Buying a House This Winter? Check Out This Must-Follow Dave Ramsey Advice

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You need to read this if you’re buying a house during the off-season.

Key points

  • Most people buy houses in the spring or summer.
  • Buying in the winter can mean less inventory and possibly better deals.
  • If you buy in the winter, remember to stick to your budget and use the opportunity to see how the house holds up in bad weather.

Buying a house is something most people do in the spring and summer. There are a lot of reasons for that. For one thing, it can be easier and more fun to look at properties when the weather is nice. If you have kids in school, you may also want to get them settled in a new place before the start of a new school year. 

But, not everyone can wait — or wants to wait — until the weather warms up to move forward with a purchase. If you’re considering getting a mortgage soon and buying in the off-season, this advice from Dave Ramsey can help you ensure you’re happy with the purchase. 

Be aware there may be less inventory 

Ramsey has warned that you may not have as much choice when it comes to a winter home purchase. 

“In winter, you’ve got a limited number of sellers on the market,” he explained. Since there are fewer properties for sale, you may not be able to find your dream home as easily. 

You’ll want to be patient and avoid settling for just any property since a home purchase is a big commitment. While you don’t need the “perfect” house, you shouldn’t rush into the transaction — especially if you aren’t finding anything you like. 

You may get a better deal — but you still need to stick to your budget

Ramsey explained that there are fewer buyers in the winter than during the summer. So, although there is a lower supply of houses, there is also lower demand — and this can help you to score a better price on your property. 

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“People who bought their homes during winter saved tens of thousands of dollars compared to those who waited to buy in the spring or summer,” Ramsey explained. He cited data showing the median sale price of existing homes was between 4% and 17% lower for properties sold from Dec. 2021 to Feb. 2022 compared with homes sold between March and June of 2022. 

It’s not just supply and demand that could help you save, either. Since people usually don’t sell a house in the winter if they have their choice, you may be dealing with sellers who need to move soon. This can give you more leverage.

Be aware, though, that while you may be able to get a “deal,” you still should be careful about how much you end up spending. 

“Home prices might drop a bit with the temperatures. But that doesn’t mean you should justify spending any more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay on monthly housing payments,” Ramsey warned. 

You can check out the home’s durability

Finally, Ramsey explained one of the key perks of purchasing a home in the winter. You get to see how the house stands up in bad weather and how it looks under suboptimal conditions. 

“House hunting in winter gives you a chance to see how your potential new home handles harsh weather,” Ramsey explained. “Suppose you fall in love with a house even with the weather at its worst. Then you can be confident that living there will only get better from here on out!”

If you’re house-hunting this winter, be sure to keep this advice in mind as it can help you make better choices that maximize the chances you’ll end up in a home you love even when spring comes along. 

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