For many parts of the country, winter is the season we love to hate – shoveling the driveway, longer commutes and freezing temperatures. But it’s also the perfect season for hot chocolate, relaxing by the fire and house hunting. House hunting? That’s right. Here are some of the pros to buying during the winter months.
Looking for a Starter Home? You May Be in Luck!
First time buyers actually have a greater chance of buying during the winter. According to Trulia research, the number of less expensive starter homes on the market increases during the winter as listing prices drop. According to Trulia, “Starter home inventory actually increases by about 7% in the fall months compared to the spring. That leads to listing prices that are about 4.8% and 3.1% lower in the winter and spring than in the summer (or third quarter), respectively.” But while homes may be easier to get, there is a chance that the homes you’ll visit in the winter may not be exactly what you are looking for. If you’re seriously looking, you might need to look past some of a home’s outdated elements, to grab a home with good bones, at a lower price.
Say Goodbye to Bidding Wars
Winter tends to be a less popular time for house hunting, which means less competition – as many suspend their search until spring. So in some markets, your days of bidding against 10 offers on a home may be over. And if you’re looking for the best time to strike, try for the weeks around the holidays, when buyers spend time focusing on family and friends and put their homeownership dreams on halt for a few months.
Sellers Are More Prone to Negotiate
Homes on the market during the winter months are often those that cannot wait. People may need to sell for job relocation or sell an inherited property by the end of the year for tax purposes. Often, they are motivated to sell as soon as possible. If a home has been on the market since September and hasn’t sold, it could be a prime opportunity to negotiate with the seller.
Interest Rates Are Competitive
Interest rates are ever-changing with the economy, but with each new year comes the possibility that the Fed will raise rates for the following year. By buying in the next few months, you may put yourself in a better position to secure a low rate and benefit in the long term.
If you need assistance getting pre-approved in the coming months to position yourself to buy, contact a mortgage planner near you. Happy house hunting!