Thomas and Kraus Real Estate

Mill Creek Real Estate | Seattle Area Real Estate Teamwork from the Team that Works

Winter Buying / Browsing

rain-girlSo far, we have had an unusually mild winter this year. The weather is beautiful for a few days, then the Puget Sound’s typical cool, rainy weather appears for a while. During the beautiful, sunny days is when we get in the mood to look at houses if we’re even mildly in the market to buy. But is that the wisest choice?

When the weather is miserable – especially if the weather has been rainy, windy or otherwise generally bad (say after snow, then rain) over a period of time – is frequently the best time to look for and visit any of the homes you are considering buying in our region.

Why? Some of the reasons are fairly obvious when you think about it, some are easily forgotten or would never come to mind to think about at all. Some of the reasons are exterior, some interior, some revolve around transitional spaces.

It’s dark, cloudy, maybe pouring down rain and you drive up to a house you’ve never seen…

  • Is the first impression inviting, neat and welcoming, even in the dreary weather?
  • If so, score some points – in mid-winter and cloudy days, don’t underestimate the effect of being happy with the first glimpse of your home after a long day.
  • If not – is it just because there are some wind-blown leaves or small branches scattered around or will it require extra money and effort to make it more inviting?
  • puddles-yard2rain-puddles1Are there puddles in the driveway where you may be getting out of your car and/or a “river” flowing at the entrance to the driveway?
  • Take a glance at the gutters in front before you pull too far into the drive. Are they doing their job well?
  • Is there standing water or an impromptu running stream in the front yard? If so, are they in areas that do not pose a potential problem for flooding the house, (such as a runoff stream running toward a drain or street or a temporary puddle in the lawn far away from the foundation)?

home in rain-1






You’ve parked and are walking up to the front door…

  • Is there adequate protection from the rain at the front door?
  • Is there a light by the door? Even if it’s daylight and the light is not on, note if there is one or not. We frequently forget that getting a key in the door can be difficult in the winter months when it’s dark and cloudy so much of the time. Many of us leave home in the dark and return home from work in the dark during winter.

Inside the house…

  • Note if the entry is well setup for our rainy, muddy weather, especially if the front door is the main door for the family – places for boots and umbrellas and such. If the front door is not the main door for the family, note if it is adequate for guests and check for the same thing at the main family exterior door.
  • Fantastic-Cozy-Home-Decor-1Cream-Home-DecorPeople have different lighting preferences for the interior of their homes. Some people like darker, cozy rooms, they feel warmer in that type of room. Some people prefer rooms with a lot of light and brightness to them. Whatever your preference, a rainy, dreary day is an excellent day to evaluate if a home’s interior light suites your preference.
  • Be sure to look at the ceilings and tops of walls in all of the rooms, garage included, for any sign of current or past water issues from the roof. If the home has an attic, go into the attic and check the same thing.
  • If the house has a basement, daylight or full, look for any sign of past or present water damage from possible flooding or ground water seeping. Sometimes there is no water line, but if it’s raining while you are there, you may feel a dampness that would not be apparent on a dry day.

rain-yardrain home-2








Check the back and side yards the same way you did the front yard…

  • Are the gutters properly protecting the back and/or side doors? This is when it really helps to be there when it’s raining.
  • Are the gutters draining either into the ground or away from the house?
  • Note any puddles or temporary streams in the back and on each side just as you did in the front.
  • Is the yard and overall landscaping handling the winter weather well or does it look like it may require an extra amount of work and expense in the spring?

Your Realtor will undoubtedly have other items for you to look for and notice. Doing your house shopping in less than ideal weather can provide you with valuable information and if you love the house you visit on a rainy, cloudy day or two, you will likely love it even more when you visit again on one of our gorgeous, dry days!

In addition… A bonus! There are fewer buyers looking during inclement winter weather, which may result in less competition for a house you really want and more cooperation from the seller.


About Thomas and Kraus Real Estate

We are long time friends who have made the transition as a team, to the real estate world! We have experience with both commercial and residential real estate and wish to apply our knowledge of service and client needs to our business. We are excited to share, through our blog for starters, what we know about the greater Puget sound area and what makes it special. We hope you enjoy!

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