As the thermometer drops, life seems to head to the slow lane. We tend to stay in more, hunkering down, pushing our projects off to the spring. But winter is actually a great time to hunt out real estate deals and keep plugging away at house flips. There are multiple advantages to house hunting and flipping during the colder months, the biggest one probably being all the factors that affect competition in the marketplace.
1. Fewer Homes Listed
This is a double-sided benefit, no matter if you are looking for a new project or if you’re hoping to sell a recent investment property. Real estate agents often encourage sellers to pull their listings off the market in the winter months, to avoid the appearance of having a non-desirable property or not wanting the headache of dealing with term negotiating through the holidays. This leaves a void that can allow you to market your house and make it stand out more effectively. You’ll be getting more bang for your marketing buck.
On the other side of the coin, yes there is lower inventory, but there are also fewer buyers to compete with. Since not as many eyes are out there looking at the projects you are considering, you might be able to sweep up a steal with little to no game with other buyers. Plus, sellers are more motivated in the winter to unload their property, so are more open to negotiate on cost, closing dates and terms of sale.
2. See How the Home Works in Harsher Conditions
Winter can take a toll on a home in certain climates, with cold, moisture and wind testing insulation and materials. If there is a fly in the ointment of your project, this season is a great time to suss out the issue. These can range from insulation to ice damn formations, drafty windows, etc. This is also the perfect time to do an energy audit. In all, determining these issues earlier can help you save money down the road on your project.
3. Tax Motivations for the Seller & Buyers
If you’re looking to buy or sell before year-end, you could benefit from certain tax breaks. Home buyers can write off some major expenses on their taxes. Plus, they can take advantage of certain tax deductions such as mortgage and real estate taxes. Home owners hoping to sell before the new year might be looking to improve their tax situation, which could work to your benefit as a seller or a buyer.
4. Contractors Freed Up
When it comes to getting work done on your property, contractors can be hard to nail down in the summer months. In the winter, they have more time for reviewing projects, meaning you can get a competitive estimate more quickly. Additionally, they might be willing to offer a monthly incentive, which can cut down on costs. Lastly, since their workload is typically lighter, they could be more willing to work on your electrical, plumbing, insulation, and other indoor projects.
5. Realtors and Others Less Busy
A huge perk of lower winter real estate activity is the undivided attention of your realtor and others. With reduced volume, your realtor might work harder to negotiate a better deal for you when purchasing or selling a flip project.
Now could be the perfect time to sell your most recent fix-and-flip or to find your next project. Give us a call and we’ll help you get started right away.