Many buyers we represent assume that spring and summer are the best times to start their house hunt, but there are good reasons to buy a home in the winter. In fact, there are serious benefits to buying a home in colder months, especially if you’re planning to buy in New England.
In this blog, we’re sharing 6 reasons why buying a home in the winter is a smart idea.
If you’re ready to make your move, you should consider the tips below to get more out of your buying experience. You will find that searching for a home in December through March will give you an advantage that most summertime buyers could only hope for.
All right, let’s get started.
- Fewer buyers mean lower competition
This one may seem fairly obvious, but there’s more to this than you may think. In the spring and summer months, the market is flooded with buyers. Many of them are experienced and know how to negotiate for a property. You’ll likely be elbowing your way past steep competition during open houses.
But that’s just the beginning. Let’s flip this around and see what happens when you buy in warmer months:
- Sellers are pickier, as they have a bigger pool to choose from.
- If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s easy to get confused by the competitive landscape.
- You lose an edge in your negotiating power.
These are just some of the reasons why buying a home in the winter can be far more advantageous. We’ll explore some of these further as we keep reading.
- Sellers are motivated
As we all know, New England winters are no joke. It’s safe to say that most sellers who are willing to brave a winter market with fewer available buyers are eager to sell.
If someone puts their home up for sale during the winter months, chances are there’s a reason. Most likely, it’s because they’re in a position where they need to sell.
Since it’s normal to want a good price, we recommend asking your agent to first look at homes that have been on the market for an extended period. If a house has been sitting on the market during an “off-season,” it’s safe to say that its seller is motivated to sell. This can result in a more competitive price for you.
When it comes to buying a home, a competitive purchase price may be one of the biggest reasons to buy a home in the winter.
- You can see what the home is like under “stress”
Here’s one of our favorite tips. We’ve been mentioning winter a lot here in terms of the market, but what about the actual season itself?
In Southeastern New England, winters are a serious consideration for any home buyer. There is a silver lining, though. Buying a home in colder months will allow you to observe how a property does (or doesn’t) hold up to winter conditions.
Here’s are some questions to ask that will help you put a potential home through its paces during the winter months:
- How drafty are the windows and doors? This could mean higher energy bills or renovation costs. One of the best reasons to buy a home in the winter is the ability it gives you to anticipate your energy costs.
- How’s the heating system? Winter is the ideal time to ask a home inspector or professional heating service to inspect the home’s heating system. Plus, you can hear whether it’s a noisy system that rattles all the time, not to mention how long it takes to kick in.
- Can you see out of the driveway? If you’re viewing a home after a decent snowstorm, check the visibility in-and-out of your driveway. Does street plowing pile up and make it harder to see? Additionally, you should check the length of your driveway and ask yourself if your comfortable dealing with (or paying for) snow removal.
- Living in a condo? How’s the HOA doing? Everything above also applies to condo or association living. How has the snow removal been handled? Is the ice melted on common walkways? Many associations boast about snow removal as part of your monthly fee, so this is a good time to see how good of a job they do.
- Are there icicles on the roof or porch? This can mean gutter trouble down the road and ice dams, which can be dangerous and costly.
Having the answers to these questions will let you know how much money you will potentially need to spend to mitigate energy costs and conduct general winter maintenance.
- First-time buyers get more attention
Our team always makes each client feel like they’re our sole priority. We also recognize that first-time buyers require a lot of time and attention, which makes sense! Buying a home is life’s biggest purchase, so it’s important to select a property you want.
Since the winter months typically see lower buyer turnout, this could be a great time for first-timers to get even more individualized attention. Add to this the ability for them to put a home through its paces, and a winter house hunt could shape up to be an educational experience.
If you’re a first-time buyer, one of the biggest reasons to buy a home in the winter could be the crash-course you get in real estate without as much competition.
- Loan officers may be more accommodating
Loan officers have professional goals to meet, just like anyone else. In the winter months, buyer activity slows down, which means clients and more individualized attention for you. Moreover, winter begins the year, so they are starting over with a blank slate. The more quickly they can meet their numbers, the better it is.
Speaking with a loan officer when they have fewer prospects could earn you more flexibility and one-on-one attention, which you may not have had in more saturated months.
Another great benefit of this is that slower seasons like winter give you more time to get your financial house in order so that you can get preapproved for the best mortgage possible.
- You may get to enjoy your house in the summer
Say you start house-hunting in mid-February and finally move into your new home in April. That means you have the entire spring season to move in without sacrificing trips to the beach or BBQs.
While other buyers are sweating through their moves, you’ll already be settled in and ready to enjoy whatever the summer has in store for you.
Still looking for reasons to buy a home in the winter?
Whether you’re searching for a single-family home or a condo that will take away your winter blues, there are plenty of reasons why buying a home in the winter is a great idea.
Our team helps buyers like you find properties that meet their needs and satisfy their dreams. How can we help walk you through a winter house hunt?
Contact us to get started on your home buying journey. Remember, great service is always in season.