Buying a home is a multi-step process. Snow is something that can be a wild card scenario when going through the steps. Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing a home if snow is a factor.
1. Batteries for thermostat: Older homes may not have a thermostat that is wired into the electrical. Or, during power failure may use batteries as a back up. Also, if a vacant home, make sure the thermostat is set at a reasonable temperature. A lot of insurance companies won't insure a claim of burst pipes if the thermostat was set below their recommended level.
2. Propane tank: If a home is using a propane tank for heat, it will be important to have the level checked to make sure there will be enough propane to keep the home heated properly until closing. If the tank will need to be filled, you could ask the seller to fill it, and then pay them at closing for the remainder left in tank.
3. Air conditioner units: Air conditioners can not be fully inspected when it is too cold too operate. Have a discussion with your home inspector about what they can do to inspect it, and talk with your REALTOR(R) to see if asking for a home warranty would be beneficial.
4. Roof: When the roof is snow covered, it won't be inspected. Make sure to address this in your inspection contingency.
5. Utilities: With a week away from closing, have a conversation with your REALTOR(R) about transfering utilities into your name. Some can be done by phone or online. Others will require you to visit office in person, with ID and a document showing you own the home. Having a lag between seller and buyer could cause you not to have electricity and pipes could freeze.