Two New Yorkers Hiked Up to the Hudson Valley With $700,000. Which House Was the Right Fit?


The couple knew for some time that they wanted out of their East Harlem flat, but they didn’t start seriously looking until Dr. Elachi finished a three-year residency and was set to begin a more lucrative staff position. Another catalyst was Wonton, the Jindo mix from Korea they adopted mid-pandemic.

“The area we were in wasn’t good for Wonton,” Dr. Elachi said. There were many rats in New York City, which he loved to hunt. And there were dogs that would jump up on him and scare it. Elachi, a New Zealand environmental engineer, and Mr. Wong (34), an associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nutshell Realty, were looking for a large property in Ulster County, near the Mohonk Preserve, and Minnewaska State Park Preserve. They started chatting to the listing agent Laurel Sweeney at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nutshell Realty. They were going to be on a mortgage and we had no cash. They knew in this market that they would have to make some compromises.”

The couple’s budget was about $700,000, and they planned to finance the purchase through a special loan for physicians with medical school debt, which would allow them to offer a small down payment and forgo private mortgage insurance.

Of course, as Ms. Sweeney reminded them, “For most sellers, a lower down payment would not be a good thing. I had to convince them that allowing someone to own a house, even if they have debts, was a good thing. “I came up after being on call and sometimes after long shifts to see houses, because it was very time sensitive.”

Among their options:

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