While there are typically fewer homes to choose from during the winter months, sellers with their homes on the market are usually pretty eager to sell. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should expect sellers to accept low-ball offers, but it does give you more leverage and negotiating power. If you find a property you like, you may be one of only a few interested buyers, which means there’s less chance of a bidding war and a strong possibility that you will be able to negotiate a favorable price.
Nevertheless, house hunting in winter in Upstate New York comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some important things to keep in mind if you’re looking for a home in Lake George, Bolton Landing or anywhere in the Southern Adirondacks this February.
Leave Yourself Extra Time
When attending open houses, or scheduling home tours and meetings with your real estate agent and other vendors, make sure to leave yourself extra travel time. Road conditions can change quickly in the Adirondacks, and if you’re not accustomed to driving in snow and ice, it’s best to take it slow. Speaking of time, another tip that can actually save you time at open houses and home tours is to wear boots that can be easily slipped on and off, since you will likely be asked to remove your shoes at the door.
Winter in the Adirondacks means that many of the homes and yards you’ll be looking at will be covered in snow. To ensure that this beautiful “blanket of white” isn’t hiding some ghastly landscaping or property flaws, ask to see photos of the listing without snow and ice. If warm weather photos aren’t an option, make sure you’re working with a local real estate agent who does a lot of work in the neighborhood and is familiar with what the property looks like in all seasons.
Notice Things You Might Normally Miss
While snow may obscure the landscape, one advantage of house hunting in winter is that you can spot things you might otherwise miss if you’re touring homes during the warmer months. Things to look out for include cold drafts and weak lighting, and you’ll also want to note whether there’s a porch or awning to protect you from the elements, and a foyer, mudroom or closet storage for winter coats and wet boots.
Ask About Homes that Aren’t Listed Yet
While spring is typically the busiest time for the Southern Adirondack real estate market, winter is when many sellers are preparing their homes for sale. If you’re working with a local real estate agent and your move-in date is flexible, ask your agent if they know of any homes that aren’t listed yet, but will be in the spring. You might just get an early peek at a house that won’t be on the market until May or June.
House Hunting for Bolton Landing Real Estate this Winter
It’s always a good idea to work with a local real estate agent who is familiar with the neighborhood or area that you are interested in, but this is especially true in winter when snow covered landscapes and limited inventory present new challenges.
If you’re looking for a home in the Southern Adirondacks, you’ve come to the right place! Not only do I work as a Bolton Landing Real Estate Agent, but I live here, too. I have first-hand knowledge of the area, and I have several homes for sale in Lake George, Bolton Landing and the surrounding Southern Adirondack Region. Search for available properties or call me at (518) 321-1870 for a personal, one-on-one approach to the home buying process.