A first-time home buyer may assume that the best time to buy a home is during the spring and summer. This seems like it makes sense because so many people list their homes for sale during the warmer months. However, buying a home in the winter can be a way to save money on your first home purchase.
Hot times … seller’s market
Almost everyone buys a home in warm weather. It just seems to be the common sense time to buy and sell. Parents do not want to disrupt their kids’ school year, so they wait until summer to move. Yards look better, trees and shrubberies have leaves—the warmer months just seem made to help a house look its best. However, the first-time home buyer can make a savvy move by shopping for a home in the winter months.
Cold weather … buyer’s market
Precisely because the spring and summer seem such a good time to buy and sell a house, the winter can offer a better chance to save money. The warmer months are considered a seller’s market. There may be a time crunch. Buyers may be trying to get into their homes before the school year starts. On the other hand, the winter months can be considered a buyer’s market. People who list their homes in the winter probably have a reason why they have to move. Perhaps a job transfer dictates their timeline. The added pressure can mean potential savings for the first-time home buyer. Since there are not a lot of buyers during the winter months and the seller needs to sell at that time, the seller may be more open to negotiation.
If you are a first-time home buyer trying to buy a home in winter, don’t be afraid to be bold in what you ask for. You may want to offer a few thousand less on the price or ask for more inclusions. Because there just are not a lot of other buyers out there, the seller may be more willing to give. However, make sure you are reasonable. The seller can always wait for the next buyer if your demands are too high.
If you do decide to try to buy a home in the winter, you may have less selection, but the trade-off is more opportunity to negotiate on price. For the first-time home buyer, it can be a great way to buy more for less.