There is no right time to buy a house. Some prefer buying a house in winter, while others wait for the spring or summer season to begin. However, getting to a decision can get perplexing if you are a first-time homebuyer.
This winter, if you think you’re ready to purchase your dream home, don’t let the freezing temperatures, icy roads or holiday celebrations get in the way. We’ve shared a list of advantages and disadvantages to make decision-making a little easier for you. Read on to find out.
Benefits of Buying a House During Winters
Is Buying a house in winter season worth it? Yes, it is. Here’s why:
Only a Few Buyers
One of the biggest reasons why you should consider purchasing a house in the winter is the lesser number of buyers. As a buyer, you would want to get an exclusive viewing of the house you want to buy, and winter is the best time for it. In the summers or spring, you may not get this advantage because the number of potential buyers is more. This gives rise to a bidding war, making it hard for you to make an offer.
In the winter, sellers just don’t get much attention. Hence, they are willing to interact with you more, answer questions and even negotiate.
Chances of Getting a Better Deal
Since the buyers are few, chances are you will get a better price on the home you wish to purchase. The seller may not get as many offers and will be willing to negotiate in your favour. While there is no guarantee that you will find something for a steal, there is a high possibility of you getting a fair deal in the winters.
Tax Advantages for the Seller
Some sellers want to sell their homes to gain tax benefits. They are eager to sell their houses, which in turn could be beneficial for you. As a buyer, you would want to work with an eager buyer, someone who is motivated enough to sell and negotiate.
While making an offer, just make sure you don’t underestimate the value of the house. The seller could take that as an insult, and they may not want to work with you. Keep in mind that some sellers do not appreciate “over smartness”, they wouldn’t want you to take advantage of their tax situation.
See if the House Can Handle Harsh Weather
Winters are a tough season, especially in a place like Canada. The cold weather, wind and moisture will help you test the home insulation capabilities. If the insulation is poor, and you can notice it on the first viewing itself, it’s an advantage for you. Imagine buying a home in the summers and facing insulation problems in the winter. That would hurt, right?
There are many such winter-related issues that you could check. Getting such information beforehand can help you during decision-making and negotiate better on the final cost.
Negotiation May Not Be Necessary
No buyer or seller wants to go through a long negotiation process. It is stressful, especially if you have to keep haggling back and forth. Sellers are aware that buying a house winter is the season of compromise, which means you will find plenty of houses on sale. Those selling through a realtor would know that winters are for quick deals that are less time-consuming and free from headaches.
If you find any issues during the home inspection, the seller may be prepared to offer repairs or discounts off the house. You may as well get concessions that otherwise would be unlikely in a competitive market.
Mortgage Rate May Increase
One of the biggest advantages of buying a house in winter is the mortgage rate. The rates tend to go up, and purchasing just before that will help you save some money. Of course, there is no guarantee as such, you have to examine the existing financial condition first.
If they have been low for a long time, the odds of them increasing are certainly there. But we’d recommend that you talk to an expert broker before locking down the deal.
People are Less Busy
According to Canada real estate, the sale of a house involves a buyer, seller, a realtor and a lender. During peak time, one has to wait for a long period to get things done as it involves extensive paperwork. In winters, however, things are a little different. It is a time when lenders aren’t swamped with work and are available to process paperwork almost immediately. You don’t have to wait for the lender to get things rolling and get the home possession rather quickly.
It’s the Holiday Season
The holiday season automatically puts people in a good mood. They’re happy and generous to even strangers. Thus, interacting with a seller during this time can get you a good price.
Disadvantages of Buying a House in Winter
Buying a home during this season can have some disadvantages too. Other than the challenging climate, one has to remember the following factors:
The choice of homes during this time is limited. People feel lazy and want to work less. If you have a certain location or facility in mind, you may want to wait for summer or spring time to purchase a house. It’s also a matter of compromise, if you are not flexible enough to work with the options you have, this may not be the time to make a huge investment.
Inspections Are Not Easy
It’s a tough season, and inspecting a house may not be simple. You can very well check the windows, doors and insulation but inspecting the pool, air conditioner and yard may require you to wait for months.
Not the Best Time to Move
While signing a deal is quick during this season, moving from one house to another isn’t. You will have to pack it all, only for the weather to ruin it at the last minute. How? Because of the sudden wind or snow. It is a difficult time when you take moving into consideration.
Now that we’re talking about moving, how can we not mention the time and effort it takes? If you have kids, it could be tough for them. They will have to adjust to a new neighbourhood and enroll in a new school. Wintertime is a busy time at school. So, for your kids to get involved in activities, making friends and interacting with teachers could be a hassle.
Real Estate Tips to Ensure a Good Deal During Winters
If you have made up your mind and are financially ready to purchase a new home, just go for it. Take a look at these tips to ensure a better deal:
Getting a home requires a mortgage. So, do your homework and pre-qualify for a mortgage, so you know what you’re getting into and learn whether you can afford it. A pre-qualification letter in advance will allow you to make a quick offer to the seller. It may distinguish you from other buyers, as not every seller gets such offers.
What sort of house are you looking for? Do you have a specific neighbourhood or school district in mind? Do you want a home with a basement, or are you only searching for apartments? Determine your needs. Make a list of what matters and list them in a certain order, such as from most important to least important. Having a clear set of goals will make the process of finding your dream home easier.
Be Negotiation Ready
Yes, it’s the winter season and negotiation may not be necessary. But never say never, one cannot be certain that the need for negotiation won’t take place at all. Instead of going in unprepared, prepare yourself for such a scenario. Set a maximum price that you are willing to negotiate. If possible, take help from a realtor. Once you have that in place, just submit that offer when the time comes and don’t budge.
Ask for a Home Warranty
If you like a particular home but cannot inspect amenities like the air conditioning unit or swimming pool, ask for a home warranty. It will cover the repair and replacement expenses for these facilities, so you don’t have to pay for them later. Consult a professional real estate agent and request them to create an attorney that protects your rights and finances.
In the End
Whether winter is the right time to buy a house or not depends on what you want. If you want to explore more options and aren’t willing to settle just because the price is low, we suggest you wait till you find something that matches your taste.