More Renters Becoming Second-Home Owners

By V.L. Hendrickson | June 28, 2020

Attracted by outdoor space and easier work-from-home opportunities, among the impacts of Covid-19 is an increase in renters deciding to buy outside their cities.

Earlier this year, principal brokers Candice Milano and Malessa Rambarran of the Milano-Rambarran Team at Halstead, which recently merged with Brown Harris Stevens, were working with a Brooklyn client who was interested in buying an apartment in the city. But when the pandemic hit, that client decided to shelter in place outside the city.

“That really awakened him to the lifestyle in a more rural atmosphere,” Ms. Rambarran said. “The serenity there really left an impression on him.”

So much so that they started searching for the perfect property in the country. The search included homes in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and upstate New York.

This week, they signed a contract for a place in New York’s Catskill Mountains on a huge lot. He will continue to rent his Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, apartment so he can maintain an address in the city and stay there during the work week.

“He was looking for a peaceful place with privacy,” Ms. Milano noted. “Being in nature with a beautiful view was important.”

The agents said they were starting to see a trend away from the city even before the pandemic hit, but the lockdown “solidified it” in a new way. Increasingly, clients are looking for a more suburban or rural lifestyle while still keeping a presence in New York City.

Of course, these clients are looking for more space and amenities like pools, lounge areas and home gyms.

“A lot of people are creating a resort-style backyard now,” Ms. Rambarran said.