You’ve spent months searching for the perfect home, getting everything organized to prepare for the big purchase. But there’s a problem… it’s nearly winter and prime home-buying season is still months away. The anticipation of waiting till spring is driving you crazy, as you wonder, “Is it really unorthodox to buy a home in the winter?” In fact, it’s not. Contrary to what many people believe, winter is a great time to buy a home for many reasons.
Before you purchase a new home this winter, read up on the top five advantages to buying a home in the off-season.
Since most people wait until spring to shop around for new homes, there will be fewer buyers in the market. This is advantageous to you in several ways, as the law of supply and demand works in your favor. Because supply is higher but demand is lower, it’s less likely there will be multiple offers on your dream home because competition won’t be as great. And since there are fewer buyers, you’ll have more flexibility with what you offer. Sellers are more likely to be motivated to sell at a lower price or make a deal with you because there’s less competition.
A helpful tip: Don’t be afraid to make an offer that’s below the asking price, especially if the home has been on the market for a while. Ask your real estate agent what the sellers’ circumstances are; they may need to sell the house as soon as possible and, therefore, may be more willing to sell at a lower price.
This is where harsh winter weather will work in your favor. A great advantage to winter home-buying is having the opportunity to see how well the house handles the cold, moisture, and wind. When touring a home, make sure to check the plumbing, heating, roof, and gutters. Also, be aware of issues such as air leaks, ice dams, or leaky roofs. Since it may be more difficult to inspect a home because of ice or snow, ask the sellers when the roof was last replaced, or when the septic tank was last serviced. Make sure to ask for receipts to back up their claims in case you discover unexpected damages to the house after the closing process. Also, keep in mind that you can always negotiate with the seller to make repairs or to lower the selling price when major issues are found.
During the winter months, real estate agents and lenders, like Easy Mortgage, aren’t anywhere near as busy as they would be during the peak selling and buying seasons. This is advantageous because your realtor will have more time to focus on finding the right home for you, while your lender works to get money in your hands. The closing process, which can sometimes take up to a month, may also be quicker when purchasing a home in the winter because of the slower market.
If you close on a new home on or before December 31, you can deduct interest and property tax portions of your mortgage payment, points on your loan, and interest costs from your taxes. As a new homeowner, you will likely be faced with a monthly mortgage payment; however, at the beginning of your mortgage, most of your payment is interest, so a large portion of your payment may be tax deductible. Property tax deductions are also a great benefit, especially for those who live in states with higher property tax, because you then have the ability to take a larger deduction on your taxes. End-of-year tax benefits are one of the biggest motivations behind buying a house in the winter and can be especially handy while you pay off your home loan.
As you probably know, spring and summer are the busiest seasons for moving and rental equipment companies. Luckily, if you purchase your home in the winter, you’ll be more easily able to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on short notice, as they are likely to be less busy. Not sure what you’ll need to move your belongings? Check out these helpful tips on how to choose the right moving truck.
Are you ready to deck the halls of your new home this winter? Contact us to learn more about our loan programs today!
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