Should You Purchase a Home in the Winter?

You're likely to hear both "yes" and "no" when you ask friends and family if winter is a good time to buy a home.  With interest rates continuing to be low and prices continuing to increase, winter may be just the right time for you to buy.  

Less Competition & Less Inventory: Traditionally, you face less competition from other buyers in the winter, as most Americans look for houses in the spring when the weather is nicer and the days are longer.  Also, the majority of people have been conditioned to think they must wait until the "spring market" to go out looking for a home.  In addition, many people want to close on their new home when the kids are out of school.  That allows their children to finish out the school year witout interruption, and use the summer to get settled in their new neighborhood, hopefully meeting new friends they'll go to school with.  These factors mean there will be less inventory on the market in the winter, but you'll also face less competition, and have less of a chance of getting into a bidding war.  

Motivated Sellers: It's not a guarantee, but there's a good possibility sellers will be more motivated when they're house is for sale in the winter.  Who wants to have people schlepping through their house with snowy boots, or booking a showing in the middle of the holiday season? Sellers who list in the winter may be facing a job relocation that starts at the beginning of the year. Or they may have decided this last barrage of snow and ice is enough, and they're heading to warmer climes! These situations may make for easier negotiations and a better purchase price for you.

Interest Rates and Home Prices: The Federal Reserve Board will see a new Governor in February, and indications are strong that interest rates may rise at least once in 2018.  With the strong economy, it is possible the rate could rise several times. With historically low rates, this is a good time to lock in a good mortgage rate.

Housing Prices Are Climbing: Housing prices have been steadily climbing and the trend is expected to continue, again thanks to the strong economy.  With both buyers and sellers looking at the prospect of higher prices, now is an even more appealing time to snag a house before prices tick up once more in the spring.  

Investment Rental Properties: The best deals on rental property purchases actually are in the colder markets - other than top ski destinations. Don't head to Florida or Arizona looking for a steal. The winter months in warmer climates are filled with snowbirds and many of them decide they want to purchase instead of continuing to rent every winter.  They drive up the purchase prices.  Wait until the weather heats up (and the renters are gone) for the prices to cool down!  The lower purchase price probability increases, along with your potential to maximize your investment returns. 

Winter, spring, summer or fall, the decision to purchase is yours, of course!  There are a lot of factors to consider and your personal situation is what takes precedence.  Whatever your timeframe, I am here to help you make an informed decision by providing in-depth market data and expert guidance.