Home buying in winter

If you're searching for some new real estate, then you could be in for a great deal. At this point of the year, many homeowners are winding down from the holidays and looking to kick-start the new year off the right way. This could mean buying a new home.

Homebuying typically operates in seasons and is subject to major trends, and while most homes are sold during the second and third quarters of the year, you could find the best deal right now. That's because many people delay their homebuying searches until after winter, according to CNBC.

This gives you the perfect opportunity to act first while everyone else is putting their searches on hold. And with limited buyers, sellers may be able to offer more discounts and better rates, which can expand your options and garner you a bargain in 2015.

Weather matters
Many people are turned off by nasty weather and would much rather look for homes when the seasons change. Since finding the right home can take months, trudging through snow and ice for long periods of time isn't always preferable, but for those who are willing to put in the work, there are certainly advantages.

Realtor.com noted there is significantly less homebuying competition during winter, which gives you the added benefit of not having to engage in bidding wars or more wealthy buyers. This works to your advantage because sellers will see that there are fewer people to sell to and may want get rid of the property now while they can. This could mean offering lower prices.

Sellers are particularly cognizant of the amount of time their properties sit on the market because they must make additional mortgage payments each month even though the home isn't occupied. To combat these additional expenses, selling the house becomes a higher priority, and during winter, you could become the prime buyer in a certain area.

With this in mind, you can approach several different realtors and lenders regarding mortgages and sales prices. You could possibly negotiate a lower price for your new home, which will save you money each month. Additionally, the value of your home could increase once the homebuying season starts, which can affect your bargaining power even further.

Saving money
The key point is that you can get more bang for your buck by being proactive this winter. And while you're at it, once you purchase your new home, there are other ways to save money up front.

Check all of your utilities and see if there are any deficiencies, such as a leaky pipe or any potential fire hazards. Noting these problems before you move in is important because you could include these repair expenses into the sale agreement so that you don't have to foot the entire bill for replacements.

Also, by updating your new home, you can potentially garner safety and energy efficiency discounts from your insurance provider. Since many home insurance claims center around maintenance issues, preventing these problems upfront can save you money. If you outfit your home with sustainable materials, then not only will you save money on utilities, but you will also be making your home more eco-friendly and less susceptible to plumbing, lighting or electrical problems.

Ask your insurance agent how you can qualify for these discounts so that you can reduce your homeowners insurance premiums. Providers will reward those who take an interest in safety and sustainability because those homeowners are typically less likely to file insurance claims.

So this season, make a move to purchase that home you've been wanting and save money on your insurance so that you can ring in the new year with savings.

CoverHound can help homeowners find insurance quotes online.

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