• Nicholas Cuomo

Spring of 2020 - All of a sudden, everything changed.

Today is April 7th, 2020. The year was off to an exciting start as Hudson Valley's housing market seemed to be on fire, across the board, home values were up and rising for the first quarter of the new year in comparison to the previous. From the stance of a motivated realtor, there couldn't have been more to look forward to. I was moving in the direction of what would be an astronomical year of success, and while there is still an excellent opportunity to come with the right forward mindset, everything seems to have come to a screeching halt, for us all. During the beginning of March, the pandemic of the coronavirus had finally begun boldly revealing itself after a few prior scares around the country. Press fast forward, and what the country was told was not a big deal, led to the president of the united states declaring a state of emergency, and just like that, humanity blasted into another reality. While driving, I pulled my car over to talk with an agent who shared that her buyer was backing out of a deal because he didn't want to leave the house. Professional sports were shut down, and to follow shortly after, were restaurants, movie theaters, malls, and everything else where gatherings were nothing more than breeding grounds for the virus to spread, whether we knew it at that time or not. The initial stress of this experience was overwhelming, and the fear of the unknown in how deadly this virus could be was tormenting. I remember checking the ever-growing infection count, wearing two scarves around my face because I didn't have a face mask, using disinfectant wipes to frantically wipe down my debit card, and a bottle of water I picked up from the store. Anxiety and fear started to set in on a deep level, but leaders cannot panic. Leaders observe, reassess, and figure out the next best step. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, has become a familiar face with his daily briefings each day, recognized and embraced by many across the country for his calm and eloquent demeanor in handling the current circumstance in the most highly infected area of the country at the moment, by far. The Real Estate industry was shut down toward the middle of the month after the state was ordered into a statewide quarantine in coalition with Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Connecticut. Society was reassured with the promise of supermarkets and other essential businesses still being available to support families. The flood of new information and various changes by the hour resulted in mass anxiety. People of all ages had never experienced anything like this before. Luckily, I've managed to secure about eight deals just before the quarantine happened, which was more than enough to stay afloat for the next couple of months, so long as they close. Two deals were temporarily affected by someone needing to get tested for COVID-19, but thankfully, both tested negative. On April 1st, Real Estate was deemed essential, and seventy-two hours later, on the third, it was reversed after stirring an uproar in the brokerage community who felt it was very unsafe and also to prevent in-person gatherings as an effort to stop the spread. Now, face masks come highly recommended by the CDC, and leaf blowers have been banned in areas like Sleepy Hollow of Westchester, to prevent the possibility of blowing the virus around, since it has not been confirmed whether it is or isn't an airborne pathogen. Realtors are still allowed to show properties to their clients via FaceTime, but it is always risky. It may even communicate a lack of concern from the public eye, to be conducting business as usual. Being that I have asthma or could potentially be asymptomatic, I have chosen to stay home as much as possible during this time, leaving here and there for essentials, or very occasional solo real estate activities. I do look forward to the future and cannot wait to get back to business! I believe there will be a refined mentality of people happy to get back to work, with a pent up demand to buy, after looking at listings for weeks/months during the quarantine, a new group of baby boomers, and many sellers with a nuance of motivations to sell. We will see what time brings.

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