The summer season is often referred to as the most popular time to buy or sell a house, but there are plenty of perks to buying a home in the winter. Reduced competition can help you get the best price possible, and there are also advantages to inspecting your home during the colder months. Here’s what you need to know before scheduling your winter home inspection.
Home inspection hot spots
A home inspection is your opportunity as the buyer to find any problems with the house before you sign on the dotted line. This includes a thorough look at the inside and outside of the house. Though it’s cold outside, those home inspection hot spots are still accessible:
- HVAC systems
- Indoor plumbing
- The home’s foundation
- Electrical systems
Your home inspector will take a close look at the furnace, electrical system, walls, ceilings and more. Since half of your winter home inspection is done indoors, the weather outside makes no difference to these areas. In fact, some areas of the home are even more beneficial to inspect during the harsh winter months, and we’ll detail those below.
Cold weather challenges
The other half of your winter home inspection is done outdoors, and that might present challenges. Here are the areas to pay attention to:
- Exterior plumbing
- Crawl spaces with exterior entrances
- The roof
Inspectors might not be able to access the entire roof. However, they can usually access the attic and check the roof through that route. Exterior plumbing may also be a challenge, but that’s another problem that can be solved by viewing potential pitfalls via indoor plumbing. If the crawl space is only accessible from the outside, this might present an obstacle as well. In most cases, inspectors will come back later, when the crawl space is more easily accessed.
Despite these challenges, winter weather can highlight potential problems that you might not see during the summer. For example, consider the home’s foundation and how the elements take their toll. As the ground around the home freezes, the moisture turns to ice and expands, pushing against the foundation. On warmer days, that ice melts and the process starts over again. Since that constant expansion and contraction takes place during cold months, a winter home inspection can be an opportune time to detect problems.
This also applies to the roof because inspectors will be able to see any snow- and ice-related trouble spots. A winter inspection lets you know about the integrity of the roof during extreme winter weather. Next, problematic plumbing can be much easier to identify in harsh winter conditions. A home inspector can easily see cracked or frozen pipes, which helps you understand the overall condition of the plumbing. Insulation issues can become more detectable during these colder months, too — something you’ll be grateful for once you’re moved in and living there.
Service in all seasons
In winter, summer, spring or fall, First Centennial Mortgage is prepared to make your borrowing experience seamless. With a team of expert mortgage loan officers, we can help you find the best financing solution for your unique situation. Contact us today to learn how we can support your home-owning dreams this season.