreams of homeownership out in the cold. Let Generations Federal Credit Union assist you with home loan financing this winter. Start your Generations mortgage application online at MyGenFCU.org/Mortgage or dial 210.230.9380 to speak with a Home Loan Specialist.