Alaskan winters are cold. We all know that, but what makes the winter such a good time to buy a home? For the majority of home buyers, we tend to wait out the colder season and start searching for our next home during the spring. In fact, it’s one of the busiest times in real estate. However, here’s one argument I’d like to make: Competition is fierce during the spring season. Buyers are out looking and sellers are receiving offers left and right. With all this activity, it creates a market that buyers can’t really take advantage on except for the surplus in inventory. If you want a real deal in Anchorage, buying a home in the winter is the way to go. Here’s why:
Real Estate Activity During the Spring & Summer
Almost across the nation, the spring and summer seasons are two of the busiest times for real estate. Families with school-aged children are looking to move during the summer vacation (since it’s a good time to switch schools). Homes and their yards look much better during the warmer months, and can be “staged” to appeal to buyers. And lastly, pleasant weather encourages buyers to get out and search. Not many people like trekking through the snow to look at houses too often.
But as I mentioned before, all this activity can have a negative impact on your real estate purchase — specifically at the negotiating table. As many agents suggest homeowners to list their property during the spring, solely because they know it’s the time when buyers are buying, it can have a diluted effect on your buying power. For example, if a homeowner receives multiple offers on their house, you might end up in a bidding war. You might feel compelled to offer a little bit more than what you think is deserved for the house (just out of fear of someone else offering a high deal). As a result, when you go to sell the home in the future, you might not receive as much in return investment if the market is not at its prime.
This all leads to my final conclusion: Try looking for a home in the winter and see what deals pop up. It won’t hurt and it could save you thousands of dollars.
Advantages of Buying a Home in the Winter
Motivation is a strong advantage buyers can use to their purchasing power. As many home sellers know they should list their property during the spring, usually the houses on the market during the winter have their own motivations for listing at the moment. They may need to relocate to another area or could be facing foreclosure soon. Whatever the reason, you could find a home seller desperate to sell.
Second, economics plays in your favor. With less competition and the homeowners looking to sell, you can make a solid offer with the expectation that the homeowner will take it seriously. They aren’t going to wait out and see if any other buyer will make an offer, since buyers don’t generally start looking until the spring. Essentially, home sellers will be compelled to accommodate you.
Lastly, one distinct advantage you get from buying a home during the winter is the seasonal perspective. We all know Alaska is cold for a large part of the year. It’s best to know your next home can take care of you during those cold months. It’s good to know you can stay warm. Take that into consideration when deciding when to look. The spring might not reveal potential problems you’ll face in the home during the winter.
Buy a Home in Anchorage (during the Winter)
Generally, during the winter, a buyer’s market prevails. You have a stronger “hand” to play at the negotiating table and could find possible deals. You could end up saving thousands and not have to deal with the competition during the spring. My suggestion is to start looking now and see if you can spot any home deals around Anchorage.