If you ask most people, the best time to buy a house is in spring. Traditionally, house hunters like to head out when the sun is shining, temperatures are warm and the flowers are blooming. And while all of that may sound lovely, there are many perks associated with buying a home in the “off-season”, aka winter.
You’re probably wondering why you’d conceivably want to trek out in the dark, cold and snow to look for your dream home. Here are some very good reasons why you should do just that.
First and foremost, buying your house in the winter months could save you time and money. There are likely fewer houses on the market, which means you can better streamline your search rather than being inundated by seemingly countless options. There will also likely be fewer buyers in the marketplace vying for the same home, which means less competition and the likelihood of entering into a bidding war that drives prices up is pretty slim.
Many sellers who put their house on the market in winter do so out of necessity rather than want and may, therefore, be more motivated to sell. They also realize they won’t have as many offers, which opens up the opportunity for you to negotiate a better price and possibly obtain a faster close. And mortgage lenders are also usually a bit slower during the winter months, which often translates to a quicker approval.
Homes put to the test in colder temperatures
While most homes show well in spring and summer when temperatures are mild and the grass is green, there is no way of knowing whether the house you’re looking at buying can withstand the harsh winter elements. Typically a house is put to the ultimate test in the winter months, so you’ll have the opportunity to check that the furnace is working properly, and that there are no drafty windows or leaks in the roof. Your home inspector can run a thorough analysis to assess how the house holds up in a more drastic climate.
Manicured lawns and beautifully landscaped gardens can create enticing curb appeal, but buying in winter means you’ll likely see the house at its worst, when the ground is frozen, the trees are bare and the driveway is covered in snow. So, if you like what you see in winter, you’re probably going to love it come spring.
In the warmer months, we’re sometimes busy with outdoor activities, time at the cottage or away on vacation. Generally, people have more free time in winter so you can give your search your undivided attention. Winter is a time for hibernating and enjoying cozy days with a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate, which you can look forward to in your new home. So throw on your boots, grab your coat and get out there!
Have questions about buying a home in winter? Answers are just a call or email away!