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    Buying a Home During the Holidays

    Turkeys, tinsel, dreidels, holiday lights, children’s and grandchildren’s holiday concerts, parties galore, and of course, everyone’s favorite, pumpkin pie. The holidays are here again, with more activities than a normal day’s time allows. For some, it’s even the perfect time of year for… house hunting?

    OK, the Real Estate Professionals at Keller Williams The Trembley Group know folks are busy enough planning family feasts and taking a much-needed vacation from the daily grind, all the while dealing with unpredictable and occasional Myrtle Beach blustery weather. But while dealing with holiday parties, religious ceremonies, last-minute holiday gifts, and visiting friends and relatives, it might seem counterintuitive to put a big-ticket item like a home on the holiday shopping list, it really does make sense.

    Everybody knows the holidays are a great time to spend time with family, but it’s also a great time to snag a great real estate deal. And while savvy shoppers believe the big savings are found standing in line outside a Best Buy or Sears on Black Friday, home buying trends prove that some of the holiday’s best deals can be found buying Myrtle Beach real estate, not 42-inch television or a 12” chop saw.

    In fact, buying a home on Dec. 26 can save a homebuyer much as $2,500 on the sales price, according to an analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions, an independent real estate market research company. Nationwide, December held seven of the top 10 days where buyers snagged the best price discounts on a home purchase, making it the best month to buy a home, ATTOM found.

    “Right around Thanksgiving, in particular, is a great time to (put in an offer) given that Dec. 26, 29 and 21 are all in the top 10 of best times to buy,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of communications with ATTOM. He notes that it can take about 30 days from the time an offer is submitted to close a home sale. “It’s the housing market’s version of a Black Friday sale,” according to Blomquist.

    The study looked at more than 18 million single-family home and condo sales from 2013 to 2017. To calculate the premium or discount paid on a given day, ATTOM compared the median sales price for home purchases closing on that day with the median automated valuation model, or AVM, price on the same homes at the time of sale. Seven out of the top ten days to buy a home are in November or December. According to the study, these are the best days of the year to buy a home.

                                    

     

    The 10 Best Days to Buy a Home

     

    Rank   Day

    1      Dec. 26     

    2      Dec. 7       

    3      Dec. 4       

    4      Dec. 29

    5      Dec. 21     

    Rank Day

    6      Dec. 1       

    7      Oct. 12

    8      Nov. 9

    9      Feb. 9

    10   Dec. 8

    The saying all real estate is local still applies when timing a home purchase. Homebuyers in warmer climates with beautiful scenery like Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand may not see as large of a price break during the holidays as those farther north where the weather is more of a factor in keeping buyers on the sidelines, Blomquist says. While buying Myrtle Beach real estate may be a little of an advantage around the holidays, it’s not as big of an advantage as it is in the Northeast and Midwest.

    Negotiating a lower price isn’t the only good reason to buy a home during the holidays, real estate experts say. December is the month before the Federal Reserve’s usual interest rate hikes. Mortgage rate spikes can add substantially to borrowing costs and for many buyers put their dream house out of reach.

    Danielle Hale, a chief economist with Realtor.com, says that sellers may be more flexible about negotiating the closing date and paying for a home warranty to give buyers more peace of mind. You might also have more luck submitting a smaller earnest money deposit — something that’s less likely to fly when sellers are fielding multiple offers during busier times of the year, Hale says.

    “While everyone else is out celebrating and shopping — reducing buyer volume — those who shop (for a home) will be met by sellers willing to make a deal,” she says.

    The Keller Williams The Trembley Group Realtors are all schooled to ask their clients lots of questions – to understand as much as is possible, exactly what’s important to their clients in Myrtle Beach real estate. Their job is to find a house that meets their clients’ must-haves as perfectly as possible. This is especially true when inventory is limited. A Keller Williams The Trembley Group client shouldn’t be deterred from looking for the perfect home and making an offer during the holidays.

