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Clark Howard: House hunting during the holidays

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Updated: 11/24/2013 1:35 pm
ATLANTA -- There's no place like home for the holidays – and that's doubly true if you're looking to buy a home right now!

After being flat on its back, the housing market has come roaring back to life with a nice rise in home prices across much of the country. In some of the most desired zip codes in many cities, we're actually back to bidding wars. Houses are selling at or above their asking price. Homes are going "contract pending" within hours of listing.

Some people are worried this is next housing bubble. I don't share that fear. But I agree the action out there has been extreme. So heed these words: If you're looking to buy, I don't want you to sit out the holiday season.

In hot zip codes, there are far more buyers than sellers. Yet the buyers evaporate from now through about the first week or two of January. Buyers get into holiday mode and give their house hunt a break. That means sellers who are stuck with their homes may lower the asking price over the next roughly 7 weeks if you're still shopping.

So if you are an interested buyer, this could be an opportunity for you in a market that feels like it might be stretching out of your price range.
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