Coming from a state where blizzards are common and many residents are just trying to work their way through a rough Winter season, it’s clear why buyers are hesitant to stay active in the Boston housing market.
This year, however, you may want to reconsider a laid-back approach as there are many benefits to buying in the Winter versus other times of the year...
1. There’s Less Competition
Given that Winter is typically a slow period in which many buyers put their property search on hold, listings typically have less buyer interest versus busier Spring & Summer periods. Less competition should also help you navigate the tight housing inventory as many property listings remain available and open for your visits and inquiry.
2. Sellers Are Open to Negotiate
Having less competition makes your negotiations with sellers less tense. Typically sellers who list in the winter have a reason to dispose of their property more quickly and know they are facing a smaller buyer pool. As such, you should be able to agree on a sales price that benefits you while also having the liberty of creating a stronger connection with your seller as their attention is not as divided during this time. As an aside, you may find that some listings require faster transactions as sellers hope to reduce their days on the market and claim tax benefits before an April deadline.
Translation: The turnaround can be very quick.
3. You May Beat the Rate Hikes
While it’s true that interest rates have been historically low, it’s also true that this may not last forever. Taking an active approach now, at the beginning of the year, may help you avoid any hikes in your mortgage rate as new policies roll in. Your mortgage interest rate is a substantial factor in your real monthly cost of ownership and even small rate hikes can increase your monthly payments more than increased sale prices.
You’ll certainly want to add this to your list of considerations and definitely raise this point when working with your mortgage broker during the Winter season.
4. It’s a Great Time for Investing
Winter is a great time for purchasing investment properties as well. As sellers become more negotiable and the market grows slower, this season becomes an excellent opportunity for those looking to make a better ROI on purchasing units for rental.
For instance, investors who purchase properties now might benefit from closing an early deal and make renovations in time for the Spring influx of renters entering the city. Your purchase will start to pay for itself as early as the next few months!
5. Winter is a Time to Test Your Property
There’s no doubt that Winters have been wild the past couple of years setting records in snowfall and below zero temperatures. Visiting a place during this time can tip you into what’s working to fight the cold and what needs extra attention.
In short, it’s a great time to see how a place might hold up during the most stressful time of the year while you make the call whether or not the property will last for you or your tenants in the future. It’s up to you and your hired home inspector to make this determination during a walkthrough and decide whether you can winterize this space or not.
Hopefully, after reading the tips above, you’ll see why it’s advantageous to you (and your wallet) to make that extra effort of getting back into the market and reaping the benefits of what many consider to be a slow period in Boston real estate.
So along with wishing you a warm couple months, we’re also wishing you a happy hunt for your next home or investment property!