Traditionally, the winter homebuying season isn't very busy. Most shoppers snatch up properties during the spring and summer, leaving only a select few for the colder months.
However, this time of year could be the right - or the only - time for some. Therefore, it is important to remember to have a home inspection completed before closing, in order to catch any expensive problems. For buyers left during the winter, there might still be opportunities to be had.
Winter homebuying has its advantages
Not everyone wants to buy a house during the winter. Despite this, it might become a necessity. If that's the case, it helps to look for the positives during a potentially exhaustive search.
According to recent study by Realtor.com, many buyers couldn't find their ideal home during the spring and summer, due to several restricting factors.
"This summer and spring home-buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all-cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory," said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications at Realtor.com. "In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home-buying season."
Schwartz added that sellers are often motivated during the winter, prices are lower and competition is down - which means more chances.
In order to find the best house, a property inspection professional can take a look and alleviate any concerns a buyer might have.
Winter could be perfect time to buy
The colder it is, the better time it might be to buy a home, Chris Birk, content development director for Veterans United, wrote in an article for Credit.com. Sales slow down, buyers come out in smaller numbers and sellers could be more willing to negotiate. All that equals up to a chance to save money.
Birk explained that the winter provides a unique opportunity to see the house differently. Many sellers list their homes during warmer months, and for good reason. Well-staged properties then are more attractive, and it might be easier to hide certain problems - like heating concerns.
However, a smaller inventory means there will be less homes to see, and a lack of daylight could result in showings spread out over several days or stuck on weekends. Either way, having a home inspection completed beforehand is a good way to figure out if that dream house is worth the price.