Whilst the UK property market is becoming increasingly unseasonal, there is some truth in the old adage that winter is a buyer’s market. As the temperature drops and the wind picks up, people are increasingly tempted to spend their weekends and evenings snug and warm at home. Add to that the festivities of December and people are likely to take a break from their residential property search. With fewer buyers actively perusing the market, it is the perfect time to strike before the spring rush.
Advantages Of A Winter Residential Property Search
Typically, people tend to wait until the end of the season before they put their house on the market. This means that any available properties tend to fall into one of two categories. Either they were already up over the busier autumn months and failed to sell or they are new to market and the seller has a short timescale. For example, starting a new job imminently or wanting to move before a new school term begins. When someone needs a quick sell or has been waiting several months for an offer, there is an opportunity for you to try and negotiate a lower price. With fewer buyers around there is less chance of finding yourself engaged in a bidding war.
Viewing A Property
Even if you don’t actually commit to a property during a winter residential property search, it is still a brilliant time to attend house viewings. Unless there is some picture perfect snow fall, houses rarely look their best during the winter months. Gardens are bare and devoid of colour and there is little natural light reaching the dark corners of a house. In short, things can only get better but if you want to get an idea of what the garden looks like in full bloom, it is certainly worth asking the owners if they have any photographs.
You can also get a better idea about the quality of the insulation, heating systems windows and garden drainage than in summer. If the heating is on and you still feel a touch chilly, it might be worth devolving further into the Energy Performance Certificate. Ask to see the boiler, check the age and find out when it was last serviced. If you’re going to move in winter, you don’t want to be caught unawares by a broken boiler which is often expensive to fix. Similarly, if you walk across the lawn (don’t just look from the inside!) and it seems unexpectedly waterlogged or boggy there may be some drainage issues which could prevent year round use. These are all checks that a property finder can assist you in making.
If you fall in love with a house when it’s at its most drab looking, you will certainly do so at the height of summer. Winter is the perfect time to start your residential property search.
County Homesearch are available all year around to help you with your residential property search. Contact us on 0333 939 8300 to discuss how we can help you.