Nine Tips For House Hunting Over The Holidays

Nine Tips For House Hunting Over The Holidays
 OMG John 11/15/2017 6:20 AM

Parties, food, drinks, inclement weather, family, friends, laughter… and house hunting? It can be a difficult time of year to house hunt for your new home, but here are nine quick tips to help make house hunting during these tough Midwestern winters a little easier:

  • House hunting during the holidays means that your realtor may have more time (from less clients) to walk you through houses.
  • That being said, though, it’s still the holiday season so expect some scheduling conflicts. Did we mention all of the parties and family and work stuff? There’s a lot of it. Expect that there are going to be scheduling conflicts with your realtor, the seller’s realtor, and potentially even the sellers.
  • If the yard is currently snow-covered, ask for photos of the landscaping. Chances are these will be included in the one-sheet or other property listing images, but if not, don’t feel bad asking. It does not help to be surprised by atrocious landscaping after the fact.
  • Even if sellers might be motivated and that’s why they’ve listed their home in the least-desirable season, don’t expect them to accept low-ball offers.
  • Expect that the selection on the market may not be as high as over the spring/summer/fall months.
  • Use the season and potentially bad weather to your advantage. Notice where there are drafts coming into the house, where insulation may need to be added, where there may be water issues from melting snow, or foundation issues from the cold and moisture. Also notice how the furnace handles and how the plumbing works. Are there any weird noises going on when you come in or when you turn on the faucets? These can be expensive fixes after the fact, so it’s great to see them in action before you even make an offer.
  • Notice how/where they put extra guests in the home. This can be helpful as you plan out how you’ll lay things out after you move in.
  • Notice how/where they store their extra holiday decorations and potentially even gifts. (Don’t go snooping, but chances are as you’re looking through closets and storage, you’ll see where Mom and Dad have stashed some of the gifts.)
  • Not to mention… If you’re someone who doesn’t like living near a gaudily-decorated holiday house, house hunting during this time of year will show you exactly what type of neighborhood and neighbors you’re taking on!

Looking for more tips for homebuyers? Check out our other blog posts:


If you and your family are getting ready to start house-hunting for your new home, contact the Fairfield Team and we can help you! (And don’t worry about the winter weather… We have boots and four-wheel drive!)