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In some ways, this year has dragged on, but in others it has flown by.

Now, here we are, only a few weeks out from Christmas after one of the toughest years in living memory for all of us.

With borders reopening and restrictions generally easing, there is every chance that these holidays would look very similar to years gone by.

However, this time around, we will all likely be more grateful for the simple pleasure of being with friends and family.

Property markets tend to quieten down over the holidays, too, but this year that may not happen as much as in the past.

That said, for many people, the end of the year is the perfect time to physically recharge but also to review your finances to be ready to purchase in the new year.

  1. Review finances

It’s important to check over your financial situation annually with many of us too busy to do so during the year. Take some time to review your average outgoings to see if there is more discretionary spending than you thought there was. Record low interest rates means that every borrower can also potentially benefit from reviewing their current home loan deals.

If your loan is coming off a fixed term period, your lender won’t necessarily convert the loan into one of their best rates.

However, contacting them via your broker may make them shave some percentage points off the interest rates you are paying.

  1. Keep to a budget

Most of us have been stuck at home for extended periods this year so the opportunity to get out and about is appreciated more than ever.

It’s important not to over compensate for all that time spent indoors, though, by over spending during the holidays.

Lenders are still interested in a potential borrower’s spending patterns, so it would be a bit silly to rake up big purchases on credit cards after several months of financial discipline.

By creating and sticking to a budget over Christmas, you will be able to enjoy yourself but also improve your chances of property purchase success in the new year.

  1. Unwind and give back

There is no question that 2020 has been a year like no other, which means we need the opportunity to unwind more than ever.

Here in Southeast Queensland we have been fortunate to have mostly escaped the ravages of the pandemic so far.

Our local economies and property markets are performing well and are likely to do even better once all borders reopen, likely before the holidays.

That said, there are still plenty of people who are experiencing hardship – many for the very first time.