When is the best time to buy a home in Indiana?
This is a frequently asked question that many first-time homebuyers in Indiana ask, as well as seasoned homebuyers who know how shifting Indiana real estate market trends can impact their home’s worth. The best answer to this question is, it depends!
There's no doubt most people believe the spring and summer months are the best time to both list your Indiana home and go house hunting, and in most cases, homebuyers and sellers who miss their chance during this period feel they've missed the housing market windfall. The truth is, it’s not that straightforward.
Historically, there are many excellent reasons to buy a home in the spring and summer, such as a better selection of homes for sale in the market and the friendly weather that gives you a chance to see and get a feel for your prospective neighborhood. Sellers like listing their homes in the spring and summer because of the added curb appeal - homes simply look great when everything is blooming and the grass is green.
Nonetheless, as it turns out, there are plenty of good reasons why it's better to buy a home in the winter season, especially in Indiana. Firstly, Indiana is a fairly weather-friendly home market that doesn't always follow the conventional seasonal trends. Secondly, inventory has been tighter in Indiana which means that buyers may not want to wait until the spring or summer to look for their ideal home; they need to be looking as soon as they’re ready to buy. It's also possible to get a bargain on your new home regardless of the time of the year, due to short sale homes, REO properties, and other factors related to the seller’s situation.
Let's unpack some of the reasons why winter may be the best time to buy a home.
1. Less Competition
One of the benefits of winter buying is typically less competition in the market because most people prefer to buy a home in the spring and summer. Then again, no one wants to move during winter because winter-moving isn't exactly fun. This means you have more bargaining power when negotiating the seller's price, and there are fewer chances of getting into a bidding war. However, keep in mind that colder weather historically means slower market activity, so expect extended closing times, especially around the holidays.
2. Real Estate Prices May be Lower in the Winter
Real estate prices are often highest during the spring and summer months, although prices for in-demand property types and areas are usually high year-round. Additionally, both the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer homes for sale have affected some of the seasonal trends seen in past years. Because of this, if you find your ideal Indiana home in the winter, that’s your best time to buy. As an added benefit, some of the most motivated sellers in the market are winter-sellers, which we’ve continued to see in some situations. So be fair with your offer price and you could end up finding and getting your dream home in Indiana.
3. It's Easier to Find Movers in the Winter
In the winter, affordable movers are easier to find. This is because with the less-than-ideal weather conditions, even in a moderate climate state like Indiana, not many people are incentivized to move. Therefore, if you require a mover, your best bet is to wait until winter when the demand for moving services is at its lowest.
4. It's Easier to Know the Actual Condition of the Property
If you're in search of a home, having an accurate idea of the property's structural condition is key to avoiding heartaches down the road. Winter is the best time to inspect a house. Extreme weather conditions can wreak havoc on buildings and expose certain issues such as poor plumbing, damaged drainage, and deteriorated HVAC systems. Then also, many homeowners wait until spring to do any necessary repairs or renovations. So it's possible to get an exact idea of what needs to be fixed during winter, and to have a better idea of what needs attention before you make an offer.
5. Possible Tax Benefits
In many parts of the country, property taxes are assessed based on the home's purchase price. For the seller, unloading their house at the year's end means their annual tax burden is reduced, while the buyer saves through tax prorations due on the house, which the seller pays at closing. All the same, ensure you speak to your CENTURY 21 Scheetz real estate agent first to find out if you qualify for this exemption.
So should I buy an Indiana home in the winter? The answer is yes, if you find the home you want, winter is a great time to buy a home! Here's the thing, though, seasonality is only one aspect to consider when looking to purchase a home. It's important to know you can find great homes for sale in Indiana all year round. You just need to work with an experienced Indiana REALTOR® who deeply understands the area and your needs.
Are you looking for a new home this winter season? With over 40 years of experience helping Indiana home buyers and sellers, our team at CENTURY 21 Scheetz can help you find your dream home in Indiana. To learn more about the risks and benefits of buying a house during different times of the year, contact us today!