Holiday Home Buying in California

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage refinance applications increased 11.6% from last week.  Additionally, I’ve spent the week reading newspaper article after newspaper article on California’s Real Estate market hitting a plateau. Yes, prices for homes are on the rise, but many markets have little inventory. So, why am I stating that Holiday home buying in California is going to be a trend? Well, I know the market inside and out and I trust the numbers from the last five holiday seasons!

People buy and sell homes during the holiday season for one of three reasons. First, tax reasons. Second, it’s easier to buy a home because sellers are busy and don’t want to spend weeks negotiating numbers and structuring deals. Third, lenders want to get on with their holiday and tend to process paperwork quicker.  I’m sure there are other reasons as well, but they don’t make up the bulk of why people buy or sell a home during the months of November and December each year.

I’ve also noticed a fourth trend with senior home “right sizing” (or downsizing). During the holidays, adult children tend to visit mom and dad or visa versa. It is during this time, usually, that a conversation about having too much square footage comes into play. Either mom or dad are going to sell the house and move in with their adult children, or they will sell the house to find something smaller with better amenities (or they will select an assisted living facility).  Since families tend to gather around the holidays, so do  ideas as to improving the quality of life for mom and dad with the up and coming New Year.

As I said, the market is improving all over California. Home sale prices are starting to increase. This can be a win-win for either the buyer or the seller over the holiday season. With a buyer, they can still get a deal on a great home at a fair price. Yes, prices will continue to increase over 2015 – so why not buy when the prices are still reasonable? For the seller, they can get a fair price for their home without taking a complete bath (loss) and you can sell your home quickly during the next two months.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Walnut Creek greater area, keep what I just said in mind – especially if you are a senior.  Moreover, if you are senior, do not think about losing square footage as a bad thing.  “Rightsizing” (as I call it) comes with its benefit! Small homes mean less maintenance, less cleaning, less debt, less decorating, and smaller homes have a bigger demand right now!

Still have questions?  Call me! I’m always available to help.

Sam Benson