Buying a home in 2020


If you want to become a homeowner, but you don’t have enough cash for a down payment, a state or local down payment assistance program might be able to help.
Most states and many counties and cities offer grants and no-interest loans to help first-time home buyers pay for down payments and closing costs.
Who can get down payment assistance?
Most down payment assistance programs are for first-time buyers, but don’t count yourself out if you’ve ever owned a home. The programs typically define a first-time buyer as one who hasn’t owned a home for the past three years.
Some local programs target certain groups, such as teachers, police officers, emergency responders or city employees, while others are open to qualified repeat buyers.
The requirements for each program vary, but besides being a first-time home buyer, 
Now, real-estate agents say, more shoppers want to buy, often because they are concerned about a second wave of pandemic-related restrictions.


Catskill Farms Inc., a home builder based in Wurtsboro, N.Y., has sold six yet-to-be-built homes in the past eight weeks, said owner Chuck Petersheim. His company usually sells 16 to 18 homes a year.
He says he is getting 30 inquiries a week, up from a more typical volume of six a week.
“People who are now in the Hudson Valley looking for homes, many of them have never been to the Hudson Valley before,” Mr. Petersheim said. “That’s new to the marketplace, that urgency.”
Early speculation was that city dwellers looking to trade high-rise apartments and subway commutes for single-family homes would drive a suburban buying frenzy. While Realtors say they see strong demand in suburbs around New York, there is no evidence so far of a large-scale exodus from the city.
If you don’t have to buy or sell immediately, you might be well advised to wait a while. Several months from now, the price of that retirement home you want to buy might have fallen significantly.
Of course, the home you want to sell will drop in value, as well. Stay on top of what’s happening with home prices, keeping in mind that real estate markets vary significantly in different areas. The good news may be that the decline in your portfolio might match or be less than the decline in real estate prices.

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