If you’ve been thinking about buying a new home but don’t think that winter is a good time, you may need to change your perspective.  Though spring and summer are typically the most active real estate buying and selling months, house hunting in winter has its own benefits.  Knowing what they are and how to use them for your advantage can put you on the path to home ownership sooner rather than later.

One of the best reasons to buy a house in winter is because there is less competition out there.  Because many people falsely believe that buying a home in winter is a bad idea, they stay home waiting for spring to come instead of looking at houses.  After all, moving at this time can be inconvenient and messy in places where winter brings snow.  Additionally, families will be less likely to move between the months of September through June if their children are in school.  When buyers are scarce, it’s the perfect time to start looking for a home.

With fewer buyers in the market, homes move more slowly and sellers are more willing to negotiate on their asking price. They often need to move from the property in the near-future.  You can use that to your advantage to get a favorable deal on a house that may otherwise be out of your price-range during the peak selling seasons.

Fewer buyers and sellers means that lenders tend to have fewer loans and other paperwork to process. When lenders have little to do, people who are applying for a loan in winter can usually expect a smoother mortgage approval process.

Touring a home during the winter allows you to see things about it that you might not have known if you had come in the summer months.  Drafts may be a sign that windows need replacing or that there are air leaks that may need to be sealed.  If the house feels warm without the thermostat being set too high, it may be an indication that the home has good insulation.

Just like holiday sales and winter-clothing close-outs, knowledgeable shoppers know where to find great opportunities. This is no different than with real estate.  There are still homes for sale in winter and bargains to be found.  Don’t let the seasons rule your search for a home.