With all the holidays coming up over the next few weeks, home buying isn't always at the top of the priority list! That being said, it seems that there are lots of people looking for new homes! This may be a really good time to buy.
For those looking at buying, interest rates are great – we don't know how long they will stay this low (how many times have I said that in the last year or two?). The other side to this is home prices. They have slowly been inreasing but right now anyone that is looking to sell, may have to sell. So that means you may be able to get a better deal now than later! Not everyone wants to have to worry about showing their home over the holidays, so they wait until January to list their home. Many that are listed now may have to sell for a job relocation or some other reason, so it can be a great time to buy.
There are a couple things to remember as we move through the next few weeks. If you are buying a home and get a gift from someone (cash gift), please remember we need to document where that money came from. Make a copy of the check before you deposit it. You will also probably need a gift letter and your loan officer can get you that.
Another thing to think about is your credit report. Are you charging any gifts you are buying? Will your lender need to pull an updated credit report? If so, you may end up with higher monthly payments than you had originally. That can affect your mortgage qualification. Keep an eye on your credit card balances so that you can still qualify for the home you want.
Remember your lender needs to verify the cash you need for closing. You may also need 2-6 months of reserves (one month is equal to your PITI – total house payment). If you spend more on the holidays than you expected, you may not have enough money for your mortgage approval.
Sometimes loan processing can take a little longer over the holidays, allow yourself plenty of time! Processors and underwriters may try and take time to spend with their families, appraisers may take longer to get the appraisal done, title companies may be busier than you expect. We also lose days with the holidays – like the week of Thanksgiving seems to fly by! Many companies are closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so that can affect work flows.
It would be great to get a new home for the holidays and there is still time to do that – talk to your realtor and loan officer and see if you can find a new home for yourself! There are some great deals available!