Winter Home Buying Benefits

Icy driveways and snowed-out open houses can be less than thrilling, but there are surprising benefits to purchasing a home during the coldest time of year.

Advantages:

  1. Homeowners who list their homes for sale in the winter months are often motivated to sell. Plus, the smaller pool of buyers during the winter makes it easier to negotiate price, closing costs, or to ask for extras like appliances.
  2. Buying a home in the winter can also mean quicker service from the professionals you work with during the process. Since there are fewer real estate transactions in the winter, real estate agents, home inspectors, title and escrow companies, and lenders can likely provide you with quicker service.
  3. Interest rates are low currently, but you never know when they’ll change so buying this winter could save you money.
  4. Finally, inspecting a home during harsh weather will allow you to see the house at its worst – how it handles the cold, snow and ice and to check out the heating system.

Challenges:

  1. It can be difficult to inspect a property covered in snow, especially some of the structural elements, like the septic tank, roof, and A/C system.
  2. Home-shopping during the winter might mean there are fewer homes for sale, because most sellers put their houses on the market in the spring, hoping to sell before autumn.
  3. Inclement weather can delay the scheduling of important events like the inspection, appraisal, and final walk-through.

Check out our top tips for house-hunting in the winter:

  1. Ask for photos of the home’s exterior during the spring and summer months. Photos during better weather can show potential problems with the roof or foundation, which may otherwise be covered in snow.
  2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. With a smaller buying pool, you’re competing with less all-cash and over-asking offers which makes your offer even more appealing.
  3. Ask for documentation, such as inspection receipts and purchase dates for home features that are difficult to test because of the weather, including pools and air conditioning units.

Next season’s sellers will start listing homes right after the Super Bowl, so if you can’t find that perfect house just yet, hang tight until you find what you’re looking for. The real estate market may slow down during the winter, but if you optimize the advantages, you can get a great deal on your dream home!

Are you in the market for a new home? We have all of your home buying and selling needs under one roof. Get in touch with Personalized Real Estate Solutions to find your dream home. Visit mynorthern.com, call 315.782.0155, or stop into any of our relationship centers to connect with a home lending professional today! Personalized Real Estate Solutions is wholly owned by Northern Credit Union and Independently Operated.