With today marking the first day of winter you may be wondering, “Is winter a good time to buy a home in BC?”
Yes, spring and summer are typically the popular months for most people to buy and sell real estate but there are definitely some benefits of home buying during winter. Here are 8 reasons to buy a home in the winter that you may want to consider.
1. Fewer Buyers to Compete with in Winter
Most people start to look to buy a house in spring and summer as the weather gets nicer and the school year wraps up. If you start a little early and start looking to buy a home in winter you will have fewer buyers to compete with. This may mean you can avoid a bidding war or find a seller who is willing to go down in price to get their property sold faster.
2. Home Prices During Winter Typically Drop
Home prices during winter are traditionally lower than they would be during peak season. This alone can translate into savings you might not have expected. Check out the latest real estate statistics for November 2016 update for current benchmark prices in cities like Surrey, South Surrey, Langley, and Abbotsford, and stay tuned to our blog in future months for new updates.
3. Buyers Can Save Time and Energy Viewing Real Estate Listings
Many people think that when the real estate market slows down in winter there are fewer options and you are less likely to find the perfect property. Yes, there may be fewer house listings on MLS during the winter market but there is still great potential to find the perfect property. Many winter home buyers have to sift through fewer listings to find the perfect property. Would you rather view five homes during the winter before finding the right home, or slog through viewing 50 homes during the busiest season for real estate?
4. Motivated Sellers Are Willing to Negotiate in Winter
Homeowners attempting to sell during the winter are more apt to negotiate on items such as closing dates, closing costs, terms of sale, what is included, and even the selling price. Often houses for sale in the winter come with unique circumstances causing the owner to list their house for sale in the off season when the market favours buyers – such as a job transfer, the need to downsize, or family circumstances. These types of sellers are often willing to do what it takes to close the deal fast.
5. Generally a Slower Time of Year for Real Estate Professionals
With fewer active buyers and sellers in winter, real estate professionals as well as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, lawyers and others involved in the home buying process have time available to go the extra mile for you.
6. Buyers Can See How the Home Looks in Winter
Many homes for sale during the spring and summer have great curb appeal when the grass is green and flowers are in full bloom. Inside you may find that the home is bright and comfortable. However, winter isn’t so kind to many properties. How does the house look on a cold, wet, and dark day? Inside the home were you a comfortable temperature? Were there drafts in or around the windows and doors? Did the heating system appear to be functioning?
7. Lenders Have More Availability to Work with Buyers
Much like realtors, lenders will also typically experience a slowdown during winter months. This means lenders will be more available to speak with you and occasionally even waive off certain fees during this time of year.
8. Neighbourhood Accessibility and Appeal
Just like seeing the house for sale on a winter day, you can also check out how the neighborhood looks as the sun goes down in the late afternoon. Do street lights illuminate the street and do you feel safe after the sun sets? Paying attention to how accessible the neighbourhood is during winter is very telling. Are the streets plowed and sanded? Do the neighbours shovel their sidewalks and driveways? Do children play outside in the snow?
Don’t overlook winter as an optimal time to be purchasing a home. There are many advantages you shouldn’t overlook. Search our listings now and imagine the rewards you might find!
Note for First Time Buyers!
Are you a first time buyer in British Columbia? Be sure to take advantage of the newly introduced Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program where the government will match your down payment with a 5 year interest free, payment free loan.
For more information about the real estate marketing in Surrey, Langley, and the Lower Mainland this winter please contact our Sutton WestCoast Realty agents at 778-319-4290 or fill out our online contact form.