New York City can become overwhelming at times, especially if one spends each waking hour within it. Fortunately, a far more serene location lies to its north. New York’s Hudson Valley is the perfect spot for a much-needed retreat. While having a place to stay from time to time to unwind is a luxury in itself, deciding on an ideal home is the first step toward building a livable future in the area. What do Hudson Valley home buyers look for?
For many weekenders, working from home is a crucial requirement. A home that accommodates fast and stable Internet is a necessity.
Megan Kinealy-Hill, a salesperson from Country House Realty, emphasized the added importance of this factor during and after the pandemic. “I have found that people seem to be most interested in high-speed Internet connectivity,” she said. “[It] is really important now since so many people [are] working remotely.”
Monica Schwerberg, a senior buyer specialist of the Upstate Curious Team at Keller Williams Hudson Valley North, noted that working accommodations include more than reliable Internet: “Since the pandemic hit, priorities have definitely shifted a bit towards having multiple workspaces.” In the current state of work-life, other working amenities must be possible.
Generators, a more anticipatory upgrade, have become more common as well. Buyers want to ensure that the power is always running. “For the homes that are [closer to] the country, we’ve been having a lot more power outages,” Lisa Halter, principal broker from Halter Associates Realty, said. “In [terms of] changing weather patterns, we do have storms, and the power [often] goes out, so a generator is a big priority.”
Schwerberg has noticed an increased desire among city people for back-to-nature amenities. “Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are top of prospective buyers’ lists,” she said. “People also love good light and good views, so nice windows are one of the first [requests] I hear from buyers. They want to be able to appreciate the nature that’s around them.”
Many hotspots are currently centered near recreational activities. “Locations near hiking trails, biking, skiing, [and] other activities [are] typically popular.” Halter said.
Decisions regarding the exterior are equally important. “I think that an investment into making the exterior look its best is a smart decision. The exterior is the first thing people will see, and it leaves a lasting impression,” Janet Myer, a salesperson from Houlihan Lawrence, explained. “Frankly, flowering trees and hydrangeas in the spring and summer are lovely, and a freshly painted front door with pots or urns is always welcoming.”
Lisa Halter noted a significant alteration in demand in or following a hot summer. “Pools are [in high demand] right now just because it’s so much hotter,” she stated. “[Many] are on a two-year waiting list to be installed.”
“A high percentage of my buyers in the past few years have planned to build in-ground pools, greenhouses, and barns,” Myer added. “As people continue to work and spend more time at home, they want their homes to feel like they’re on vacation year-round.”
Kinealy-Hill emphasized the importance of active outdoor space around the house to city weekenders: “I think that the desire to have some access to outdoor space is going to remain important to buyers,” she said. “This particularly [applies to those] who are coming from a large metropolitan area where you don’t have a lot of outdoor space.”
The location of the house is another factor. “Proximity to a town with amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, outdoor recreation, and things like that,” Kinealy-Hill explained.
Perfecting the interior of a home can prove quite challenging. Certain commonalities are expected. Myer has been observing trends closely. “Since Covid, there has been a shift in what people are looking for,” she said. “[Many] want bright, open floor plans, modern, updated kitchens, and large primary bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.”
There are always improvements to be made post-purchase, ranging from minor quality-of-life changes to long-term projects. “Updating a kitchen and bathrooms are always high on buyers’ lists of home improvements,” Myer noted.