New Year, New Investment: Why Winter Months Are a Great Time to Buy
Put on Your Snow Shoes and See What Winter Has to Offer
Winter has traditionally been the slow season for real estate deals. Most folks are happy to get through the holidays and then settle in and wait for warmer weather before they are willing to think about packing up, pulling the kids out of school, selling their home and looking for a new one. But for real estate investors, buying rental properties without the tenants relocating, winter real estate shopping can be great.
You get more attention from everyone in the industry and you get to see properties in their bare state once all the landscaping has died back for the season. According to an article on the investment blog Bigger Pockets, “When you’re an investor, though, winter real estate shopping can be a blast. The typical seasonal wisdom of buying a home is thrown out the window when it comes to the purchase of commercial and residential rental properties.”
Though prices have been rising year after year for several years since the recession, each year they go through a cyclical ebb and flow that sees them rise to their high point over the course of the summer, and then retreat a bit as the weather gets colder.
Winter typically sees the lowest overall price on a property that may be available all year, and this applies to strictly investment properties as well as owner-occupied homes, according to the same article.
Desperate Sellers in Winter
With so few buyers out on the market and that predictable decline in prices as the summer buying season ends, sellers that aren’t investors may be stuck with vacant houses they are still making payments on (not to mention the utilities, taxes, and staging they are paying for).
Winter is an excellent time to low-ball desperate sellers as you seek to get an even better deal on an investment property. But keep in mind that, as a recent article on MashVisor puts it, “there are some agents out there who will convince the seller to put their homes on the market during (winter) because there’s less competition. So not all the sellers are desperate, but most are.”
Who Doesn’t Like Saving Money?
Savvy real estate investors are always looking to capitalize on a sweet deal, to leverage market trends in such a way as to capture investment properties below market value to maximize their investment dollar. And with what RealtorMag identifies as the season with the lowest prices, “In January or February, for example, homes could potentially cost 8.45 percent less on average than in June through August” — it’s easy to see why savvy investors know that winter is the ideal season to go bargain hunting!
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