Most potential buyers know that the best time to buy a property is in the spring and summer. The weather is more favorable for home inspections and there are usually more choices on the market. However, buying a property during the winter months has some distinct advantages, many of which are often overlooked.
If you’re considering buying a property during the winter, you’ll want to read this guide first! We’ll provide insider tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible and answer some of the most common questions shoppers have about winter shopping. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, we’ve got you covered. So don’t wait any longer, read on!
Why buying a house during the winter is less common
There are a number of factors that influence the decision to buy a house during the winter. The weather is obviously a major concern – who wants to walk around in the snow and cold just to look at the properties? Additionally, many people are preoccupied with the holidays and don’t have the time or energy to navigate the home buying process.
Another common concern is that there will be fewer homes on the market to choose from. This is often true, as many sellers wait to list their homes until the spring and summer months. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to find a large property during the winter. You may need to put in a little extra effort to find the right one.
What makes spring/summer so popular?
Alternatively, buying in spring and summer has a number of advantages. The weather is more accommodating for home inspections and sellers are often more motivated to negotiate because they want to close before the kids go back to school. Plus, there are simply more homes on the market to choose from during those months.
If you plan to buy during the winter, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. There are both pros and cons to buying at this time of year. But if you are patient and do your research, you can definitely find a lot on a property, even in the dead of winter!
According to Richard Frankel, one of Durham Region’s top realtors, “Buying a house in winter has its pros and cons, just like any other season. Many people believe that spring and summer are the best times to buy a home because that’s when most homes are on the market. However, there may also be advantages to buying during the winter. For one thing, there’s usually less competition from other buyers, which can give you more bargaining power. Additionally, sellers are often more motivated to sell during the winter and may be willing to accept a lower offer. So if you’re considering buying a house, don’t rule out the winter months! »
What you need to know about buying a house during the winter
Now that we’ve discussed some of the reasons why you might or might not want to buy a house during the winter, it’s time to get into the details of the process. If you’ve decided winter shopping is for you, here are some tips to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Get ahead of the competition
If you’re considering buying a home during the winter, it’s important to be one step ahead of the competition. The market is likely to be much less crowded than in spring and summer, so you’ll have a better chance of getting your offer accepted.
To give yourself a competitive edge, start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This will show sellers that you are serious about buying and give you an edge over buyers who are still in the early stages of the process.
It’s also a good idea to start looking for properties as soon as possible. Inventory is likely to be smaller, so you’ll want to have a few options to choose from. Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, be sure to move quickly – there’s no telling how long it will stay on the market!
2. Be prepared for inclement weather
One of the biggest challenges of buying a home in the winter is the weather. Home inspections, for example, can be very difficult to schedule when it’s snowing or freezing outside.
To make the process as smooth as possible, it is important to be prepared for the weather. Make sure you have a list of potential inspectors in mind, so you can call and schedule an appointment as soon as you find a property that interests you.
It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan for getting around in the snow. If you don’t have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, consider renting one for the winter. This will greatly facilitate travel to and from visits, inspections and appointments.
3. Expect to bargain
If you are buying a house during the winter, it is important to expect to negotiate. Because there are generally fewer buyers in the market, sellers are often more willing to negotiate the price.
To get the best deal possible, it’s important to have a realistic idea of what you’re willing to pay for a property. Once you’ve found a home you’re interested in, start by bidding below the asking price. From there, you can negotiate until you reach an agreement acceptable to both parties.
4. Schedule extra time
The home buying process – from finding the right property to closing the deal – can take longer than expected. And when you add inclement weather and vacation travel, the process can be delayed even further.
To avoid unnecessary stress, it is important to allow extra time when buying a house during the winter. This means getting pre-approved for a mortgage well in advance and being patient throughout the negotiation process.
5. Do a thorough home inspection
When buying a home during the winter, it is especially important to have a thorough home inspection. Indeed, cold weather can sometimes exacerbate problems that would otherwise go unnoticed.
For example, frozen pipes are a common problem in homes during the winter. If not detected early, they can lead to serious water damage, which can be expensive to repair. As such, it is important for an inspector to check for any potential issues before finalizing the transaction.
6. Ask for photos
It can be difficult to visualize the exterior of a house as well as its property during the winter months. Indeed, snow and bad weather can sometimes mask potential problems.
To get a better idea of what you’re actually buying, be sure to ask for photos of the property during the spring/summer months. This will give you a better idea of its condition and help you avoid any potential surprises down the road.
7. Include Terms
If there are certain aspects of the property (i.e. a swimming pool) you will want to make sure to include additional terms and conditions in your agreement which acknowledge that the seller guarantees it is in good condition Operating. Depending on your agreement, you may be able to have a fixed amount of money held in escrow to ensure that if something is not as depicted, you can have it repaired or compensated.
Buying a home is a big decision no matter the time of year, however, there can be great advantages to buying during the winter months. Whether it’s less competition, more bargaining power, or the ability to see potential problems hidden in the snow, if you’re prepared, buying a house in the winter can be a great experience. Just be sure to follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream home in no time.