Real Estate

A home for the holidays

Whatever holidays you celebrate, I think we all look forward to being in our home with friends, family, and loved ones. Throughout history, there have been countless songs, poems, and expressions written about home, going home, love of home, and home and family.

A big part of the American Dream has been, and continues to be, to own one’s own home. Of course, in San Francisco, many rent rather than own. Still, the desire to own is strong.

What about the month of December? Is this a good time to buy? Though you might not have time enough to purchase a home and move into it by the holidays, it is not too late to make a new home your biggest holiday gift ever to the family.

Yes, there are fewer homes on the market during the holidays, but those who are selling during this period are motivated sellers. Likewise, those who are buying now are serious buyers. So if getting a new home (or even an investment property) is on your list, you might consider continuing your search during the holidays. Why wait until the busy, hyper-competitive spring buying market?

If you’re thinking about selling your home during the holidays, it is a great time of year to put mulled spices on the stove when showing your property. It makes the buyer feel right at home. You can even put out a plate of holiday cookies for those coming through.

As a buyer, when looking for your new home, ask yourself, “How does this home make me feel?”

What are some of the words you would use to describe the property? Bright? Cheerful? Happy? Chic? Beautiful? Think about the adjectives that make you feel most content when you think of “home.” Is there a match?

The holidays are always special. But spending them in a home you own with your family seems the most special of all. If you’re serious about buying a home, continue your search during the holidays.

Who knows — you might just own that home sooner than you think possible. And what a holiday gift that would make!

Happy Holidays!

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Stephanie Saunders Ahlberg has been a real estate agent for more than 30 years and joined Hill & Co. in 1983, where she has consistently been among the top 10 salespeople. She can be reached at