Buying a Home on Cape Cod in the Winter

Believe it or not, plenty of homes sell in the winter months on Cape Cod. Many New England buyers LOVE to make a winter day or weekend trip to the Cape. And what’s not to love? Generally speaking, we have warmer temps and less snow than our more northern New England neighbors. There’s little bridge traffic, no lines in the restaurants, and you can take a brisk walk on the beach without having to climb over a single blanket or dodge a runaway umbrella! Here are more benefits to house-hunting on the Cape in the winter, along with some tips for success.

Price Reductions. Many homeowners reduce their list prices during the winter months. Think about it. Most of the homes on the market after November are NOT new listings. They are homes that have been on the market for a while and did not sell. Furthermore, the owners chose to leave their home on the market rather than withdraw it for the winter and take their chances on better luck next year. These typically are motivated sellers, and motivated sellers tend to reduce their prices. You could very well pick up a good bargain in the winter months. Homes that come off the market for the winter frequently return in the spring at the same or even higher prices.

Fewer Buyers. Not every Cape house buyer can shop in the winter for a variety of reasons. Some are geographically unable to get to the Cape. Some have decided to put it off until next year. Some are too busy with kids’ activity schedules. Fewer buyers means less competition. Your offer could look VERY attractive to a seller if it is the only one.

First to See New Listings. Last winter inventory on the Cape was historically low. Yet even so, almost 1300 new single family listings came on the market between December and March. As we saw all year, the homes in the best condition and priced right were under agreement in a matter of days. Buyers who continue to house-hunt in the winter are the first to see these new listings and usually have them under agreement before the rest of the buyers resume their search.

Easy to Show. According to the Cape Cod Commission, roughly 41% of all Cape Cod homes are seasonal. The majority of these are empty in the winter. This means that the homes are generally easy to show, even on short notice, as long as your Realtor is available to show them. While Realtors are typically less busy in the winter months, some take advantage of the slow period to take vacation. Be sure to check with your Realtor on his or her winter schedule and who will be covering if (s)he plans to be away. Also, be prepared for empty houses to have no heat and no water running. Dress and plan accordingly!

In summary, if you didn’t find your dream home on the Cape in 2018, keep looking over the winter if it is at all possible. You may be rewarded with a great house at a great price. As always, we are happy to assist you with your search. Please contact us and let us know what you’re looking for. It would be our privilege to represent you at no cost to you.