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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Narrowsburg Real Estate and Christmas Festivities


First snow of the year came last week, the Sunday night after Thanksgiving.  The big range of projected snowfall kept us in suspense, and we ended up with a good amount, with a little icey rain first to make it a real mess.  It was end of day Tuesday before everyone was plowed out and logistically operational.

I really like my home in Milford PA, and the morning sun is highlighted each day.  This is a shot of Tuesday morning, circa 6:30am.  I renovated a pretty non-descript mid-90's ranch into something pretty neat and inspiring.














Lulu checking out the snow before stepping off the porch.


The light 15 minutes later.




 The hillside in front of the house that I cleared this past fall made for some serious sledding.  We've been talking about it, and on Sunday, with Lucas' friend Jovanni, we geared and gave it a shot.

Tree lighting ceremony in downtown Milford ye ole community house.  My boy in the center, the origins of his height advantage unknown.





The maniac trainers at Burn the Ships crossfit in Milford woke up at 7am on Sunday in order to do 420 burpees, which was the amount of food they collected from their members for a local food pantry.  It took them an hour of constant motion.  These people aren't right in the head.  I dare you to try and do 10 burpees, and see how you feel after 420.  Nearly dead, in need of defibrillator.



Lulu loves the radiant heat at the office. She tries to get every single inch possible of her body to touch the floor.



And since this is a business blog, I should post something about a house I guess.  here's a cool barn house in Narrowsburg NY going up, about 1/2 way done, looking awesome its first snow fall.


Monday, December 2, 2019

Another Day in the Sullivan County life. Holidays, football, crossfit and dogs.

Friday nights in Milford at the Ecumenical Food Pantry.  The future business leaders from local high school were there helping out and I think a few of them thought lucas was cute, for a kid.



The next day was the first annual Rock Climb at Port Jervis Watershed hiking and biking trail area.  1.2 miles down, 1.2 miles up, just like Band Brothers on Currahee Hill during boot camp prior to being deployed in WWII.  Our local crossfit, Burn The Ships, in Milford PA, represented.  You picked a rock, average was around 30lb, you paint it, you carry it.


Down to my sisters in Phoenixville PA for T-Giving.  Playing a board game Trekker, a game based on the National Parks.  Super fun.



Lulu, a really great dog, chilling.



Lucas' new pup, Izzy.  As in, 'time to get busy, Izzy'.

Our 8-0 football team.  Me on the left.  Boy did the other coaches hate to see us win so much.

Then I treated them to a day at a water park.








Friday, November 22, 2019

Lazy Meadows Real Estate - A Catskills Real Estate Choice

A few years ago, I founded Lazy Meadows Real Estate.  Its purpose was to mostly allow me to list my homes on the multiple listing service of the hudson valley, gaining exposure to the real estate community without turning complete control of the listing over to someone else (a broker), an exercise that proved frustrating and expensive.

The real estate company also allowed me to save several thousand dollars on each land purchase I  made/make, which is not insignificant.  I buy a lot of land, so saving (or paying myself) 3% of $750k a year adds up.

Almost as a side thought, a few clients called us up and asked us to list their homes, which made sense since we have such knowledge of the homes and a direct line of marketing communication with a large targeted client niche - who we have been marketing to effectively since 2002.

Turns out, we are pretty good at marketing these resales.  For the first 10 years, very few traded, since families tended to hold onto them, and let's be honest, we moved at a much slower pace, thus just not that many out there.

Now however, with 200 homes built, they trade.  I wouldn't say they trade a lot, and when they do come on the market, they tend to move quickly, but a few are typically on the market, or at least 1 or two.

It's neat to circle back and help these families sell their homes.  Clearly no ones knows the homes better than me, and buyers like to buy direct, even on a resale.

So Lazy Meadows is just this sort of little annuity that produces a steady stream on income with very few expenses, since most of the administration is covered in our daily Catskill Farms work.

And finally, after many years, I partnered with an excellent new Agent, Caroline Akt.  And she's killing it, working hard, and taking it very seriously, thus having a good deal of success.

My friend Bryan bought a house from me in 2009, sold it, then built one himself (I mean himself, he did a lot of the work himself), and when he wanted to sell it, he gave me the opportunity.  We put a deal together quick and the deal closed last week.




