Spring and summer are traditionally thought of as the best time to buy and sell a home. More houses tend to be on the market, and all of them are looking their best with fresh spring blooms or green summer lawns. Although winter may be thought of as the “off season” for buying homes, there can be many advantages of buying a home in the winter.
- Rethink curb appeal. Diminished curb appeal can make some sellers feel less confident about their listings. Blooming flowers and green trees generally make a place look warm and inviting; however, take a look at the winter appeal of the home. Soft snow and glistening ice may be beautiful, and the changing landscape may go nicely with the crackling fireplace in the living room.
- A Different Point of View. The polished and scrubbed homes ready for open houses and multiple visitors during spring may be more lived-in and real if you're buying a home in the winter. You'll also have the opportunity to see how the heating system is holding up and if there are any drafty or damp spots.
- Fewer Choices May Help. Rather than feeling compelled to look at every home that meets your criteria, the reduced selection means you won't have several homes with minute differences to agonize over. Buying a home in the winter means you'll be free to focus on simply choosing the best available home that suits your needs.
- Timing May Still Be Right. Many families with kids prefer to move during the summer vacation to avoid school disruptions. However, Maryanne Walker brings up a good point in her Life123 article--moving over winter break is second best. Most schools will begin a new semester after the beginning of the year, and this can be a good time to make a clean move.
- Better Prices. According to an article on CBS News Money Watch, buying a home in the winter can save buyers as much as 3 percent over buyers who purchase when demand is higher. You may also be more likely to get concessions made such as the chandelier in the entry way or dining room set that perfectly fits the room.
- More Attention. An article on the Quicken Loans website points out that Realtors won't be trying to meet the need of several clients at once during the winter so they will be able to focus on your needs. Buying a home in the winter also means lenders will be more accessible, some may even waive fees as a way to gain more business from the limited number of borrowers.
Buying a home in the winter might not be the best time for everyone, but for those that can take advantage of the lower prices and decreased demand, a great deal can usually be found. Start your search or contact us for more information.