Take Advantage Of The Cold: Go Look For A Home

Written by Posted On Thursday, 09 January 2014 07:32

This might not sound like the optimal thing to do on some of these extremely cold winter days that the country is seeing now. But it could prove to be successful for buyers who are willing to endure the chilly weather.

Traditionally, the buying season is significantly less busy during the holidays and even into the new year. When temperatures hit the freezing mark, many people aren't inclined to go outside if they don't have to. However, if you can bear it, you might find that there are some excellent house-hunting opportunities due to fewer house-hunters.

Just understand that you might not be able to get a full picture of the landscape, especially if it's blanketed in snow or frost. But while the curb appeal might not be as attractive, there are other things that you can focus on that you might not have paid as much attention to in much warmer weather. For instance, the fireplace. There's a good chance you'll see it in action if there's an open house. You can also really experience how well the heating system functions. You'll have the ability to see if there are cold drafts in the home or damp areas that might indicate issues with insulation or weatherstripping.

Of course, visiting the home during some inclement weather will also give you an idea of what your life will be like there during the cold season. You'll be able to see how icy the roads get and If they get shut down or if snowplow service is available and what it costs. You'll have the opportunity to take a look at how neighbors keep up their homes during winter and whether this is an area that suits your lifestyle.

When you're shopping for a home in the cold winter months, you'll find that you're likely competing with serious buyers. If you're not serious about buying a home, why would you endure looking in the cold weather?

That's why it's even more important for buyers to have a clear picture of their financing for the home. Know how much home you can afford. Understand what your must-have items are and what things you're willing to compromise on or do without.

Be serious about your house-hunting. You probably don't want to spend any more time than necessary out looking in the cold. So, clearly communicate to your real estate agent the neighborhoods and house types that you're interested in. Also, provide as many details as you can about your lifestyle and those who will be living with you. This helps the agent get a better understanding of the type of home you want and need. For instance, is an elderly relative possibly going to move in with you in the next year or two?

Giving that information can help the agent make suggestions about homes that are adaptable for extended-family living. That also could change the income coming into your home. Some extended-family members buy the home together and yet the eldest might not move in for a couple of years. But doing this allows the family to purchase a larger home that's better suited to handle extended family, when the time comes.

Cold weather house-hunting can bring some bargains because sellers might be eager to get their homes sold. However, that's not necessarily the case for markets where the weather stays relatively warm even in these brutally cold spells that the rest of the country endures.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or [email protected]. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.


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