Winter shopping for a home

While spring and fall are busier times for real estate sales, a serious home buyer should be looking out for potential homes all year round.

Consider this: It’s a cold winter day and you’ve just sat down with a mortgage professional to figure out how much house you can afford.

You’ve determined that your finances are in order and you’re ready to start looking for a home.

You’ve heard that spring is the best season for buying and selling real estate.

Does that mean you’ll need to put your search on hold until the tulips start to bloom?

“If you’ve worked out what you can afford and you’re ready for the home buying process, then shopping for real estate can happen at any time of year,” said Pat Verge, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association.

“While spring and fall are busier times for real estate sales, a serious home buyer should be looking out for potential homes as long as they’re ready to make a purchase.

“It can sometimes take many months to find the right property.”

If you are planning to shop for real estate during the winter, these are a few things to bear in mind:

Supply: There may be fewer homes to choose from, but of the homes available for sale you may have less competition to deal with when making an offer.

Weather: The homes you visit may already be covered with snow which may hide exterior defects; ask to see photographs of the home taken earlier in the year and rely on a home inspector to tell you about any potential faults.

Make time: The process for buying a home and the paperwork that follows is time consuming. Try to keep your other priorities organized so that you are ready to act if a home that you are interested in comes up.

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