If you've always lived in a warm or even mild region and you are considering buying a home in a cold region, there will be lots for you to learn. In many ways, there will be lifestyle changes you need to make and there are also tips you want to learn to make the transition much easier on you and your family. Here are some of the things you want to know about and/or be prepared for when buying a house in a cold region:
Insulation is important: If you've spent years in a mild climate you probably got by with single paned windows and didn't have to give much thought to things like insulation and replacing weather stripping as soon as it gets worn. When moving to the cold, these are things you will suddenly need to learn about. Having double paned windows installed and insulation added to your attic and basement can help keep the house warmer. Replacing weather stripping when necessary also keeps a lot of the coldness from coming right in.
Fireplaces can be a huge help: Even if you do have a good heater in the house, a fireplace is a big bonus in cold regions. It allows you to use the fireplace instead of the heater often which can help you from getting huge wintertime electric bills. Wood stoves can be looked at in the same way as a fireplace. They will both generate a good amount of heat.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove and this will be your first winter in this type of region, you need to know about buying wood. You should start with at least a cord. A cord of wood should measure 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet in length. This is important to know so you don't get ripped off your first time around. You should get it split; it makes it easier to use without needing to split it yourself and shouldn't cost much more. Ask for seasoned wood. This means the wood was cut last year, so it has had plenty of time to sit around and dry. If you get wood cut this season, it won't light and burn as well.
Give yourself extra time in the morning: On very cold days, or especially days where it snowed the night before, you want to allow yourself plenty of time. You'll want to give the car time to warm up and defrost the windows. You may also need to use a windshield ice chipper to chip ice from the windshield unless you parked in the garage. Never put hot water on the windshield or it may shatter.
Have the appropriate tires and winter gear: If you will be driving in the snow then you should have snow tires, studded tires or good tires on a 4x4 vehicle. You also want to make sure there is always plenty of gas in the car in case you do get snowed in somewhere for a bit and need to run the heater. Always keep jackets, blankets, bottled water, flashlights and portable heaters in the trunk so you have them in case you get stuck for a bit.
Prepare your house for snow and ice: Have large bags of rock salt on hand to melt the ice off your porches and walkways. Also, have a snow shovel or a snow blower for those times when you have to work your way out of the house or driveway. Icicles are pretty, but knock them down as you see them because they can be dangerous if they fall on someone.
Contact a realtor that can help you find featured homes for sale for more information and assistance.