Why wait for Spring, think about buying a home in the Fall or Winter

Why wait for Spring, think about buying a home in the Fall or Winter
 

purchasing a home in fall or winterDid you know there can be advantages to buying a home in the fall or winter.   We typically associate spring and summer as being busy times in the real estate market, with fall and winter being very quiet.  So, what makes fall and winter appealing if you're in the market for a new home:  

  1. The first reason and the most compelling for the majority of buyers is that homes show best in the spring and summer months, particularly those with attractive landscaping.  Houses can be overpriced as sellers hope to capitalize on buyers visualizing themselves in their beautiful backyards as well as the buying frenzy of a busy season.  In slower seasons, sellers can be anxious and will tend to price more competitively or sometimes under-price to attract buyers.
  2. Young families tend to drive a lot of the frenzy ... they typically buy in time to move in and get settled to coincide with the start of a new school year. Buyers that don't have to plan on getting children settled in new schools can use off seasons to their advantage, benefiting from less competition.  
  3. Having time to carefully make a buying decision is a huge bonus when buying during fall or winter markets.   Busy seasons can trigger multiple offers with buyers not having time to reflect on their home purchases or the amount they're offering in a great rush to avoid losing the house.  In a bid to make offers not only financially appealing, buyers may leave out important conditions, like a home inspection,  to make their offers more attractive.   With less competition, buyers can view a home several times, seeing it at varying times to see the amount of natural light during the day, thoroughly inspecting the premises for any flaws, as well as noting  the amount of traffic in the area and exploring the neighbourhood and its amenities.  

If you purchase in the fall or winter you need to keep the following in mind:

 

  1. Just like checking that the furnace works properly when buying in warm seasons, you need to check the condition of the air conditioner.   Is there even an air conditioner?   Most homes today have them, but there are still homes without them, and you'll be sorry once the warm weather comes and you forgot to check.           
  2. Make sure you're satisfied that water is being directed away from the house.  Does the yard slope towards the house?  If so, how steep is it?   Is there proper drainage to prevent flooding?       
  3. What about the driveway?   Does it have a steep slope?   Will it be hazardous on icy days?  Check out the walkway to the house.  Is there easy access from the garage and/or driveway?  How accessible will entering the home be if your arms are full of groceries and it's freezing rain?  
  4. Is the house close to a body of water?  Water attracts certain insects, especially mosquitoes, that you'll have to contend with during the warm weather.  
  5. Fortunately, you will have more information on the condition and quality of the windows and doors leading outside when you buy in colder weather.   Do you notice any drafts when standing by the doors and windows?   Are they good quality, are they sound resistant?    
  6. Never forget about checking on the condition of the roof and chimney.  When were the shingles and eavestroughs replaced?   When was the chimney cleaned if there's a wood-burning fireplace?  Is the chimney is good condition?     
  7. If having lots of natural light in the home is important to you, make sure you know which direction the house is facing.   With the lack of natural light in colder seasons, it will be more difficult to judge how bright the rooms will be. It's best to schedule home visits during daylight hours to really be able to see if there are any flaws that concern you. 
  8.  Snow can add a lot of charm to dreary surroundings so, if you're not familiar with a neighbourhood you're interested in, google the address and take a virtual tour of the street to see what it looks like in the summer.   

If you're in the market for a new home, put on your parka and boots and start looking, you may not want to wait for spring.   

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Sharon Nairn

Sharon Nairn

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Dreams Inc., Brokerage*
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