Buying a home during the fall and winter months may cost you the convenience of moving during good-weather months or around school schedules. But it also comes with some impressive advantages. Here are five compelling reasons to buy a home during the fall and winter months.
1. THERE’S LOWER BUYER COMPETITION
In very general terms, buyers like to look for homes in the spring so they can move in the summer. This is traditionally true of families who want to move during summer break, particularly if they’re changing school districts. But there are also lots of buyers who prefer the better summer weather with longer daylight for moving and getting settled into a new home.
If you’re willing to move during the late fall, winter, or even early spring, you’ll enjoy less competition for homes on the market. And less competition means a lower likelihood of getting in a bidding war or being beaten by an all-cash offer.
2. SELLERS ARE MORE MOTIVATED
Especially going into the holidays, many sellers get nervous because they know buyers don’t like to move around the holiday season. So if they don’t have a buyer by the end of October, they may be afraid that they’ll have to remain in the house (or cover two mortgages if they’ve already moved) for all of November, December, and perhaps January. This gives sellers a good reason to accept your offer when it comes along during the slower fall and winter months.
3. YOU GET A REAL IDEA OF A HOME’S WEATHERPROOFING
With the cooler temps and increased rainfall of a Bay Area winter, buyers get to see how the home holds up to poor weather in real-time. Do you see signs of water intrusion on the ceiling? The roof may need to be repaired or replaced. Do you feel a draft from the windows or doors? They may need new weather stripping or you might want to upgrade for the sake of energy efficiency. What about water pooling in the yard? That can be a sign of poor grading and should be inspected to make sure water is being properly funneled away from the foundations.
4. THE POTENTIAL FOR A FASTER MOVE
During the spring and summer months, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, escrow companies, title agencies, and movers are all busy. In some cases, your closing date or your move-in date can be delayed simply because someone’s schedule is too tight to fit you in.
But in the winter months, when fewer homes are selling, schedules are more open, and you can be accommodated more quickly. There is, of course, one glaring exception. Many professionals take vacation in the final week or two of the year. So it might be harder to schedule a closing between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
5. YOU MIGHT SAVE MONEY BUYING IN THE SLOW MONTHS
Every year, real estate markets all over the country record slightly lower median sales prices during January and February than during other times of the year. Take We buy houses in Grand Prairie Tx, for example. In January of 2019, the median sale price in SF County dropped to $1.2 million from $1.35 million the month before. Then rebounded to $1.31 million by February. Similarly, in January of 2020, the price dropped to $1.3 million from $1.38 million in November. Then it climbed back to $1.41 million by February.
With fewer other buyers and motivated sellers, you hold more negotiating power to get a better price when you buy in the fall and winter months.