May 29, 2020
The other day, it was interesting to read a featured commentary on the MoneyCrashers.com website. It promised to pinpoint the “6 Factors” to consider when deciding whether you “should buy a home now— or wait?” No dateline was visible, but you’d have to deduce that it had been written in pre-pandemic times. Even so, the “6 Factors” do hold their validity. They may not cover all the key considerations—but they do set the stage for that very weighty decision.
The first factors dealt with financial viability. Realistically, those first three are basic qualifiers for buying any home in Greenwich. Here they are, in order of importance:
1. FINANCIAL WHEREWITHAL: Do you have the deposit, closing costs and provision for emergencies, to fund the process? Many banks require 20-25% deposits in CT, though I recently achieved a sale for first time buyers that were able to obtain a mortgage with just 10% down. When looking at your ability to become a homeowner, be sure you understand all the operating costs including utilities, landscaping, yearly maintenance of heating and air conditioning, poo maintenance (if applicable), and any service contracts such as exterminator or HVAC that you would like to put into place.
2. STABILITY OF FUTURE INCOME: This could be a tough one to predict, given the current times. A good question to ask yourself and answer it as honestly as you can.
3. CREDIT SCORE: Needless to say, the higher the score, the better you look as a mortgage applicant.
4. COMMITMENT TO STAYING PUT: Again, while it is sometimes difficult to predict what might be waiting down the pike, rule of thumb is that a buyer who might not stay rooted in Greenwich for at least three years would usually be better advised to settle for renting—thus avoiding the expenses of buying and selling in a compressed timeframe.
5. COMMITMENT TO HOMEOWNERSHIP? Without the willingness to take on home repair and maintenance challenges, the pride that homeowners take in mastering those skills can instead become a collection of drudgery-laden burdens.
6. STATE OF THE CURRENT REAL ESTATE AND CREDIT MARKET: The credit market is quite good with low interest rates. Based on the spike of properties that went to contract in March through May, 2020 (the initial pandemic period) vs. this same period a year ago, we are anticipating a strong 2020 for Greenwich sales, as Manhattanites seek space, calm and refuge from the Big Apple and discover all that Greenwich has to offer, while being located just 40 minutes from New York City.
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