Buying a Home in Winter
You may think of winter as a bad time to buy a house, but there are several advantages to buying a home in winter. While the real estate market does typically slow down during the winter and holiday months, there are still plenty of homes available for sale. Many of these sellers will want or need to be closed out by the end of the year.
Here are a few advantages to buying a home in winter.
The winter months and holiday season are typically slower for real estate sales. This can be due to several factors such as people spending time with family, not wanting to deal with moving during the holidays and/or cold weather, or buyers and sellers just not having the time to deal with showings.
This can lead to fewer homes being for sale, which also means that there are fewer buyers. Fewer buyers equals less competition, which means there are less chances of losing your dream home in a bidding war!
Less competition for buying a home in winter can lead to frustration for the seller. Especially a seller that needs to sell for relocation or other end-of-the-year needs.
This can benefit a buyer in several ways. One benefit is that a buyer can negotiate with more confidence than in the spring months when the seller may have more leverage. If the seller is frustrated by a slower winter real estate market, you may have better luck negotiating for a lower offer price, seller concessions such as closing costs, or repair negotiations.
Winter Home Flaws
Winter can be harsh on a home.
Landscaping dies out and signs of wear and tear on the home exterior become more visible.
A room that might be a showpiece in the summer may be too cold for habitation in the winter.
These are all things that would be of great interest to a buyer and might be completely overlooked in the spring. That’s not to say that there aren’t flaws that can stand out in the spring and summer, but rather to show that there are advantages to buying a home in winter.
Holiday Shopping for Interest Rates
Mortgage Interest Rates fluctuate and are unpredictable, but they are historically lower during the holiday months. This alone could make winter the perfect time to buy your new home.
It’s also worth noting that most banks operate on an end-of-year profit schedule and may have special programs/terms available for financing that closes before the end of the year. So, if you are thinking of buying in the near future, it is worth reaching out to a few lenders to do some holiday interest rate shopping for yourself!
REALTORS®, lenders, underwriters, inspectors, and any other vendors working with your purchase are usually very motivated in the winter months. With less competition in the market, your team of real estate professionals usually has more time to devote to each individual client and their needs.
Your real estate team may also be motivated by an end-of-the-year or beginning-of-the-year factor as they may be working to end their year or begin the new year on a strong note.
This usually works out great as most sellers and buyers want to be in their new homes before the end of the year or as soon as possible into the new year.
Depending on a buyer’s financial situation, there may be certain tax benefits available for buying a home and closing before the end of the year. Please consult with a tax professional to determine your eligibility.