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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Q: Is now the time to move out to the country?

If you’ve always wanted a second home, New York real estate attorneys are seeing more clients taking the plunge now, no doubt in response to the coronavirus pandemic radically changing people’s work and personal goals.

Living in the former epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA, many New York City residents dealt with the stresses of being locked down for most of 2020–often in very tight quarters—and of knowing people who came down with or succumbed to the virus. If ever there was reason—and the time—to re-evaluate one’s life plan, the quarantine months were it.

While the infection numbers are down (for now) in the New York metropolitan area, many people are still continuing to work remotely, even as businesses begin to re-open. Going back into a physical office with former colleagues is far from a given. A significant number of workers intend to continue working remotely 100% of the time while others will do so part of the time.

Who is buying homes in rural New York State during the pandemic?

  • Workers who will remain 100% remote and do not need to live close to their offices and pay large rent for tiny apartments.
  • Workers who want a second home in the country and can split their job into partially remote and on-site and can spend part of the week upstate and part in their city apartment.
  • Retirees who want a second home in the country.
  • Retirees who want to sell their home in the city and move to rural New York.
  • Millennials and others without strong ties to the city who seek more affordable housing options.

All of the above are seeking homes in upstate New York where they can have more living space, fresh air, and solitude after being locked down in closed quarters.

This exodus from the big city into the mountains is reminiscent of what happened to the New York real estate market in the months after 9/11.

What is prompting the buying rush in rural New York counties?

The draw to upstate New York includes the area’s ability to satisfy key factors of buyers today including:

  • the desire to escape the city for a simple and clean environment
  • the need to have space from other people and the feeling of safety it brings
  • reliable Wi-Fi enabling remote work efficiency
  • the lowest home mortgage rates “in recent memory”
  • low home sales prices compared to similar properties in New York City and Long Island.

If you are considering selling your home or buying a second home in New York or New Jersey, the real estate attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today for a consultation.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we represent clients in both states in all aspects of real estate law.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.