Have you missed the window to buy a home this year? Not exactly. Most people assume that the spring and summer are the only seasons to buy a house – and the number of deals during this time each year supports that thinking. However, the winter can be an excellent time to buy a house, and you certainly haven’t missed your chance.
Here is why these cold months can be ideal for your house-hunting needs.
1. Fewer buyers in your way
Since more people prefer to buy in the warmer seasons, you’ll have a lot less competition in the winter. This can be a good thing. It can mean fewer bidding wars and cheaper prices. With less interest from buyers, sellers lose a lot of their leverage. You’ll get the pick of the listings, and won’t have to rush for fear of losing out. On a similar note, real estate agents will have fewer clients, which means you can get more personalized attention.
“Sellers are more serious in the winter.”
2. More motivated sellers
Many sellers are also thinking that the spring and summer are when they need to list their homes. Due to this, the ones who list during the winter are likely to be more motivated and serious. This is good news for you! The odds are reduced that you encounter sellers who have lengthy demands or want prolonged closing periods. They’re not just gauging the market – they want to sell, and sell fast.
3. Homes are tested
Winter does a number on a home. This is great for buyers, who will be able to see the house facing many winter-only challenges. That includes cold, snow, ice, rain and mud. The winter can expose bad roofs, leaky foundations, poor drainage, and drafty windows and doors. These problems are less apparent in the warmer months, and some buyers can end up closing on a home without realizing the full scope of problems. In the winter, the faults of the property are on full display, making you a more informed buyer.
4. Better prices
Finally, homes listed in the winter are on average more affordable than those for sale in the spring and summer. Naturally, this is perfect for buyers. Even small price changes add up, especially if you lock in a fixed-rate mortgage over 15 or 30 years. Once interest is factored in, saving $20,000 or $30,000 on list price can add up big over the coming decades. This is one of the most important reasons why you can buy in the winter. If you can find the home you want in the limited inventory, the cost savings are well worth the nuances of buying during the holiday season.