WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Home to some of the country's most incredible properties, Westchester County has long been known for offering luxury and privacy just a short distance from New York City. However, according to the real estate experts at ERA Insite Realty, local homebuyer interests are changing, and shoppers are beginning to place a premium on livability and location over more rural retreats.
According to Lou Budetti, principal broker at ERA Insite Realty, more homebuyers are opting for properties in and around town centers. "Buyers are looking for location -- we aren’t getting as many people seeking a big sprawling private property," he said. "Instead, they are looking for convenience, whether that means being walking distance to shopping and dining or near transportation."
Part of this trend stems from the growing number of new families arriving in Westchester from New York City, bringing with them a desire for walkability and amenities. "These individuals are used to having activities and entertainment options right around the corner," said Budetti. In addition to opting for more in-town locations, these shoppers are also looking for move-in-ready homes. Rather than purchasing a listing that may require an upgrade or renovation, Budetti has noticed that many buyers are willing to pay a premium to settle in on day one.
For those looking to sell their house, ERA Insite Realty is helping sellers adapt to these changing buyer motives. "Buyers are smart," said Sharon Foley, an agent in ERA Insite’s Pleasantville office. "With all the tools at their fingertips, pricing is very important." While location can be a deal-maker, sellers who don't live downtown aren't necessarily faced with a long selling period either, said Foley. Taking simple preparation steps can help a house sell quickly, regardless of location.
"If possible, sellers should invest money to make money," said Miriam O'Malley Dias, an agent in ERA Insite’s Bronxville location. She recommends opting for basic improvements such as removing old carpet, redoing wood floors and painting all rooms, including the garage. "I stage all my listings and manage improvements with a team of contractors, everywhere from six months before listing to just weeks before going on the market," she said.
For budget-conscious buyers, Westchester still offers an array of homes for those who possess vision and aren't afraid of some elbow grease. "There are enough houses on the market that can use someone with imagination to make them special," said Budetti.
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