Buying a home can feel like a big undertaking, and rightly so. Buying a new home – especially your very first home – will change your life in many ways. Whether you’re buying your first home, or moving into a new house in a different neighborhood, entering this new chapter of your life is a big deal! While it is exciting, it can also feel challenging if you’re trying to purchase your new house in the winter season.
House hunting and moving during the brittle winter months can seem extra difficult with the mixture of shorter days, fewer homes on the market, and busy calendar full of holiday events. Even though it may seem daunting to buy a home and move during the winter season, it is very possible and there are actually many benefits to buying in the winter!
“In fact, less competition, motivated sellers, and potential tax breaks make November and December a great time to purchase your next home.” The Patch
Read on to learn 23 Legal’s key tips for successfully buying a new home in the winter months…
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a New Home
The first place to start? Choosing your real estate attorney! No matter what time of year you choose to buy your home, it’s essential to have an expert team of professionals in your corner that have your best interests in mind. Having a real estate attorney experienced with closing in the winter months and well versed in the location you’re looking to move to is critical to reducing the chances of an difficult or challenging home buying experience. Find out why having a real estate attorney is always a must when making real estate transactions!
The next step: Hiring a real estate professional such as realtor or real estate agent. Realtors are versed in selling and buying homes in all types of scenarios. Learn what the difference is between a realtor and a real estate attorney and why you’ll need both! Trustworthy attorneys like Ben Weaver, who have many years of real estate law experience, have built relationships with local real estate agents and realtors and can recommend one with your needs in mind.
“Finding a trustworthy and reliable real estate agent can lead you in the right direction on when the best time to buy is. It’s also important to note that buying during the winter season can mean many different things depending on where you’re located. Overall, though, under no circumstance should you be swayed by the misconceptions about the real estate “offseason.” Rocket Homes
Know your budget! Having a loan broker to guide you in choosing the right loan will help you know your budget. It is imperative to know how much you’re willing to spend financially when buying your new home. Having spending goals will help you navigate the homes you should consider during your search, this will help you save time and reduce your risk of overspending. Use our tools that to help you understand mortgages and connect with a loan broker!
Your monthly payment is the amount needed to pay off the mortgage over the length of the loan and includes a payment on the principal of the loan as well as interest. This is figured against your monthly income and current assets. Understanding your monthly income and your monthly payment on a possible mortgage, you need to sit down and write out your monthly expenses and financial gain. An excellent tool for figuring out your finances is a mortgage calculator. An example of using a mortgage calculator is deciding if you will get a loan with an escrow.
Key Tips for Buying a Home in the Winter
Lead with logic and facts, rather than emotions. While it’s essential to love the home you buy, it’s also necessary to remember what you actually need in a home. We recommend writing out a home wish list! Sit down and write out all the things you need from your future home. Inside this list you should also think of all the things your family wants in a neighborhood. Things to consider in your list:
- Crime rate
Bring this trusty list with you to keep you on track with your purchase when you go house hunting. The list can keep you from getting distracted by the bells and whistles of a property that could be out of your price range. At the same time, you keep your home goals at the center of your mind.
Look at the bigger picture! We are big fans of curb appeal while buying and selling homes. But one thing we know about the midwest is that the winters can be brutal – especially on landscaping. When you do a home walkthrough, it’s essential to keep in mind that the curb appeal of the home you are viewing may be drastically different due to the harsh winter months. Sometimes a potentially great home is overlooked due to the effects of the weather.
A great tip for not missing your dream home is asking current homeowners or real estate agents for pictures of the property in warmer weather. Review the property’s potential by checking out recent photos and videos of the home.
“Ben helped me close on my house recently and he was the best! He was very communicative and responsive the entire time and made everything easy & smooth. I’d would use him again and highly recommend him.” Client Testimonial
Don’t let the weather stop your dreams… Your future home could be a click away! There may be days when house hunting that the weather is a significant deterrent for getting out there and viewing homes, such as a snowstorm or icy roads. Don’t be discouraged. There are many other methods of viewing a property than being there physically in person. After the pandemic, many real estate industries became more creative and safe about sharing homes. This innovative breakthrough allows potential buyers to view homes digitally via 3D images, virtual walkthroughs, and guided viewing with agents via Zoom or FaceTime!
Quick tip: If you see an opportunity to speak with a neighbor of the property you are interested in purchasing, take it! You can ask them simple questions about the property. This can also be a fantastic icebreaker for meeting your future neighbors.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Buying a Home in the Winter Months
Rushing to make a decision. Unless you are in a highly time-sensitive situation such as change of job, you should take your time when selecting your new living space. Even with limited time, it’s vital to pause before settling on a home. There are times when a home buyer may feel pressure to purchase a home they are not in love with out of fear, time limitations, lack of knowledge on a property, and anxiety of not finding one “as good”.
Bidding too high or too low. When you have finally found the home you are ready to buy, you must bid on the property. If this property is popular, you will want to make your bid stand out from the rest. Unfortunately, when an inexperienced home buyer attempts to bid without the aid of an attorney, their efforts can fall short. In the past, attorney Ben Weaver has recommended his clients send personal letters along with their offers. Helpful tips on placing bids and counter offer responses are why hiring a real estate attorney is wise.
Buying a home without the guidance of professionals. While it isn’t impossible to buy a home independently, we do not recommend this. While you have the option and freedom to take it on yourself, we warn you to be aware of the potential dangers! We’ve heard countless stories of mistakes made while selling or buying property. When people make avoidable home purchasing mistakes, they stem from real estate myths. Commonly these stories begin with: “We tried to complete this real estate transaction by ourselves, without an attorney….” Protect yourself and your family from making simple mistakes that create issues during this endeavour by obtaining the aid of a reputable real estate attorney!
“Ben is very responsive, helpful, and did a great job helping my wife and I with our real estate needs. He responds to texts and emails on the same day. He is a good communicator and makes things easier to recommend. I recommend Ben for your real estate needs.” Client Testimonial
No matter snow, rain, or shine, buying a home with the assistance of attorney Ben Weaver of 23 Legal will ensure a smooth experience! Imagine getting settled into your new living space in time to make snowmen with the kids, warm up by the fireplace, and witness the seasons change in your new neighborhood…
Winter may be harsh, but the outcome of your homebuying experience doesn’t have to be! Plan accordingly by hiring the aid of caring and knowledgeable real estate attorney Ben Weaver.
Please feel free to contact us for assistance or with any questions you have. Click here to read 5-star client reviews!
Why Choose 23 Legal
23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.