THE BLOG

House Shopping: The Holidays Can Be a Great Time to Buy a Home

12/12/2012 05:03 pm ET | Updated Feb 11, 2013
Saunders

The holiday season isn't traditionally a popular time to shop for houses, but it can be a great time to find a home, especially if you don't like shopping in a crowd. While the holiday season sees a dip in the number of homes listed for sale, there are still a lot of compelling reasons to add house hunting to a busy holiday schedule. Here's a list that could leave you in the holiday home-buying spirit:

  1. Motivated sellers: Since many home sellers pull their listings during the holidays or hold off putting them on the market, the ones that remain tend to be in more of a rush to sell. Some have to move before school starts again, and others simply can't risk losing out on a buyer. Either way, sellers are more motivated and it's easier to get a deal done.
  2. Less competition: Since fewer people search for homes during the holidays, buyers have less competition. This means that there is less chance of competing offers and there are better odds of getting a home for a lower price.
  3. Lower interest rates: Interest rates are lower than they've ever been before, and while there's no telling of whether they'll rise or fall in the immediate future, there's virtually no chance of them remaining this low for the next decade.
  4. More time to search: Most buyers have additional days off from work during the holidays and those can be used to really hit the pavement in search of a home. Since lenders and agents are experiencing less business as well, they might have extra time for the fewer buyers that are out there.
  5. Easy to identify problems: In colder climates like New York or Washington State, winter has a way of revealing problems that wouldn't be noticeable in summer. From noisy furnaces and heat pumps to drainage problems or leaks, winter's weather can be very revealing. It can also tell you just how much time you'll spend raking leaves. In warmer climates that attract retirees, like Florida or Texas, it can be an ideal time to beat the rush of snowbirds that will soon be arriving after they withstand yet another cold winter up north.

For all these reasons, the holidays could be the ideal time to find a home at a price you want. Just stay motivated and remember this motto: Neither snow nor rain nor limited selection nor vacationing agents/lenders shall keep you from buying a new home!