    Don’t believe us? In addition to a price-break, here are some more surprisingly smart reasons to let someone else hit the mall to buy half-off sweaters while you’re looking to make the Myrtle Beach real estate purchase of a lifetime.  What better way to ring in the New Year than with a new Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand house?

    Moving during the holidays can be a headache with all the seasonal activities and obligations – not to mention unpleasant weather in many locations. However, there are plenty of positives to buying a home during the holidays that may make the headaches of moving worth the effort, including the seven listed below.

     

    • Greater Accessibility to Professionals

     

    December is usually a slower month all around in the real estate business. Homebuyers have easier access to movers, inspectors, and mortgage brokers. The Keller Williams The Trembley Group always go above and beyond when serving their clients, but with fewer business time demands during the holidays, the motivated real estate professionals bend over backwards to provide outstanding customer. Service. 

     

    • Motivated Sellers

     

    Webster’s Dictionary defines “leverage” as the ability to “use something to maximum advantage.” And when it comes to buying real estate during the holidays, there may be a no bigger form of leverage than the motivation of sellers.

    If someone is selling a home during the holidays, chances are, they have a compelling reason to do so. This can be for a variety of reasons: impending job relocation, unexpected events in the family, the desire to be in that new 3,500-square foot house by Christmas.

    This is doubly true if the property has been on the market for a while.

    There are extra hurdles with holiday home buying one must jump over: bad weather, slow financing, the possibility that snow could mask systemic problems with a property. But by “zigging when others are zagging” – and using holiday home buying trends as an asset, instead of an obstacle – a smart homebuyer might find the best real estate opportunity of the year when the weather is cold.

    Home sellers don’t enjoy moving over the holidays any more than homebuyers do. It’s likely that people who are selling their homes over the holidays are highly motivated to do so. Perhaps they must relocate for a new job, or their home has been on the market for a long time and they need the money from a sale before the year is out. Combine motivated sellers with decreased competition and you have great leverage to get a better deal.

    Since the holidays are not prime time for sellers, it’s likely that homebuyers will find many homes on the market really need to sell. This puts homebuyers in a good position to negotiate a lower price, or to get certain repairs or upgrades included in the buying cost. For those who are on the edge of being able to afford to buy a house or not, this could be just the edge needed to get out of renting and into homeownership. 

    Less Competition from Other Buyers

    The holidays aren’t generally the time of year when most people get excited to buy a house, so motivated homebuyers can house shop with very few competitors. Compared to summer home buying madness, most homebuyers find it refreshing to know you don’t have to be ready to run to a house viewing at a moment’s notice or risk losing it. This is especially true in “hot” areas like Myrtle Beach and anywhere along the Grand Strand.  

    The same issues that make holiday moving a hassle tend to keep people from shopping for homes at that time. While there may be fewer homes available, there are also fewer homebuyers – and that equals less competition for most any home on the market.

     

    • Faster Closings

     

    Home sellers aren’t the only motivated folks involved in the home buying process during the holiday months. Lenders, brokers, realtors — even inspectors — are often motivated to get a deal done before the end of the year. This can bring welcome focus and speed to a process that can take longer in non-holiday months. 

    As a general rule, everyone involved in a holiday real estate transaction wants to complete the transaction before the year ends. Buyers want to settle in their new homes (and if sellers are relocating, they want to settle in before the holidays as well). Lenders want to include the loan on the current year’s books. Real estate agents and brokers want to include their commission on the current year’s income. Motivated parties all want to make the closing process go as smoothly as possible and the homebuyer needs to do their part by having all the required paperwork in order.

    • Better Interest Rates

     

    Interest rates are still near historical lows. While the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been rising throughout 2018, it is still under 5%. As of this writing, interest rates are slowly sinking as we enter the holiday season. Online calculators are available to show exactly how much a homebuyer can save over the life of a mortgage. Most first-time homebuyers are surprised at the savings. Remember that a credit score will affect a mortgage rate and even keep a homebuyer from qualifying for one.

