Buying a home in the winter.
I had a client tell me that he didn’t want to buy a home in the winter because he didn’t want to go through the awful mess of moving in the cold. I had another client tell me that buying a home in the winter wasn’t good because there are not as many homes for sale. Although house hunting in the winter might seem difficult it is really a prime time to buy, because home seller’s are super serious about selling their home. Their motivation levels to sell are high they may be going through a divorce or perhaps it’s an estate sale where the home must sell NOW. “Believe it or not, Chicago’s “buying market” starts as early in the middle of January. I know we are suppose to be talking about “Spring” right, not winter? I just wanted to let you know that as a home buyer, there are as many opportunities out there for you to capitalize, on what seems to be a mentality that buying in the winter is not good. You can definitely strike a great deal for yourself.
Spring is here
Ah the spring season where the flowers start to bloom, the trees start to get more green and daylight savings time is in full affect! People come out of hibernation and unfortunately for those allergy sufferers, spring can be difficult- I am so sorry. If you’re not ready to buy in the the winter because you are focusing on back-to-school activities or you’re not prepared to walk through mounds on snow and bone-chilling winds,then lets discuss a couple of facts if you choose to buy a home in the spring market.
This is probably the most popular fact about buying in the spring that you will see in many blogs, but it cannot be left out because it is absolutely important to understand. Most seller’s think that the spring time is the prime time to put up their home for sale and think that they will have a ton of buyers come through. You know what, they are right! Most buyers start coming out in the spring to start shopping so the seller’s have the upper hand. Especially now when the market is super low on inventory. You have to remember that you are not the only buyer out there and what type of financing do you have? Its still holds true – Cash is King! Of course it’s not always the case but the seller would rather have a quick 2 week close without an appraiser instead of a 45-60 day close with a loan. Not to mention that emotions get in the way. I had a client that was so adamant about getting the property he offered $20,000 over list price because there were 7 offers on the table. He was furious to find out he didn’t get it 🙁 I have encountered 8 -10 agents waiting to get into the property, our Chicago market is HOT!
2. Time Frame
If you have children, it will also be hard to relocate them to another school especially if you are looking a bit further from where you currently live. So you will most likely have to wait till summer to stop traveling so far from home to your child’s school, so make sure you keep that in mind. Also if you have a lease, make sure you give yourself plenty of time from shopping to closing. I have a client who’s lease is over May 1st so we have to be under contract at the very minimum by March 15th. Make sure you check your timelines this includes vacation and traveling periods. If you are planning a vacation in the middle of buying a home, I highly do not recommend this, wait until after closing to celebrate and go on your vacation.
3. Down Payment Programs
Down payment programs are first come first serve. You may have a hard time getting these programs in the spring time and normally the fiscal year is around August and then new funds become available. The funds might not be around by the time spring comes around. Every market is different, so make sure you speak with your lender to make sure funds are still available. Check out more information here about down payment programs. It really doesn’t matter the time of season you buy a home, all that matters is that you and your family are prepared for it.I leave you with one of my favorite spring poems by a fellow named Gerard Hopkins (1844–1889)
BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy pear tree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.