When addressing how to buy a “winter house”, we could be talking about a number of things. We could mean buying a home during the wintertime, under property market conditions that are typical at this time. We could perhaps be talking about buying a house for the winter, or in a cold place, and how to make sure that such a property is up to scratch for winter living. We could also be talking about buying a winter getaway holiday home, such as a ski cabin or mountain chalet. And finally, we could be talking about all of that.
Without getting too specific then, there is a body and advice built up over the years by property experts, realtors, and homeowners about what makes for a good winter home. You can consider this important if you are seeking a property anywhere that experiences cold or is just generally cold. In such places, there tend to be certain types of houses, and these can be judged by quite specific winter-based criteria.
CityHome Collective, a real estate broker out of Utah that specializes in luxury homes and condos, advises that just as there is much winter home advice to follow, there is just as much ignorance about what makes a good winter home. This means there are many mistakes to avoid as well.
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How to Judge a Winter Home
Before getting on to the most common mistakes that you will want to avoid, it makes sense to go over just how a home is judged in terms of its suitability for winter living. Naturally, things like the central heating, draught exclusion, and heat retention of the property are especially important, but we are not talking about a survival guide here. Winter living means a good deal more than simply surviving the winter.
You will want to look at the spaces offered by the property and consider whether they would be suitable for offering a quality of life when the weather is cold. Is the living room suited to large indoor family gatherings? Is the yard ideal for a winter display? Are there opportunities for winter activities like skiing close by? How suitable and well-maintained are the surrounding roads in winter conditions? These are the general lines to think along.
Here follows then some mistakes to avoid when purchasing a winter property:
Failing to Consider All the Options
The wintertime can be a period of general market sluggishness, which can limit the choice somewhat.But it also makes the buying process a bit less competitive. Importantly, it also gives you time to weigh up options and look around for properties with additional winter-friendly features you might not have considered at first.
Disregarding the Home’s Suitability for Severe Conditions
We mentioned that winter living – not survival – should be most important. Indeed it should, but sometimes winters can be particularly severe and worse than usual. How does this property fair under those sorts of conditions? This is always a risk anywhere with a seasonal or cold climate.
Skipping a Professional Home Inspection
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any property-related scenario, but it can be especially severe when a house needs to handle winter conditions. It is not likely to be the coldest day of the year when you view it, and nor is it certain that the home will be suitable for everything you hope it will be. Inspections are a must.
The most essential purpose of a home is shelter. As nobody needs telling that this is especially important in the winter.