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Over the past few months I have written several times about the now infamous Gedney Farms vs. FASNY issue. For those not in the know – the private French American School (FASNY) is seeking a special permit to build a 1200 student K-12 campus in the Gedney neighborhood. I have been on record as being against the project. I have written a couple of posts to this effect outlining my concerns for the neighborhood and the implications for the future building prospects on other large tracts of land that have yet to be developed. Over time, circumstances change and neighborhoods (6 comments)
Anyone living in the northeast has been having a week of what can only be called “miserable” weather. We haven’t really seen the sun shine for about a week. Each day this week has been served up as humid, hot, soggy and foggy mess. The air has been so thick you could cut it with a knife. I think everyone is kind of down in the mouth because the weather has just not given us a break. So with a bit of trepidation – I took a peak at the forecast for tomorrow. Lo and behold! Is that a little (8 comments)
Chocolations of Mamaroneck NY celebrates its first birthday - 09/28/11 10:33 PM
Mamaroneck NY has been growing in leaps and bounds when it comes to boutiques, fine dining and specialty shops. Among some of the newcomers to the area is Chocolations – located on East Boston Post Rd in Mamaroneck. In fact they just had their first birthday this week! Congratulations Chocolations and Maria Valente for having a successful first year! I had heard the “buzz” about Chocolations for months - filled with specialty chocolates – it is Westchester’s own chocolate factory. I admit to being more than a tad worried about venturing into such an establishment. We all have our weaknesses. (3 comments)
Defining a real estate "local expert".... - 09/27/11 11:57 PM
There is a lot of hype circulating in the real estate industry about local experts. A recent post about the topic was posted by an agent on Long Island…Paula Hathaway “Chaff….Schmaff! A bad attitude or just a better way of doing business.” With all due respect to the author – I felt that the emphasis on being a “local expert” implied that agents who were not already established in the area were merely chaff – while the established area agents were actually the “wheat.” We all start out as chaff – and chaff has no opportunity to become wheat if they (9 comments)
Interest Rates, Home Prices and why 7% interest will NOT help the housing market recover.... - 09/26/11 11:57 PM
This will be a short post because Lenn Harley covered the topic so well in her post... WHAT??? 7% INTEREST RATES??? HAS ANYONE NOTICED THAT THE HOUSING MARKET HAS LOST 30% OF THE HOME BUYERS? Her post was inspired by a post by John Souerbry who concluded that 7% mortgage rates would fuel home buying. Lenn is of course right on the money and at the risk of being redundant - I would like to add my $0.02 to the party. To be honest, I saw myself creating a post within a post on Lenn's blog and felt that she deserved (5 comments)
Fotos on the Fly – Tarrytown NY - 09/25/11 11:41 PM
Ok – I like taking photos – I admit it…Any excuse to photograph towns and villages in the area will do. One of the most picturesque towns in Westchester is Tarrytown NY. Many people fall in love with this town because of its central location and unique character. With respect to location, it doesn’t get any better than this! Located right on the Hudson River, an amazing sunset is served up every single night! Futher, Tarrytown is an express stop along the Hudson Line. Just 35 minute to Grand Central Station and you are in midtown Manhattan. With I-287, I-87 and (4 comments)
Happy Fall Everyone!! - 09/24/11 10:17 PM
Gotta admit – Fall is my favorite time of year. It is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. I look at the fourth quarter of the calendar year as the first quarter of the next year…and I think others feel the same way. About a week ago I was at Carlson’s Floral and Gift on route 100B on Dobbs Ferry Road in the White Plains PO. They are always ahead of the curve. The early signs of fall were there – but summer hadn’t quite left the building. The flowers below were of the late summer variety. The (9 comments)
Is it time to downsize to a smaller home? - 09/23/11 11:57 PM
Westchester Homes have always been expensive. They are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain. Taxes are high here and any home that is less than an hour to midtown Manhattan by Metro-North is going to be expensive. As I say to buyers, who think the housing recession means that they can buy a palace for pennies – there is no free lunch. But for those would-be sellers who have been hunkering down – hoping that the housing recession would pass and the market would roar back to 2006 levels – it may be time to consider downsizing. In the (3 comments)
