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Why Winter is the Best Time to Buy a Home in the Mountains of Colorado


Why Winter is the Best Time to Buy a Home in the Mountains of Colorado

Video Transcript Below:

A lot of people are hesitant to buy in the winter in the mountains of Colorado because of the snow and the cold. But those two things specifically can actually be a good reason to buy in the winter. So why is winter a good time to buy a home? Snow and cold can reveal things about home that we might not notice if we were buying in the summer. 

We’re going to start with the approach to the house itself. Driving to a house in the winter when the roads are covered in snow, one: is going to show you exactly what the roads are like when they’re covered in snow. Which we might not think about if we’re looking at a home in the summer when all of the roads are clear. So we can see how deep the roads are if they’re hard to drive on because they’re not super well plowed and get an idea for how well plowed the roads will be most of the time are you and your guests going to have trouble getting to the home that kind of thing. 

Additionally the driveway itself is something that we might not pay much attention to in the summer if we can easily drive up and down it when it’s clear. But in the winter we want to make sure that the snow on it doesn’t make it impossible for you to drive your car into the garage. There are homes in my neighborhood that have pretty steep driveways where this is entirely true. The homeowners use the driveway in the summer but in the winter they just park at the top of it. If that’s going to be a deal breaker for you that’s something that we’ll notice if you’re looking at it in the winter. 

Are there of steps to get to the main entrance of the house? Are you going have to deal with clearing those? Is there good snow storage so that when you do plow that driveway there’s somewhere for the snow to go? All of these are things that we’ll notice right away in the winter that we might not think to think about in the summer. 

Additionally snow reveals to us how well insulated the roof is. If a roof is covered in big puffy snow piles we can rest assured that the roof is probably pretty well insulated. If there’s patches that have melted off that can’t easily be explained by the direction the roof faces in relation to the sun those patches where we can see the roof could indicate that those are areas where the heat from the house is escaping out from the roof which would indicate that there’s not enough insulation in those places. 

It being cold will also mean that we have an accurate representation of how well the heating system works on zoned heating systems which we often see in radiant flooring in the summer if there’s a lot of solar gain and so the house is already pretty warm we may struggle to get the temperature to rise a couple degrees even we turn up the thermostat. So it may be hard to accurately determine how well the radiant enforce system is doing. The inspectors usually can tell they’ve got like their little radar guns where they can see if it’s putting off heat. But in the winter we have no concerns because if the heat’s not working in that room we’re going to notice additionally if there are drafts. If there are windows that are particularly drafty or seals around doors where we’re losing heat we’re going to be able to tell because we’re going to be able to feel it. 

Regardless of the time of year that you buy we always want to ask for utility bills so we can see what it’s like to actually heat that house but in the winter we can tell how that heating bill relates to the temperature that the current owners keep the home just because the heating bill is low it might be because they keep the house at like 63 degrees but you’re going to want to keep it at 75. And how expensive it is to heat the house is something that you want to keep in mind because this will factor into how expensive it is for you to own the property. Certain heating systems cost more than others like electric baseboards tend to be the most expensive so therefore this is something that we can notice when we look at the utility bill. 

Additionally most people who buy in Summit County here in the mountains of Colorado Summit counties where Breckenridge is, are buying because you want a ski house so the winner is probably when you’re going to use the house the most. If you buy in the summer you’re just sort of guessing on what it’s going to be like to live there when you’re actually going to use it. If we buy at the time of year when you plan on using it the most you have the most accurate representation of what it’s going to be like to live in that house. 

Of course the disadvantages are that we can’t see the yard, we can’t see the roof, if it’s well insulated we probably can’t see down to the shingles. But I would say that I think the things that we can discover about a house in the winter outweigh the things that we’re limited in. And as far as testing the air conditioning one thing to keep in mind is that most homes up here don’t have air conditioning so we’re not going to be able to test it whether it’s the winter or the summer. 

For more quirks on buying a home or living in Summit County you can watch this video up here and if you have questions about living the mountains in general please always feel free to reach out to me you can find me on any social channel at Betsy Repaske.