Are you buying a house in Southern California this holiday season? It can be a wonderful time to find your perfect home. Don’t let bustle of the holiday season dissuade you from finding a home you love. We have put together some great tips for buying a home during the holidays, so you can find your dream house, no matter what time of year!
Many people might be thinking about a new house, but find themselves waiting until warmer spring conditions arrive before they activity start searching. Because of this, the winter months can actually be the perfect time to search for your new home.
Buying a House in Southern California During the Holidays? Here’s What You Need to Know
Less Market Activity
Real Estate sales slow down during winter. Fewer people are uprooting this time of year. Some want to avoid moving during the cold, shorter days, while others don’t want to disrupt the school year. This can have many benefits for you.
- You will likely see less competition from fellow buyers. Sellers will have fewer offers to choose from, which will hopefully put your offer at the top of the list.
- Often times, interest rates are lower during winter months. With less activity, lenders are forced to compete by lowering their rates.
- With fewer closings taking place, lenders and title companies are able to process the transaction more quickly.
If a person has their home listed during the holidays, they will likely appreciate a closing before the end of the year for tax purposes. In this case, waiting until the last minute to put in your offer can actually work in your favor. A seller might be more willing to work with you if you are able to close by year-end. Investors might be more willing to part with unwanted inventory toward the end of the year.
People who are attempting to sell during the holiday season are often more motivated. People selling at this time of year usually have a reason why they need to move right away. Maybe they need to sell by year-end or move over winter break. Some might be relocating due to work, or needing to move within a specific timeframe. If you can find a motivated seller, you will likely be better able to negotiate on the price.
You See The House In The Worst Conditions
Imagine buying a house in the summer, only to find it turns into an ice box during winter months. It might be poorly insulated, or have a leaky roof. Seeing the property during the cold winter months can actually work to your advantage.
You might discover things that are often overlooked during an inspection performed in the summer. Check the house thoroughly for any heating issues or drafts. Are the windows and doors properly sealed? How much will heating the home ultimately cost you?
Things to Consider…
- If possible, ask to see a photo of the house during the summer months. The yard might look entirely different at other times of the year.
- Enquire about utility costs year-round. Electric, gas and water bills can differ dramatically depending on the season.
- Make sure that no matter what the weather is like, the house receives a proper inspection. If the weather is so bad that the inspector can’t get up on the roof, you might want to consider rescheduling for a more favorable day.
- If you are viewing a home on a wet or snowy day, be considerate of the property owner! Leave your muddy boots at the door! 🙂