While it's true that things do slow down in the winter, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it's cold. Yes, fewer homes are for sale. But there are quite a few darned smart reasons to buy a home in the winter. In fact, we'd argue that this might even be the best time to buy a home—if you can. Here's why.
1. There's less competition
Not everyone's willing to look at homes in single-digit temperatures. The months of May, June, July, and August make up 40% of existing-home sales, while January and February account for less than 6%.
Sure, more summer inventory means there's a better chance of finding your dream home. But your chances of successfully buying any home are higher when it's chilly. Fewer buyers mean fewer all-cash, over-asking offers—making your traditionally financed offer more appealing.
2. You can put the house through its paces
In most climates, winter puts stress on the home. That gives you the perfect opportunity to evaluate the property under the worst conditions possible. A home that might seem perfect during the temperate spring could look wholly different in the winter.
3. You can enjoy last-minute tax savings
If you're purchasing your first home, buying in the winter gives you a few extra months of potential tax deductions.
Depending on your local laws, you can deduct mortgage interest, taxes, and points—although you should consider talking to a professional before getting too excited. The new tax law might affect your mortgage interest deduction.
4. Homes close faster
In the busy spring and summer months, your mortgage broker might be backed up days or even weeks—which is beyond frustrating when your closing is planned around your lender's schedule. But during the holidays, DiBugnara says, things slow down by 25% to 30%.
That means you'll be cuddling up in front of that fireplace sooner than expected. Nothing wrong with that, right?
5. Mortgage Rates Have Dropped
Mortgage rates continued along their downward trend to end the year, according to the latest data from Freddie Mac released Thursday, December 27th.
“Rates continued their two-month slide and are currently hovering around the same level as the early summer, which was before the deterioration in home sales,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “The negative headlines around the financial markets are concerning, but the economy remains healthy, so the drop in mortgage rates should stem or even reverse the slide in home sales that occurred during the second half of 2018.”