It is hard to believe, but 2020 is almost over (some might say thankfully!), and that is a GOOD thing if you plan to buy a home in the next few months. Why? The answer is simple: PROPERTY TAXES. Property taxes are prorated between the buyer and seller at closing. The seller pays from January 1 to Closing Date with the buyer paying Closing Date through the end of the year. This means that if closing occurs on December 31, the buyer only pays 1 day worth of taxes for that year with the seller paying the other 364 days. Conversely, if you closed just 2 days later on January 2, 2021, you would have to come out of pocket with 363 days worth of taxes at closing! And with the average property taxes in Georgia of $1,448 per year in 2020 according to Smart Asset, that means BIG savings at the closing table.
The bottom line is that the end of the year can be an ideal time to buy a house. Add in the fact that the real estate market tends to slow down seasonally this time of year, and interest rates remain at near record lows, and it may be a very long time before there is a better time to buy a home than right now.
The closing process usually takes about 30 days, so in order to close by December 31, you would need to put your next home under contract no later than December 1 to have a chance of closing before the end of the year. If you are planning to buy a home in the next few months, call me directly at 706-726-2981 or visit the finance page on my website: https://www.thestillteam.com/finance/.