One of Real Estate’s Best Kept Secrets: Winter is a Great Time to Buy
If you’re in the market for West Chester or Liberty Township homes for sale, you’ve probably been told that spring and summer are the peak seasons for real estate. While yes, that’s true, that doesn’t mean you should put your search on hold until next year.
One of real estate’s best kept secrets is that winter is actually a great time to buy West Chester and Liberty Township, OH real estate.
Here are 8 reasons to buy a house this winter:
There’s less competition. Homeowners have also been told to follow conventional wisdom and wait until spring to sell. But sometimes, people can’t wait until the spring to sell. So if you’re shopping in the winter, there will be fewer options but there’s less competition for those houses. Pop into an open house to see what we mean. It’s unlikely you’ll need to elbow your way through the door!
Bidding wars are less common during the winter. Because fewer people are shopping for homes during the winter, you’re less likely to get into a bidding war with other buyers. Bidding wars always drive up the price and can quickly put you out of your comfort zone in terms of what you’re looking to spend. Buying during the winter helps avoid multiple offer situations.
You may be able to snag a deal. Homeowners usually only list their homes in the winter when they have to sell. They might be going through a divorce, relocating for a job opportunity, looking to capture the tax benefits of a sale before year-end, etc. When homeowners are forced into selling, they’ll usually consider selling their home at a discount just to unload it. This can mean big cost savings for you.
Sellers are motivated. Sellers know that the market slows in the winter. A homeowner may only get one offer throughout the entire season, if at all. So when an offer comes in, homeowners are usually urged to jump. During the winter months, homeowners are typically more open to negotiation—on purchase price, closing costs, closing date, repairs, and even what appliances or fixtures will be included in the sale of their West Chester or Liberty Township home for sale.
You’ll get a sense for how a house performs in cold weather. One of the benefits of buying in the winter is you get to tour homes while the HVAC system is up and running for the season. You’ll be able to tell how well a home is insulated, how well the heating system works, if the home feels drafty, if the windows need to be replaced, if ice dams build up, etc.
We suggest touring a few West Chester or Liberty Township homes for sale after a big snowfall. A house that’s properly insulated will not have icicles hanging from the gutter. Buying in the winter gives you a good sense of the home and how it performs during Ohio’s chilly winters.
Real estate pros are less busy. All of the people who will help you buy a home are less busy during the winter than other seasons. This includes your West Chester or Liberty Township, OH real estate agent, lender and home inspector. It’s easier to get everyone’s attention during the winter months, and we find that paperwork tends to be processed more quickly. You should get top notch service during the winter.
It’s easier to close quickly during the winter. If you need to buy a house sooner rather than later, buying in the winter is a great time to do so for many of the reasons we’ve mentioned above. Sellers are more motivated and willing to negotiation. Real estate pros are less busy. Closing that might otherwise take 60+ days to complete can move forward faster during the winter than peak season.
Interest rates may rise by next spring. We can’t predict the future, but we know that interest rates are still hovering around record lows. If you’re looking for West Chester and Liberty Township homes for sale, buying in the winter is a great time to lock in an incredibly low interest rate on a mortgage. The Federal Reserve Bank has hinted it will increase rates slowly over the next year. Even a 0.5% difference in an interest rate can make a huge difference over the lifetime of your loan.
Let’s use an example. Say you take out a $300,000 loan at 3.75% that amortizes over a 30-year period. Your monthly payments will be about $1,390 per month. You’ll pay about $200,000 in interest over the lifetime of your loan.
Now, let’s look at what happens when your interest rate goes up to 4.25%. Your monthly payments will increase to $1,475 per and you’ll pay an estimated $231,000 in interest over the 30-year loan period.
In this scenario, the lower interest rate would save you $85 per month and $31,000 in interest payments over the lifetime of your loan!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, buying a West Chester or Liberty Township home for sale might be the last thing on your radar. But if you started looking earlier this year and felt defeated by the process, now could be a great time to pick it up again. We’re still in a seller’s market but, just like local temps, that market will cool a bit in the months ahead.
Interested in learning more? Give us a shout! We’d be happy to have a no-obligation chat to discuss your needs in more detail. As the top real estate agency in West Chester and Liberty Township, we’ve worked with several clients during the winter months. We’d love for you to be our next!