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Pros and Cons of Buying a Home in the Winter

Most people believe that winter is not a time to buy or sell a home. However, if you look at the data many homes are sold in the coldest months of the year. From December 2019 to February 2020, over 1 million homes were sold – meaning there is no reason to wait until spring to find the home of your dreams.

What are the advantages of buying and selling real estate during the winter? Let’s look!

Buying a Home in the Winter

purchasing a home during winter

When you’re ready to purchase here are some benefits of buying a home during the cold months.

1.Reduced competition.Fewer people are purchasing homes, which means you’re faced with less competition in the market. This also means you have more power for negotiating with the seller on price, and also puts less pressure on you as the buyer to put in an offer immediately.

2.Easier to spot problems.While the weather isn’t perfect for outdoor activities, winter inspections can help point out problem areas like a leaky roof, broken gutters, and potential problem areas that could lead to flooding.

3.A better view of the home.While leaves on the trees do provide a better curb appeal, fewer leaves and foliage actually give you a better view of the land and the home itself. Greenery can hide aspects of the home you may not particularly like, or even provide covering for broken siding, hide the nesting grounds of wasps or bees, etc. With bare trees, everything is out in the open.

4.Potential mortgage rate fluctuations. Depending on when you’re purchasing, mortgage rates may fluctuate. Having a lower interest rate can save you money as you pay off your new home.

Tips for Buying a Home in Winter

There are some steps you can take to get ready to purchase your home and to make your buying experience as easy as possible.

1.Stick to your budget. When you are ready to purchase a home, you may be approved for a larger mortgage that you are ready to pay back. Do not purchase a home where the payment is more than 25% of your monthly income.

2.Negotiate as necessary.Sellers are more likely to work with you as there aren’t many offers coming in during these months. If the home inspection brings on some issues, ask the seller to repair the issues or lower the asking price to cover these repairs.

3.Talk to a tax professional.Purchasing a home can bring changes to your tax situation. It’s best to discuss the purchase with your tax professional to ensure you get every deduction and credit you’re allowed to claim.

Selling a Home in the Winter

As a seller, there are many reasons to sell your home in the winter.

1.List your home online. The internet has no seasons, and most individuals search online for their new home. Regardless if it is the dead of winter or the height of summer, seasons have no impact on the internet. Serious homebuyers are constantly on the lookout for new properties, regardless of the weather.

2.Less sellers.There are fewer individuals selling their homes during these months, which gives you a greater chance of being noticed. In 2019, 250,000 homes dropped off the market between November and December, which means 15% less competition during the winter!

3.Buyers want to buy. Buyers that are looking during the winter and serious about buying. If an individual comes out in the cold to look at your home, chances are they are incredibly serious about buying.

4.People have more time to shop. With time off for the holidays, buyers are available to shop around without rushing or taking time off of work. You don’t have to worry about coordinating schedules for house showings.

Tax breaks. Selling a home provides many tax benefits to buyers, making them motivated to make an offer quickly and get your home off your hands.

Tips for Selling in Winter

Make your home as inviting for potential buyers as possible by using these steps:

1.Stay simple. If you want holiday decorations up, make sure they don’t overpower the room. Less is more.

2.Keep it inviting. Light a fire, play soft music, have baked goods – anything to make the home see more… homey.

3.Keep it lit.It gets dark fast in winter. Light up the outside of your home.

4.Take down outdoor decorations. Remove holiday decor quickly. Don’t have blow-up decorations or Christmas lights up months after the holidays.

Ready to sell your home and have some last-minute repairs before listing it on the market? The professionals at Alpha Omega can help! We work with real estate agents, property managers, and individuals to clean up and restore homes after water and fire damage is discovered – getting the property ready, and safe, for selling.

Call us today for more information and how we can help restore your Billings home.

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