Sure, everyone considers spring the buying season. Gardens are blooming. Thoughts of afternoons spent in a new pool or evenings spend relaxing on your patio mingle with thoughts of school districts and updated kitchens. But there are plenty of benefits to buying during winter.
Is the home drafty?
During a winter walk-through, you’ll be able to see just how efficient those windows and doors are. Is the heating system kicking on and off while you’re there? If so, the windows and doors may have improper insulation, which would mean updating on your end. Touch them to see if you feel the cold. You’ll be able to see if weather-stripping will need replacing by opening and closing.
The heating and cooling system may be outdated
As previously mentioned, this is a great chance to see how one of the home’s main components works. Is the house cold? Check the thermostat. The furnace may not be working efficiently or there may not be enough ducts to warm the house properly. If you’re in love with the home but find this problem, you should be able to use it as a negotiating tool with the seller. It should be repaired or upgraded before the sale, running around $400.
How’s the roof?
Did you know that the national average cost for replacing a roof is approximately $7,000? You don’t want that coming out of your pocket, do you? During the winter, you’ll have a better gauge of what shape that peak over your head is in. It’ll be much easier to spot leaks, holes or other problems during your home inspection. Again, this is something the seller will take care of before the home is even yours.
So, you buy your dream home during summer — only to have your pipes burst and flood during your first few cold months. Winter buyers can avoid this disaster. Check pipes for leaks and cracks.
Is the home energy efficient?
Ask the sellers if you can take a look at their home electric and heating bills. Are the costs astronomical? If so, there’s obviously a problem and your home inspector will have a better chance at spotting this before you own it.
We all know that homes aren’t at their prettiest during the winter. But you’ll catch homes at bargain prices. You’ll also be able to get any problems taken care of by the seller with much more ease. Remember — it’s easy to add a garden bed during the spring. It’s not so easy to clean up flood damage from a busted pipe.