When you move to a cold climate area, you have access to a whole new range of great outdoor activities and a new lifestyle. But before you pack up and head north, follow these few tips to find the right real estate for sale and make it home before winter arrives.
1. Start in Town. Many newcomers to the cold northern states are attracted by the vast rural areas and open skies. These certainly can be great places in the warmer seasons, but they can also be hard to care for and manage in a harsh winter. If you're new to snow and ice or winter storms in general, start with a home in a populated area before heading out to the wilderness. Real estate may cost a little more, but you'll have access to amenities, plowed roads, and close shopping choices.
2. Pay Attention to the Inspection. When you do choose a home, make sure to get a thorough and reliable home inspection. Winter weather conditions are hard on a house, so you need to know what you're really getting into. Certain areas of the home are often of particular concern — such as the roof, plumbing system, heating, and foundation. Go over with the inspector or agent any questions or concerns you have. Negotiate for any major repairs that will affect the home's structure and comfort.
3. Fix Problems in Good Weather. Summer is a great time to move north because you have time to get settled and set up your new place before dealing with bad weather. Consult the inspection report and make fixes that might affect your wintertime comfort. If you need to do any remodeling, this is also the time to get it done. Winter renovations will likely be dirty or easily delayed. And if you wait until after a storm to make repairs, you'll have plenty of competition.
4. Winterize the Home. If you come from warmer climes, you're probably not used to winterizing the house. But take the time after moving in to check on key winter preparedness. This generally includes insulation on pipes or water pumps, overhead protection for your vehicles, gutters and drainpipe function, exterior insulation, the furnace, and the quality of any dirt roads you own.
With some preparation, you can enjoy your first winter in your new northern abode. And you'll enjoy future winters for many happy years to come. Before long, you may wonder why you ever lived anywhere else.