Why Winter is Still a Good Time to Buy in Fort Worth


When Searching for the Perfect Fort Worth Property, the Cold Months of Winter Often Prove the Hottest Time to Buy.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the ideal time for residential real estate transactions is from mid to late spring and into the summer months from June to August. For many, this comes as little surprise.

Temperatures are warmer, days are longer, and transitions are much more manageable. Logistically speaking, it's a better time to move with more hours in the day and for those homebuyers who have children between grades or schools. 

Sellers, for their part, like a spring to summer selling season too. They prefer to list in the year's warmer months because houses tend to show better under bright, cloudless skies when lawns are lush and green, and the foliage is in full bloom. And, as you'll see, sellers appreciate the opportunity to command top dollar for their homes.

However, for homebuyers in Fort Worth, another time of year might prove far more friendly to both their house-hunting prospects and, ultimately, their bottom line.

Let's explore the top reasons why winter is a good time to buy in Fort Worth.

1. Homes Prices are Considerably Lower


The top reason why it's worth it to move your house hunt from the middle to the end of the year is that, overall, home prices are lower. It's not merely a matter of a few thousand dollars either, especially for those looking in Fort Worth.

Recently, online financial services site NerdWallet conducted a deep dive on the best time to buy a home across several different U.S. housing markets. Based on four years of data from from 2015 to 2019, they found winter to be a wonderland of home hunting deals.

According to the numbers, home prices were 8.5% higher in June and July when compared to January and February.

For the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the disparity was even more significant. Prices peak in June in DFW, with January being the least expensive time to buy. The difference? On average, homes were nearly $27,000 more expensive in June than in January. That's a 12% difference between the two months.

Even at the luxury home level, when dealing with million-dollar homes, that constitutes a significant difference.

To capitalize on where more localized disparities might occur, identify your most desirable Fort Worth neighborhoods and compare what similar homes sell for at different times of the year. It may help you spot areas of opportunity where "winter rates" can score you an incredible deal.

It's worth noting that ancillary services—movers and repair services, for example—see their traffic levels decrease during winter. Should you need either, there's an excellent chance of scoring discounts from those angling for your business, which will further add to your home buying savings.

2. Fewer Buyers Looking to Buy, Motivated Sellers Ready to Sell

So why the deep discounts? For one thing, the competition for new homes just isn't the same in winter as it is in spring and summer.

While it is true that winter may see fewer homeowners listing their homes for sale, it also means fewer buyers are combing the market for those listings. That lessened activity makes plenty of sense.

Let's face it, between November and February, people are occupied. Whether it's seasonal gatherings with family, wintertime travel between school semesters, or just being lazy around the holidays, buying a home is the last thing on a lot of people's minds.

Additionally, families with children are less likely to uproot their lives in the middle of the school year. If their plans eventually call for relocation, a search in earnest won't start until March or April.

Even with the relatively temperate winters in Northeast Texas, many individuals just don't want to go house hunting in the cold weather.

Obviously, all of the above is not great for those listing a home since greater numbers of interested parties help drive up the price of their home. But it's an exceptional opportunity for you.

Less general interest means you're less likely to find yourself in a bidding war with other buyers. 

With fewer buyers in the market for a new home, sellers have to work harder to get their homes noticed and sold. More to the point, if a home is listed during winter, it's listing because the seller has no other choice. 

Whether the necessity is due to a job change, unplanned relocation, or any number of other life-changing circumstances, it can create opportunities for you.

Keep a keen eye out for wintertime for-sale signs. Research if those homes are less than a neighborhood's general asking price. Partner with a real estate professional with a talent for negotiation. Motivated sellers are more likely to move away from their asking price, offer concessions for things such as closing costs, or provide flexible closing dates.

3. A More Thoughtful Home Buying Experience

Arguably, one of the more underrated aspects of a cold-weather home buying experience is that you actually can enjoy it.

Consider for a moment a popular, upscale restaurant and its atmosphere at peak lunch or dinner hours. Then, think about the times you visited during off or low traffic periods.

Being a sought-after, high-end eatery, like many in Fort Worth, the taste of the food or the level of service was the same regardless of when you visited. However, we imagine that in the low peak hours, the experience felt more immersive and savory. You weren't rushed and didn’t feel crowded during your meal.

Luxury real estate shares similar traits. While the best luxury real estate professionals offer exemplary, white-glove service to their clients year-round, a home search in the peak spring and summer months proves to be a hurried affair.

A multitude of buyers are competing for a smaller cache of homes. Lenders are processing mountains of transactions. A listing that catches your eye one day could very well be gone the next.

Indeed, if you're unwilling or unable to move quickly on a springtime home transaction, you stand to miss out on many opportunities.

The winter season proffers a more subdued, thoughtful experience. Homes linger on the market for a considerably longer period than the fast and furious spring and summer seasons. 

According to the NerdWallet report, homes in DFW spent an average of 43 days on the market in June, compared with 67 days in January, a difference of nearly three and a half weeks.

Even for the most desirable homes, with fewer buyers in the market, you'll often have more time to tour and contemplate if the property is right for you.

With fewer clients filling their schedules, you can take advantage of your real estate broker or agent's more flexible schedule. 

And, you can anticipate a more streamlined transaction. Fewer home purchases mean more attentive mortgage brokers with far less paperwork to process. In turn, you can expect to see faster responses and shorter closing times.

4. House Hunting Without the Heat on High

Sure, spring and summer are hot real estate months, thanks to the competitive market of buyers and sellers. But it's also just plain hot outside. 

Extreme heat is a trademark of North Texas weather, and it's especially true for Fort Worth in June and July.

Average temperatures during early summer regularly exceed the 90-degree mark. One hundred degree days are often the rule and not the exception. Sweating your way around ultra-exclusive neighborhoods is no way to look for the house of your dreams.

Though the days are shorter in winter, the thermometer is far more accommodating. Average daytime highs hover around 60 degrees between December and February in Fort Worth. Even for the most cold-weather averse individuals, that's an agreeable climate in which to find a home.

More than just comfort, touring homes in winter serves a practical purpose. Those same Tarrant County temperature extremes put plenty of stress on area homes as well. 

Considering the majority of area homes are built to provide sanctuary from heat, it's informative to experience a home in colder conditions. 

Understandably, most homes in Texas are not winterized to the level of those in colder climates. However, the rare extreme freeze in DFW isn't exactly that rare. The opportunity to tour a home and have it inspected in the year's coldest temperatures helps identify potential (and costly) cold weather concerns.

Ultimately, your home buying schedule isn't always set by the seasons. Your next home purchase occurs when the time is right (or necessary) for you. However, if your plans are flexible, it's worth considering a wintertime home buying experience. 

Not only does the potential exist to save a substantial amount of money, but the overall experience proves far more relaxed and enjoyable.

Ready to start your wintertime search for the ideal Fort Worth luxury home? From La Cantera real estate and Colonial Country Club homes for sale to Downtown Fort Worth condos, John Zimmerman and his team will ensure yours is an exemplary home buying experience. Contact The John Zimmerman Group today and begin your journey with us.

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As the founding agent for Compass Real Estate’s Fort Worth office, Zimmerman is combining nearly 30 years of residential real estate experience with Compass’ best-in-class data and technology to optimize the client experience.
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