Do you have your heart set on buying a fixer-upper in the not too distant
future? If so, you may want to pull the trigger during the wintertime!
In reality, few people buy homes during the winter. During the cold winter
months and the holidays, home sales slow down and like clockwork, they
pick back up in the spring, when the leaves and grass are green and when
it’s warmer out.
You may think, “Who wants to go house hunting in the winter?”
It’s cold outside. You can’t really see what the yards look
like because the foliage and grass are dormant. You risk tracking in dirt
and debris if it’s wet or muddy outside, and so on. All of these
issues however, can work to your advantage and here’s why.
There’s Less Competition
Ask an REALTOR, “What is your slowest time of year?” and there’s
no doubt that he or she will respond with, “The wintertime.”
Once the weather gets really cold and the holiday season is in full swing,
the number of people who show up at open houses drops significantly. People
with school-age children are unlikely to move while school is in and the
holidays make that reluctance even more concrete.
But if you’re looking for a fixer-upper and you’re willing
to go house hunting during the wintertime, the “timing” can
work to your advantage. Here are some reasons why:
- There will be fewer buyers and therefore less competition.
- Since there will be less buyers, sellers will be more motivated to sell.
- With few offers rolling in, sellers may be more willing to accept yours.
- With less buyers looking for fixer-uppers, you may have more anxious sellers
than you would in June or July.
It May Be Easier to Find Contractors
In many areas across the country, contractors are busiest in the spring
and summer months. This means if you buy a house in the winter, it’s
probably slower for the local contractors. This “slower season”
can mean that some highly-skilled general, electrical, and landscaping
contractors are more available than usual. Additionally, when it’s
cold, rainy, or windy outside, contractors may be more drawn to indoor projects.
Now let’s talk energy-efficiency. Most older homes are in desperate
need of energy upgrades. If you purchase a fixer-upper and you switch
the home from electric to gas, install energy-efficient appliances, upgrade
the hot water heater and HVAC system, insulate the attic and exposed pipes,
and switch out the old doors and windows for energy-efficient ones, you
could see instant returns, especially because it’s the winter.
What Are My Responsibilities as a Renter?
It may be cold outside, but it may be the ideal time to buy that fixer-upper
and I hope you find the right deal! Need legal assistance?
Contact my Nashville real estate firm today.