Friday, September 12, 2014

Home Picture Updates

As I mentioned prior, I'm trying to update all my pics from previous homes from years gone by now that the respective homeowners have moved and shown the homes some love for a few years.

Cottage 47, Narrowsburg NY. c. 2014

Mini Barn 1, Barryville NY, c. 2013

Arts and Crafts II, Barryville, NY c. 2013

Micro Cottage 3, Barryville NY, c 2010 +/-

Barn 2, Barryville, NY c. 2010

Farm 12, Barryville NY, 2011

Ranch 2, Barryville NY, c. 2010

Barn V, Narrowsburg, NY c. 2012

My house, Barryville NY c.1870 originally, updated 2008.

Cottage 18, Barryville NY c. 2009.

Cottage 23, Barryville NY, c. 2010.

Jeff Lake renovation, Jeffersonville NY c. 2005

Old School Baby.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Biggest Reward

What we do isn't easy.  It's not easy for many reasons, but the biggest one needs to be the promise we are making to our clients to attempt to pull off this country home thing with the least amount of undue drama possible, and facilitate the transition to this country respite way of life as painlessly as possible - to set our clients up for success.  It's an easy goal to fall short of.

So, it's always rewarding to go back in a year later for the punch list and see a family really enjoying themselves, with simple homey pleasures of space and time and family.

Was up at Farm 24 today, and it was really looking good.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Nest Property Services - Fall Cleanup and Firewood

If you like to delegate the Honey Do list, Eric over at Nest can help.

Nest Property Management

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Under Construction and Some for Sale

I came across this scene early this morning - Guess it's move in Day at Cottage 46 .

Cottage 46 in the flesh.

Farm 30 being dug.  This 1700 sq ft home in Olivebridge is spoken for.

Cottage 47 being dug as well in Olivebridge.  This 1300 sq ft 2 bed 2 bath home is for sale for around $365k.  Mountain views and water features.

Mini Barn #2 in Narrowsburg NY is moving right along.  It's on 5 + acres. This home is spoken for.

Farm 28 in Narrowsburg NY on 17 acres is spoken for and coming in for a soft landing in October.

Farm 27 is a 3 bed, 1.5 bath home with a finished basement adding 600 sq ft to the overall sq footage.  This home is in Narrowsburg and it's spoken for.

1400 sq ft of Ranch Style all the way for this group of friends and relations who hope to be prior to Thanksgiving.

Farm 31 outside of Olivebridge is for sale.

Barn 9 is for sale 20 minutes from Woodstock.

And Farm 32 is just getting started and for sale as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hudson Valley is Hot (and our latest editorial shoutout)

NY Post covers the Hudson Valley in an interesting way - I like the fact that Dan the writer tried to act like the newbies over at Hudson Woods had anywhere near the hard earned experience that make our clients' life a breeze, but he knew - deep down, with his great editorial discretion,-who the big boys are up here.

"For Hudson Valley buyers seeking more flexibility in terms of design, location and cost, builder Catskill Farms offers a wide range of turnkey options." (umm, yeah, give me the guy who offers less flexibility in terms of design, location and cost- I love the understated humor here).

Let me annoyingly count the ways we are different from our article-sharer.

100 homes vs 1.

$67,000,000 invested in the Catskills vs. $1,000,000 (of someone else's money).

Areas we build include Barryville, Narrowsburg, Olivebridge, Kerhonkson, Shokan, Woodstock, Saugerties, Rhinebeck, Redhook vs. Kerhonkson.

Price points generally under $500k, many times under $400k, often under $300k vs. $700k+.

I could go on with whats wrong with their business plan - and I am in a way an expert in these things, but since I've matured and grown as a person these last few years, I will refrain (and thus save me some regret embarrassment but at the same lower my readership/view count - people love to watch/read my off the cuff scotch fueled train wreck writings for sure).

