The weather outside is frightful… it’s cold, wet, windy and miserable. Staying at home is easier… but that dream home might just be sitting there waiting for you to discover it.
Whether you are looking for a first home, your forever home, or an investment property, I’m going to encourage you to grab a coffee, put some layers on and hit the open home circuit this weekend!
Why winter is a great time for buying a house
1. LESS COMPETITION
It’s true that the tendency is for fewer properties on the market during winter. But, there are also significantly less buyers.
Why is that?
The biggest factor is the weather. A lot of people don’t like going out to open homes in winter. It’s cold and wet – they would much rather stay at home! Think about it… just the weather? That’s a crazy reason to give up your search or lose motivation.
What it means for you is less competition when it comes to open homes, auctions, or making offers. Often, it can result in buyers being the ones with the upper hand during negotiations.
When there aren’t as many buyers around, it also means there is less competition driving property prices up. This often means prices drop on an overall basis compared to buying in the warmer months. You make your money when you buy so this is great news.
2. MOTIVATED SELLERS
Moving house is hard enough when the sun is shining. But it brings a whole extra level of difficulty in the rain! For that reason, no one loves moving house in the wintertime.
If someone has put their house on the market during the colder months, they probably have a very good reason for doing so. It’s quite often the case that there has been a job offer in another town, the perfect house has become available, a relationship has broken up, or some financial issues have arisen.
It means sellers are very motivated to get the property off their hands as soon as possible.
While sellers in winter are more willing to negotiate on the sale price, they are also more receptive to negotiating other terms. This might include what chattels or furnishings come with the house, the settlement date, or other settlement costs such as building reports or assessments.
3. MOTIVATED AGENTS
As there is less going on in the housing market in wintertime, real estate agents have more time and attention to spend on you. Fewer buyers and lower prices mean they aren’t making as many sales, and their commission cheques won’t be as high.
They are much more motivated to work with buyer interests in mind and will go the extra mile to negotiate the close of a sale. They know from experience that housing prices take a dip at this time of year, and will advise their sellers accordingly.
4. LOWER INTEREST RATES
Home loan interest rates can be a bit of a mixed bag during winter. Some lenders will increase rates to make up losses from fewer sales. Others will drop prices to entice more potential homebuyers to take out loans. So, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the good deals.
This winter, several lenders have dropped their mortgage rates below 4%. Combine that with the unique situation in the market currently and right now could be the best time to buy!
5. A TRUE DEPICTION
Why is it that people usually sell their homes in summer?
It is because you can showcase your home in its best light. The sunshine flows in, the gardens are in bloom, the days are warm and you can throw open all the doors to highlight your outdoor flow. You don’t actually know what the house is going to be like in winter. Will it be cold or dark, or both?
The great thing about buying a house in winter is that you will be able to check all those things out. See if it feels cozy and warm or if it is dark and cold. You can also check the drainage in the yard and what the gardens look like when they aren’t all in bloom.
We have a great checklist to take with you on your hunt to make sure you are buying well HERE.
So are you thinking about buying your first home, investing, or moving houses this winter?
It could be your perfect opportunity! Contact the Finance Marshall to find our about your financial position, obtain pre-approval or find out which lending option could be best for you.