What's Good for the Broker is Good for the Agent….Right???? - 09/22/11 11:01 PM
Not so fast! One of the biggest lessons newly minted agents need to learn is that what is in their broker's best interest is not necessarily in THEIR best interest. This is something I WISH someone had told me before I parked my license at my first brokerage. It is something that I now accept as a matter of course. Lenn Harley just wrote an amazing post that fortunately was featured - Why Agents Take Overpriced Listings. What Brokers Don't Want Agents to Know! It's All About Market Share!! The title very much says it all…Most brokerages sold their souls to (20 comments)
The Voracious Reader & A Proper Cup of Larchmont NY - 09/21/11 11:48 PM
When I first poked my head into the Voracious Reader, it made me wish I was a child again. Being a book maven, this is a place I would have called my home away from home! Today when I look at thoughtfully laid out store like this with all its nooks and crannies – I can only smile and say there IS a viable anti-big-box book store model out there! The store even brought to mind “The Shop Around the Corner” that Meg Ryan ran in You’ve Got Mail. They have first books for toddlers, books for new readers, and plenty (6 comments)
Bark & Meow of Tarrytown NY – The Best Dog Bed Ever! - 09/20/11 10:41 PM
Although I often talk about merchants in Westchester NY, I don’t often discuss specific products found in these stores. But being a dog owner with two Siberian Huskies and a Siberain/Cattle Dog mix, I am in a good position to be judging the quality of dog beds. So I can say with total confidence that I found the best dog bed EVER at Bark & Meow in Tarrytown NY.
For much of my adult life, I have been seeking the perfect dog bed that doesn’t get frayed, torn, chewed or otherwise destroyed within the first three months of use. Maybe (2 comments)
Fotos on the Fly: Camouflage in nature… - 09/19/11 10:17 PM
Today I was reminded that nature sometimes clothes it creatures in the most remarkable ways. I was at the Dog Park at Kingsland Point Park and was admittedly on poop patrol – cleaning up after my dogs. While I was looking in the brown leaves on the ground…one of the leaves suddenly started hopping along the ground. There it was ….. a tiny frog….so well camouflaged that I would never have seen it if I hadn’t been really focused on the ground. I only had my phone camera – but here it is…can you even see my little amphibian friend? We (23 comments)
Update on Trump Tower of White Plains NY - 09/18/11 11:56 PM
Trump Tower White Plains NY – is one of the buildings that dominates the downtown White Plains skyline. It was the first of the high rise complexes to go up in the city and it was the tallest building in White Plains until the Ritz made its appearance at the end of 2007. As far as White Plains condos go, Trump ranks among the most luxurious. This is one complex people are always asking about. So I’m giving an update near the end of the 3rd quarter in response to all the questions about Trump and the Ritz. For more (6 comments)
Sometimes life...and dogs....get in the way! - 09/17/11 11:58 PM
So I'm in the middle of my September 30 in 30. Had my brillient piece of localism all planned out... I was planning to go out for an early evening out and on getting back at about 9 PM to finish this off. But Jade had other plans.... As I was getting ready to leave, I let the dogs out in the yard to run. When I called them in, they all came running - Buddy - check! Tundra - check! Uhmmmm....where's Jade? Suddenly I heard some whimpering and loud crying. I couldn't find her ANYWHERE but I could hear her! (14 comments)
The vicious circle called marketing…(a.k.a. spam) - 09/16/11 11:58 PM
This post was inspired by Inna Hardison of HA Media in her post “Do consumers think Real Estate is a Relationship business? – one consumer’s perspective….” Quote from Inna’s Blog: Dear Future Client…. Upon a successful closing, I will be sending you cards, making phone calls or otherwise contacting you about 33 times a year, as it is my hope to become your Agent for LIFE! I may also friend you on FB and follow you on Twitter, to keep in touch… And please remember that I LOVE referrals. Sincerely, Your Agent for LIFE! Which begs the question….Why are real (43 comments)
Update on the Ritz Carlton of White Plains - 09/15/11 11:54 PM
The Ritz Carlton White Plains represents the pinnacle of high-rise luxury in downtown White Plains, not to mention the county of Westchester. As far as White Plains condos are concerned, it doesn’t get any more luxurious than this! Located in the heart of the downtown area, it is just steps from some of the finest dining, entertainment and shopping that Westchester has to offer. Lets not even get started on the amazing amenities the Ritz offers – and the views on the higher floors are simply breathtaking. You can get Manhattan, the Long Island Sound and everything in between in (6 comments)
