Think you have to wait for spring or summer to start your house hunt? Think again!
House hunting in the winter can lead to big results. For starters, fewer people tend to look for houses in colder months, meaning buyers in winter have less competition. While fewer properties may be on the market, it’s likely that sellers who keep listings active during this time are more motivated to make a deal, which can give you more leverage and end up paying off. It also gives you an opportunity to get a feel for important aspects of the home in winter – like insulation and heating – that make a big difference in the Indy area.
Ready to start your search? Before you bundle up and head out the door, check out our tips for house hunting in winter.
1. Be flexible.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, winter means holidays – which means plans, parties and more. Even motivated sellers may not be available to show their home last-minute, so keep your schedule open for viewings as much as you can. (This is also true for closing. Weather conditions may delay closing appointments, so stay flexible as much as possible.)
2. Look closely.
The gray and dreariness of winter can hide exterior flaws, especially when everything blends together. Look closely at siding and brick, outdoor drainage, gutters and more – even before the inspection – to get a clear understanding of the property’s condition.
3. Ask about what you can’t see.
When the weather gets bad, the home search can get a little challenging. Inspections can be tough too, for elements like roofs, septic tanks and other exterior features. If you can’t see or get to things like the roof, furnace and more, make sure to request info from the seller. Ask when the roof was last replaced, whether the septic tank has been serviced and when the deck was cleaned – and request receipts or copies of building permits to document claims.
4. Request photos from other seasons.
With winter leaving the grass and trees a little bare, you might struggle to picture a property how it will look in spring and summer months. If listing photos were taken in another season, take a peek to get a vibe for the home in other months. If not, ask sellers for photos outdoor areas (like the backyard, patio and landscaping) to get the full picture.
5. Don’t settle.
No matter the season, you should never settle for a house you don’t truly love. The number of homes for sale tends to decline in the winter, so it may take a bit of time to find what you really want. Be open to ideas, be diligent and work with your real estate agent to find the place you can’t wait to call home.
Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to wait for spring to start your search if you’re ready now. With flexibility, diligence and a real estate professional, you can find your home any time of year.
Looking or listing? Talk to us today!