House buying is often thought of as a spring and summer event. Even real estate agents will advise people to put their homes on the market during the “better” weather months. It is not the weather that takes precedent but the school year. You see, many families are restricted by their children’s enrollment in school as to when they can safely move to another home. Often the summer months were put aside by families to look for a new home, and to move into it before the school year started in the fall. That has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. More schools are on a year around system and families are now moving to take advantage of distant job offers. Home buying is no longer considered a summer event.
There are distinct advantages to home shopping and buying in the winter months. Factors such as weather, energy costs, your commute and weather related inconveniences are often overlooked when shopping for home during the summer months. Meeting your potential neighbors are also a bonus to winter shopping. Lets take a more in depth look at them.
The weather is a major consideration when home shopping. You want to know how the property is affected by heavy rains, winds and other major winter storms. You will get a better idea of that if you visit a home on the market a day or two after a major storm has moved through the area. At the same time you will also get a good idea of how much the house has to be heated in order for it to stay comfortable during the colder months. A savvy home seller will have the latest electric and gas bill available for you to take a look at should you have any questions, which is something I have done for my home buyers in the past. The weather will also have some impact on your commute. In the winter you will be more aware of local flooding and areas that are susceptible to downed trees. At the same time you can take note of how many power outages you are likely to encounter during the winter.
During the winter months you are more likely to meet any of your potential neighbors. Unlike the summer months where everyone seems to be away on vacation, most of the people in the neighborhood will be home. Keeping in mind that you are not just shopping for a home but gaining new neighbors then you can see the importance of shopping for the right neighborhood as well as the house.
So don’t be turned off by shopping for a home during the winter. You can see the many advantages of it, more so than shopping during the summer months.