New announcement. Learn more


Buying Tips in Winter

Winter House Hunting Checklist

If you’re thinking about buying in Winter, it's important to realize that houses might look a little different in June than in January. And we're not just talking about the market. Here are seven things to keep in mind if you plan to buy a home in the winter.

1. Don't let the winter weather distract you

A fresh blanket of snow can make your future home look like a winter wonderland. However, the same house may not look as dreamy when the snow melts. Parts of the house that needs special attention during the winter include:

  • Gutters

  • Plumbing (including septic system if rural

  • outdoor taps and hoses)

  • Driveway and sidewalks

  • The foundation

2. Take a good look at the home's heating solution

How often do you hang around in your home wearing your winter coat? Chances are the answer is never. If the home is occupied, leave your coat at the front door. This may help you to get a true feeling of how warm the house stays during the winter months. You need to inspect a home's heating and cooling system to make sure it's in good working order before you close the deal.

  • Insulation

  • Underfloor

  • Ceiling

  • Window seals & opener

  • Wood burner

  • Heat pump

3. Go in with an open mind

When you're looking at homes, street appeal matters. Chances are the landscaping at most properties is going to look a little bare in winter. This can be a big turn off. However, you need to keep an open mind. Pay less attention to how the garden looks and think about how it could look.

4. Try to picture the home through all seasons

Lighting is a tricky issue in the winter. Don't get discouraged if the home feels a little dark. Instead, think about what it might look like if you add a few lamps or change out lights. Plus, once the days get longer, you'll get more light in the house. However, a home with a lot of natural light may be hot during the summer. A warm, cozy reading nook in July can turn into an unbearable sauna in February. Remember to evaluate the pros and cons of a house throughout the seasons. Also consider maintenance of the home in the winter: How large is the lawn? Will it require intensive landscaping?

5. Consider the home's amenities

Every homebuyer has their must have list. Typical items include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage. These are important. But when house hunting in winter, you must keep in mind the amenities you'll want in other seasons. Things like air conditioning and outdoor space will be critical in the summer. And just because it's too cold for your kids to play outside now, you might want to set up a pool or grow your own garden later. Other amenities you want to ask about might include

  • An in-ground sprinkler system

  • Proximity to summer activities & the great outdoors

  • A deck or patio

6. Don't be afraid to make an offer

Often, buyers don't want to make an offer on the first home they see because they're afraid they might miss something better, which can happen. However, there are usually fewer houses for sale during the winter months. This doesn't mean you have to settle but keep the lower inventory in mind when deciding whether to move forward.

7. Pay attention to your finances

You've found the perfect home that checks off all the boxes. Now it's time to make an offer. But it's not just the home that can look different during the winter months, there's one important thing you need to pay attention to — your finances. Buying your perfect home depends on financing. And the winter months can be some of the biggest spending months of the year.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be mindful of your credit.

  • Take a hard look at your priorities.

  • Don't overextend yourself!

  • Don't lowball or underbid on your offer.

Winter is a great time to get a deal and homeowners may be a little more motivated to sell and will all negotiate, as is about offer level as well as conditions. However, this doesn't mean you can go in and make an unreasonably low offer. Talk to Coralie about what a good offer would be in the current market.

Buying a home in the winter can be a completely different experience. If you go in prepared, it can be the perfect time to find your dream home. Ready to get started, check out my listings and call me to arrange a one-on-one winter viewing.


This product has been added to your cart