Why it is a Good Idea to Buy a House in the Winter

by Bethany Seton

Although we’d all like to decide when we’ll buy a house and move, there are always other circumstances that can push the move to be sooner or later than we had planned, and it can be very stressful. It’s a popular opinion that winter is the worst season to buy a home, but there are actually many advantages of house hunting in wintertime. 

It’s obvious why real estate experts have declared summer and spring prime seasons for house hunting - it’s far more pleasant to do it when the weather is nice, welcomed by green lawns and blooming gardens. 

On the other hand, short, cold days, harsh winds, and snow make us all want to stay inside. Add the fact that there are fewer homes on the market and sales slow down, and it can feel like both buyers and sellers are taking a break for the season.

Not quite. If you’re not sure that buying a house in the winter is a good idea, we’ve put together a list of advantages that will certainly change your mind.

Extreme Weather Makes All the Issues Visible

This is probably the biggest advantage of house hunting during wintertime. It’s too easy to fall in love with a home during spring or summer and neglect the need to double-check for problems that could turn into costly future repairs. But winter is the toughest season for homes in most climates, and the wind, moisture, and cold can uncover potential issues that might have gone unnoticed during the warmer months. Problems such as bad insulation, drafty old windows, or roof damage become obvious, and you'll be able to make sure that the furnace truly has the ability to keep you warm when needed. Checking out the property under the worst possible conditions, you’ll become instantly aware of more serious problems such as an ice dam. Warm weather can make any house look perfect, but in winter, you truly get what you see. With all the cards on the table, it’s easier to negotiate the price or evade properties with too many issues. 

Out of the Rat Race

While it’s true that there are fewer houses on the market during winter, there are also fewer buyers, meaning there’s much less competition. House hunting during spring or summer can be a real rat race, full of multiple offers that give sellers the upper hand in negotiations. During winter, the situation is completely opposite, creating a prime market for buyers.

The Law of Supply and Demand

The whole economy is based on the law of supply and demand, and the housing market is no exception. The lack of activity during winter means housing supply exceeds demand and makes sellers far more motivated to sell and more willing to negotiate on almost everything. The fact is that winter is not a great time for sellers, so the ones who are selling are probably doing it out of necessity - financial hardship, transfer to another workplace, a growing family, etc. No matter the reason, this situation makes them particularly ready to unload their homes and give a better deal to buyers.

Lenders, Movers, and More - All are Eager and Available

Sometimes, professionals in real estate can seem like a part of the problem - waiting for lenders or attorneys to review your contract can feel like it takes forever. But since business during the winter is slower, these professionals have more time on their hands and are ready to try harder in order to seal the deal. This means you’ll have their undivided attention and they’ll be able to process the paperwork more quickly. The same goes for movers - although moving in adverse weather can be challenging, the lack of other moving households simplifies logistics. Movers won’t be overbooked and the chilled demand will put you in a position to potentially negotiate a lower price.

There you have it - no hidden issues, much less competition, lower prices, more room to negotiate, and professionals working faster are the real estate charms of wintertime. That’s enough reason to put on your winter coat and start house hunting, don’t you think?

About the Author

Bethany Seton is a real estate agent from Melbourne. For the last two years, she decided to leave her office job and follow her passion for writing and traveling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.