Didn’t get to house hunt during the peak spring and summer months? Maybe you weren’t financially ready or you didn’t have the time…but that might not be a bad thing! While the weather may be better for viewing homes and it’s easier to move in the summer, you may find some advantages to house hunting in the fall or winter.
These are a few key things to consider when buying during the colder months, and indicators of why you don’t need to wait until next spring to start looking for that perfect home.
1. Serious sellers
When someone lists their home in the fall or winter, it usually indicates they are intent on selling, even though they know there are fewer buyers out there. It may be that they need to move for financial, personal or work-related issues, or perhaps they can’t keep up with the maintenance or repairs. Whatever the reason, it means they are serious about selling.
2. Lighter crowds
Summer brings out ALL the interested home buyers and browsers, meaning that there is often an abundance of buyers out there to compete with. In fall and winter however, the market slows down and so do the crowds. There is also less chance of having to contend with multiple offers and getting out-bid on your dream home. The downside is that there are also fewer homes on the market during the colder months, so the selection of properties may not be very robust.
3. Potentially better prices
The real estate world is all about supply and demand. So, when there’s less demand, sellers tend to be more flexible, particularly if they are under pressure to sell quickly. As a buyer during the slower months, you may also get an opportunity to negotiate the things that you’re really interested in, such as your desired closing date, or the matching washer and dryer that you fell in love with. Just be careful not to lowball yourself completely out of a deal.
4. Trickier home inspections
Don’t skip the home inspection at any time of year, even if it’s a little more difficult to investigate all the areas needed in winter. For example, the roof may be covered in snow, and it may be hard to detect cracks in the foundation or issues with the lawn or garden. The good news is that in the colder months, it’s easier to assess heating and/or heat loss issues. As a buyer, practice due diligence; ask a lot of questions, do your research, and find out if there are photos of the home during summer months to get a better indication of its condition.
5. Moving woes
Have you ever had to move during a snowstorm or -30°C weather? It’s not ideal, to say the least. That’s where hiring a professional moving company can come in handy, and if possible, have a back-up date so that if the weather is too treacherous on your move-in date you won’t be left out in the cold.
Just because the colder months are upon us doesn’t mean you can’t go looking for that perfect home. With more motivated sellers and fewer buyers, you may find exactly what you’re looking for without having to deal with the summer crowds or high-pressure offers. While there are several great reasons to buy in the fall or winter, what matters most is that you find a home that suits you and your family best. If you’re on the hunt for a new home or a mortgage, talk to me. As an experienced mortgage broker, I am here to help you with every step of the process, rain or shine, heatwave or cold snap. Call today to book your appointment at 780-288-0643 so we can get you pre-approved ahead of your hunt.
Tatum Neufeld, BComm
Mortgage Broker • Mortgage Tailors