Westchester NY homes for sale is a mixed market. But some indicators are starting to point upward. Last weekend I was out with more than one buyer who was surprised when they found a couple of homes they had their eye on already had offers and were heading for contract. I had warned them about the great bird in the hand on several occasions – but they didn’t listen. Buyers feel that there is no hurry right now and that is where they are wrong. The urgency is only felt after they lose out because they were overconfident of the strength of the buyers market.
When its a seller’s market – buyers wish that it were a buyer’s market – but they then proceed to snap up overpriced homes like they were hot pancakes. When its a buyer’s market – the buyer’s disappear or sit on their hands waiting for the deals to get “even better.”
Most buyers end up waiting until its too late and then we are back to a seller’s market….Where buyers once again complain that they wish they hadn’t missed the buyer’s market and snap up overpriced homes like they were hot pancakes. The perpetual cycle continues!
At this moment buyers have a wonderful opportunity to buy within a relatively broad (but narrowing) inventory at interest rates that we will probably never see again. Affordability hasn’t been this high in many years and interest rates and prices are not going to be held down forever. But buyers are under the illusion that time is on their side and this is where they make a critical error:
Here are some of the objections I keep getting:
Sure they could. I don’t have a crystal ball -but the New York area is very resilient and we are seeing marked improvement in the New York City market which will put upward pressure on Westchester NY homes. For example, we are already we are seeing price pressure on homes for sale Larchmont, Scarsdale and other highly commuter friendly areas.
Why people are willing to stand on the edge of a cliff on this one baffles me. We have become very spoiled by low interest rates and people need to wake up and smell the coffee perking. The Fed will eventually have to tighten – and that will have a major impact on your buying power. On this one issue, reluctant buyers are truly tempting fate.
Although most home buyers look at the sticker price above all else, they should be watching interest rates even more. NOTHING impacts affordability more than interest rates. For example – a 1% increase on a $250k loan would mean that the borrower could only borrow $220k to achieve the same monthly payment. That’s a 12% loss in buying power and traditionally interest rates upwards of 2.5-3.5% higher then they are now. That’s a lot of buying power that can be either lost or locked in now.
Do you want a good deal or a nice steal? The fact is that you are already getting a great deal. Prices have tumbled 20-30% – depending on the location. Waiting for a fire sale will either leave you with nothing or something no one wanted in the first place.
That might happen, but depending on the criteria – it is rather unlikely that you will find something better or “more perfect” later on. When a buyer first starts looking they find themselves with a seemingly endless supply of homes to pick from. It leads them to think that the endless stream will continue while they wait. But once they have exhausted the current inventory, the flow stops. The pickings get thinner because they have been shopping the same market for a while. And while I am at it there is no such thing as the perfect house!
And the most tricky……
A house that you like is more likely to sold out from under you than a home that you are neutral about. Because if you like it – others will like it too – for the same reasons. Although buyers have the luxury of being picky right now – the difficulty is that they tend to be picky about the same things.
Must be on a quiet street.
Must be able to walk to train or have parking at train station.
Must be able to walk to town.
Must have a new kitchen and granite counters.
Must be move-in ready.
Must have a powder room on the ground floor.
Must have a master bath upstairs.
Must have a minimum of three bedrooms upstairs.
Must have a private yard.
Sound familiar? If you’re a buyer it should. It probably describes your wants and needs list to a “T”. The trouble is – everyone has the same list but very few homes meet all those criteria. So even if the inventory is high – the selection is limited by the buyers very own criteria. And that is why a home can get sold right out from under you even in a major buyers market.
So no – infinite time does not exist. I think a lot of buyers may be kicking themselves later if they miss the opportunities that the 2009-2010 Westchester housing market had to offer.
© 2010 Ruthmarie G. Hicks – http:/thewestchesterview.com – All rights reserved.
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