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Buying in Winter is the Best Kept Secret!

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It’s no secret that the market in the G.T.A is hot almost year round with most well priced homes going into bidding wars and creating lots of heartbreak and frustrations for anxious buyers. It’s also no secret that Spring and Summer produce not only the most listings, but also the highest level of competition.  If everyone is chomping at the bit during this time, why not give yourself a little bit of an unfair advantage and start your search in the Winter? Sure the amount of listings can often be a little sparse but if you are patient and willing to trek thru a little snow, then there are MANY great reasons why buying a house in the winter is an advantageous idea!

1. Less Competition & Softer Prices

As already stated, most people like to hibernate through the cold months of November to February but this doesn't mean that there aren't still great opportunities and houses on the market.  Less competition from other buyers during this time will not only help you to avoid the dreaded bidding wars but also ensure that the price of the home you love won't be driven up by peoples heightened emotions.  In addition to this, boards like TREB and other National Realtor Associations all report that prices tend to be the lowest of the year during this time and peak as the spring market hits! Also, from personal experience, it's very common for Winter sellers to be motivated sellers.

2. Homes Winter Performance

As most people tend to buy houses in the Spring & Summer, it can often come as a surprise when the winter rolls around the house is not performing as expected.  Touring a home in the winter gives you a great opportunity to check out the things that could ultimately cost you a lot of money if missed! Did you feel cold in certain rooms of the house, especially those located over the garage? Are there obvious snow melts and icicles hanging off the roof which is a good indication there are insulation problems? Do you feel drafts from the windows and is the heating system and hot water running properly? These are all the types of things that can be easily hidden in the warmer months, so put your inspector hat on and take advantage of touring a home in the winter!

3. Neighbourhood's Winter Fitness

Winter is a great time to access how fit your neighbours are.  With bare trees and snow covered everything, it's a great opportunity to see what kind of neighbours you'll have. Have they shovelled their driveway and walkways? Does the neighbourhood have holiday festivity? Great things to also pay attention to after a snowfall is how quickly the city ploughs and salters make their way thru the street! These are all things that will matter to you once you move in, so pay attention now!

4. Availability of your Realtor

It goes without saying that when the market heats up, so does the demand for your Realtors time! While all good Realtors will ensure that you are properly taken care of no matter how busy they are, you will still have to make some compromises based on their schedule with other clients. During the winter months your Realtor will naturally be more available to you, but so will other industry professionals such as Mortgage Brokers, Lawyers, Home Inspectors and Movers! Sometimes you'll even find great savings from these professionals during the winter months as they too are trying to encourage business during the slow periods!

So, my dear Winter Warriors - time to throw on some boots and a toque and let's show you some houses!

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