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It’s Worth it to Weather a Winter Home Purchase

Did you know there’s a “buying season” in Portland? And did you know it can be better to avoid buying in that season?

Every year the greater Portland area sees a wave of activity in the spring. According to data gathered from the RMLS listing service, we see the highest price peaks and the lowest amount of inventory around March and April. Sure, we know that time of year feels like the best time to buy. It’s when we come out of winter hibernation and the sun begins to shine. Buyers find their motivation and sellers’ homes look best as spring blooms sprout. But there are drawbacks, primarily in competition among buyers, that can be avoided by buying when everyone else slows down for a long winter’s nap.

The most recent Market Action Report from RMLS shows inventory in September 2018 at its highest since January 2015. This is a big change from the several years in which we’ve had low inventory driving already high demand, and it means good things for buyers. Those who take advantage of this opportunity will find that sellers are still putting their homes on the market, interest rates are still reasonable, and buyers have more leverage than in the recent past.

Buyers who write offers in winter will have another advantage that spring and summer buyers don’t: rain. Seriously, rain. A variety of home maintenance issues in the Pacific Northwest arise because of our wet weather. Leaking roofs, puddling water in basements, moldy attics and more are caused or exacerbated by precipitation. But without actively wet conditions, particularly in an older home, it’s difficult to tell if that stain in the basement is a current issue or something from years ago. As a result, savvy purchasers will hope for the worst weather during their home inspections.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding how to time your move is that the market will change. It always does. The trend since the downturn from several years ago, is that activity, competition and pricing dip during winter and rise in the spring. So if you’re going to try and “time” the market any time soon, the time may be now.

If you want to learn more, give Amy Seaholt a call. She’s happy to put on rain boots and go find you a house.

 – Amy Seaholt


Amy Seaholt

Broker
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