Ask the Realtor



Dear Darrell,

Is there any advantage in my trying to buy a property before the end of the year, rather than waiting for early Spring of next year?

Bill E

Dear Bill,

From a tax standpoint, there might very well be an advantage for you to buy and close before the end of the year. But each person’s financial situation is unique to that person and is something you should discuss with your accountant or financial advisor.

From a real estate standpoint, there are a couple of useful things to keep in mind:

– If you look at a newly built property, it’s very possible that the builder will be offering end of the year incentives.

– Certain owners may be facing tax consequences of one kind or another, which would be ameliorated by selling before the end of the year. These sellers might be more flexible than usual.

– Prices and interest rates are low—interest rates, historically low. No one knows how these two will change between now and spring of 2011.

Many economists predict that we will see a slow, steady improvement in the economy over the next year or two. If this does happen, it is likely that prices and interest rates will rise. So, the question is: do you want to bet that the economy will be better or worse come spring? Prices already seem to have stabilized in DC. We’ve been fortunate in that regard. Whatever your decision, I encourage you to be in touch with a local Realtor who has a view into our local market. Most of what one hears in the news is based on the national market. To make informed decisions, you need to know what is happening locally.

Darrell Parsons is the Managing Broker of the Georgetown Long & Foster Office. or 202.944.8400. He blogs at:

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