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Is Buying A House In The Winter a Good or Bad Idea?

Is Buying A House In The Winter a Good or Bad Idea?

Family standing on their front deck in their new home

Family standing on their front deck in their new home

When you imagine buying your first home, or packing up all your belongings in your current house and moving to a new property, I’m sure your “perfect move” doesn’t involve cold, blowing, heavy snow. In the spring, houses in your neighbourhood with a “for sale” will start popping up like weeds. Moving in the winter is not the daydream you thought of, but is buying a home in the winter a good thing? Or a bad thing?

Why you might want to buy a home in the winter:

Less competition means fewer bidding wars! If the homeowner isn’t getting as many offers as they hoped for, you may be able to get the home for a lower price compared to if it were listed in the spring real estate market.

The sellers are more likely motivated to sell their homes faster if it’s listed in the winter. It’s less common to sell your house in the winter, so there is a reason why the owner is doing that. It could likely be because they want to move out as soon as possible. The seller can’t wait for the “perfect” potential buyer and may accept your offer sooner and for a lower amount than other homes you’ve seen this past summer.

The real estate sales rep will be eager. The fewer clients a realtor has the more attention and enhanced customer service YOU will get. Most realtors can juggle several clients and listings at once just fine, you’ll have the extra peace of mind of knowing that your realtor will be that much more available and eager in the slower months to show you possible homes to buy.

Why would you NOT want to buy a home in the winter:

Because moving during a snowstorm or in -25°C weather is NOT fun! If you do end up moving in the snow hiring a professional moving company can come in handy. Make sure you have a backup day though if the weather is too treacherous on your move-in date so that you don’t get left out in the cold.

There are fewer options are on the market. So you may not be able to find the “dream home” that you want when you want it.

The holidays are fast approaching and your credit score might not get you the best mortgage rate. Is your credit card maxed out because of all your holiday debt? When you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you must provide your lender with all your credit history and income information to get approved. Is your credit score or a debt-to-income ratio up to par? Maybe it is time to work on that over the holiday season before you go ahead and start house hunting next summer instead.

Trickier home inspections. Never skip the home inspection at any time of year, even if it is a little more difficult to investigate all the areas needed in winter. For example, the roof may be covered in snow, and it is harder to detect cracks in the foundation or know whether there are issues with runoff water but, you still want a professional to investigate. The good news is that it’s easier to assess heating and/or heat loss issues or to detect unpleasant smells in the winter as the heating system will be running. If you do buy in the winter, practice due diligence; ask a lot of questions, do your research, and find out if there are photos of the home during the summer months to see the condition of the property without the snow piled up.

Whether you decide to buy in the winter or wait for the spring or summer market; work with me, Darren Robinson. A pre-approval is the first step in your home-buying experience and I want to make sure you get the best rates and options.

While the summer weather may be better for touring homes and it’s easier for families to move in warmer temperatures, you may find your dream home waiting for you. Just because it’s uncommon doesn’t mean you won’t find a diamond in the rough.

With more motivated sellers and fewer buyers, you may find exactly what you’re looking for without having to deal with the summer crowds or high-pressure offers. If you’re on the hunt for a new home OR a mortgage, talk to me. As an experienced mortgage broker, I am here to help you every step of the way, rain or shine, heatwave or cold snap. Call today at 705-315-0516 or jump over to my website to book your appointment and let’s get you pre-approved ahead of your hunt.

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