Why Winter is Great for Real Estate Investing

by | BiggerPockets.com

When you’re a home buyer, winter real estate shopping can be hit or miss, even in warmer climates that don’t see snow. After the holidays have ended, many people are simply looking to get back into the usual groove of things. In January, most people with children don’t want to move because it is still the middle of a school year.

When you’re an investor, though, winter real estate shopping can be a blast. The typical seasonal wisdom of buying a home is thrown out the window when it comes to the purchase of commercial and residential rental properties. Because the owner of the property is changing hands, and not necessarily the occupier, there are far fewer concerns about mid-school-year-moving. And when building owners get back into the post-holiday groove, one of the new year tasks at the top of their lists could be selling an investment property.

Read on to learn why winter is great for real estate investing.

Low Interest Rates

The Fed has been helping to keep interest rates low with quantitative easing, and though it plans to pull back this year, interest rates are still at historically low levels. For real estate investors that may be utilizing a mortgage, now is a great time to move forward, before QE3 begins to really taper off. Mortgage interest rates could be higher if you wait even a few months.

Priced to Sell

It’s the middle of winter, so many of the residential buildings and houses that are on the market now are likely there because the owner has to sell. Often that means the seller will be willing to negotiate on a price, simply so they can get the building off their balance sheet. There may also be buildings in need of repair that could sell quickly and for cheap, as long as you’re willing to put in the time, money and effort to fix any issues.

Minimal Buyer Interest

With the holidays having just passed, the new year started and winter still in full swing, many people have their heads down, unburying themselves from the work that accumulated while they were having holiday fun. Not as many people are thinking about buying, as compared to warmer months. Now is the chance for investors to be looking, before typical home buyers start getting back into the mix.

Of course, real estate markets and real estate investing is highly local. In warmer climates in the U.S., home sales barely slow down in the winter, compared to summer months. It’s best to gather information on your local market to determine whether pricing and buyer interest could impact your real estate investment purchase.
Photo Credit: Unitopia

About Author

For 12 years, Ken Horst has driven positive results through internet marketing for businesses of all sizes, from solo real estate agents to well-known brands. His MLS Maps website helps people find real estate and connects agents with clients. Check out the MLS MapsBlog for more tips and advice.


  1. Great Article!
    I remember when I was an Real Estate Agent in California years ago, having worked for Century 21. The Broker had told me that the best time of year to buy Real Estate as an investment was the winter time because of all of the advantage you mentioned above. High Seller Motivation and price flexibility played a true key factor in getting a great deal on a piece of property. Eventhough It was Southern CA, the bargains still existed.

  2. This is a great tip. Another bonus I’ve found from buying in the winter is your home inspection will be performed in probably what will be some of the worst weather conditions the property will encounter. It’s a great time to find weather related defects that possibly could be undiscovered in a different season.

  3. Nice reminder! In my experience, many new investors in our cold climate still tend to think like the general public, and begin looking in the Spring along with the retail buyers. We need to think differently as investors in order to garner different (better) results!

  4. On a related note, as investors and property owners managing income producing real estate, winter is definitively a time to keep your guard up. Terrible time to have vacancies because of some of the reasons listed above, people don’t like to move and finding a new tenant can be hard sometimes. My team and I work hard to make sure that a lease doesn’t end in the winter months.

    Great time to acquire new properties, great time to spend additional attention managing the properties you have!

  5. Tyson

    Brought up some good points. I live in Utah, and even if I got the house at a great price because IRS winter…there is still the issue of finding a buyer if it was a fix and flip or renters if it couldn’t be sold right away.

    The only strategy I could come up with is buying in February and rehabbing through March if it need that much work and have it ready to sell or rent by March/April.

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