While house hunting in the winter was never really a thing of the past, today’s culture keeps things going year-round – which means finding a home can be done at any time of the year. While exploring in the cold might be your focus or concern, house-hunting in less-than-ideal conditions can show you things you can’t always see on a warm, sunny day. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to find a home during the coldest months of the year.
Winter Weather Can Help You See Hidden Flaws
Even if you don’t love the cold and snowy weather, it can help you see household flaws that you may not see in the warmth of summer. Maybe the windows are drafty or there is a major loss in privacy when the trees are bare from the cold. It will also help you to love your home for its’ bones, and only love it more when warmer seasons arrive bringing flowers, grass, and colorful foliage.
Check for cold zones throughout the home, often a room above the garage, or the room furthest from the furnace. The cold weather outside will give you a good picture of how the house is insulated and how efficient the furnace is at getting each room comfortable.
Winter Weather Prevents You From Seeing Hidden Flaws
The condition of things like the roof, lawn, patio, walkways, driveway, fencing and other outdoor features can be hidden if there’s deep snow. Most home inspectors cannot comment or speak of items such as the roof if covered. Be sure to have your agent ask questions from the sellers, and if necessary have your real estate agent write a specific clause that holds the seller accountable for these items if they are in a state of disrepair once the snow melts.
Photos Can Help Fill In The Blanks
It can be hard to picture what a poolside oasis looks like when it is covered in snow. This is where photos can save the day. Whether they are listing photos or images from previous owners, seeing certain parts of the home in better weather may check the final box for a home you are falling in love with.
Know How To Handle Features Unavailable In The Winter
If that pool you fell in love with isn’t operational in the winter, you should request that they leave money in escrow or extend the closing time frame so that you can inspect the pool when warm weather returns. Sellers are responsible for remedying any issues unless they provide a disclosure about some part of the pool not working. An experienced realtor can ensure the sales agreement has the appropriate conditions and clauses.
When it comes to house hunting, there are advantages and disadvantages to each season. Instead of avoiding the cold months altogether, bundle up and find your perfect home. Often the winter can see more motivated sellers!