Looking for a New Home? Here are the Benefits of Buying in Winter
Many people list winter as their least favourite season. And when you live somewhere with bitter winters like Edmonton, this is understandable. The roads are slippery, and it takes longer to get everywhere. Not to mention, leisurely strolls to the local cafe become a hassle...especially when it's 30 below with the windchill. And let's not forget having to put on those winter tires! But let's say you're planning to buy a home. Did you know buying in winter comes with all kinds of benefits? It’s true! And these benefits just might change how you feel about this season?
It's true—if you're looking for a great deal on a home, the winter season could be a blessing!
The Benefits of Buying in Winter
Here are some of the benefits of buying a home in Edmonton in the winter:
Fewer buyers to compete with
During winter, people are less keen on venturing out to search for a home. The poor weather conditions make the entire process more cumbersome. Unsurprisingly, most homes are sold in late spring and throughout the summer.
The lull in the market during winter means less competition. With fewer buyers available, homes remain for sale for a much longer period of time. But this means you have access to more options and more time to find your ideal one.
It also means there’s a better chance of you being able to buy a home relatively quickly. That’s because sellers are more motivated to accept your offer. In turn, this means they'll be less ambitious with their sale price with fewer buyers competing.
Still, home shopping in the winter requires proper planning.
So, if you’re scheduling home viewings, remember to consider all possible contingencies. This includes things like harsh weather conditions and holiday commitments.
The same goes for the closing date and moving schedules which might need more time and effort.
More opportunity to negotiate
Most sellers generally don't want their homes listed on the market for too long. That means you'll be able to exercise greater bargaining power when it comes to price and other concessions.
During the winter, it's normally the buyers who dominate. When many buyers are competing in the summer? Then it's to the seller’s benefit because they can take their time to wait for the right buyer.
But, remember to always be respectful and never lowball your offer. You don't want to offend the seller and lose the opportunity to open to a mutually beneficial negotiation.
Never assume all sellers are desperate to sell during the winter. Ensure you do some research on the trend of home prices in your area. Here's a helpful resource to get you started.
It's also wise to keep an eye on your finances. (Read about applying for a mortgage for the first time in this post)
Don't get seriously into debt to the point your debt-to-income ratio begins looking unattractive to lenders. Even though the winter months are more buyer-friendly, there is no guarantee that you'll receive a sizable discount on the price of the home you buy. So, don't go on a spending spree with your arsenal of credit cards!
(If you're buying in winter, you might also be selling a home at the same time. Here's a handy blog post with tips for buying and selling a home at the same time)
More affordable services
With the purchase of a new home, you'll undoubtedly have to defer your authority to different professionals at some point. To name a few, this includes lawyers, home inspectors, moving companies, and realtors.
The demand for the services of these professionals is much lower during the winter months.
This means their fees will generally be much lower during that time too. Also, with fewer clients filling up their schedules, they have more time to dedicate to you and your move. Ultimately, this offers you greater flexibility and convenience.
Buying in winter does have a lot of benefits, as you've seen.
But don't assume things can't go wrong.
Winter also brings with it problems that don't present themselves during the summer. Does the home need repairs or renovations? Keep in mind they often can’t be completed during periods of heavy snowfall or low temperatures.
So, always be on the safe side and add some buffer time for the closing date of your new home! After all, you don't want any surprises, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating.
Did you learn a lot from this post about the benefits of buying in winter? Here are three more posts you won't want to miss next:
- Tips for Running an Airbnb Property in Edmonton
- 3 Signs You are Overpaying for a House
- How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent For You