Why Buy a Home In The Winter?
House hunting season doesn’t have to be limited to spring and summer – even though that’s what is often suggested. Buying a home in the winter seems much more complicated than it’s worth. It’s not the most popular season for most things, particularly moving, but as a buyer, the winter months might be your best friend.
Spring and summer are often the months considered to be prime real estate months. However, in the winter, you have less competition because many buyers avoid even browsing for homes on the market.
The weather is considered less than ideal for moving, but hiring a moving company will be easier because they won’t be as unavailable. One of the better first-time home buyer tips is understanding the local real estate market and how the seasons can affect it. There are definitely some uncommonly talked about perks to winter home buying. Here are some of the benefits!
There’s Less Competition Than Trying To Buy In The Summer
Conventional real estate tips suggest looking to buy in the spring and summer. This is because many people want to move in the warmer months. Many realtors will even recommend that sellers wait until the spring or summer before listing their homes. This means that in the winter, there are fewer options for buyers – but it also means less competition for those buyers. You’re also less likely to get into bidding wars with other potential buyers, which can be stressful to say the least.
All in all, due to a lower number of buyers looking during the winter months, you are likely to get a great price on your new home. There is less inventory, but that works in the buyer’s favor.
Motivated Sellers And Realtors
Fewer people look into purchasing a new home in the winter. This means fewer sales for realtors. Typically, Realtors work almost entirely on commission, so they’ll be motivated to help you find your dream home for the best price. With fewer people listing their homes, that also means your realtor may be slightly less busy during this time, which provides you with more of their time and attention. Sellers will be more motivated to sell promptly and are typically more willing to negotiate, making the winter a buyer’s market.
The fall weather also motivates people to want to sell their homes. The kids are back in school, they are determined to be in a new house before the holidays, and they are looking for a quick sale and closing process.
Moving Companies Are Not As Busy
Depending on where you live, moving during the winter can be difficult with snow and cold weather. Most people avoid moving in the winter, for this reason, meaning the local moving companies are less booked and are likely looking for work. In the spring and summer, when many people are buying and selling homes, movers can be booked solid. You might even be able to negotiate a better rate to hire movers during this time.
Following these tips can make your moving day easier.
Your House Will Likely Close Faster
Just like your realtor, your mortgage broker will be busier in the summer months when many of their clients will be selling and buying homes. Many brokers and lenders are backlogged for weeks during the popular season, which delays the entire closing process.
Wait times for every part of the closing process will be faster because things slow down drastically around the holidays. Sellers will want a quick close, and they’ll also want to make sure their home is sold before the holidays or before the spring season. This can be ideal for many winter buyers.
There could be some personal circumstances that are behind why the seller has listed their home. New job, relocating for work, family needs, or other extenuating circumstances might make them more motivated to sell. This could mean that they are very motivated to sell out of necessity and that they may be willing to negotiate to have a fast sell and close.
The potential result: a great price and an easy sale for many buyers.
Lock-in Your Interest Rate
Interest rates could be on the rise in the new year, so buying at the end of the year is a smart way to lock in your interest rate before a potential increase. Depending on where you live, you can also take advantage of possible tax breaks for purchasing a home in the winter or before year-end. Pay close attention to the climate of the financial market. If you feel the rates are going to increase, it is worth looking into buying beforehand.
These are the kind of questions you should be asking your lender.
You Can See How Your Potential New Home Performs In Winter Weather
Viewing homes in the winter, depending on the weather conditions in your area, can show you the flaws in the house before you purchase. Knowing if the windows are drafty or poorly insulated is difficult in the summer. Inspecting how the furnace works and identifying any improvements you would need to make is much easier to do during the colder months. There are some tips to keep your home warmer of course. It would be prudent to take advantage of them.
Moving in during the winter weather shows you how the house holds up during the worst weather it will have to endure. You can also see and ask questions about how difficult the home is to maintain during the winter months like shoveling the sidewalk and driveway.
Buying a house in the winter isn’t always an ideal situation to find yourself in, but it does have several benefits you may not have considered before. Buyers hold the upper hand typically, with the ability to negotiate better pricing and lock in interest rates before they potentially rise. Many people are looking to sell with motivation, so buyers can close on the purchase fast. Buying a home in the winter means you can spend the coldest season of the year in your new home, already settled. You can get ready to spend time with your family – without having to worry about an impending move.
Other Helpful Real Estate Articles Worth Reading
- What should be reviewed on a property disclosure form – when buying a home it is vital to understand the conditions of the property. A seller’s disclosure is a document you should become intimately familiar with. Make sure you read this form carefully and ask questions on anything you’re not sure about.
- What to know before building a new home – see some extremely valuable advice on what you should be considering before purchasing new construction.
- How to recycle clutter before selling a home – learn helpful tips on what you can do to not only clear the clutter from your house but to go green at the same time. You will love these sustainable home tips.
Use these additional resources to make sound business decisions when purchasing a home.
About the author: Adam Slivka is the team leader at Integrity Plus Realty and is one of Westmoreland County’s most trusted Realtors. His level of education and knowledge of the market helps you achieve your real estate goals faster with less hassle, and more money in your pocket.