About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    I think my “Have you ever had a house with a rodent infestation” topic would be better.

    The only reason I can think of to not buy a house in December is that if you cannot already itemize, your pre-paid interest is not going to get you any deduction (or at least I don’t think it would–it shouldn’t, but I’m not sure how it’s reported). That’s a pretty minor issue.

  2. 2
    Astelin says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – That and lack of inventory so you probably won’t find much.

  3. 3
    Deerhawke says:

    Generally speaking, December is the absolutely the BEST month of the year to buy.

    Anybody who has to sell during December has a compelling reason to get a deal done and get one done soon. Price and terms are much more negotiable.

    There is also the December juju. Superstition is powerful stuff for humans. There is all that depressing greyness and darkness and coldness that makes it feel like the world really just MIGHT be coming to an end. This makes sellers who might already be pessimistic far more pessimistic (and therefore willing to take a bit less). There is a sound reason our ancestors set up all these sympathetic magic rituals based on sun, light and the renewal of life at the end of the year (that would be Christmas, Hannukah, New Years, all the Asian New Years, etc. etc. … but not President’s Day).

    Back in the fact-based world, people usually have houses to decorate and kids or grandkids to buy presents for and college tuition to pay in the first week of January. They are willing to give away a bit more on price, terms and delayed closing if they can just get some non-refundable cash now. Occasionally you also get someone who is under time pressure to get something sold before the end of the tax year (although I could never get an actual stated reason why).

    I know this sounds rather mercenary and Scrooge-like, but it is true. I have gotten virtually all my best purchases signed in the week or two before Christmas. Some deals had a snag and got signed between Christmas and New Years. I was very conscious of the seller acting out of a sense of urgency and wanting to get the deal done before one holiday or the other, although no fact-based reason was put forward.

    And my stupidest and most negotiable sales– same thing– the week before or after Christmas. My wife and I now have a rule– never sell anything in December.

    While this is generally sound advice, it probably not much help this year as there is very little inventory.

  4. 4
    pfft says:

    I don’t know but I heard December had good schools and was quiet.

  5. 5

    Anytime of the Year

    Is a good time to buy a house if a sweetheart deal plops on your lap. The deal is far more important than the timing.

  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – “Rimshot!”

  7. 7
    David B. says:

    What @softwarengineer just said. If I’m in the market to buy and it’s the right house at the right price, you better believe I’d buy a house in December.

  8. 8

    Has there ever been a poll go this many days with a unanimous result?

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