The perks of buying a home in the winter
November 16th 2020
Properly is the smarter way to move: buy when you find the home you love, then settle into your new home while our experts get you the best price on the market for your old one. Visit properly.ca to get started.
Most people considering a move know that spring is traditionally the peak season for real estate. There’s usually more inventory available, and yards look nicer when they’re not buried in snow. However, there’s a strong case for buying in the winter – especially when you can buy now and sell later by working with Properly.
The late fall and winter months – November through February – are a great time to buy a home across Canada, and particularly in hot markets like Toronto. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of winter buying that you might not have expected:
Prices tend to be more favourable
One of the biggest advantages for winter home buyers is the potential for savings on what is likely the largest purchase you’ll ever make. On average over the past 15 years, the winter months have caused a downward pressure on Toronto home prices of as much as 1.22% as compared with the rest of the year. This means that your home budget could go much further than it might in the warmer months.
There’s less competition
Our research shows that the number of buyers active in the market during the winter months can fall to between 47% and 54% of the number active during the spring.
When fewer people are shopping in the same market, homes may be more attractively priced to get buyers’ attention. Less competition means getting a home for a more favourable price, plus it gives you a little more time to make the right decision without fear someone will make an offer before you do. You also avoid the dreaded bidding war, which can be very common in Toronto during peak real estate seasons.
Sellers are motivated
Because there are fewer buyers in the market during the winter, home sellers tend to receive fewer offers. If they’re in a position where they need to sell (which is the case with many homeowners who choose to sell in the winter), they may be more motivated to strike a deal.
Any time a seller is more willing to negotiate will benefit the buyer. You may be able to come to attractive terms on closing costs, the sale price, the closing date, or even move-in before closing. Many homeowners will also try to sweeten the deal by making additional home repairs or leaving behind household appliances.
Closing can be much quicker
Once you find your perfect home, then comes the closing, which can take longer than many buyers expect. When you’re buying a home in peak season, mortgage brokers, real estate lawyers, and real estate agents often have a backlog of tasks because they’re working on multiple transactions. In the winter, you might be just one of a few transactions that are keeping them busy. You’ll benefit from a streamlined closing process and may be able to move into your new home in record time.
You can save on moving costs
The winter isn’t just off-season for the real estate market in general but also the vendors and service providers who rely on it. This includes local moving companies, whose trucks may be sitting idle when business is slow. Moving into a new home can be costly, but you may be able to negotiate lower rates or more flexible terms with movers to reduce your expenses.
You’ll put prospective homes to the Canadian winter test
Canadian winters can be rough, and you want to make sure you’re buying a home that can stand up to tough challenges. This is where buying in the winter makes practical sense. You have the chance to see how well your new home is insulated and protects against the elements.
Buying in the winter is even better with Properly
Buying in the winter comes with a number of advantages, but, of course, these benefits for buyers would have the opposite impact for sellers. With fewer buyers and lower home prices, winter sellers may be hard-pressed to find the right buyer that allows them to purchase the new home they really want.
This is one of the greatest advantages of working with Properly: Properly’s Sale Assurance allows you to buy your new home for you before you sell. Without the financial pressure to align purchase and sale dates, you can take advantage of the winter market as a buyer, move into your new home, and then maximize the sale of your old home from the comfort of your new one during more seller-friendly months of the year. Visit properly.ca to get started.