How Will a Blizzard Affect the Housing Market? - Homeowners in the Northeast are trying to get back to their normal lives after a record-breaking blizzard dumped several feet of snow across the region last week. At least 11 deaths in the U.S. were blamed on “Nemo”, President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for Connecticut, and utility companies from Massachusetts to New York say it could be days before all of their customers have power again.
Eventually, though, the snow will melt, all of the driveways and streets will be cleared, and everyone will have electricity in their homes – but that doesn't necessarily mean that the effects of this storm will no longer be felt! Specifically, what affect will this blizzard have on the housing market?
Unfortunately, we won't know the full impact until a few months down the road, but realtors say it could be worse than you think, for several reasons.
First, the storm hit a heavily-populated section of the country, so a drop-off in regional home sales could affect the national average when February’s sales numbers are calculated. Also, many of the individuals whose homes were hit by this snowstorm were also victims of Hurricane Sandy last fall. Some homeowners had to make repairs to their homes after the hurricane, and may have to make additional repairs to their properties once again.
Or, you could look at it from the other side of the coin. Owners who didn’t suffer any damage during Sandy weren't so lucky this time around. Either way, it will delay some homes from hitting the market and, ultimately, from being sold.
In the more immediate future, though, the concern is mobility. The longer that roads and highways remain covered with snow and ice, the longer it will be before prospective buyers can venture out to go house hunting. Also, sellers with homes currently on the market must worry about the safety of their driveways and sidewalks for prospective buyers taking tours of their homes.
Experts say homeowners hoping to sell should be patient during the cleanup and aftermath of the storm, and they should expect less-interested parties wanting to view their home for the next few weeks.
However, a smart seller knows that they should be prepared at all times, so if you're trying to sell your home and live in the region affected by the storm, make sure that you shovel and de-ice your driveway and walkway leading to the front door. After all, you'd hate to scare off a prospective buyer simply because they don't think it would be safe to try and check out your home!
Also, make sure that you have the heat running, or build a fire if your home has a fireplace. Remember, you always want your home to feel inviting, but this is especially true for someone who is coming in from the snow!
Ultimately, patience is key when selling a home after a blizzard. If repairs need to be made, don't rush to get them complete. Make sure that any and all damage is fixed before listing the home.
Sales in the Northeast will likely drop off in the months to come, so homeowners should anticipate the process taking longer than usual, but eventually, if your home is priced correctly, it will sell under any circumstances – even after a snowstorm.
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