    Buying real estate in the holiday months does not guarantee a purchase will be secured with a lower interest rate. Anybody with even a little bit of real estate experience knows that interest rates fluctuate and aren’t easily predicted based on the time of year.

    But, historically, interest rates tend to be lower during the holidays. And not due to mortgage lender’s “Yuletide cheer,” but limited demand (there’s just less financial business being done in late November and December).

    So, while lower interest rates aren’t a guarantee when buying a home during the holidays – few things in real estate are a guarantee – homebuyers can often find attractive financing during the holiday months.

    Since interest rates on mortgages and loans go through swing cycles, hitting a low point near the holidays because fewer people are looking to borrow. Talk to a Keller Williams The Trembley Group Real Estate Professional early in the home buying process for a recommendation of a mortgage lender. Get in touch early to discuss rates and be ready to watch the trends and lock in a rate at the best time. Also, remember that banks are closed more around the holidays, so do the majority of loan preparation before the prime holiday season.

     

    • Tax Advantages of Buying Real Estate

     

    When a homebuyer closes on a new home before the end of the year, they can itemize some of the costs associated with moving like Real Estate tax and mortgage interest– sometimes even the costs associated with hiring a local moving company if your move is work-related. With all of the other costs associated with moving, home buyers appreciate the benefits of that tax break now rather than a year down the road.

    In case homebuyers aren’t aware, the tax benefits go both ways, notes Keller Williams The Trembley Group Realtor Eric Graham. Buying before year’s end can help save on federal taxes in April and beyond. Homeownership brings numerous tax perks, from deducting mortgage interest to property taxes. Homebuyers should check with their tax accountants to discuss the South Carolina homeowner’s tax exemption. For most homeowners, that tends to be a valuable tax savings. 

    Also, many closing fees are tax-deductible if a taxpayer itemizes – although homebuyers should always double-check with their accountant about any tax questions.

    The particular tax advantages will obviously depend on a homebuyers’ particular financial situation, and what their tax liability looks like for the current calendar year. But closing on the purchase of a property, in the waning months of a year, can give homebuyers major tax advantages heading into the following year.

    If a taxpayer itemizes deductions, they may be eligible to deduct home purchase expenses like points paid upon closing, prorated property taxes, and prorated mortgage interest. If those buying a house as an investment, they can create a business entity that is eligible for even more tax benefits.

    The tax benefits depend on a homebuyer’s particular tax situation. No one should ever buy a property simply for tax benefits. A home purchaser should consider current Myrtle Beach real estate market trends, not just the tax benefits. Oftentimes added tax benefits, from the purchase of real estate, can give you flexibility when it comes to coming up with your final, best offer on a property.

     

    • Related Seasonal Sales

     

    Most new home buyers need a few new things to finish out their new home. For those needing new furniture to furnish that new guestroom or a new loveseat for the living room, what’s a better time of year than the seasonal and end-of-year clearance sales?

    These tips don’t always apply during every year or in every market, but the holidays usually provide these advantages to potential homebuyers. Call a Keller Williams The Trembley Group Real Estate Professional and check out the conditions in the local market. A great deal on the home of your dreams is waiting. And don’t worry about moving during the holidays. Santa will still find you.

     

     

    Need help? Call Keller Williams The Trembley Group at 843.945.1880 ext. 1 and we’ll help you look for the perfect listing or buyers agent

    Hear what our happy clients have to say: click here

    At Keller Williams The Trembley Group, we pride ourselves on being the experts at more than just selling real estate. We are local residents, some of us have been here for a lifetime. The rest of us will be here until the end of time. We love living, working, and playing in the diverse backyard of Coastal Carolina, and look forward to helping you live and love your dreams soon too. Please reach out to us by phone or email for personalized 6-star service and one-on-one advice. 

        

     

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