6 Advantages to Buying a Home in the Winter Season
Winter house hunting might not sound as appealing as cosy viewings in the summer, but hold on a second! There's a secret buried beneath the snowflakes of the colder months. Imagine yourself as a house-hunting pioneer, venturing into a market quieter than a library on a Sunday. While everyone else is sipping cocoa by the fireplace, you could be scoring your dream home at a steal! Trust me, buying a house in winter might just be the strategic move you didn’t know you needed.
Let's unveil the icy-cool advantages that could make your winter house hunt a red-hot success.
1Is It Cheaper to Buy in the Winter?
During the colder months of the year, you can leverage the weather to your advantage because you’re a buying rarity. There is far less competition, and fewer buyers looking, which could give you negotiating power, putting you in control of the transaction. A seller knows that someone who is driving through the snow and cold weather rather than hibernating at home in front of the fire is a pretty serious buyer.
At this time of year, you also may benefit from a discount as sellers are eager to unload their homes. Sellers that don’t want to wait until the popular selling seasons like Spring usually have a good reason for selling at that time. Perhaps there is a new job opportunity on the table for the sellers that is going to make them want to move quickly or a change in lifestyle needs. Buyers can take advantage of these situations in the winter and perhaps get the home of their dreams for less than they would possibly pay during the warmer months.
2Fewer Bidding Wars in Winter
Not many people are willing to brave the temperatures to visit an open house as they are in the spring when there is more inventory. The benefit of this is that you will have plenty of breathing room, you will be able to take your time and not have to make a major decision within 24 hours of seeing a house that you like. The likelihood of multiple offers is far less, so sticking within your budget is also more feasible.
Read More: Mistakes To Avoid as a First-Time Home Buyer
3A Smaller Selection Can Be a Good Thing
If you are the type of buyer who has a hard time pulling the trigger, buying a home in winter may have benefits for your stress level as well. With fewer homes to choose from, you won’t have to be content with home FOMO – the fear of missing out on another house if you decide too quickly. With a limited selection of homes, you will only have a handful to choose from – this may help buyers narrow down their wish list to what is important to them and provide for an easier decision-making process overall.
4Quicker Mortgage Closings
The winter months in the Real Estate world can be a bit slower for those who also service the industry. Mortgage brokers and banks may have more time to process your files quickly. The same can be said about lawyers, home inspectors and contractors.
5Cheaper Moving & Renovating Costs
Securing time and negotiating with vendors such as movers and contractors may also be much easier in the wintertime. With fewer people moving in and moving out, companies that specialize in this process will have fairly flexible schedules. Getting booked at the beginning or end of a month at a decent rate will be much easier in the winter than in the spring and fall months. No need to worry about a mid-month move to save money!
Another advantage to buying during the wintertime is if you need to do some work, you’ll be able to secure a contracting team quicker than you would in the spring. Many contractors site January to March as a slower time for their work, so if you’re able to move quickly into your new home and are fairly decisive on the work you need, you’ll be able to get things done ahead of the warmer months and take full advantage of the spring and summer enjoying your new home.
6You Can See The House During The Winter
It's true that if you buy a home in the winter, you won't be able to see and appreciate the entire landscaping. However, you can see how that house functions in cold weather. Winter is an excellent time to inspect a home's insulation, whether there is ice or snow buildup, how drafty the windows or doors are, and how effectively heat distributes throughout the property.
If you're considering purchasing a home with maintenance fees, the winter is a great time to observe how well the accompanying services, such as snow removal, perform.
If you’re thinking of upgrading into a new home, or perhaps even buying your first home we recommend giving serious consideration to start looking at homes for sale right away. Don’t wait until the spring real estate market – see what’s out there now. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t find anything? Get the process going – see what you like and don’t like. If you don’t find a home, it’s ok! But think about if you do – you’ll start the New Year with a new home! Be ahead of the game, and all of the other buyers that are sure to flood the spring market.