The Changing Faces of Long Island New York Real Feng Shui Long Island, New York City

Home Stager with Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island #888

Growing up on Long Island, New York, I have seen so many changes through the years.  The lovely land we had open that were home to things like huge Pickle Farms and beautiful nurseries being sold, knocked down, subdivided and housing units going up in droves.  Our original Levitt homes have all become HUGE....dormered and extended every which way you can and with many of the former zoning restrictions being lifted, homes are built so high they cut off your sunshine; or go so far back or next to you that you feel that you have someone in YOUR space.

However, the "middle" of Long Island used to be different; we are neither on the exclusive North Shore or the infamous Hamptons.  We are about ½ hour from our lovely Jones Beach and we have always considered ourselves just "middle class."  In spite of the forever rising taxes we are not in an exclusive area by any means.

I have been watching these last few years as the older homes that were so intriquite to Long Island and were considered "Starter" homes are being sold.  Children who go off to college cannot afford to come back here to live and often the parents can't afford to stay, anyway.  Families leave while others hang on tenaciously to stay somewhere they love.

These starter homes are older, quaint and, quite honestly, remind me of my own home.  Originally built over 100 years ago it was just a two bedroom "cottage," a dream home for some couple or small family just starting out.  These homes were often built on larger lots-say 120 X 100 and perfect now for subdivision.  The newer homes that are going up on the Island are well over the half million mark....there is no land because apparently people don't WANT land anymore; they are a series of huge houses into a lot.  Right on top of each other. 

My son occasionally works with his father who does "flips."  Or I should say demolishes these older homes that are in need of work, subdivides the lots, tears down the older homes and builds two new, big ones.  And yes, it's still quite lucrative here although they sit unsold for longer they DO sell.  There is not ONE I am aware of that has sold in this middle class neighborhood for under $650.000. 

The other day after a doctor appt to which my son took me, he stopped to show me an older home his dad had just purchased-for a song, apparently.  It was a tiny A Framed house on a sub dividable lot and it obviously needed work. It wasn't GETTING work, of course, it was getting razed but it's not the HOUSE I SAW:

What I saw was a couples dream.  A few scuffed up Little Tykes Toys outside where they had plenty of property to roam on and be safe, a couple that chose and scrimped and saved to have their very own home.  It sounds soapy but you could almost feel the love people once had for this little home.  It affected me very much ("last time I'm taking YOU to see a house" my son muttered) but I realized how sad it was.  On a Long Island that my son couldn't possibly understand because he hadn't been here then....he's been here through the demolitions, flips and money making days and barely remembers that we never locked our doors because we weren't sure what neighbors would be in that day.

The faces of "New" Long Island have left behind the Middle Class.  And an entire lifestyle that many people will never have the benefit of knowing.  My home with it's $10,000 taxes is a "Starter" home...and I would sure hate to see it go---in the face of "progress."

Feng Shui Consultant, Long Island New York*Carole Provenzale has been a Certified Feng Shui Consultant since 1997 and is the Founder of Feng Shui Long Island, New York City providing on site Feng Shui Consultations for all of New York City and Long Island Homes, Apartments, Businesses, Studios and Condos, Renovations, PrePurchase and New Construction.  Distance Feng Shui Consultations always available by phone.




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Laura Cerrano is a second-generation Certified New York City Feng Shui Consultant Expert. As a full-time Feng Shui consultant, Laura provides bicoastal consultations and workshops for residential, commercial, real estate developments, Fortune 500 companies and healing faculties. In addition, Laura is a resident teacher at the Metropolitan Institute of Design in Syosset, NY. She has been featured in highly respected publications and TV networks such as Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," PBS, CBC Television, BBC Radio and The New York Times. 



