(NC) It may not be the busiest season for buying real estate, but the colder months offer many benefits to those shopping for a home.
“Most buyers know they can look forward to less competition this season, but it's also a good time to see how the home holds up to the cold weather,” explains Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “While the home's curb appeal may not be at its best in the middle of winter, it sure is a good time to see how well the furnace works and if there's enough insulation.”
If you're shopping for a home this season, be sure to pay close attention to the five areas below.
“These are things you'll want to ask your Realtor no matter what time of year,” says Ferris. “To get a better idea of how a home looks in the warmer months, simply ask the sellers to provide photos of the house.”
1. HVAC: Is the furnace in good working order? Does the home feel cold or comfortable as you walk through it?
2. Doors and windows: Is the house drafty? You'll want to check whether the windows and doors are properly insulated.
3. Roof: It may be covered with snow, but that's alright because you can see how well it holds up to the weight and if the house has any leaks.
4. Driveway: If the driveway has a snow melting system, now's a good time to check if it works.
5. Neighbourhood upkeep: Take note of how well the neighbours tend to driveways and sidewalks, and whether the city plows or salts icy streets.