5 Reasons to buy a house in winter

Buying a house in winter
Most people think that spring or summer is the best time to purchase a home. Here are five reasons why you should buy during the winter instead.

Most people think the ideal time to go house hunting is in Spring or Summer – it’s brighter, sunnier and the better weather means it’s easier to be outside house hunting. Let’s face it, trudging around house hunting when it’s cold and wet isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

It is an annual trend that real estate sales tend to be higher in spring, summer and autumn. This is mostly because people selling know their properties are at their most attractive during this time — the grass is green, there are leaves on the trees and flowers are in full bloom.

Sellers will seize the season and put their houses on the market, assuming it will result in some good offers and the best price. It’s also likely there will be more interested buyers at this time and real estate agents will be busier.

Herein lie the advantages of the off-peak season – being colder and less busy throws up opportunity.

Here are a few reasons why buying a home in winter could be the best option for you.

1. Houses can be more affordable in winter

Numerous factors contribute to the potential for lower prices. The most obvious one is that more homes are put on the market and sold during peak seasons, which of course means fewer people are interested in buying a house during winter.

This means less competition from other buyers and fewer offers on certain properties. Sellers and real estate agents won’t be able to drive prices as much because they know that fewer people are house hunting. Thus, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a house at a better price.

A caveat to there being fewer houses on the market is less choice, however, with patience and the help of a knowledgeable agent you could still find the house that’s right for you.

Winter house buying can also be more attractive when a vendor has specific reasons to move on. They may be in a chain and needing to sell quickly so as to meet the terms and conditions of moving into another home, there may be another urgent reason but whatever it is any pressure to sell can lead to a lower price. Knowing these other factors is the job of a really good agent who will do the necessary research.

2. The winter months reveal a property at its worst

Sounds obvious but there are good reasons for looking at property when the leaves are off the trees, the grass isn’t growing much and its wetter.

There’s more activity in warmer months because it’s more flattering but this can make a property look better than it is.

3. Winter can be a better time to spot faults with a property

Like most things, houses experience normal wear and tear, and like any structure they are affected by weather especially in climates with extremes in temperatures across different seasons.

Looking at houses during the wetter and colder months can often reveal more. Here are some things you can check:

•  Pay attention to exterior timber fixtures and look to see if there’s any obvious signs of excessive moisture
•  You are more likely to be able to check dampness in a home during winter, including condensation
•  Likewise you will be able to feel the warmth of a house better when the sun is lower in the sky

There is no substitute for a proper and thorough building inspection however these are some preliminary things to look for.

4. Real estate agents are more inclined to pursue a sale

With the winter being a slower time, real estate agents will be very keen to secure a sale whenever the opportunity arises. They still need to sell property, generate an income, keep their name prominent in the market and maintain cash-flow to support their own operations and team members. This means they will work harder with both a vendor and a buyer to get a deal, which will involve negotiation and potentially a lower price or better terms.

This is an annual pattern that can be a benefit to winter buyers.

5. This winter, you can capitalise on New Zealand’s softening real estate market.

This winter there is another factor that makes buying now more of an opportunity, and this is the softening of the market. For Christchurch in particular rental rates are also lowering and this is affecting returns on investment property and confidence overall.

Obviously, a softening of the market won’t happen every year and the jury’s out as to whether this is just a short term correction or a longer one.

If you couple a slowing market with the general winter atmosphere of lower sale numbers there’s potential to save on the purchase price if you decide to buy a house soon.

Get in touch with a mortgage broker today

There are many indications that this winter in particular is a good time to look for your dream home. It might not look its best during the colder seasons but using some imagination you can picture how it will appear when the sun comes out and it’s warmer.

Looking to buy in winter is also good practice and a great way of getting a feel for the market so you are ready when spring comes along. While you’re looking you may even pick up a good deal.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, your best bet is to talk to a mortgage broker They will be able to explain he benefits and potential risks of buying a house in the winter – and will be with you every step of the way.

We look forward to seeing you out there winter property buying – and if you have any questions why don’t you give us a call. 

Paul Townsend 

M: +64 27 352 6262
E:  prt@taurusnz.co.nz

Posted 26 Jul 2017