It’s just now 2015 and before the veneer of the New Year wears off many are hoping to keep their resolutions intact at least until the next quarter. Financial goals have been set or at least worked and the “year in review” is fading fast.

For those looking forward, should real estate be on your investment3 reasons to buy now horizon? Better yet, should you invest in real estate now? As in right now? Here are three reasons why January 2015 is an excellent time to put a house under contract.

Less Competition. When real estate is actively listed in the dead of winter, the seller is either highly motivated or very stubborn. Listing a property when most areas of the country are experiencing below-freezing weather means fewer are braving the cold and attending open houses. Someone listing a home now knows there are fewer buyers this time of year so the opportunity to steal a deal from a desperate seller is a possibility. Either that, or the property is listed way above market the seller couldn’t care less if the property sold as long as the overpriced home is sold.

Lower Rates. Did we mention lower rates? You read here yesterday how financing costs are going lower, lower and lower still. No, we’re not at record levels seen in late 2012 but you can certainly see them from here. For investors seeking a shorter term mortgage, such as a 10 or 15 year fixed, rates can be found in many places under 3.00%.

Easier Financing. While both lenders and secondary buyers temporarily made mortgages super-hard to qualify for, the trend has reversed. Not only are more people able to qualify for a mortgage compared to just three or four years ago but lower down payments are welcomed as well. FHA has lowered the cost of its annual mortgage insurance premium and Fannie Mae is rolling out 3.00% down home loans. No longer do you need 20 percent down and an 800 credit score to qualify. Lending guidelines have returned to a more “common sense” approach.