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Are There Benefits to Buying a House in the Winter?

Winter is upon us and with it comes a few of my least favorite things. Cold, darkness, ice, to name a few. While these things deter some buyers from continuing their home search, many buyers continue to look. I think most buyers, once they’ve gone through the process of getting pre-qualified and determining what they’re looking for in a property (a home) they don’t want to put that on hold or start over. Any season has negatives and positives for buyers and winter is no different. Here are a few of the benefits to looking at properties and purchasing a home in the winter months.

Heating Systems

Probably, the most practical is the heating system. Yes, even if you buy a house in July your inspector and the bank appraiser will turn the heating system on to make sure it works, but the true test of a heating system is now, when it’s cold and blustery non-stop for days. It’s not the same to run it for 10-15 minutes as it is to have it running 24 hours/day for months on end. And to see how it affects the entire house. As we’re touring homes it’s also great to see if there are rooms that are colder than others, spaces the heat doesn’t really reach or if the thermostat is set at one temperature, but the heat isn’t keeping up with that. Also, is the seller using additional heating sources, such as space heaters to help? Feel near the windows or doors and take note of any drafts. None of these concerns are necessarily deal breakers, that is ultimately your decision. But it does help you to have a better idea of what you are getting into. An opportunity to maybe ask additional questions and have further inspections if needed.

House or Property Access

Another thing to think about in the North Country is access to the house or property. It usually becomes obvious in the winter months, and this is good. You may not think about the logistics of plowing a long driveway or maintain a shared private road if you were to buy at other times, but in the winter, it forces you to think about those important items.

The View

The view will also change, sometimes drastically, in the winter. Depending on the property it could be greatly improved or made worse when the leaves fall off the trees. Either is important to know. You may find that in the winter a property now has a great view of the lake or mountains that was previously hidden behind a curtain of leaves. On the flip side, you may notice that the trees that provided privacy from neighbors in May, now allow you to see straight into their backyards.

Four Seasons

We live in a place of many seasons; it’s one of the things I love about our region! Because so much of our year is spent in colder weather, winter it is a great opportunity for buyers to get a sense of what living in a property will look and feel like when they own it. While these seasons in the North Country can pose challenges, they also provide opportunities regardless of which season we are in.

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