The holiday season is in full swing and if you’re like most families, you’re probably finishing up some last minute shopping for loved ones. Buying real estate is probably the furthest thing from your mind – but it shouldn’t be. A lot of buyers decide to take a break from house hunting over the holidays. If you’ve been searching for a home in competitive real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver, the holidays are the perfect time to swoop in and purchase your dream home while everyone else is at home sipping eggnog.
Here are some reasons to consider buying during winter.
1. Less Buyer Competition
Are you sick and tired of coming up short on bidding wars? In cities like Toronto and Vancouver where there is a chronic shortage of single-family homes, winter can be the opportune time to find your dream abode. Less competition means you might only have to deal with one or two interested buyers instead of six or seven. This only improves your chances of coming out on top in a multiple offer situation. You’ll feel less pressured to leave out important conditions from your offer like home inspection.
2. Sellers Are Extra Motivated
Most sellers want to put their homes on the market during the red-hot spring real estate market. Sellers usually won’t list their home during traditionally slow times like winter – unless they have to. Likewise, most buyers would rather be sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace than house hunting in a parka.
If you’re in the market for a home, use this knowledge to your advantage. Common reasons for selling during winter include estate sales, divorces and job loss. Do your homework and find out why sellers are listing their properties. Armed with this knowledge, use it to your advantage when it comes time to make your offer.
3. You’ll View the Home at its Worst
Viewing a home at its worst doesn’t mean when a homeowner hasn’t tidied up; It means seeing what the home is like during the most brutal season of the year. Although you won’t be able to enjoy the nice landscaping with two feet of snow outside, you’ll notice other things like drafty windows and an inefficient furnace. If you’ll be using the basement for a living space, go downstairs and see how warm it is. A house that can withstand winter without being worse for wear is one worth considering.
4. There are Fewer Homes on the Market
Although this may sound like a negative, hear us out. As a buyer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed during the spring housing market. With so many homes to choose from, it can be tough to settle on just one. You may feel pressured to settle on a home that doesn’t have all the must-haves on your home wish list. With not as many homes on the market during the winter, you’ll be able to concentrate on the homes that have everything you’re looking for.
5. It’s Still a Great Time to Buy
It’s still a great time for buyers to purchase a home. With record-low mortgage rates, buyers can afford a home a home at the top of their price range. As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Mortgage rates may be low now, but who knows what 2015 has in store. The spring market is a long way away. Although mortgage rates could remain low, you’ll kick yourself if rates jump up. You might have to settle for a condo instead or a house or worse, you could find yourself priced out of the market. Nobody wants that, especially you!
We hope our list makes you think twice about pausing your search for a home during the winter. Happy holidays and happy winter house hunting from the Housing Block!
About the Author: The Housing Block
The Housing Block provides users with convenient access to many valuable real estate tools. Our vision is to build the most innovative and valuable real estate platform to help buyers and renters find a new place to call home.