Buying a Home In The Winter
Buying a House in the Winter
Real estate is not a seasonable business. People are relocating for jobs every month of the year. People are moving out of state and into the state. Others may be moving to another city, across town, or down the street. In the process, they are buying and selling homes.
Without a doubt, spring is the prime season for real estate. Buyers come out of hibernation when the first signs cold-weather spring appear. “For Sale” signs pop up on front lawns like mushrooms after a rain shower. That doesn’t mean that because spring is most popular, that you shouldn’t consider the other alternative of buying a home in the colder months.
Winter is the time that many potential buyers would rather hunker down with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate than spend an afternoon sloshing through the wet and cold. You probably prefer to spend a frosty Sunday watching sports or a movie munching your favorite snack. I get that. But I have some solid reasons why you might want to slip into your favorite cold-weather gear and check out some homes for sale.
Winter Sellers Are Serious Sellers
Often people who sell their homes in the winter are responding to job relocation, financial woes, divorce, estate settlement, or various other compelling circumstances. Because they have a strong motivation to close a deal they may be more flexible on asking price and terms.
There Is Less Competition for Homes in the Winter
In the spirit of full disclosure, there are generally fewer homes for sale in the winter. However, it’s a fact there are fewer buyers than the other seasons of the year as well. You know, those that are not inspired enough to face the cold and are waiting for the spring. So for the spunky folk that will not be deterred by a little inconvenience like single-digit temperatures and a bit of snow will not be bumping into other buyers at open houses. They may see the home of their dreams appear on the market. If it does, there is less likelihood of a bidding war.
Lower Asking Prices
Fewer buyers in winter mean a decreased demand for homes. This market condition will generally depress prices a bit so you may be able to score more house than you would in the spring when real estate prices tend to rise.
Winter Buyers Get More Attention
Every professional involved in the buying process is less busy in the winter than during the other seasons. What this means to you is they have more time to lavish upon the clients they currently service. It is less difficult to schedule appointments for home tours, lenders, home inspectors, and appraisers. For first time home buyers, this perk is invaluable. A faster and smoother process means lower stress levels for you, the buyer.
An Opportunity to Evaluate
Since you are probably not facing a situation of multiple offers on a property you are considering, it affords you a chance to catch your breathe and evaluate a bit longer before you make a decision. In a seller’s market, that is a luxury not to take lightly! Don’t misunderstand and think you have all the time in the world. The market may not overrun with buyers in winter, but you will not be the only one out there.
Low Mortgage Interest Rates
Currently, the mortgage rates are approaching three-year lows. It’s a pretty sure thing that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates again before the year’s end. We have no idea what they will be in the spring, but we know right now they are a bargain! Lower rates on your loan mean you can up the ante on a home purchase. Win! Win!
Benefits of a Winter Move
Winter is the slow season for movers too. When you move in the winter you have more flexibility in choosing a mover and getting your preferred date. Bonus time! Moving rates tend to be lower in the offseason as well. And if you are still thinking about how unpleasant it is moving in the cold, it can be more uncomfortable in the heat and humidity. Not only that, but you will be all moved in and unpacked by spring ready to enjoy your new home and yard in the summer.
Less competition, reduced pricing, more bargaining power, lower rates, a smoother buying experience, and time to catch your breath in the process. What’s stopping you? Get out there and buy yourself a home!
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, consider The Minnesota Property Group team - real estate professionals for all seasons!