There are a few truisms about upstate real estate, and the first is price.  Overprice your product and miss the homebuyer market - snazzy expensive marketing is no substitution for value.  And west of the river, we find that value equates to homes priced between $300k-$500k.  That's a truism many 'developers' have tried to ignore over the years as their project costs soar.

Also, don't miss our friends Courtney and Bronson's Barryville Schoolhouse Inn in a fun and informative VOGUE (yes Vogue!) article just out - Weekend Guide to Upstate NY.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Ex Corrects

Some Swing Dancing Short Video

It takes a big man to be able to take constructive criticism from an Ex - but what the hay, why not?

She Kindly Writes-

"i know you may not want my opinion but i think your latest blog post doesn't read very well.

especially for me the part about lucas being confused by two men marrying, as he and i have talked about what makes a family and what marriage is.
and what his understanding is that it is simply two people who love each other and want to be a family and a family can look many different ways.

ms. two cents"

The last thing I intended by my somewhat late in the evening blog post was any disrespect to anyone and I think her sentiments are right on.  That said, while long chats by the bedside may prep little old Lucas for a wide breadth of perspective, joining me for an evening and seeing what love can be will go a long way in helping him put the pieces together.

I mean, somewhere he was of the soft and unformed idea that a marriage is a boy and a girl (he's got a favorite Natalie in his school) and now he knows better.  I don't think that process was automatic and it's fun to expose him to such without giving it any undo emphasis.

It tis what it tis.  No one likes a love story more than me, that's for sure.

On the same token, if you write for 8 years and produce 800 blog posts, you never are going to get the tone right all the time - though my rants seem to be drone-like with precision.  We don't have a pr vetting process for my writings, and sometimes the writing can be a little spot on or spot off, but articulate nevertheless - Christ, Fritz over at the River Reporter changes the adjectives and sentence structure of my letters to the editor - not because they are poorly written, but because they are too easy to understand.  Just last week he changed 'eye popping swarm of cars' to 'a high volume of cars" - to a writer, that's almost fighting words, but I get it, he's just jealous that I write better than him.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Neighbor, A Wedding and a Compliment

Behind my home and property, across my pond, through my woods, I designed, built and sold a house to David and Pedro bank in 2008 or so.  It's Cottage 23, so right in about that time of Cottage 21, 22, and 24.  

Our homes are important to their Owners - generally - but a decision to get married there really articulates the affection well.  And it's a true compliment not just the fact that they wanted to get married at their little cottage in the woods, but that they invited me and my son.

They live on Catskill Farms Drive.

So we got gussied up ...

Walked past the old stone barn foundation remnants...

 To their 8 acre spread.  A little Tiffany's Box.  Pedro spent most of the week pressure washing and cleaning and trimming the grounds.

Rain threatened all day and the clouds circled, and it was a bit southernly humid, so we were resting on the porch.

David is some fancy smancy (like many of our clients) broadway music legend so we were treated to not only a professional 3 piece orchestra pre-wedding, but a lot of who's who's of Broadway, which left me at a distinct advantage since I didn't know any names thus failed repeatedly to be impressed by that person or another.  Good old fashioned country ignorance.  Charming in a way, unless taken too far, which it always is.

Pedro's an architect.

Pianist accompanying the cellos, inside the Home.

The First Dance with an 11 piece swing band played/filtered over an instagram-like old fashion slightly scratchy radio microphone.

And that's that.  Our homes have provided a palette for many life events over the last 12 years - some large, some small - it's an extraordinary place to be, to be very aware of the layered fabric of life that happens inside our homes each and every day, homes that are fixed and creative as life blurs and speeds along.  A jumping off point, for a weekend, or a lifestyle or a retirement.

About 30% of my clients are same sex, and it was interesting to take Lucas to his first wedding, where even in his young mind a marriage was subtly somehow between a man and a woman - but, you know what - truth be told -  I think he was just fine with it.  Probably a little confusing, but nothing that little man couldn't handle.