Flipping in the Winter

11 Replies

Hi, just have a quick question to any investors or agents etc. How is business during the winter time in the cold regions? Im in Chicago, just want to know have anyone been successful during the cold season.

I run a buy, rehab, and rent strategy in Chicago.  We have to get the unit ready to rent by November otherwise we will have to be prepared to wait to fill that  vacancy in March.

Sales start to pick up Feb 1. However this year in hot neighborhoods I saw frenzy activity as early as beginning of Jan. Purely depends on the location

What's this "winter" thing I keep hearing about on BP and the news? 

Does that mean the sun's not out?!?

- J, from Cali ;)

@J. Martin  - Here that word has a different meaning.... We got to negative 30 this year.  You don't know cold until you have your nose hair freeze after being outside for 30 seconds.  Also, everybody who is single tends to find somebody to date because it is cold (and then they break up in summer) we all get a bit fatter since you only leave the house if you really have to.  And if a water main bursts your car may be iced in, literally.  That car is not beige.  That is it covered in 4 inches of ice

@Brie Schmidt  ,

WOW! We are just in a different world over in CA, and especially in the Bay Area!

Any month of the year, I put my units up for rent in the last month the prior tenant is there, and have the new lease signed before the old tenant moves out (at higher rents). Last few moves have been from 1 hour to 1 day turnover time, with negligible turnover expense. And this is even in the lower-income areas. It's like that everywhere around here. 

I can't even imagine a unit sitting empty for a month! @Cliff Mccue , ouch!  But people can wear their flip flops while they're moving, and inventory is tight, so I guess all real estate really is local! The frozen pipes, wear on buildings, all that.. tough.. Of course, I'll be saying that until there's an earthquake! lol

@Cliff Mccue undefined

@J. Martin  - Even if my tenant is on a MTM I tell them they must sign a lease from Oct - April because nobody moves here in winter and they will even push back evictions if it is too cold.  

@Brie Schmidt  . Smart.

I did that once also last year, but only because I was going to Europe for a month and a half and didn't want to deal with a vacancy while I was shennaniging around overseas.. ;)

So true @Brie Schmidt ! Worst winter ever this year....

Hopefully that wasn't your car!

I was just thinking about this topic since I'll be moving to Fargo when winter is going to start. Is it smart to buy a property during the winter? Will contractors even work during the frigid cold and if so, are their prices higher?

J Martin is right with the Cali weather. I sure am going to miss it!

In the DC/Maryland area business predictably slows during the January-March winter period, but this winter was especially bad and sales slowed to a crawl. I get the impression that seasonal home sales patterns will be impacted most strongly in areas where the winter turns out unpredictably cold. Not only did the DC area get hit with more snow than is typical this year, but the snow season was noticeably prolonged (it hung around into the close of March). It sounds like this turned off a lot of buyers from scoping homes during the winter low point, especially when homes that are gorgeous in spring were covered in winter sludge for much of a three-month period.

From my understanding, Chicago always has a hefty snow season. But in places like DC where winters aren't as unforgiving, an especially harsh winter can sink sales when locals aren't used to dealing with that much cold.

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