Why Buying a Home in the Winter is a Good Idea
As the holiday season comes to a close, home buying might be the last thing on your list. But could house hunting during the winter months save you money and time? About one million consumers will purchase a home from November to January this year, when home prices decrease. Read on to see if now is the time for you to dash to find the house of your dreams.
1.) You can get a better deal
The real estate market moves in cycles. According to Forbes “There is a clear seasonal pattern of rising prices from the spring home-buying season to the end of summer. Then prices mildly retreat. Closings in January provide the best discount for home buyers, meaning that buyers get the best deal when they get the home under contract around December.” Taking advantage of the inevitable decline in prices could land you with a great bargain.
If the home has been on the market for a long time getting the best price is even more likely, sellers may be more willing to discount their price to have their home sold.
2.) You can see how the home is fairing in tough conditions
Winters can be a brutal time for the wear and tear on a home. With the moisture, temperatures, snow and ice you will really see how the house can handle the elements. Feel for drafts, look for structural damage, inspect the heating and plumbing, and check the overall insulation of your potential place. If you see there are problems you may want to have an energy audit done as well.
If you find any issues you may be able to negotiate repairs or additional discounts on the house. All these benefits of house hunting could be overlooked if you are looking to buy in the spring and summer.
3.) There may be tax advantages
Certain tax advantages can be made when selling a home that can come in handy when it is time to file for returns. You may find in your house hunting that some owners desire to take advantage of selling their homes to improve their tax situation, which works to your benefit in the long run. If as seller closes on a new home before December 31, you can apply the purchase of your home towards deductions for that year. Now that it is January, you can still apply the purchase to next year’s tax deductions! That is good news for you!
4.) There are less buyers and negotiation
Not only are the prices better, the competition for the best homes is less fierce and you will see less competing bids. Sellers are looking to sell quickly and will want to close in a manner that is painless and requires less negotiation for everyone involved. Bidding wars begone!