It’s no secret that “season” in southwest Florida refers to the cooler months of the year — from around November through about Easter. That’s when the snowbirds are here. It’s when we have our lovely, sunny but not-too-hot weather that south Florida is famous for. It’s when we have so many art shows, craft fairs, community events, golf tournaments, and other activities that we couldn’t participate in all of them if we tried. It’s when the seasonal businesses get enough business to sustain them through the slower summer months. It’s when folks up north who are approaching retirement start thinking about how nice it would be to go golfing in January instead of shoveling snow.
But if you’re contemplating a move to Florida, summertime offers some major benefits during your house-hunting process.
- There are fewer buyers during “season,” so the competition for properties you’re interested in is likely to be less intense. During season, properties sometimes go under contract within a few days of listing. Because sellers know that buyers are more plentiful, they’re more likely to hold out for a better offer. But in the summer months, during our off season, sellers who want to get their property sold soon might be more inclined to accept the first reasonable offer that comes in. No one wants to have their house sit on the market all summer.
- Sellers may start thinking about reducing their asking price. Since their property didn’t sell during season, they start to think that if they don’t want to wait until next winter, the only way to get it sold might be to lower the price. Summertime can be a great time to get a good deal on your new home.
- When the snowbirds and halfbacks are gone during the summer, it’s a good time to evaluate the neighborhood as a whole. Does it become like a ghost town? Are there enough year-round residents that it still feels like a normal neighborhood?
- Our summer-long rainy season can reveal a lot about areas and properties that you might be interested in buying. As a buyer, you can can go take a drive around the neighborhoods you’re interested in during or immediately after a heavy rain. Look to see if there are any flooded streets or intersections. It’s also a good time to look at the specific properties you’re interested in to check for flooded spots in the yard or leaks in the roof or around the windows.
- Our summer-long hot season can also reveal valuable information about the properties you’re interested in. Does the air conditioning cool the home sufficiently? Can you feel hot air coming in around doors or windows? How hot does the garage get? During the heat of the afternoon, where exactly does the shade from that beautiful oak fall? If you value outdoor living spaces, summertime is a good time to see how livable they are when it’s hot, humid and rainy every day.