Winter time is usually considered a buyer's market in the real estate industry. Winter is often a great time of year to score a sweet deal on a new home. Here are a few special considerations, however to keep in mind when shopping for a home during the winter season.
#1 Be Careful With Your Holiday Credit Card Spending
If you usually put a lot of purchases on your credit cards during the holiday season, and pay them off in the new year, you may want to rethink this spending and budgeting strategy if you are in the market for a new home.
Suddenly maxing out or adding a large amount of debt to your credit card during the holiday season can really mess up your debt-to-income ratio, and it can temporarily bring your credit score down. Try to spend some time saving up for holiday purchases and only buy what you can afford to pay for up front and with cash. This will help you optimize your debt-to-income ratio and credit score throughout the holiday season. You don't want to lose out on a home you really want because you went a little overboard with holiday shopping.
#2 Be Prepared For Delays With Your Closing Date
If you find a home that you want to purchase, be prepared for delays with the closing date. You may run into delays during the closing process or an extended closing process due to vacation time around the holidays with your bank and real estate agent.
Additionally, if there are issues to fix with the home before your closing date, they can take a little more time to address in the winter. For example, a fix to the roof can't happen when a foot of snow is sitting on it and certain plumbing repairs are best not made when it is below freezing outside. The nature of winter can make repairs to the home you want to purchase take a little longer, so be sure to be patient if you go through with a home purchase during the winter season.
#3 Be Prepared With A Solid Offer
Finally, don't just assume because it is winter time that no one else is out looking for a home. There are going to be other motivated buyers on the market, looking for the perfect home just like you are. When you find a home that you really love, make sure that you don't lowball the sellers. Submit a solid and fair offer based on current market prices and trends if you really want the home.
If you want to purchase a home this winter, be prepared to make solid offers on any homes you love, be prepared for delays with repairs and processing times for the closing date, and make sure that you watch your holiday spending and protect your credit score rating. Contact a real estate agent, like The Grove Team, for more help.