While it might not seem appealing to go looking for homes when the ground is covered with snow, there may be some good opportunities to make a smart purchase at a great price. There will be less competition with less buyers out looking and waiting for the warm weather. Listed below are some other plusses for braving the snow and bitter cold weather.
Seeing a home in the winter is a plus. In the cold, wind and often cloudy days of winter in Northern Westchester, a home really can’t be seen in it’s full glory of landscaped lawns, foliage, flowers and natural light. However, you may discover the challenges that only cold winter months can uncover: privacy, drafty windows or leaks. Smart sellers and their agents should have photos and brochures of their home that show off the key features during the warmer months: Seeing the pools, lawns and foliage will give you an idea of what your home will look like in the spring. A smart buyer’s agent can request some private photos if they are not posted online.
One key to thing to remember is if you’re buying home in the winter that has items that are not able to be tested (pool, irrigation system etc), your attorney can ask for money to be left in escrow or extend the closing time frame. Once the warm weather returns, the testing and inspection of the pool and its systems can confirm they are in good working condition and free of leaks and damage. Unless a seller provides a disclosure about some part of the pool not working, they are responsible for remedying any issues. If the inspections and testing passes, the seller’s attorney can then release the funds from escrow.
Ask for documentation – it will address the uncertainties. When the ground is frozen, any digging that is necessary for septic inspection and oil tanks leaks, is difficult. Ask for service records for pool, irrigation and septic. Vendors will have proof that systems have been serviced or properly winterized.
Some sellers are motivated to sell and don’t want to wait until spring to find their buyer. For the right house, a winter purchase could mean a great opportunity. Houses that have been on the market for quite some time may have sellers are more willing to negotiate for a earlier closing than June or July.
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