The spring and summer months are always a boom for real estate transactions. There’s something about the warmer weather and renewed life that gets people out and looking for a new home. It makes sense, trekking outside when the weather turns bitter cold isn’t ideal. But does that mean that no one buys or sells a home in the winter? No.
There are actually some advantages to buying a home during the winter. Here are some things to expect if you’re searching for a new home while the weather turns blustery outside.
The housing market typically takes a plunge when the weather turns colder in the late fall, which means less homes on the market. While that can be a downside, it also means there’s less buyers during this time. This means that there is less competition for when you find that dream home, and you’re less likely to find yourself in a bidding war.
A Chance to Save
Since supply and demand typically goes down in the winter months, there’s an opportunity to snag a good deal on a home. Last year, the median sales price of homes sold from December through February was around 5% lower than homes sold from March through May. This means there’s a potential to save tens of thousands of dollars compared to buying a home in the spring or summer. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that this isn’t a typical year and we will see how it plays out in the Omaha housing market.
The Durability Test
It’s always more comfortable to find a new home when the weather is warm than when you have to bundle up and head outside. But there’s an advantage to homebuying during the winter: you get to preview the home’s durability. You can see how a home handles harsh weather conditions. And if you fall in love with it when the weather is cold and bitter, you can be sure that it will only get better as the temps warm up outside.
Be Confident in Negotiations
Since there isn’t as much competition in the winter months, sellers may be more willing to work with you. Don’t be afraid to offer lower than the asking price. And if a home inspection brings up issues, don’t be afraid to ask the seller to fix them.
Prepare for Tax Changes
Buying a home is a large purchase that can complicate your tax situation. It’s a good idea to work with a tax expert or do your research for deductions and credits you’ve earned. Both mortgage interest and real estate taxes are possible deductions you can claim on your taxes.
Stick to Your Budget
Even though you might be able to snag better deals on a home during the winter, you still need to be mindful of your budget. No more than 25% of your take-home pay should go toward your monthly housing payment. Knowing what the top of your budget is will help you narrow down your home search and not find you falling in love with a home you truly can’t afford.
There you have it. If you’re ready to find a home, don’t let the cooler weather deter you from looking. There are still homes to be bought and you might have a slight advantage than if you wait until spring.
If you do find the home of your dreams this winter, give us a call! We’re a local trusted title and escrow company serving the Omaha and Lincoln areas.