5 benefits of buying a home in the off-season

Mother with curly hair and son at home washing dishes in the sink
OCCU  -  01.19.2022

There are plenty of great reasons to buy a home in the spring or summer: Longer days. Warmer weather. More listings.

But if house hunting is on your to-do list this year, why wait? Just because winter is typically a slow time for real estate doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start looking now. In fact, taking advantage of the off-season to get a head start on your home search could be the best decision you make.

While curb appeal might not be at its peak right now, neither are interest rates — and that’s a good thing. The Federal Reserve anticipates several rate hikes in 2022, which means locking in your interest rate now could net you significant savings over the life of your mortgage. With home values also expected to rise 5% this year, a winter sale can also help you get the best possible deal on your next home.

The benefits of off-season home buying don’t stop at your wallet. Here are five more reasons to start your home search now:

1. Less competition and foot traffic

Home buyers have faced stiff competition over the past several years. In some cities, homes have flown off the market almost as soon as the for-sale sign goes up. Since most buyers will wait until spring to begin house hunting — and the rainy winter weather limits foot traffic at open houses — you’ll have less competition in the market.

2. More attention from your real estate team

Buying a home is a team effort, and your real estate team is responsible for keeping the process running smoothly. From your real estate agent to your mortgage lender to the title company, each person plays an important role in moving your mortgage application forward. With fewer clients to help during the off-season, your real estate team will be at the ready to help speed things along.

3. More purchasing power with your offer

Nobody wants to get into a bidding war on a home. With fewer competing offers to drive up prices, you’ll have more bargaining power when making an offer on the home you want. You can also get more value for the purchase price.

4. Faster timeline for appraisals and inspections

A hot real estate market keeps home inspectors and appraisers busy. When inspectors are booked up weeks in advance, it can cause frustrating delays in the mortgage process. You can sidestep this headache in the off-season by getting your appraisals and inspections out of the way while there are fewer buyers clamoring for them.

5. Moving company flexibility

Moving can be a logistical challenge, especially if you only have a narrow window for scheduling your moving day. Because moving companies get booked up fast in spring and summer, buying a home in the winter allows maximum flexibility for planning your move.

If this is a time to consider home ownership during your financial journey, our mortgage lending team is here to help each step of the way. Connect with our team today and soon you’ll find yourself home.