Buying a home in the winter has been the investors best kept secret, until now.For many years now, the Toronto and Vaughan real estate markets have been known for their highly competitive nature, often times creating a battleground for first time buyers and seasoned veterans alike, all vying for the best money could buy in any given price range. This is the reason I've compiled the 5 advantages to buying a home in the GTA during the winter. Real estate sales are typically slower in December and January in comparison to the the rest of the year. See the chart below and you'll quickly notice that these two months, by far, see the lowest amount of sales activity - which could be great for you. 1. Less competition: The most notable is that there is simply less competition from other buyers. Who really wants go house hunting in -10° weather? With the dangerous driving conditions and the ice cold air, only the most hard-core buyers would even consider it. 2. Prices soften: According to stats by Realtor.com and national Realtor associations, the winter generally sees the lowest prices of the year with a spike in asking prices come spring. 3. More Realtor time: Typically, your Realtor may have more time available for you in the winter, dedicating more attention to your home search wants and needs. Plus, Realtor's know there are less buyers looking for homes so they tend to push sellers harder than they would in a very active market. 4. Fewer homes are getting into bidding wars: Toronto’s real estate market has an endless supply of properties that went fifty, eighty or one-hundred thousand over asking price with a dozen or so potential buyers all fighting for the same home. Sellers couldn't have been happier, but buyers were the ones who were paying the price. I have yet to meet a buyer who enjoyed getting stuck in a bidding war. 5. Winter drab: Homes look a heck of a lot better in the spring and summers months than they do during the grey of winter, all buried in snow and lacking the full potential of its ‘curb appeal’. Other contributing factors are people’s laziness in the winter, putting off doing the required home maintenance due to the frigid conditions outside. This leads to homes being overcrowded and cluttered with things that could have otherwise been stored in the garage, in a storage unit or sold at a garage sale. Homes don’t show as well in the winter, which can translate into a lower price for the winter buyer. EXTRA TIP: Sellers tend to be more desperate in the winter months as they generally can't wait until spring to sell and need, for various reasons, to sell as soon as possible. With fewer buyers coming to look at their homes, negotiating a good deal with a highly motivated seller is a good possibility. Put on your hats and gloves my winter warriors and go find yourself a great winter bargain.
If you have any questions about the home-buying process or any real estate related questions, snowmobile over or simply contact us.
Ilan Joseph is a Real Estate Broker with Sutton Group and is co-founder of a 10-person award-winning Toronto real estate team. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. Since 2002, Ilan and his team have provided more than 1750 buyers and sellers valued advice and service, enabling them to reach their real estate goals. He’s kind of like the Bruce Willis of real estate.