Winter is a magical time in Ohio. If you’re out searching for your very own piece of winter wonderland at this time of year, there are some important things to know. The house hunting process changes from season to season. Winter can be a great time to buy because demand is generally lower, but important things like inspections may cause delays with bad weather. If you’re touring homes for sale this winter, keep these things in mind.
Winter can be a difficult time for driving on slippery Ohio roads. Consider navigating to the house from a spot you frequent (school, office, etc.) to get an idea of the drive. Pay attention to traffic volume and how well the roads you take are maintained with plowing or salt. Are there hills into the neighborhood that could be treacherous if they freeze over? The closer you get to the house you’re touring, the more you should look out for.
Pulling up to a house you are touring in winter will leave a very different impression than a home in summer would. Curb appeal is a big selling point, but few houses look their best in winter. Keep your imagination open and picture the flowerbeds in bloom and the trees full and shady overhead. What looks like a dull siding color may be bright and cheery under the summer sunshine. The house will look different in different seasons. Keep an open mind on your first impression.
One big benefit to touring a home to buy in winter is you can feel how well the house will protect you from the harsh Ohio chill outside. Take a peek at the thermostat and judge how comfortable you are in each room. Dress for your house tour in layers to simulate the different outfits you might be wearing at home. In particular, stand near the corners of each room and by windows and doors to feel for drafts. You may also consider running the hot water in a sink to see how fast it becomes warm. This will tell you how well the pipes are insulated.
Touring a home on a sunny day is more inviting than it is on a grey, overcast day. With fewer daylight hours, you may find yourself even touring a home after dark in the winter. This can give a very different impression than a summer tour with sun-soaked rooms to inspire feelings of warmth and home. Keep the weather and time of day in mind when touring homes for sale. Once again, use your imagination. You may feel better about a room when the sun is in full shine.
Due to weather and winter constrictions, you may not be able to inspect every part of the home you would in the summer. For example, the roof may be covered in snow for weeks or months at a time. This can delay professional inspections and hide problems that would otherwise come to light. You’ll want a more substantial inspection as everything thaws but touring a home and buying it during winter can result in hoping rather than verifying that everything with the house is alright.
One argument for touring and buying a home during the winter is that sellers know the disadvantages to selling in winter and are more motivated to make a deal. While this can sometimes be true, it’s not a good idea to tour a home with the intention of throwing out a low-ball offer. Keep in mind the true value of the home in all seasons and work out a fair price with the seller that lets all parties win.
If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home this winter, call John Buys Houses today! We make fair offers and close fast. We also have many homes for sale! Call 614-420-2069