Many people don’t think about shopping for a second home in these cold winter months, especially if they are looking to buy waterfront. BUT if you are looking to get a little more of a bargain, then “Tis the Season” to be shopping.
Typically real estate slows down as the months get colder. This is especially true at the beginning of the year, after the holidays have passed and many peoples budgets are a little tighter. During this time many sellers will be more flexible on their price, knowing that it’s not the prime season to sell.
With second homes, many owners don’t like the idea of having to pay for the high cost of heating during these cold months, if the house isn’t occupied. This is even more true with the higher cost of fuel. Often owners will get the property winterized to save money while others will often leave their homes (or cottages) lightly heated to prevent drywall from cracking or to keep other things from shrinking or expanding from the change in temperature.
Also, with today’s job market (especially here in Michigan, with the auto industry being in trouble), many people are looking to get out from under the extra payment of a second home. If a second home owner experiences a job lose or cut in pay, they often can’t they afford to keep their second home mortgage. When this occurs, sellers can sometimes find themselves in a major financial pinch. In some cases they may need to unload that second home in a hurry to prevent foreclosure. Therefore, they are more willing to take a cut on the fair market value price to move the property more quickly.
Another situation that I often run into is a retired couple (or person) deciding to sell their second home to get rid of the responsibility of maintaining two properties. This can often be a burden when health is failing or they simply don’t find the time or have desire to visit their second home anymore. Another reason might be the need for the extra money because of the lack of adequate income from retirement. Depending on their situation, they may or may not be as flexible on their selling price.
Some minor disadvantages of buying a second home during the colder months can range from discomfort of looking at homes (sometimes unheated) in the colder weather, to not knowing what the property actually looks like during the warmer seasons. If you are looking to buy waterfront property, in most cases (in this region of the U.S) the lakes and rivers can often be frozen over and you may not be able to get an idea of what the property might be like during the warmer months. The key to this is to do some research or have the seller (or real estate agent) provide some current photos of the property (and the waterfront) taken during the warmer months of the year. You’ll have to be the judge on whether you are comfortable with the information that is (or is not) provided, so that you can make an educated choice on whether you should entertain making an offer on a property. Sometimes you may want to wait until the spring to make your decision and hope that the property is still available at that time.
As for the advantages, you may be able to pick up a property at a much better price than you would during the prime selling season. Also, since the market is slower during these months, there will be less people looking at homes, therefore minimizing your chances of competing against other potential buyers. This creates a great buyers market for you!
So if you have been thinking about buying a second home, you may want to consider starting your search now. It may give you the leg up on getting a better deal in the long run.
Copyright 2006 Ivie Baker. You may republish this article in its entirety, only if you leave the author’s note & website hyperlinks intact.
The story of the Puyallup Valley started with its geological formation far back in the mists of eons past. Its development is told in the story of pioneers who settled it, cleared the land and built its small cities in the last half of the 19th century.
In the early 1830’s the first European settler of the Puyallup region, Dr. Tolmie, in the company of an Indian guide and several other natives, passed through what he called in his journal the “Poyallipa” valley, the primitive people who lived here numbered about 2,000 and were closely related to the more populous race of Indians living in the Nisqually River valley. It was their hospitable spirit that gave this tribe the name “Puyallup” which translates to “generous people.” The Puyallup Indians had permanent dwelling places along the river bank. The Puyallup River was a broad meandering river chocked with massive log jams and prone to frequent floods. The valley floor was a maze of creeks, old growth forest and exotic ferns.
This is a scenic town that emerged among hops, succulent berries, and the beautiful flowers of the local bulb farmers. Pioneer hop king and champion of the Oregon Trail, Ezra Meeker, planned the city in 1877, giving it and the river flowing through the fertile valley its unique name. The livelihood for many local residents during the early years was primarily agriculture. Through many years of development, Puyallup has transformed to a booming scenic community with an interesting and profound history.
America is a country that is constantly in flux especially with traditions, norms and values. The same can be said about the real estate market withing the United States, which is also changing. The average home buyer in Tacoma today is very different from ones of years past.
The largest segment of American home buyers continues to be married couples, who account for 61% of all home sales. The difference today is that another slice of the real estate demographic pie is growing rapidly: single women. Today, single women account for 22% of all home sales compared to 9% with men.
Much of the reasons for this shift in the real estate dynamic is because a majority of adult American women now live without a spouse. In addition, American women are more financially independent than ever, accounting for over half of all college graduates.
Many of these women are also benefitting from the large quantity of unique mortgage loans now widely available. These loans, often offering little to no money down and initial low interest rates, help recent graduates and divorcees purchase homes when they normally couldn’t afford it. These mortgage loans also help another budding segment of the real estate demographic: minorities.
Minorities now account for 30% of all homes bought. Increasing numbers of African Americans, Asians and Hispanics are now buying more homes than ever.
In today’s market where homes sit seemingly for ages waiting for a buyer, people are looking for anything to help them sell their home faster. Everyone is looking for that extra something to help them sell faster. Case studies have shown that utilizing the right copy, on average can help you sell your home much faster in Tacoma.
In general, buyers are much more likely to be attracted to style over substance. Creating listings or advertisements utilizing words that trump up the elegance of the home or general attractiveness will prime your home to sell faster than a listing pushing the home’s price and value.
Homes that are described as “beautiful” sell 15% faster and for 5% more money while homes dubbed “good-value” sold for 5% less than average. Also some word-play that people use is just insignificant. Being dubbed a “must-see” has no impact on the time a home sells. Listings praising the “landscaping” sell 20% faster and homes in “move in condition” are sold 12% faster. Some words can even be detrimental.
Using language that tells how serious you are to sell can hurt the amount of time it takes. Listings talking about the seller “moving” sell for 1% less and if a seller is “motivated” the home will sell for 8% less, on average.
What this all means is when making a listing, make sure the language used is well-written, minimizes blemishes, and eloquently describes the positive aspects of the home. The listing language should be extravagent in order to stir up desire to see the home.
February ended with 9,067 houses on the market, according to the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors. That represents a 5.7 month supply, based on average sales and listings for the past 12 months, according to the Daily Oklahoman. Inventory has remained in the 5.5 to 5.7 months for the past 5 months.
Many Oklahoma City area realtors believe that a five to six month inventory is very close to a balanced market but with a slight edge to buyers.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the nation had a 9.6 month supply of housing at the end of February.
Total metro area sales were 1,264 houses during February. This was an increase of 25 percent from January but down 3.8 percent from February of 2007.
February’s average price was $149,107 – a 2.8 percent increase from February of 2007 but a 4 percent drop from January, 2008, reported the Daily Oklahoman.