24 Aug

The Pros and Cons of Fall/Winter Home Buying


Posted by: Val Thibault

        So perhaps circumstances have deemed it your time to purchase a new home. We have all heard of the brisk spring market but what can you expect when you look to buy in the fall or winter? Let’s take a look shall we? I will warn you all that the ‘s’ word is going to be used. That’s right, we will be talking about snow.

Always look on the bright side of life, as the song goes, so let’s start with the pros.

1. Fall is a really pretty time of year. The upside is that you will be able to look at your potential new backyard before the snow hides any flaws. You will also get the chance to peek through the trees as the leaves fall to know just what your view will be throughout the winter when those same trees are bare.

2. The natural light of fall is very comparable to the winter light. You will be able to see your new home as it will be through the winter, at its least vibrant. This is a true benefit in my opinion, you are seeing the property in its truest and most naked form.

3. The fall market is generally slower. This means less chance of competing offers on the property. The sellers may be more motivated to negotiate on the details such as the price or possession date.

4. You will be shopping with certain features in mind. This time of year reminds us that winter is indeed coming. Energy efficient furnaces and windows, a garage built for 2, in floor heat and a myriad of other features are at the top of the list when you shop in the fall. Given how long the winters can be here and how much it costs to heat your home for those long months, this can be a great benefit.

5.And finally, if you move in before the holiday season you get to enjoy your new home all decked out while snuggled on the couch in your pj’s.

        And now the cons. Remember, you were forewarned that we would be discussing snow.

1. The snow can come quickly and when it does it can be very hard to get a true sense of the land once it is covered. You will not be able to determine how well the yard was maintained or what level of ongoing maintenance will be required for the landscaping. If you are purchasing a home with pets you may even want to negotiate for the cost of poop clean up for the spring.

2. Given the snow, you may not be able to determine if the traffic near the home is lighter than usual due to adverse road conditions.

3. You will have to view the potential properties much earlier in the day to be able to see the property in the natural light.

4. The inventory is much lower in December and January given first the preparation for, the enjoyment of and the recovery from the Christmas season.

5. Lawyers and lenders often close or operate on greatly reduced staff during the holiday season. Any glitch to the mortgage funding may not be addressed until business as usual resumes in January.

6. Moving in the winter when it is minus 40 give or take with the wind chill and when the snowdrifts prevent the moving truck from getting closer than a half block make moving during the winter less than ideal to say the least. Yikes, that’s all I have to say about that.

So there you have it. The pros and cons of buying a home during the fall or winter. Until next time!!