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Is Buying a Home In The Winter a Good Idea?
Is Buying a Home In The Winter a Good Idea?11/7/2019

large house in background with snow on the ground and a red For Sale sign in the forefrontQ: What do I need to know about buying a house in the winter?

A: Spring and summer are, by far, the most popular seasons for house-hunting. But, that shouldn’t stop you from looking for your dream home in middle of winter. Cold open houses in the wintertime can be less than thrilling, but there are surprising benefits to purchasing a home during the coldest time of year.

The challenges

A lush yard of trees, bushes and blossoming flowers can look stark and bare during cold winter months. With fewer hours of daylight, it can also be harder to get a good look at the home, especially if your schedule isn’t flexible.

Home-shopping during the winter means working with fewer homes for sale. That’s because most sellers put their houses on the market in the spring, hoping to sell well before autumn.

However, if you decide to go through with a sale during winter, expect delays during the process. Inclement weather can push off the scheduling of important events, like the inspection, appraisal and final walk-through.

The advantages

Homeowners who choose to list their properties for sale during winter may be quite eager to sell. You’ll also find homes that have been on the market since the previous spring with an equally motivated seller. Plus, the smaller pool of buyers during the winter puts you at an advantage. These factors will make it easier for you to negotiate a lower price and to ask for extras like light fixtures and appliances.

Buying a home in the winter can also mean enjoying better service from the professionals you work with during the process. Your real estate agent, home inspector and lender will have fewer clients and therefore be able to provide you with optimal service.

Finally, inspecting a home during colder weather will enable you to see how the house handles the cooler temperatures and to check out the heating system.

Tips and tricks

If you’ve decided to go house-hunting during the winter, keep these tips in mind:

  • Ask for photos showcasing the home’s exterior during the spring and summer months, when there is more natural light.

  • Offer a starting bid that is well below the listed price.

  • Ask for documentation, such as inspection receipts and purchase dates, for the home features that may be difficult to check out because of the weather.

Next season’s sellers will start listing homes right after the Super Bowl. So, if you can’t find that perfect house just yet, hang tight until you find what you seek.

The real estate market may cool down during the winter, but if you know how to optimize the advantages, you can walk away with a hot deal during the coldest time of year.

Are you in the market for a new home? Find out more about our home mortgage options!

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