There's a common misconception that the only time to buy a home is in the spring and summer. With plenty of homes on the market, you're bound to find the right house, but if you just can't wait, don't fret. Here's why you should reevaluate your idea of the home buying seasons.
A Buyer’s Winter Wonderland
The market slows down with the dropping temperature, so there may be less homes on the market. However, that also translates into less buyers. A smaller pool of buyers when negotiating can give you the upper hand and give you a bit more wiggle room. Agents are often less busy as well, freeing up their plates for the winter buyer.
So when the mercury drops well below zero, what should you look for in a home?
The Winter Worthy Home
Unless you’re buying a brand new home, most have passed the winter test. That being said, in a climate like Calgary’s, the last thing you want is to purchase a home in the spring, only to find it’s not quite winter worthy. Visiting a home in winter will flag any potential fixes. Was there a drafty wind coming under the door? Do the windows keep the cold out and the heat in?
Pay particular attention to things easily missed during a snowy home inspection. For instance, the roof. Inspectors may be able to only inspect from the inside, so check with the agent on the age of the roof. Same goes for the foundation, which is often masked by a build-up of snow. Keep your eye out for signs of wear and tear on the inside.
When The Snow Falls
Heavy snow fall may hide the lawn of a potential home, but it can be a good indicator of your neighbourhood and the current owner. Is the driveway shoveled? Is the neighbour’s sidewalk clear of ice?
In Calgary, homeowners are responsible for clearing the snow and ice from the sidewalk adjacent to their property. While some will shovel the entire block as soon as the white powder hits the pavement, others will only clear a small patch. If you shop for a house in the winter, you’ll be able to tell what you have in store for the future—that is of course, until a chinook hits!
If you’d like help buying or selling a home this winter, feel free to contact us! For Calgary homes for sale, browse the links below.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®