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The holiday season is a busy and often stressful time. Many people don’t want to think about house-hunting with everything else going on, which is precisely why the end of the year may be the best time to buy a house.

Potential to Get a Great Deal
Since fewer people shop for houses during the holiday season, you might face significantly less competition than you would at other times of the year and be able to negotiate a lower price, especially if a homeowner was eager to wrap up a sale. If you’re open to buying a foreclosed home, you might get a great deal around the holidays since banks want to sell as many properties as possible by the end of the year. You might be able to buy a bigger and better home than you would otherwise be able to afford.

The owner of a house that needed repairs might be reluctant to lower the price under most circumstances. An owner who needed to sell soon, however, might be willing to accept a lower offer.

Mortgage interest rates rise and fall for various reasons. Since fewer people look for mortgages around the holidays, a lender might offer you a lower rate, which could make a significant difference in the overall cost of a house.

Limited Inventory
Many sellers take their homes off the market during the holiday season to avoid the stress of dealing with showings while decorating, shopping for gifts and hosting family and friends. On the other hand, those who choose to keep their homes listed might have to sell soon to start a new job or for some other reason.

Since fewer people list their homes around the holidays, the selection is more limited than at other times of the year. If you’re looking for a house with specific features, you could have a hard time finding it during the holiday season.

Other Potential Headaches
If you view a home when snow is on the ground, you won’t be able to get a good look at the outside of the house and the landscaping. That means you could miss some flaws or have an inaccurate impression of the yard’s appearance and be disappointed come springtime.

Many people, including real estate agents and home inspectors, take time off and financial institutions modify their schedules around the holidays. If you want to close on a house before the end of the year, be up front about that with everyone who would be involved in the process.

So, Should You Buy During the Holidays or Wait?
You might benefit from reduced competition around the holidays and get a home at a great price, but you could also have trouble finding a house with all the features you want. Look at the properties available in your chosen area and ask your real estate agent whether the holiday season is the right time to buy or whether you would be better off waiting for a larger selection.

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