VIBE Guide: Moving In The Winter
Posted by VIBE Realty on Monday, December 7th, 2020 at 4:04pm.
Do people actually move in the winter time? Oh ya, you betcha!
While there are definitely busier home selling seasons throughout the year here in Minnesota, life still happens in the winter, and that life often includes buying and selling real estate. So what are some of the key things we see as industry professionals when it comes to moving in the winter versus the other seasons? Let's take a look!
Dealing With Unpredictable Weather
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Minnesota in winter time? It's cold! Well, turns out the same rings true when it comes to moving. Consider that you may end up being outside for a longer period than most humans would typically desire, and on top of that, you'll likely be lifting stuff like, you know, furniture. Dropping something heavy on your foot always hurts, but if you haven't tried it when your toes are frozen, then you can't even imagine what you've been missing! The other piece to this, and perhaps even more important, is that the weather during the winter is just simply unpredictable. I am writing this on December 4th, and the ground is bone-dry with the sun shining and a high of 44 degrees. Next week there could easily be two feet of snow that turns into solid ice overnight when the temperature hits negative twelve...
Are Homes Cheaper This Season?!
"Steve, I heard homes are cheaper in the winter!" - This is a common train of thought, based on the idea that there's less buyer competition, and while not entirely off-base, it's not exactly fact, either. The reality is, most people don't love the idea of moving in the cold weather (see previous paragraph), or during the holidays. The year of hard work is coming to a close, we're looking forward to gathering with family (insert 2020 sad face), and our internal dialogues are all telling us that sweat pants are okay for, well, December... Truth is, we Realtors see the numbers dip down every year when it comes to winter home inventory, and our conversations with our clients tend to tell us that many people just wouldn't choose to move in the winter if they had other options - buyers and sellers alike.
Lastly, and less jokingly, it's important to note that it can be very difficult to properly inspect a home in the winter time. That snow may look pretty sitting on that Douglas-fir, but when there's a foot of it covering the entire roof, how is someone supposed to tell what condition it's in? Want to test that central A/C? Too bad. Experts say you shouldn't run those if it's consistently under 60 degrees outside. Yes, 60...Also, beyond just inspecting things, it's pretty difficult to get an idea of the overall condition of the property when it's the middle of winter. Looking at things like landscaping, lawn condition, and overall curb appeal, it becomes pretty obvious that the home is not wearing its Sunday's best when everything in sight is dead, mucky, and mostly frozen. Hopefully the seller was smart and took some summer pictures for you to look at so you can see how it shines when everything comes back to life. Can you tell I hate winter yet?
Buying or Selling?
Thanks for the doom and gloom, talk, Steve! While yes, I may hate winter on a very personal level, don't let my outer demons decide your home buying/selling fate. The reality is that even with the above items considered, there does tend to be sort of a unique opportunity to find a deal on a home when buying in the winter, and braving the elements most others will not. And if you are going to sell, be confident that you'll still get buyers through your home (especially right now with historically low inventory).
As I said earlier, life still happens, and that includes people buying/selling real estate. What's most important, however, is that you connect with a great agent here at VIBE to help you navigate the process, you'll be glad you did. Just don't be surprised when said agent shows you houses in a colorful pair of passed down Steger Mukluks. Also, get all-wheel-drive...just...do it.\
Written by Steve Anderson, Broker at VIBE Realty