If you are thinking of buying a home during the holidays, remember the small things, such as setting a closing date that doesn’t interfere with your celebrations. Once you close, you’ll have to move, so if the closing date is on December 23 and you celebrate Christmas, your celebration will most likely be spent moving and unpacking.
You want to be home for the holidays, whether it is in your new home or your current home. The major things to think about when buying a home include how much down payment you’ll need, what the interest rates are and how much home you can afford.
Tips for Buying a Home
Before you even start looking for a home, you should have the answers to several questions, including what your budget is for a mortgage payment, how much you will be putting down, what the interest rates are and how much home you can afford.
Knowing how much home you can afford means having a budget with all of your liabilities and monthly payments listed. Interest rates are on the rise, so buying sooner rather than later is better. However, the market is still a seller’s market, which means that more people are looking for a home than there are homes available – including new construction. It may take you some time to find a home, and you’ll want to move fast.
When buying a home in such a competitive market, you should have a pre-approval from the bank and your down payment should be stashed away. You need to be prepared to move quickly with a better offer than the next person.
When to Sell a Home
Since this is a seller’s market – more people are looking for homes that what is available and interest rates are still low – this is a great time to sell a home. If you do sell your home right away, be sure to select a closing date that is after the holidays, if possible. You should speak with your tax accountant or a tax attorney regarding tax consequences of selling before the end of the year or after the beginning of the year. If you better benefit from waiting, make your closing date for early in January.
In cases where the buyer is getting a mortgage, the lender may not be ready until after the first of the year, since we are now in the middle of December.
You should also keep in mind that if you put your house on the market now, you will have people traipsing through your house during the holiday season. This is a season that is very busy for some people, so take your normal holiday celebrations and activities into account before putting your home on the market at this time of year.
When to Buy a Home
The sooner you buy a home, the more home you can probably afford since interest rates are on the rise. Don’t forget, there is more to buying a home than knowing what the mortgage amount is and how much down payment you need. You’ll have to fund escrow, pay for inspections and you’ll have closing costs such as recording fees and title costs.
Buying now means that you’ll most likely have a lower interest rate than if you wait until the new year. A lower interest rate means that your payments will be lower or that you could afford a more expensive home.
Contact On Point Carolinas Realty
If you have enough of a down payment, have a pre-approval and know what your budget for a new home is, now is the time to buy. Unless you are paying cash, you most likely won’t close until after the new year, so you won’t have to worry about having the move interfere with the holidays. On Point Carolinas Realty will be able to help you make a decision as to whether this is a good time for you to buy or sell.