In the Market: Homes for the Holidays

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This weekly feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure. Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Closeup of cooked turkey being taken out of home oven by red-mittened hands.Have you jumped on the smart home bandwagon? Several smart home devices for under $200 are highlighted in this Time article by John Patrick Pullen. There is, for example, a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, that may interest homeowners or renters. Why? For example, if you’re home, and you’ve burnt some pizza (this has happened to me more than I’d like to admit), you don’t have to endure the painful screaming of that old-school smoke detector. Instead the Nest Protect, one smart home device referenced in the article, will say, “Heads up, there’s smoke in the kitchen.” Pretty cool, right? Because of my bad (negligent?) cooking, I’d be willing to pony up $99 for this device.

It’s the holidays and you know what that means — food, and gifts, and more food! Be careful to not overcook that ham. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day rank as the peak days for kitchen fires. Yikes! A visit from your local fire department is probably not the way you’d like to celebrate the holidays. Margaret Ely from the Washington Post lists some tips homeowners and renters should check out to help keep their home safe during the holiday season.

Many people probably don’t think of the holidays as an ideal time to search for a home. But if you think about it, buying during the holidays may be a big win for you. In some markets, with fewer people buying homes during this time, there may be less competition, which means you may be able to avoid bidding wars. Donna Fuscaldo from FOXBusiness explains how to take advantage of buying during the off-season — and some potential unexpected benefits from purchasing a home before the end of the year.

Here’s another perspective on winter home buying and selling. Need to sell your home during the holidays? Although winter isn’t generally perceived as the peak buying season, it is still possible to sell a house during the winter and possibly for a price as good as you’d get in the summer. Let me tell you why. According to Teresa Mears from U.S. News and World Report, in recent years, when inventory has been low, the winter market has been especially strong — in part because winter shoppers are serious about buying now. Teresa Mears gives 13 tips that may help you increase your chances of selling your home this winter.

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