It’s a fact of military life. At a moment’s notice, even during the coldest time of the year, military families get orders to move across the country or around the world.
As a homebuyer, that timing could work in your favor. According to the National Association of Realtors, the slowest selling months are November to February. That’s when median sales prices of homes are typically lower and properties stay on the market an average of 90 days. As a result, many of the home buying pros you’ll need to rely on — realtors, brokers, and lenders — do less business during the winter months and will have more time available to assist you in finding and buying your new home.
With that in mind, here are five reasons buying in winter could be a smart move:
1. Tax Savings
If you close by December 31, 2019, you may be able to deduct mortgage interest and points paid on your loan. These deductions could be significant in the coming years too because you pay the most interest in the early years of your loan. Be sure to check with your tax advisor about your particular situation.
2. Less Competition
Buying in the winter knocks out a large chunk of the competition from other buyers, allowing you to be a bit more selective and not feel you have to make a fast offer. Fewer buyers means fewer all-cash offers and fewer offers over-asking price — so your traditionally-financed offer is more appealing, especially if you have a pre-approval letter from your lender.
3. Sellers are Motivated
As you peruse property listings, you’ll want to take note of how long a home has been on the market — referred to as “days on market” or DOM. If a house has been on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a while — say more than five weeks — you may be able to negotiate a lower price with the seller or have them agree to other concessions such as certain repairs or upgrades.
4. Testing of Harsh Conditions
Winter weather can stress a home’s heating and insulation systems, giving you an opportunity to judge how well they perform. Plus, you'll get a good idea of what to expect in the winter if that were your home. Is the driveway steep and difficult to clear? Does the porch freeze over? How does the landscape hold up? Does ice accumulate on the roof or in rain gutters? Winter lays bare any drafts or potential problems in drainage that are not as noticeable in warmer months.
5. You’ll be a Priority
During the busier spring and summer months, your mortgage lender might have a packed schedule of closings that could mean you might not be able to close for days or even weeks after your intended timing. During the holiday season though, business usually slows down for real estate agents, brokers and lenders, which could work to your advantage and help your loan close faster.
We’re Here to Help
If you’re looking to purchase or refinance your home this winter, there are several types of loans to consider. AMS is ready to assist you. Our mission is to ensure you, as part of the military community, obtain a low-cost and low-rate mortgage to build, buy or refinance your home. We want to make sure you get the right mortgage to meet your needs. Get a free mortgage assessment today or call us at 844-422-3622 to get started.