Housing, like almost everything else, has a season. Certain seasons are busier than others. In general, summer is the busiest time of the year for home buyers. However, people may choose to buy a home at another time of the year for many reasons. In many cases, winter is a relatively slow time for the housing markets. If you want or need to buy at this time of the year, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you head for that open house. A buyer who is fully prepared for anything is a buyer who is likely to come out on top of the process with the home they want at the price they prefer.
Complete Home Inspection
Now is the time to get a complete home inspection on any property you want to think about buying. If you put in an offer to the homeowner, you want to have that home inspected from top to bottom by an expert. The expert should look at all areas of the property including areas that might otherwise be hard to search. Make sure they can get inside areas such as the basement and attic even in the cold weather. A really good home inspector will insist on as much access as possible in order to give you a fully accurate report.
Exact Timing Can Be Important
Just like in the summer, a home seller might be quite anxious to sell at this time of the year. Many sellers have deadlines they need to meet such as a home office they want to take. Some parts of the year can be particularly lacking in buyers. For example, the time right before Christmas and then after New Years may have almost no buyers. If you can put in an offer at this time, you might be able to time it just right. A seller may not have anyone looking at the property and may simply choose to sell and move on.
Make Arrangement Before You Begin
As this is not the busy season, you’ll want to keep in mind that this applies to movers and other helpers. A mover may have fewer people to help you. If you are thinking about a move during this time of the year, you might have to move fast. Before you head out and have a look at properties, you should contact your local movers. Find out what services they can offer you at this time before you do anything else. This way, you can move on a property knowing someone can move your items for you professionally.
Run all Utilities
Utilities are essential. If you are touring a home, it might be tempting to avoid starting up the central air. This is a mistake. Even if it’s cold, you want to make sure that every single thing in the home is working well. Run the water for at least a minute. Check out each outlet to see that it works. Put up a piece of paper against the windows to check for any obvious drafts. You want a home that isn’t going to be too hot in the summer or too cold when it gets into the snowing season.
Walk the Property
The colder weather can make it very tempting to avoid heading outside. This is a mistake. Take a few minutes and have a look at all the areas of the property. The owner should have cleared a path after any snow. Look at all out buildings including the garage and any pool. They should all be in good shape. Ask about all plantings. Find out if there’s a rose garden that is likely to provide you with fragrant blooms in June. Doing so can help you get a full view of the entire property before you decide to buy it.