The perfect time to purchase a home usually comes down to when you are financially and emotionally prepared for a long term commitment. You may have saved enough for a down payment at any point during the year, but many people wait until spring or summer to start looking for a home. This can be because the nicer weather makes exploring neighborhoods more comfortable. But the same weather that makes going for an afternoon stroll a lovely idea can influence your purchasing decisions, causing you to buy an ideal summer home that you may not love year round. Below are five reasons that viewing properties in the winter will give you a more realistic idea about the home you are purchasing.
Get a Realistic Idea of Heating Costs
If someone currently lives in the home that you are considering, then their heating system will be on during the winter. This can allow you to experience how the heating system works and whether there are any cold drafts in the home. You may notice that the house is cooler than you would like during the winter, which may mean you will have to update the heating system or pay large heating bills, or maybe it feels overly stuffy while the heating system is running.
In a new home or a home that does not currently have residents, the heating system may not be turned on. However, you can still get an idea of how well the house holds heat during the winter and whether it has enough south-facing windows to stay warm without stressing your heating system during the day.
See Your Potential Yard and Driveway When Covered In Snow
While you will likely spend the majority of your time in the yard during the summer, knowing what it looks and feels like during the winter can help you realize if you will like your home year round. You may realize that the pool the house has requires too much winter care to be worthwhile or you may find that a two-car driveway requires too much snow shoveling for your lifestyle.
You Can Experience the Neighborhood During the Cold Months
Most neighborhoods tend to be the most lively during the summer months. However, you may be interested to see how active your potential neighborhood is when it gets dark early and it is cold outside. If there are children playing in the snow, then you know your children will have people to play with during cold weather. If the restaurants and coffee shops seem abandoned, you might wonder if there will be enough personal interaction to help you fight the winter blues.
After a Long Closing Period, You Will Move In During the Spring
Most home closing periods are about a month long. However, for first time buyers and other special situations, the closing period can take around 45 days. Sometimes, there are delays in closing periods that can lengthen the closing time even longer. Purchasing in late winter means that your closing should be completed and you should be ready to move into your home as soon as the weather gets nice. If you close in late summer, however, you risk having to move in the fall or winter, which can be more difficult.
Your Home May Cost Less
Because fewer people look for homes during the winter, they usually sell for slightly less. This means that you can feel free to make a slightly lower offer in the winter and still have a good chance of it being accepted by a homeowner who wants to sell their home.
Although you may have to get bundled up and brave the cold to go house hunting during the winter, there are several good reasons to buy during colder weather. For more tips on purchasing a new home, contact a realty service.