My good friend Matthew built a house with us 6+ years ago, and when his family's priorities pivoted away from weekend jaunts to the country, he enlisted us to help sell it.  Lickety Split, within a week or two, we produced a buyer.  Turns out that buyer was kicking the tires of a new build Catskill Farms, but was excited to be able to turnkey move in, furniture and all, and get livin'.





The question at the beginning was always would the interests of Catskill Farms sales conflict with the interests of the buyers of resales.  I never thought it would - 1, not enough CF resales around, and 2, people who want to build, do so to scratch an itch of design you don't get with a resale.

So, it has worked out all around.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Blogging, and tracking the journey

I've (Charles L Petersheim) been writing most of my life, studied journalism at U of Pittsburgh, wrote an unpublished novel, thousands of letters, hundreds of letters to the editors, dozens of newspaper articles, and the marketing copy for Catskill Farms, and all related entities for twenty years.  And I used to keep this blog very updated.  It was scandalous in its day, tracking my ups, downs, wins, losses, defeats, paybacks, etc..., all written well and on point.

Now that life has stabilized a bit on this entrepreneurial journey, it seems the need to express is less, less to confess, less to offer and less to reveal.  The blog was never like social media, where only the prettiest picture is painted of pretty beaches, athletic kids, all short and filtered.  The Blog was never filtered, and never 120 words or less and never painted with pretty pastels.  It was a mainline into my thinking, strategy, emotions, a counterintuitive way to market expensive homes for sure.

But, for better or worse, it set us apart as authentic and real, not glossy and overproduced. 

But those days are over, those perilous over-leveraged, under-experienced days that produced an unlikely success story.  Now I struggle to be inspired by the daily outrages I encounter, struggle to be inspired by the wrongs hoisted on me - now we just call someone and solve the problem.  We may even yet fail, or achieve less over the next 20 years than we did in the previous, but that denouement would be more methodical and controlled than the wild stallion of the ride over the last 20 years and 200 homes, where every day brought some insurmountable issue that required cash we didn't have and experience we didn't possess.  Now I'm surrounded by professionals of all sorts, at all levels, and our cash flow is strong, our sales consistent, and our brand pronounced.

Had to head down to Miami to scout locations for my 50th birthday party, which will be attend by 20+ family and friends for 3 days of relaxation.


One of our favorite farmhouses that Catskill Farms built a few years back in Olivebridge NY is being sold and we are honored to represent it through our real estate company, Lazy Meadows Realty.



The youth football league I coached - 8-10 year olds - went 8-0 including winning the championship.  Lucas, my son, was the QB so that was neat.  He can be a bit ornery when it comes to Dad-coaching, so I'm glad and relieved to report that we pulled it off, relationship intact, trophy in hand.  GREAT group of kids.



Fun group of kids over for Lucas' 11 birthday party.  Fit all 9 in my car for a short drive.


Continue to improve my residence in Milford PA, this fall concentrating on the front hillside that was overgrown and untamed.  May Landscaping did a great job reclaiming the hill, carving a small path, and planting a bunch of wildflowers.  Next spring should be spectacular.


Having a large stone wall built.



 And this past September did long road trip from Santa Rosa to Seattle with 2 college friends and one of their friends.




 And even remembered to buy a card for my Ex for her birthday.

That's a small sampling of the events in the Life of Charles Petersheim. All is good, even for a 'restless and jealous mind' (John Prine lyric).

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Recent Sales of Real Estate in County Sullivan & Ulster

Sales continue to be brisk in this 19th year of business.  We are closing on a new home every 3 weeks or so, throughout real estate in the Catskills, recently Bethel, Olivebridge and Narrowsburg.

In Sullivan County, we just finished and sold Ranch 33 and Barn 31 in the small Birches subdivision in Bethel NY.

The Ranch, on Lot 19, has calming tree house feel to it and The Barn sits on a bluff above a pretty pond and open field.

These are our 8th and 9th home in this project that lay dormant for 12 years until we arrived on the scene.

Barn 31 - Sullivan County Real Estate.
















Then our mini-ranch in Narrowsburg was a big hit at 820 sq ft, sporting 7 acres and 2 bedrooms.  Sullivan County Real Estate









We have this first of its kind American Four Square in Olivebridge NY - Farmhouse 53, adding to our Ulster County NY real estate portfolio.






Ranch 28, Ulster County Real Estate.  Also located in Olivebridge NY.