Winning the Game of Real Estate
You’ve seen the headlines: house prices are down, foreclosures way up. Is there any good news? If you’re a first-time home buyer, yes indeed. From Chatham to Warwick, here’s the latest scoop on the Valley’s housing market
Illustration by Chris Reed
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There is no way to sugarcoat the news when it comes to the housing market. Anyone trying to sell a home or get a mortgage — or, for that matter, anyone who doesn’t live in a cave (hopefully that’s not coming next) — knows it’s been one wild and bumpy ride this last year as Americans from coast to coast have seen the value of their homes plummet.
Right now, we all have our fingers crossed that the $787 billion federal stimulus package, which was signed into law in February, marks the start of the road back to economic recovery. “I heard one TV commentator say that it’s not only fingers crossed, but also arms, legs, and toes,” says Art Livesey, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Currier and Lazier in Middletown, and president of the Orange County Association of Realtors.
A bit of levity, yes. But despite the nationwide fear and trembling, there is some hopeful news regarding the real estate scene here in the Hudson Valley. Mortgage rates are hitting lows not seen in more than 10 years — and if you’re a first-time home buyer, well, this just might be the golden age you’ve been dreaming about. We spoke with a sampling of pros throughout the region to get their take on what home buyers and sellers might be wise to do — or not do — this year. Here’s what they have to say.