Four Reasons Why Winter is the Perfect Time to Buy a Home in Vermont
We've all heard it. "No one buys a home in Vermont in the winter." Well, then apparently we've all heard things that aren't true. I believe Kellyanne Conway has a term for that sort of thing, but that's a different topic altogether!
First, the facts. From December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018 (so, last winter), 51 homes went under contract in Washington County. That means that 51 buyers and sellers got together with a contract and said, "Yep, we've got a deal." I want to make a fine point here--that's not 51 sales. Those properties would have closed a month or two later, after the close of escrow. But buyers and sellers came together to reach agreement in winter. (And, anecdotally, Green Light Real Estate just put one seller client in contract in Duxbury on 11/27/18, and one buyer client into contract in Montpelier on 11/28/18. 2017 wasn't some weird flukey winter.)
Granted, spring and summer are busier. But if you were one of those 51 buyers, you were psyched. Same as if you were one of those 51 sellers! Psyched.
Now, the four reasons why winter is the perfect time to buy a home in Vermont
1. Motivated Sellers. Some sellers are actually more motivated to strike a deal in the winter. It can start to feel like a real drag with heating, plowing, and maintaining a home in the winter. Especially if the seller doesn't want to be there or the house is vacant. Someone selling a home in Vermont can do some quick calculations as to what it costs to carry the house each month, and that can be motivating!
2. Less Competition. All those other buyers who think that no one buys in the winter may have removed themselves from the game. Fewer buyers means less competition, which again can lead to lower sales prices or some other concessions that a seller might make to entice a buyer.
3. Faster Closing. With fewer transactions working through the system, lenders, inspectors, and appraisers tend to have more time on their hands. Where it might have taken two weeks to get an inspection in June, it might only take three or four days in December. Same with appraisals. In the summer, it can take three weeks for an appraiser to get to the house, and another week or two to get the report to the lender. When there's a litttle more wiggle room in the calendar, that can take much less time. Which means that it's realistic to actually close on your Vermont home in less time!
4. Getting the Real Story. Seeing a house in the winter might show you the house at its worst. The driveway, the walkway, the road up to the house. In May when everything is warm and dry, that perfect home at the top of the hill looks dreamy. Covered in snow, it might look a little different. It can be helpful to at least think about that. True story: My wife and I made an offer on the house we live in now at the open house in May. Turns out the road had just beeng graded. We didn't think anything of it. After that first winter and mud season, we realized we needed to get rid of the two wheel drive car and get four wheel drive.
Check out this video that I took a couple years ago going down our road in Middlesex in Mud Season. If we had looked at the house in March, we may not have bought it. But we're 100% glad that we did buy it!
And yes, we would have bought the house anyway, cuz it's awesome and we loved it . But we maybe would have had one less surprise!
There you go, four reasons why it's ok, and perhaps advantageous to buy your home in Vermont in the winter.
For more information, details about properties currently on the market, or those coming onto the market soon in Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, or other towns, call or email.