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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
Carole ~  I can relate to what you are saying.  It is sad to see the big farms in my area turn into developed property.  The same sort of a senario.  Here, it seems people want bigger and bigger homes.  I sometimes wonder how big homes really need to be.  I remember our first small home in Oklahoma -- it truly was a "dream home" -- until the freeways came to be built -- It certainly is a different perspective now.
Mar 31, 2008 02:46 PM #1
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker
Carole, it's a different society today.  Not necessary better, but different.  I see it every day in young couples who don't want to start with something small that might need work.  No, they want 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a double car garage and all of the updating already done.  Then, they become frustrated if those homes don't fit their budget.  Considering how expensive (to me, anyway!) that your housing is, I can't imagine that there is not a demand for those starter homes in your area.  How sad to see some of the neighborhood history being torn down and forgotten.
Mar 31, 2008 03:07 PM #2
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
I know what you mean.....we're not in the exclusive class either...though our prices reflect differently :) And so....they resort to smaller...townhouses/condos instead of even starter homes.  10k taxes????? Okay, so my townhouse is 500 DOLLARS a year. You must have school taxes and so forth. Maybe that's why us independent contractors pay GET tax, state and federal!
Mar 31, 2008 03:40 PM #3
Joan Mirantz
Homequest Real Estate - Concord, NH
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire

That is so sad Carole....such is the fate of the middle class.

So much of it is because people to value the same things anymore.... quiet, space, conversation,movie and a show or just a quiet nite reading. Now it's bigger ,more expensive or better ...have to have what they are entitled to. So sad....

Mar 31, 2008 04:15 PM #4
Gayle Balaban
The Best Spot Realty/Waterfront Real Estate/Ooltewah Real E - Chattanooga, TN
E. TN Waterfront Real Estate
It is sad to see character go in favor of progress.  The house that I grew up in was similar.
Mar 31, 2008 04:51 PM #5
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC
Hi Carole,
What you have described is happening all over in perhaps in different ways.  The way I relate to your story is the Island I grew up on.  There were many "beach cottages", little Mom & Pop beach shops and our beloved Jungle Golf.  Most have been razed and replaced by either condos or gigantic homes.  
Mar 31, 2008 11:56 PM #6
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Carole, Ann Arbor is land locked, older homes sell at a premium, and I had no idea it was getting hard to own on Long Island. Progress or is it ? 
Apr 01, 2008 12:07 AM #7
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Carole ~ It is sad.  By me, I find it sad that all those farms "Davis Peach Farm", and others, are all gone now, filled with McMansions and gated communities.  One farmer had beautiful sunflowers planted on the outside of a field that literally stopped traffic.  Another, that sold plants, fruits and vegetables that I used to frequent, is set to become a new commercial development. 

Unfortunately, with salaries not keeping up with costs of gas, home heating fuel, property taxes, food - it is becoming very difficult for even middle class folks to make it month to month.  I don't see how my kids are going to be able to live here.

Apr 01, 2008 01:41 AM #8
Candy Henthorne
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring Texas Real Estate
Carole - It is sad indeed when our children will miss out on these darling little homes that once occupied families and children playing in the yards.  I suppose it is a sign of the times. 
Apr 01, 2008 03:00 AM #9
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Carole - Toledo has adopted quite a bit of that "out with the old" mindset and it is truly upsetting.  We, too, have old family homes that have fallen into disrepair, but it's easy to see the love and caring that had once created such a magical place called "home."  

You have $10,000 property taxes?????  Holy cow!  It would take me 8.5 years to pay that much in property taxes!  Yikes!!!!  I'll come visit maybe, but don't ever count on me moving there!  :) 

Apr 01, 2008 03:31 AM #10
Rosario Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY
And we call it progress. There are some places left that look like the places where we grew up, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.
Apr 01, 2008 03:58 AM #11
Griselda Tealdo-Perez, REALTOR®, e-Pro, GRI, TRC
Coldwell Banker Real Estate - Miami Lakes, FL

Carole, I do understand what you feel when looking at those homes. I just came back from Uruguay (the country I'm originally from) and in the neighborhood where I used to live investors are buying single family homes and building several story buildings in their place. I saw a few of those homes now. They had their windows and doors sealed with bricks. They were just waiting to be demolished. It made me really sad. I love it when I see one of those older homes being refurbished and made to shine again.  

Apr 01, 2008 04:20 AM #12
Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN

Wow Carole - Real Estate really differs from place to place - Here in Indiana people want land - the more the better ( apparently the word is out that they stopped making it :) and taxes are much much lower and going down- Yes, Today April 1st our state sales tax went up to 7% ( the first increase in many years) BUT in exchange... the State Legislature passed a 20% decrease in Property Taxes in all but a few counties Statewide!  

