CHARLOTTE, N.C., December 11, 2006– While the spring and summer months are the traditional peak periods for home buying and selling, that doesn’t mean you should automatically put off house-hunting over the winter months. According to Bridget Smith, editor-in-chief of LendingTree.com Smart Borrower Center, there are several advantages to buying a home at the end of the year.
- Lower prices. A lot of people don't have the time or the desire to look for a house during the holiday season -- they're too busy shopping, going to holiday parties and catching up with family and friends. The slackening of demand may be reflected in softer house prices. Houses that failed to sell in the pre-holiday period may be reduced and new listings -- though sparse -- may be priced to reflect the slow market, which may pick gradually in the New Year. It's a good time to find a bargain.
- Less competition With fewer active house-hunters out there, you may be less likely to end up in a bidding war that would drive up the price for the house you want or put it beyond your financial reach. Less competition also could mean less stress for you during the negotiation process.
- Motivated sellers. Sellers who failed to make a deal before the holidays may be very motivated now, especially if their houses have been on the market for several weeks or months. They may want to avoid scheduling their holiday plans around viewings by prospective purchasers, which means they may be likely to look at any reasonable offer in a favorable light. Sellers may also be open to requests for extras like appliances and window coverings, or giving you the closing date you want.
- Favorable mortgage terms. Fewer home sales translate into less demand for mortgage money. Lenders may be willing to shave a few basis points off the interest rate they offer you or to forgo some of their fees in order to get your business. Make sure you shop around and compare multiple, real loan offers to get the best deal available.
- 2006 tax deduction. If you close on or before December 31, you may be eligible to deduct the interest component of your first monthly mortgage payment from your taxable income for 2006. You may also be able to deduct any money you pay for points to reduce the interest rate on your loan. Consult a tax advisor to see how the mortgage interest deduction applies in your situation.
About LendingTree, LLC
LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s number one online lending exchange, providing a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 20 million loan requests and $152 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, and credit cards via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.
Launched in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC is part of IAC Financial Services and Real Estate, an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI), which also owns or operates LendingTree Loans, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, RealEstate.com®, Domania®, and iNest®.