| Buying | By Anslie Stokes

New year, new beginnings!

If moving is on your to-do list for 2018, you need to determine the best time to buy a house. Buying a home in the winter is an often-overlooked option that comes with its own unique set of pros and cons.

The Pros 

1. There are fewer buyers

Less competition means a better chance at scoring your dream home. Many buyers want to wait until the weather warms up or school lets out to buy a home. By going against the grain, you’re getting in before the spring/summer rush!


TIP: Want to get a head start? Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll send you listings that match!


2. Sellers are motivated

Typically, those who have listed their home in the winter know they could get more competitive offers in the spring, but are deciding to list now. If their home didn’t sell in the spring/summer rush, it has probably been sitting on the market for a while. You can use their motivation to sell to your advantage.


3. You can see how winter-proof the home is

Seeing houses in the winter means you can experience the home in the harshest season. Take advantage of this by bringing along your winter home maintenance checklist to see how the heating, pipes, fireplace, insulation, and window/door sealants are holding up.


TIP: Don’t have a winter home maintenance checklist? Email us to learn what you should be looking for!


 4. Prices are usually lower

As previously mentioned, a lot of winter sellers are very motivated to close the deal and move on to their next home. If the home has been sitting on the market, it’s most likely already seen a price reduction. Add in the low-competition factor and you get the ideal atmosphere to buy your dream home at a great price.

 

The Cons

 

1. The weather’s not on your side

Less than ideal conditions can add unnecessary stress to the home search. Snowstorms can delay travel, cold weather makes exploring the neighborhood less appealing, and fewer hours of daylight can put a crunch on time.


TIP: See what’s on the market now by doing a quick home search or browsing our listings.


2. You may not see the whole picture

Another disadvantage that colder weather brings is its ability to hide important features of the home. A few inches of snow can cover the yard and foundation, making it impossible to see its true condition. Enlisting the help of an experienced real estate team and ensuring a thorough home inspection is more important than ever.


3. The difficult timing

Saving for a home purchase always takes planning and discipline, but buying after the winter takes it to a whole other level. Holiday gifts, traveling, and events can put a dent in not only your savings but also your time. If you’re buying with a family, a winter move is an even bigger disruption, especially if you have children who’ll be switching schools.

At the end of the day, there are benefits and drawbacks to buying a home in any season. There is no one-size-fits-all best time to buy a house. It really depends on your needs, timeframe, finances, and the team you work with.

If you’d like some advice on the best time to buy a house, call us for a confidential consultation at 202.270.1081, email us at anslie@thestokesgroup.com, or send us a message here.

The Stokes Group is a team of dedicated professionals who have passion for the real estate business and will advocate for our clients with the utmost honesty, integrity, and confidentiality. We believe in building solid relationships with our clients and that starts by getting to know who we are. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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