Is December Really a Good Time for Buying a Home?

Is this December a smart time for buying a home?

There are many debates on what is traditionally the best time of year for selling or buying a home, though from a home buyers’ perspective December is definitely one of the best and worst months.

This December in particular will be an excellent time to scoop up a great deal on a new home whether it is a new residence, second home or investment property but it also pays to be aware of the potential hazards as well.

There are typically far fewer serious buyers combing the market in December due to the holidays when shopping, travel and entertainment take priority. This means sellers get panicked as they see fewer bites on their homes and the offers fail to come in. Some homeowners will automatically drop their asking prices in response to this but all will certainly become more willing to negotiate and cut deals, at least if they are serious about selling.

Even banks and mortgage lenders will be more eager to fill their quotas and move more homes and non-performing loans off of their books before the end of the year, making it easier for some to grab appealing bargains on bank owned homes, REOs and short sale properties.

We’ve all heard again and again about how low home prices and interest rates are but what makes the last few weeks of this year different is the looming short sale and tax deadlines which will slap sellers with increased penalties if they don’t cut a deal before the end of the year.

So what’s the downside of buying a home in December? What most don’t get is that arranging an end of year closing certainly brings some frustration. Between staff taking extra time off and files being shuffled back and forth between workers at title, real estate and mortgage companies the real estate closing process can get drawn out, especially for those taking out a home loan. The key is to avoid planning a closing within the last couple of days of the month and to keep on top of everyone involved to head off delays early.