Monday, December 9, 2013

Let Jack Frost Nip Your Nose—Winter IS a Great Time to BUY a Home!


Brutal subzero temperatures came early to Minnesota this year. This is the first time in nearly 20 years the Minneapolis/St Paul metro has had to deal with bone chilling weather in December. Add a fresh blanket of snow covering the landscape from North St. Paul to East Bethel and Lino Lakes to Scandia and most home buyers will jump in bed and cover up their heads until spring. 
But wait, winter is not the time to hide from the elements if you are pre-approved and ready to buy a home. Although making a move in a Minnesota winter’s snow and ice is not ideal, the timing could not be more perfect to buy a home and get a GREAT DEAL!

Here are the Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Home THIS Winter!
Reason 10—Holiday Décor. Touring homes during December really puts a home buyer into the holiday spirit. Many homeowners take this opportunity to deck the halls with hopes that there will be a purchase agreement in their Christmas stockings!

Reason 9—Check Window Efficiency. Frost on the window sill is not a holiday decoration! Subzero temperatures really put windows to the test. Some windows will fog between the glass panes, others will ice up on the interior and then there are those that stay crystal clear despite the cold outdoors. This energy efficiency test can only be done when the temperatures are extreme outside.

Reason 8—Less Competition. While many Minnesotans seeking the perfect gift at the Mall of America for gifts or attending “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater, savvy home buyers are visiting homes with their REALTOR
®!


Reason 7—Your REALTOR® has Time. Most real estate agents are not juggling several clients during the holiday season and can spend more time scouring the MLS to find the perfect home for the ones that want to be in a new home in January.

Reason 6—Assess the Community. Home buyers touring houses in the winter will get a good idea of how well various communities maintain roads and keep the streets free from ice and snow.

Reason 5—Check the Heating System. Whether the home is heated with a forced air furnace or a hot water boiler, checking out the heating system in the summer is hard to do. With our current subzero temps, a furnace problem would be very obvious!

Reason 4—Icicles. Snow on a roof can create icicles that might appear festive but also are an indicator of improper attic insulation. A home with significant ice dams might require additional maintenance and/or repairs.

Reason 3—Affordable Interest Rates. Rates continue to be very affordable but as the market heats up in the spring, rates could go higher too.

Reason 2—Significant Inventory Though the number of homes coming on the market is not as high as in the spring, the market is pretty balanced and new homes continue to hit the market every day. Whether you are looking for a starter town home, a single family home, a private country estate, a McMansion or a lakeshore paradise, there is a good selection of properties for a buyer to select from. 

And, drumroll please, The Number 1 Reason for Buying in the Winter—Motivated Sellers. Homes that stay on the market in December and January in Minnesota are homes that need to be SOLD! If sellers are motivated enough to suffer through a Christmas Eve showing, they probably are willing to negotiate on the price as well!




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