Welcome to Winterpeg! If you have lived in Winnipeg for a length of time then you can understand why the nickname Winterpeg sticks with our great city. If you are new here you may have heard people joke that Winnipeg can get cold in the winter and our winters are the longest season. Now you may have prepared for this and have come ready with long johns and a warm parka but have you considered some of the implications of purchasing a home in the winter months? There are going to be certain parts of a home that you will want to know about when purchasing that will not be readily visible in winter, for example a roof covered with snow.
To help out with a purchase in Winnipeg between November and March I will lay out a few pros and cons of purchasing a home in the winter season.
1. Less competition
Winnipeg is known for having a pretty stable market with a mix of both buyers and sellers markets throughout different areas of the city. When buying a home in the winter months there tends to be less competition as you head into the new year. As people prepare to settle in for Christmas there is usually slow down with their searches of homes and start to wait until the next year. Families who are searching for homes usually slow down their searches until the end of winter because they do not want to move their children in the middle of the school year. This can be a great time for you to purchase! If you happen to find a house that you love then the odds are good that you will have less competition than you would have if you were searching for a home in the spring and summer months.
As the year comes to a close you tend to see less movement on the MLS. Houses are listed less and the ones that are tend to stick around a bit longer than usual. Just because most people choose to list in the Spring and Summer months doesn’t change the fact that some people still need to list in the winter. Maybe they have purchased another house and need to sell the one they are currently in, maybe they need to downsize, the point is that houses still need to be sold in the winter but with less competition from buyers this can lead to a better bargaining position and may help you get a better price for the house you want.
3. Purchase price
Winter months can have an effect on the purchase price of a home. As listed above there are many factors that will depend on the sale price of a home, but generally the longer times on market in the winter and less buyers looking for homes usually give you the ability to negotiate easier than you could in the summer months. It is not always the case but usually people are willing to negotiate more to ensure they can enjoy the holidays not worrying about the sale of their home.
Something that is harder to come by in Winnipeg in the winter months is daylight. With most people having to view homes in the evening and the sun going down around 4:30pm it makes viewings in daylight more challenging. Daylight is important for viewing a home, there are things that you will definitely miss about a property when viewing it in the dark. Whether that be the paint colours showing up different or portions of the property you simply miss because it is too dark. Seeing a property in daylight is an important part of the process.
2. Snow cover
When purchasing a property there are things you want to be able to see around the home when viewing it and a heavy amount of snow can hinder this process. Shingles covered in snow cannot be seen, grading and landscaping can be completely covered by a blanket of snow. Disclosure statements are especially important when purchasing in the winter as you will need to have the comfort of knowing what you may have to deal with in the spring.
3. Outdoor fixtures
When purchasing a home in the winter it is important to get the proper information and documentation on outdoor fixtures of the home. When I say outdoor fixtures I mean things like the central A/C system, hot tubs (if included in the sale), pools, etc. These are systems that cannot be tested in winter, a winterized pool may look fine but come spring could show signs of necessary repair. An A/C unit cannot be tested in the winter as it will cause damage to the system. There are ways to protect yourself when writing an offer to purchase in regards to outdoor fixtures so always ask your Realtor how to insert the proper conditions.
Hopefully this has been a quick guide to purchasing a home in the winter. There are plenty of great reasons to get out there at look at some homes that have been on the market for a while, especially if you want to be in a new place before Christmas. If you have any questions about buying in winter or want to know more about what to look for give us a call we would be more than happy to lead you in the right direction.
Tel: (204) 226-1261