We've been in the homebuilding business for 22 years. We always say that the REAL buyers are house-hunting in December and January. Those are the people that really have a need to buy...maybe relocating, maybe a new baby on the way, maybe bringing second generation into the home with them. Whatever the impetus, they are out looking for a house while everyone else is out Christmas shopping or staying warm by the fireplace. And the December/January buyers are likely to get the best deals.
The "tire-kickers" and "window-shoppers" come out after the Super Bowl. Those are the people who are "just looking." They are dreaming of a new home, and they are checking the prices to see what type of home might eventually fit their dreams. They are in no hurry at all...In fact, it would actually be easier to move "during the summer when the kids are out of school." There is always some sort of priority that trumps moving. Nevertheless, it's fun to look and to compare one home to another.
This year, more than ever, is the year for the REAL buyers in December and January. The $8,000 tax credit has been extended until April 30, 2010, for first-time homebuyers. In addition a new $6,500 tax credit has been created for people who already own a home. Both categories of homebuyers must sign a purchase agreement prior to May 1. Details are available at www.realtor.org.
Interest rates are near 5%, but who knows how long that will last? If you have a good credit history, the lenders are anxious to get your business.
And, of course, you'll find a high inventory of homes waiting for you. Many prices have been slashed as sellers become more impatient with the stagnant economy. Sellers know their homes need to be in mint condition to earn a sale. Competition between sellers in the same neighborhoods leads to terrific bargains for house-hunters.
So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to make your move!