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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Value

Big article in the Times the other day about falling prices of homes in the Catskills - I have only one thing to say about that - 'Duh!.' Or, actually, "Double Duh."

Anyone with their nose to the train tracks and understood a little about economic history, and a little bit about regional history, knew when shitty houses on shitty property were selling for $300k that something bad was going to happen. I mean, houses that wouldn't have even been considered by a weekender were selling for $400k, doubling or more their price of just 3 years back.

Luckily, we never got greedy, never paid more than $4k an acre for our land, never overpaid our labor and staff and never forgot to make the hard design decisions that kept our houses full of detail at the lowest cost. And, most importantly, kept the prices far below what our customers could build the house independent of our vertically integrated process.

I think we may be the only company in the entire country that is selling our houses for equal or more than last year. For instance, we have had 5 of our houses appraised over the past 2 months in this tough climate in order for the buyers to get financing - all appraised by different banks, different appraisers - and all came back with values at or above our selling costs.

Since appraisals are the biggest obstacles to getting deals done presently, I am definitely pretty proud our homes are not only retaining their value, but actually increasing in most cases.

Real Value is always in demand. So is good taste.