One thing we could probably all agree on is that winter is not our favorite time of year to move. From the cold to the potential for snow and rain it just doesn’t seem like the best use of one’s time. It doesn’t seem like it but there are some advantages to putting on the over-coat and galoshes and climbing in the Subaru to find your dream home.
Visit during bad weather. This can be especially beneficial to a home buyer in Bend when there is snow on the ground. How much sidewalk is there to shovel? Which way does the driveway face? If it is a steep driveway and it doesn’t face south you could be in for a long winter of parking on the street instead of in your nice (relatively) warm garage.
Another advantage of doing a drive-by with snow on the ground is being able to see the snow or lack of snow on the roof. The snow on a well insulated roof will melt much slower if the house is well insulated. Compare the snow on the roof of the house you are considering to the snow on the roof of the neighbors’ houses. Just remember compare sections of the roof that are facing the same direction. Especially if you are shopping on a sunny day in Bend.
Spend time in the house on a cold day. Walk around the house from room to room to see how well the furnace heats the whole house. Figure out where the furnace is located and go the the rooms located the farthest away. Also, make it a point to check as many windows as possible while the furnace is running. Run your hand around the inside edges of the window to feel for a draft.
Fewer buyers to compete with. Many people don’t like to move during the winter so while they are hiding out you can take advantage of sellers who are motivated. Fewer buyers means that you can take more time to consider a home before you make an offer. It also means that you may have more negotiating power with the seller when you find the perfect house.
You can have your Realtor and lender all to yourself. We have already established that most people have a general dislike for moving during winter months. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of your real estate agent and mortgage lender. They will be able to spend more time on your search for a new house and process your loan faster.
If you are thinking about buying a home come spring why not start your search now? You aren’t in a rush so you don’t have to make an offer unless the house is exactly what you are looking for. And if you don’t find your dream home what have you lost? Maybe a little time but when the competition picks up again you will know exactly what you are looking for and be ready to pounce before the other guys even know what happened.