A few weeks back Lawrence Lanahan called. He was writing an article for the annual real estate issue of Westchester Magazine. (By the way… check out their new website. It looks great.)
I received my issue yesterday.
I don’t think this article could be better timed. With real estate in a slump, the stock market riding the dragon coaster and our nation’s banks playing musical chairs, there is no better time to invest your money in your own home.
You’ll never lose with a kitchen renovation, or that kid-friendly family room you’ve been dreaming about for years. Maybe a new master bedroom suite, so when the kids are in the family room, you can escape to your own private quiet space. Give yourself a spa-like master bath with warm radiant floors, a steam shower and an air-jet therapy tub. You’ll never think about the stock market again.
And when our financial world returns to normal (and it always does), cash in and reap the rewards of investing at home.
From Westchester Magazine:
Let’s get the bad news out of the way: Sales of single-family homes in Westchester decreased 26.7 percent between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, according to the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service (WPMLS). As if that’s not disheartening enough, the median price (that is, the mid-point of all reported sales) of a single-family home also dropped in the same period, from $700,000 to $674,900. And inventory is up 10.6 percent—that’s 443 houses on the market that weren’t there a year earlier.
If you were hoping to sell but decided to wait for a rebound, you might be staying put for a while. Even the rosiest prognostications say we’ve got a long way to go; there are simply too many factors at work, all tunneling into market stability like termites. The Westchester County Board of Realtors in a recent newsletter proclaimed that “foreclosures, mortgage interest rates, credit availability, unemployment, the Manhattan real estate market…are not radiating wellness.”
Well, “not radiating wellness” is one way to put it. Might as well come right out and say it: real estate-wise, life is giving you lemons. And when that happens, you renovate the kitchen in which you make your lemonade. The fact is, whether you’re planning to sell or stay, experts say it makes sense to invest in your abode. “When things get tough, instead of selling and buying a different house, homeowners do upgrades,” declares Mark LePage, president of residential architecture firm Fivecat Studio in Pleasantville. “It is great for resale.”