Buying A Home During Off-Season: Here’s Why You Should Do It
Even though winter is typically a slow time for real estate, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a good time to purchase a home. Buying a home during this traditional “off” season could work for you depending on the real estate market where you want to move and your personal circumstances.
So if house-hunting has been on your to-do list for a while now, why wait? Forget about the bustling spring and summer months. The winter season can also offer numerous advantages if you’re looking to buy, and here are some of them:
In many housing markets, the off-season typically sees fewer potential buyers in the market, with many of them waiting for the warmer months to purchase a new home. This means you’ll likely face less competition. There’ll be fewer offers leading to fewer bidding wars, giving a higher chance for your offer to get accepted.
Houses that are listed during the off-season often belong to sellers who are eager to close the deal quickly. They may be in a “must sell” situation due to several reasons, such as relocating for a job, financial circumstances, or other life changes that make selling their home the best solution. Thus, they might be more willing to negotiate, whether it’s on price or concessions, such as offering to pay for closing costs.
With fewer real estate transactions taking place during the off-season, real estate professionals such as lenders, agents, inspectors, and appraisers are less busy. For instance, mortgage lenders have fewer loans to process so they can focus on completing your paperwork. This can result in faster response times and a smoother home-buying process, allowing you to move into your new home sooner than expected.
When you buy a home in the spring or summer, you’re seeing homes at their best, in ideal weather conditions. But if it snows in the area during colder months, one of the biggest drawbacks is that you don’t really get a chance to see how the property holds up to low temperatures and harsh weather conditions.
Home shopping during winter will allow you to assess a home’s ability to withstand the cold, moisture, and wind. You won’t only get to see the quality of the insulation and the effectiveness of the heating system. You’ll also be able to check how drafty the windows are, inspect the roof for ice dams, and observe the property for other potential issues that only arise during less favorable weather conditions. By driving around the area during winter, you could also see how well the city clears the roads leading to your neighborhood and your prospective home.
During the busier summer months, many moving companies are already booked weeks in advance. In the off-season, however, the demand for moving services is often lower, resulting in more favorable rates. You might just be able to negotiate a better deal since they aren’t slammed with bookings. It’s also easier to secure their services or rent equipment on shorter notice. Likewise, you’ll have the flexibility to reschedule just in case there’s ice and snow in your area causing havoc on your planned moving day.
Once you close on your new home, you’re eventually going to need new furniture and decor. And there are plenty of opportunities to save when you purchase a home in the off-season. Take advantage of end-of-the-year sales and New Year’s inventory blowouts on major appliances and home improvement materials.