The town of Mamaroneck is 350 Years Young… - 09/14/11 11:27 PM
Come join the celebration that begins on Friday the 16th and continues for the entire weekend! First – A little history of Mamaroneck NY: The town of Mamaroneck was purchased by an Englishman – John Richbell in the year of 1661. The New York Legislature created the town of Mamaroneck in March 1788. The town was divided into three portions in the 1890′s to deal with the increasing need for municipal services that a single town could not provide. There was the village of Larchmont, an unincorporated area, and the village of Mamaroneck. Part of the village of Mamaroneck was in (5 comments)
Recently I posted two blogs regarding single family Larchmont homes. One post was focussed on the Larchmont P.O. and the other on homes in the village of Larchmont. Sales in both of these markets have been very bullish and positive. But like so so much that is happening today – this market is full of contradictions. The cooperative market remains firmly in buyers market territory. Just a quick note: These figures are derived from the WPMLS and consist of cooperatives in the Larchmont P.O. as well as the village of Larchmont. Larchmont NY – Cooperatives – Median Sales Prices: The (4 comments)
An early evening wine & cheese open house in Larchmont NY - 09/12/11 11:48 PM
The Time: Wed Sept. 14 from 5:00-7:30 PM The Place: 21 North Chatsworth Ave. #3C – Larchmont NY For more information: Phone – 914-374-5529 Email – Ruthmarie.Hicks@gmail.com Come and see this wonderful unit at Lou Gehrig’s former stomping ground in the Stonecrest of Larchmont. I will be offering wine and cheese (and soft drinks for those who do not wish to indulge) while you tour this amazing large 1 BR unit. The unit sports a quiet street view – at tree level, a newly renovated bath with separate shower, hardwood floors, high cove ceilings, great views, ample closet space in a (7 comments)
The village of Larchmont is tucked away in the town of Mamaroneck. The town of Mamaroneck – is one of the most sought after locations in Westchester. Located along the Long Island Sound, the town boasts wonderful water views with numerous parks dotting the shoreline. Just 35 minutes from Manhattan by express train (Click here for information on the New Haven Line) – the location simply couldn’t be be better! Even in this difficult market Larchmont homes are very desirable and as a result it has bounced back from the crash of 2008 in a very impressive way. Home buyers (6 comments)
Waiting to buy a home could be an expensive mistake…. That’s what! Plain and simple. Ever since the knife dropped in on real estate – buyers have been alternately flooding into the market and holding back. Don’t get me wrong…these are difficult times. I understand the hesitancy – however, for those who have a stable job and a stable income with good credit, I have to think that a little green monster called greed is entering the picture. We all see the little green monster in ourselves from time to time – but we need to watch that monster and (12 comments)
Recologie of Larchmont NY – Recycling Made Chic…. - 09/09/11 01:37 PM
There are times when you see a store front and you know that you just have to stop by because its just too cool for words! Ok – so I’m dating myself by invoking coolness, but I can’t help it. Everything in Recologie is made of recycled material. Often when we think of recycled purchases we have a sense that we are doing something for the “greater good” that involves some form of sacrifice – generally in the form of style. Not so here. Everything in this store is top-of-the-line, unique, and cheesy is definitely not allowed. I spent some time (7 comments)
A 9/11 Tribute - Become a Westchester NY volunteer and honor the memory of that fateful day.... - 09/08/11 11:51 PM
It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the 10th anniversary of that fateful day that changed the world in 2001. I think we all remember where we were on that fateful morning. In the wake of this sad anniversary there is opportunity..an opportunity to give something to the community. The Westchester County Center is hosting an event to rally volunteers from all over the county… When: Friday Sept. 9, 2011 2:00-7:00 PM Where: Westchester County Center – Central Ave - White Plains NY Connect with over 100 non-profit organizations that need volunteers. Give blood and help save lives. Support (6 comments)
Free Short Sale and Foreclosure Seminar – Tonight Sept. 7 in White Plains - 09/07/11 12:54 PM
