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Common Winter Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Home in WinterChuck Mangold makes the experience of buying a home a rewarding experience. He provides his clients with the information they need to make an educated decision. Buyers move forward in the homeownership process with confidence. Every season of the year has obstacles to navigate. Cold weather and the holiday season present a specific set of obstacles. Here are six common winter home buying mistakes to avoid when looking at homes for sale on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

Not Partnering with a Buyer’s Agent: Working with a qualified buyer’s agent is important every season of the year. A buyer’s agent represents your interests when choosing neighborhoods, homes, and inspectors. They will help with all the paperwork, including drafting a formal offer. And they will work in your favor at the negotiation table. 

Not Considering Debt-to-Income: Be mindful of the holiday gifts you purchase on credit during the winter. It is easy to accumulate a substantial amount of debt when purchasing gifts for family, friends, and loved ones. Lenders look at a number of things regarding your overall financial health during the pre-approval process. Debt-to-income is one of these items. A sudden surge in debt, brought on by holiday gift spending and vacations, will negatively impact your debt-to income ratio and might negate your pre-approval status. 

Not Negotiating Price Respectfully: Homes are priced with consideration to the current market, similar homes recently sold in the area, and similar properties for sale. Winter home prices are typically lower and sellers are often motivated. But it doesn’t mean you will be paying bargain basement prices for a top shelf property. A respectful offer is important. A “low-ball” offer rarely works to a buyer's advantage. The offer will likely be rejected. It may even offend a seller to the extent that they are no longer receptive to a counteroffer. Your buyer's agent will assist you in determining a respectful offer, and what would be considered “low-ball”. 

Not Listening When Opportunity Knocks: If you receive a text from your buyer’s agent about a property matching all of your criteria, you will want to make arrangements for viewing posthaste. Sometimes a scheduled viewing (or relevant meeting) may be delayed because of severe winter weather. Remain calm. Be understanding. 

Schedules become very busy during the holiday season for buyers, sellers, and agents. Dramatic winter weather can present itself at any time. It is important to be understanding and flexible. Be patient when working with your buyer’s agent knowing they’re doing everything necessary to help you buy a home! 

Not Respecting Your Budget: The shopping spirit is alive and well during the winter holiday season. We spend more freely. It is important to respect the budget you established for buying a home, and not be swept away by the free spending spirit of the holiday season. 

You may qualify for a higher mortgage loan, but you don’t want a higher mortgage payment to infringe on your fun loving lifestyle. There are winter snowboarding trips to take around the world, golf memberships to maintain, and warm sandy beaches on tropical islands to visit. You don’t want to spend all of your extra money on a mortgage. Be responsible. Do the math. Respect your budget. 

Not Looking Past a Gray Winter Day: A fresh snowfall makes everything more beautiful. Homes and landscapes will receive a temporary cosmetic facelift from Mother Nature. Snow days are perfect days for curb appeal. 

Not every winter day is a perfect day for curb appeal. There are plenty of cold and gray days of winter where snow has melted away after a warm spell, revealing dormant brown grass and bare tree limbs. Use your imagination. Don’t be fooled by the temporary lackluster curb appeal of an overcast gray winter day and look past a wonderful home. Look at the big picture. If everything else lines up you’re in good shape. The grass is always greener, and the sun is always brighter, on the other side of winter. Buy the home! 

I look forward to helping you locate your dream home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I am a resident and have a lifetime of Eastern Shore relationships, resources, and real estate experience to help you navigate the process of homeownership confidently every season of the year. Contact Chuck Mangold today!

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