Ann Izzo of Mahopac (shown here) started her search last fall and made three offers on three different houses, and still isn’t in her new home. “I hadn’t been in the market since the 1980s and it was different; to say the least, the environment can be intimidating.”
For those of you on the house hunt this spring, one thing is for certain: If you find your dream house or anything close to it — make an offer. Real estate experts say the LoHud real estate market is coming back at full force and if you don’t take a leap for the house you want, you could be searching for a long time.
Here is an excerpt from Karen Roberts great story in Living Here this week. (Read the entire story here)
“The process was much more torturous than I expected,” Izzo say. Izzo started looking for a new place to call home after ending her marriage of 25 years last summer. “We put the house on the market in July 2012 and it sold in a couple months.”
Rockland natives Teri and Stu Cantor are now living in Whippany, N.J., because they can’t find their New City dream house or anything close to it. “With everyone saying it’s a buyer’s market we still haven’t found anything in our price range and nothing that comes close to even 75 percent of what’s on our wish list,” says Teri Cantor.
The spring market, which starts in mid-February and continues through to mid-June, is typically the busiest season for buying a home. The New York State Association of Realtors reports year-to-date closed sales are 3.3 percent ahead of the 2012 numbers, despite a sales decline in February. But in order to find that house, buyers need to be prepared for the search.
Izzo was looking for a home in the Mahopac area, in the $200,000-$300,000 range. “I didn’t expect it to take as long as it did, finding a home I could afford and getting approval for a mortgage.”
Real estate agents agree qualifying for a loan requires more scrutiny than even a couple years ago. Lenders have gone back to evaluating applicants and approving loans based on credit scores, verifiable income, income-to-debt ratios and the amount of the down payment. “I’m telling prospective buyers to get qualified before they decide to start looking,” says Gary Leogrande of Keller Williams NY Realty. “The market has tightened up and the bidding wars are back.”
But it’s worth the effort now; interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in 40 years. Donna Cox of Rand Realty says the spring market has been active with motivated buyers. “Interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been, prices are down, inventory is starting to increase and the actual cost of owning a home (price plus interest rate) is the lowest it’s been in more than a decade.”