It seems like the notion of purchasing a home during the winter is an idea that’s been pulled out of thin air, but it’s actually come to fruition over the past few years in more and more markets.
There are a lot of factors behind this trend, from manageable interest rates to lower home prices; and once you factor in the savings of not renting, you’ll wonder why anyone would ever buy a house during summertime.
Furthermore, when you buy a home in winter, you get to see the house (and the local neighborhood) at its worst. While some buyers will find that prospect off-putting, others will decide it’s a great time to get in on a deal.
Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you complete your sale in winter.
Get Your Financing in Order
Financing a house purchase is a huge undertaking, especially during winter. Therefore, make sure that you have all the information ready before you begin your search so that when the time comes to get pre-approved or even to put financing in place, it goes as smoothly as possible.
Can you get any help with your deposit? Maybe if you are in a particular field of work (for example, medicine), can you find fixed rate mortages for medical professionals? Every little helps, as they say.
Work With a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent
Working with a professional is probably one of the best aspects of buying a house in winter—and in any other season.
You want to feel confident that your real estate agent can help you find the right home within your initial budget, while making sure it’s still within your budget once you’re close to closing.
If you are looking to buy a second or vacation home, it’s worth working with an agent specializing in those types of real estate.
Look For Motivated Sellers
It’s all well and good working with a good agent, but what about the sellers? If you are working with a real estate agent, then they should be able to find a motivated seller. But if you want to buy your own home, it’s up to you to remember that in the end, it’s up to you as the buyer to offer a good enough price that the seller is willing to accept.
To do this, ensure you’ve got enough money for your down payment and closing costs, pro-rated property taxes, and homeowners insurance. If your budget is tight at the time of closing, ask friends and family for help!
In addition to this step, ensure that there are no loans against the property other than your mortgage loan.
Pay Attention to the Weather and Road Conditions
Buying in winter gives you a unique perspective on your surroundings that you wouldn’t necessarily be aware of if you bought in the summer. For example, during the winter, you’ll be able to see if the street is impassable when it snows; and whether all of the local schools are frequently closed because of this.
In summary, the above points, as well as the savings you make by not renting, might convince you to wait until the winter months to start planning your move.