Crystal Hawkins-Syska is a short-sale specialist who has the answers for people who need the help. Seven out of Ten Homeowners go into foreclosure with out any visible sign intervention or call for assistance. Why is that the case? It could be because they don’t know where to turn for help and accurate information. On September 7th we will be discussing the process of foreclosure and foreclosure alternatives. 1 in 6 homeowners are delinquent in their payments. Do you know someone at work, your place of worship, on in your family who: Has lost a job? Had an illness or death (2 comments)
“Customer Service” – What does it mean for a real estate professional? - 09/06/11 07:15 PM
Real estate sales is a very funny thing. Often – when judging the quality of the agent or broker – only one metric is used: Sales volume. And by sales volume most people are specifically referring to how how much money was exchanged in gross sales. For example – If an agent that specializes in homes worth over $1 million has $7 million in gross sales – they may have done as few as 7 transactions while the poor schumck that specializes in cooperatives has done 25 transactions and only $6 million in gross sales. Does that really mean that the (14 comments)
Sometimes in this challenging market it is difficult for buyers to see just how unique the Westchester NY market is. Here is an update from the Larchmont PO. The Larchmont PO is located just outside the Village of Larchmont. It is part of the unincorporated portion of the town of Mamaroneck. Most people lump the area together with the village proper – but the area is mostly served by Murray Ave. Elementary School – so the difference is not trivial. But like the village itself the area is very desirable, extremely walkable and of course you have that easy commute (2 comments)
It was just last week that Irene ripped through the tri-state area dumping a foot of water, strong winds and leaving flooding, downed power lines, and chaos in its wake. Although Westchester NY got off pretty easy when we consider what happened elsewhere, there were sections that were heavy hit. In many ways I assumed that the River Towns and particularly the river front area would have been a prime target for damage. I heard nothing on the local news about Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There was some discussion of downed trees, but nothing serious. The eastern portion of the (4 comments)
Downtown White Plains in the Fall…. - 09/03/11 11:32 PM
Right now I’m experimenting with a new video/slide show format for my still photos…. I had a recent debacle with Animoto and they canceled my account and turned off my video feed. After having so many compatibility problems I’m hesitating to commit to a new vendor. Interestingly, I found Pro-Show Web – when trolling the web for customer service issues with Animoto. Apparently, I was not alone and several professional photographers suggested them. I want to create more local videos making them a staple of my blog. Any feedback – positive or negative will be most welcome! If anyone has trouble (12 comments)
A few days ago I wrote about the return of retail to Larchmont NY. I mentioned the newly opened HomeMade Pizza Co. as one of the new comers to the Palmer Ave. in Larchmont. I hadn’t actually had the time to sample the pizza – but what I heard was all good! Well, Hurricane Irene came and went – and during the prep I turned to a couple of friends of mine for help. The day before the storm hit my friend Ed, helped me prepare the house, doing some of things I lacked the skills and brawn for. After (4 comments)
A few days ago, I posted links for the major public school calendars. It was popular – so I decided to extend the school calendar offering to local colleges and universities in Westchester NY. As someone who has been a local adjunct professor – I am aware that our area is uniquely rich in academic opportunities. These days, with costs rising everywhere, many Westchester students are opting to stay local for college. And why not? Westchester has a great deal to offer. This list is by no means complete. But here are most of the academic calendars from local (6 comments)
Today I found myself on the River Walk with a friend that I hadn’t seen for a long time in Tarrytown. Sadly, my photos on the River didn’t work out because my camera was on the wrong setting. However, on my way home I decided to check the progress on the Tarrytown Train Station. The Train Station is just steps away from the new development Hudson Harbor – a new luxury condo development that is selling very well. The renovation at the train station has been part of bigger project to revive the river front. Various development projects have been (2 comments)
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