By Michael Williams 1/25/21
Traditionally, January is a bit slow for real estate sellers in Central NY. Reasons for this slowness include the weather (yes, it’s cold, so what), the traditional week off that many Central NY schoolchildren get in late January for reasons lost to history, the “recovery” from the holidays, and the difficulty of inspections when a roof and land are snow-covered, perhaps deeply. Overcoming the last one is possible, and the rest are … well, not very good justification!
To such justification, I say: I bought both my first and second houses in Central NY in January. It’s a good month to buy. Yes, inventory is generally lower because sellers expect buying to be slow, but we aren’t talking about moving time. A closing is generally 45-90 days after signing a contract because NY traditionally does not have occupancy before closing nor does it allow escrow to substitute for the traditional exchanging of funds at a closing table (with paper checks … yes, around here it’s still 1985 in some ways).
Many families want to plan a move in May or June when children are finishing school, especially if a school district change will occur as a consequence. They then, of course, are competing with other buyers in February and March for those homes that come on the market in anticipation of the “rush.”
In January, you might find the best deal on that house that perhaps went on the market in November or December and has yet to find a new owner. If the snow is deep, yes, we might wait on the septic inspection until we can see a bit of ground. That, though, won’t keep you from knowing you found a great deal on a home that will be ready for you to move in just as the weather is warming up.