Great Post



Apr 01, 2008 05:54 AM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Joan, It is sad to me that my kids don't know "old" Long Island...when a wonderful day out was a drive to a 5 acre pickle factory :)  Now it is for flips and  making money...and very sad to me because my house falls into the category of knock it down....

Lisa, You now have to have money to live here with the taxes and prices of everything...there is absolutely no demand for starter homes.  My cottage will one day be razed and I HATE the will make way for a BIG house. 

Sally, I went to look at a Condo when I was having so many problems with the house.  To downsize here it costs almost the same, a "Hallway" Condo, one bedroom, no light and faces a very busy and loud intersection costs almost $300,000.  You had to walk 1/2 a block and cross a street to get to your car and the maintence fees were ludicrious.  There is no where to downsize here, I'm about it :)

Joan, My ex lives in a house that used to be an old Doctors office and not to pick on anyone, but what does anyone need all that space for?  I would get LOST!  It is a shame that kids can't come back here after college and older people cannot afford to stay where they've lived all their lives....and that house's fate will be MY houses fate :(

Gayle, I did always love the house.  We mostly didn't lock our doors because we never knew what neighbors were coming with their kids....and there were wide open spaces that were safe.  What a new place I live in, it's very sad.

Cynthia, We had those wonderful Mom and Pop stores (ever noticed they practiced Feng Shui by hanging bells on the doors? :)  When you knew all your neighbors and watched out for their kids as well as your own.  They are not perserving anything of Long Island and it's sad to see that.

Missy, It sounds like they are preserving your beautiful area and I love hearing that.  I do know from people coming in that "they don't build houses like this anymore." Which doesn't mean a thing to people that don't want any LAND....they want huge houses and not the character that was originally Long Island.

Kathy, For this little house I now pay almost $10,000 just in taxes, I know they are high in Mr. Sinai as well as all over the Island.  We grew up here with a thriving economy (Grumman's) and lots of young families and I've been out your way and seen all the building going up there.  Where's our LAND?  We are sure going to miss it.

Candy, I guess it is but it's sad to think I worked my whole life to stay here and raised my kids here...and one day it will be a FLIP.  I think my son is going to be very afraid to do that here because of the way I feel about it :)

Carol, My taxes have surpassed Wantagh which is a much nicer area....we have a Village Tax here to add on to all the other tazes and it's just reached $10,000.  It ia absolutely ridiculous what they charge....and so the gas is more, the food is more and people can't keep up.  Which does not mean I want to see my "cottage" torn down!

Rosario, I think I would love the "feel" of an old time place....where there were parks and land and you knew everyone.  It's hard to remember back to those days (and we had normal size houses!).

Giselda, I can imagine that would have made me feel, I would love for some to preserve just ONE house here...mine :)  But certainly not in the name of progress.....

Grace, I can't imagine why they stopped wanting any land and just wanting HUGE houses and I was told they don't want to be bothered with the upkeep.  It is nice to hear that they value the land there!  Andyour taxes are so, I know Real Estate is local but what a difference we have!

Apr 01, 2008 12:15 PM #14
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Carole- I can so relate to how you feel, I watched this happened in Westchester and then again in Dutchess.  I so appreciate where I live because I really like some space between me and my neighbors.
Apr 01, 2008 02:42 PM #15
Loretta Buckner
Real World Properties, Inc.| Your Real Estate Consultant for Life - Palm Harbor, FL
Your GREEN Real Estate Consultant For Life!
I'm with you, Carole!  I'd much rather see the older places restored and preserved--so that's what I'm doing...little by little, in any way that I can.  You can't say that anyone's being put out of work because of it, either, since the same type of labor is required to restore as to rebuild!
Apr 01, 2008 02:43 PM #16
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jennifer, You still have space from what I remember upstate...and they don't rip your pretty, older homes down.  I wish they would preserve some of what was so precious about Long Island.

Loretta, That's exactly what I think but it's not what they want here.  I am honestly stunned that they don't want any yards, it was the all american dream for us but they don't want to take care of them.....and they certainly don't want older homes with character.  It's so sad.

Apr 02, 2008 03:30 PM #17
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