Buying a Home in the Rainy Season in Portland, OR
The rain is officially here in Portland! It will be here for the next several months and many home buyers wonder whether home buying is different in the rainy season compared to spring and summer. Aside from the fact that you will be moving in the rain, which can be a hassle, are there any benefits of buying a home in rainy weather?
Less Inventories and Buyers
A lot of home sellers who plan to put their home on the market target the spring season because home sellers believe that is when there is the biggest pool of buyers. That is true and buyers love going to open houses on weekends in the spring and summer. Buyers also more actively look for properties because there are more choices out there with more inventories on the market. However, many first-time buyers may have good reasons to buy in the fall and winter including their apartment lease ending in that period, and becoming financially ready to buy a home. For people selling their home and buying a new place, they tend to wait until spring so they can maximize their opportunity to sell. There are still a lot of homes on sale in the market in the fall and winter because many sellers still need to sell their home and they cannot wait until the following spring. Homes do tend to stay on the market longer during the rainy season due to the smaller pool of buyers.
Rather than following the crowd, if you are ready to buy a home and you found an ideal home to buy, you as a buyer may have a greater leverage especially if the home stayed on the market for longer. Even though this is still a seller’s market in Portland, Oregon in the bigger picture, many sellers start to feel more insecure if their home stayed on the market for more than a month. Moreover, you as a buyer will less likely have competition that drive up the purchase price from bidding.
Water Damage Inspection
During the rainy season in Portland, we get a lot of rainfall. For months of November, December, and January, the average rainfall is between 6-7 inches. This means that homes with potential water damage issues will be exposed. If a house has a basement, an old roof, or a broken French drain, this is when the problem becomes more visible. When you see dry walls that face the concrete foundation against soil blistering up, that’s when you know there is water behind it. Any good inspector will catch these issues even during dry months, but in rainy months, those issues are more likely visible especially if they are just starting to become an issue. Water damage is an expensive repair job that may require replacing rotted walls and studs, and installing a sump pump with a water guard system. It may even require fixing the roof. All these will cost thousands of dollars. Sellers may or may not agree to pay for these during the inspection especially if they first learn about the issue. If the seller knew, the property disclosure is usually not received by the buyer until after the contract is executed so buyers must ask sellers about these prior to submitting offers. In some situations in rainy reason, buyers can inspect with naked eyes for any water seepage on walls and in the basement.