If I leave the area, where should we move to? Since so many people have left, maybe we should look to stay here long term? What should we do with our home? Where do we go from here?
These are all valid questions and major topics of conversations that I’ve been having with people since the start of quarantine. Quite frankly, I’ve been having the same conversation in my own home just trying to figure out what is next.
First and foremost, if you are planning on heading to the suburbs and you are just starting out in your home search, my advice is to bring your checkbook! Come armed and ready to face competition. Be prepared to offer up concessions on homes that you make offers on so that you stand out in the eyes of a seller. It’s the wild west with home sales spiking in suburban areas and bidding wars going hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking price. No, that is not a typo. I’m hearing stories of homes selling for up to $250K MORE than the asking price just because of the amount of interest buyers have in moving to areas outside of Hudson County.
Then begs the question of what do we do with our condo now that we’ve secured our next home? The number of rentals in our area is growing at an exponential pace. I just checked this morning (9/9/2020) and the number of available rentals in Hoboken alone has reached 813. That number DOES NOT include the management buildings such as Park & Garden, 770 House, Shipyard, etc… Add in their available inventory and now we are well over 1000 available rentals in Hoboken alone. For comparison, there are 513 available rentals in downtown Jersey City showing on the MLS and they have even more management buildings on the waterfront.
Basically, if you intended to buy your condo as an investment down the road, you need to bend over backwards to get a tenant in there. Otherwise, it may be best to sell now and keep your cash for a home improvement project down the road in your new home.
So then the conversation shifts to – does it make sense to stay local and possibly buy a larger home? It may be best to do just that! With home prices flattening and rates hovering at 3% and below, you may run into a seller who is carrying 2 homes and needs to sell one ASAP. That could bring you leverage as a buyer with an opportunity to get into a home that you may not have been able to afford a year ago
We are in a very uncertain market right now. If your home is priced correctly, you may get offers, but not at your ask price. If you are a buyer, you have options. If you are an investor, it’s time to run your P&L to see if it’s time to sell or how low you can go in monthly rental income.