Caveat: Seasonally obscured defects
One pitfall in year-end house shopping is that homes in cold-weather states might have defects hidden by snow, only to be discovered by thaw in spring. That should be a concern for buyers in, say, the Northeast in December, January and early February, Deihl suggests.
"Snow covers a lot of things," he says. "Make sure you understand the landscaping and (feel assured) that the sellers aren't trying to hide something."
Photographs of the home taken earlier in the year and a home inspection can help mitigate some of the risk that a home might be listed in the snowy season to hide its faults.