If you’re planning on relocating to Grande Prairie or you already live here it doesn’t take long to discover that snowy cold winters are a reality. There’s plenty to do in our snow globe; excellent x country ski trails, a decent ski hill, outdoor and indoor skating rinks, toboggan hills, good hockey, sledding….I actually really enjoy winter in Grande Prairie. But is buying a house in the winter a wise choice? Let’s explore the pros and cons:
1) Less Buyers- The volume of buyers tend to decrease in the winter months. So if you are a prequalified buyer and ready to write an offer sellers will be very happy to hear from you and often more willing to negotiate. You’re a qualified buyer…a winter rarity!
2) Winter Sellers Need to sell– Winter is not the ideal time to sell in Grande Prairie so sellers that are giving it a go in this season are often motivated by something urgent or time sensitive. Your Realtor is not able to discuss the motivation for selling due to privacy and client confidentiality but the winter sell is a good indication of the sellers motivation to negotiate. So put your game face on and fight for the best deal!
3) Does the House Pass Our Winter Test?- Winter is a great time of year to check for drafts, temperature control and frosted windows. Let’s face it, we live in a winter wonderland majority of the year so your new house better pass our winter test!
1) What’s Under the Snow?- This can be frightening. I’ve seen some crazy things under that snow. Everyone seems to own a dog in Grande Prairie and they snowy back yard is their lavatory. Is there even grass? Is there a giant yellow circle from a trampoline? These are questions to ask your Realtor, but keep in mind that you will not be able to verify answers for yourself.
2) Home Inspection Limitations- Most inspector’s insurance will not cover slip and fall accidents from wintery roofs. So unfortunately your inspector will not be climbing the roof to check the shingles. They’re still able to inspect the attic area for any interior damage which is a good sign of roof issues. Be sure to ask your Realtor the age of the roof and if the sellers have had any concerns.
The visual inspection of the exterior foundation may be limited due to snow pile-up. Again, the interior often shows signs of any foundation issues but there is no guarantee.
3) Shoppin’ in the Dark- We only have so many precious day light hours to house hunt. It is very important, for obvious reasons to view and inspect the property in day light. I recommend to try your best to schedule daylight hours for your house purchase.
In conclusion, there’s definitely a potential for savings with a winter purchase but be sure to make a list of questions that will help you uncover what’s under the snow. Or better yet, let me ask them for you!