Buying a home in Baltimore during the winter

Believe it or not, there are quite a few adventurous Baltimore homebuyers who venture out during the winter months and find it to be an excellent time of the year to go house hunting.  Many overlook the possibility of finding an amazing deal during the winter because it is in the midst of the holiday season; however, those buying a home in Baltimore should really consider some of the ways that buying a home in the winter can actually improve their chances of finding a home at a lower-than-usual price. If you are starting your search now, here are some considerations to make.

Benefits to Baltimore Homebuyers in the Winter

Home buying in the winter carries several distinct benefits. One is the lack of competition. This is partly because far more buyers head out in the spring and summer when moving is more convenient. This means that the sellers will have fewer buyers knocking on their doors, so they may be more willing to negotiate with you.  What's more, because the spring and summer time bring more activity among home buyers, sellers tend to wait until these months to list their home for sale.  The few people who are in the real estate market to sell their home during this slow season usually are usually in a position where they are unable to wait till the spring.  This puts homebuyers at an advantage.  For instance, you may find that some of the homes that are for sale right now are being sold by sellers who had listed these properties last spring or summer and may be getting a bit anxious to sell.

Viewing properties in the winter also carries its own advantages. Some homes do not fare well when temperatures drop and the level of wetness rises. You will be able to see for yourself just how well insulated the home is and how it withstands the wear and tear of winter.

What's more, buying a home in Baltimore during the wintertime may give you better chance at receiving higher quality service when obtaining your loan. Just like home-sellers, mortgage lenders are seeing less business during the slower season. Thus, they may be able to approve your loan application more quickly with more accuracy because they are probably processing fewer loans at this time.

Checklist for buying a Baltimore home in the Winter

As you head out to brave the winter weather and shop for your new home in Baltimore, here are some things to remember:

Do not let the cooler temperatures stop you from taking a close look at the exterior of the home. Inspect the condition of the siding, paint, foundation, deck, driveway and sidewalks. Look for cracked cement, peeling or fading paint and other signs of damage that could make the home less than ideal.  Winter is the opportune time to examine the durability of a home.  You will be able to see firsthand whether the house can withstand one of the harshest weather conditions of the year.  One thing that is easy to forget in the winter is checking the windows. Open and close all of the home's windows to make sure they open easily without sticking, and check for storm windows or double pane glass. Windows are an expensive investment should you need to replace them shortly after moving, so know their condition before you make an offer. The best way to avoid any unwanted surprises by having the property inspected prior to closing on a home.

What's more, don't be too quick to dismiss a home because of its bleak exterior. Remember that the cold, wet weather condition during this time of the year may misleading because the home's exterior and its landscape may look completely different during the spring when the sun is shining.  Ask to see a picture of the property that was taken during the spring/summer.

Baltimore homebuyers can definitely find deals when buying during the winter season. Shop carefully and don't overlook important home features. With this checklist, you will be properly prepared when buying a home in Baltimore in the winter.  

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