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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Homes We Sell

Homes Here, Homes Here, Get your Homes Here. Homes Here for Sale.

We are country house speculators, buying up small pieces of land, building neat little small homes, and doing it all smack dab in the face of a Great Recession.

We just closed on Johnny and Tina's Cottage 18, and Erin and Greg's Modern Ranch, hope to be heading into Contract on Cottage 21, are nearing contract consummation on Cottage 22 and had a great weekend showing our stuff off - new houses, old houses, small houses, smaller houses, houses with great land, houses with great, great land, etc...

We buy land, develop small parcels, design mini-homes/cottages/farmhouses, and sell them complete, turnkey, move-in ready, with a warranty we honor seriously.

As far as I can tell, regardless of where you are buying, no other design/build company in upstate NY is producing the diversity of architecture and a diversity of price levels than we are here at Catskill Farms.

Here are some of the beauts we are currently bringing to market - and will be ready for a fall move in.

Up above is a new 960 sq ft home we are just getting started, putting the footings and foundation in, clearing the future driveways and building area of trees and brush. We are placing it on a very pretty 5+ acres, has two bedrooms, has one bath, a full basement and lots of covered porch space. This house is just beginning so there is lots of room for some cool collaboration between us here at Catskill Farms and the future owner. This cottage is selling for $250,000.

And this picture is a shot of some of interior florishes we feature such as wide plank floors, rolling barn doors, old school radiators and hand made custom closet hinged barn doors.

And here's a black and white of Cottage 13. The first version was built by Dean, and the 2nd draft is going up over in Lumberland NY, a few miles from Barryville, NY. It's 1300 sq ft, whole house audio, security and 8 frickin' acres.

And a new Cottage 18, renamed Cottage 22, redesigned on the inside, a wrap-around porch, an extra bath, 2 beds and a walkout basement. This cottage on 5 acres is selling for $250,000, and we could have a deal signed by the end of the week.

And the old school kitchen with radiator, open shelves and white cabinets.

Cottage 21 sitting pretty in the woods, just about finished and ready for sale. This 1300 sq ft with cathedral ceiling, big ass fireplace and too much style to capture in this brief and simple narrative. Looks like Norah and Jeffrey, just returned from overseas, are traveling up on Friday to review, and perhaps sign some contracts.

Well, there you have it - the next round of inspiration, provided by Catskill Farms, reinvigorating the architectural landscape of Sullivan County and upstate New York real estate.


  1. denise @ CornerstoneMay 27, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    Thats better, it was starting to sound like a Craigslist Rant & Rave in here.
    Remember... the silent treatment works best, keeps them guessing...never let them see you sweat or else "they" win.
    From a outsider/fan & believer in Catskill Farms it was def. getting too negative and might scare away potential clients.
    Catskill Farms Rocks...Fu*k the Haters!!

  2. Yes, you are definitely right Denise, but it was getting out of control - Remember, I live in the same community, just down the street, we are all neighbors in a sense, and everywhere I went, the store, the party, the grocery, - I was being confronted with these haters, or repercussions from the haters - can't live that way, especially when it is undeserved.

    Thing is, I trust my gut and instinct - and this time I thought it was time to put a stop to it.

    I've always thought the blog helped our company because it made things seem real, not just some slick pitch - and if this is part of my experience with Catskill Farms, it continues to reflect the reality, not a prepackaged, everything is perfect.

    I don't disagree it might scare away clients - but Lisa and I agree that if the haters win, then I need to find another line of work anyway, since it is not a fun way to exist.

  3. Another thing Denise, this thing was going on for over a year - and I kept silent. The fact that I saw that his effort was going to now gain momentum because of his single-minded approach to harming my business, was too much to just sit by and watch it happen all over again.

    You know, in the end - an eye for eye- let these guys suffer the same consequences from my opinion of them, as I do from their opinion of me. I don't agree that letting them whisper in secret is the only way, and actually was encouraged by a few homeowners involved to push back.

  4. And, in the end, I believe most people know me well enough to understand it must be pretty out of control to get a reaction.

    If I can sell through the worst housing depression since the 30's, chances are I can outmanuever a few rotten eggs.

    Believe me, I didn't just start typing away, ranting and raving. I am fully aware of all the possible negative consequences - but, a guy has only so many cheeks to turn.

  5. Hi Chuck,
    I have never read a blog before yours and before today. I searched Catskill builders and there you were. I must admit that I was totally intrigued with your ability and willingness to put upfront and unabashedly whatever was going on. The good, the bad and the ugly. That takes quite a bit of courage, if you ask me.
    Also where do you find the time to write so much? I can almost see the beginnings of a book/screen play.
    So back to your building concept... It is brilliant!!! I have always detested these mcmansions (no capital!) They are very impersonal and totally out of place in the country. I live in Dutchess county and I love it but I have cried true tears when I see what is being done to our open space.
    Congratulations to you, your family and your family of workers. Continue to Flourish and Prosper. Do better than ever and those people who are evil intentioned will wither away. Continue to confront them as you do and do not take any bull... but ALWAYS put your attention and creativity on expanding ever faster and better while ensuring those who seek to harm that expansion are disabled by their own ill will.
    Do not do any harm to others and ensure yours are not harmed as well.

  6. Dear Chuck,
    I have never before today read a Blog. I searched 'catskill builders' and there you were. I totally got caught up in your story and find it quite fascinating. What I also find very courageous is your confront of the unethical actions of various unproductive people in your environment. I would say to you to contue to Flourish and Prosper. Those who have evil intentions will wither away. Also don't do harm to others but do not allow others to harm you. You sound like a very productive busy guy who is trying to do the right thing. Do more of it and don't let anyone stop you. I would comment to my husband is that we need people to build normal houses. Not these structures that are pretending to be homes (mcmansions). It sounds like you are doing it.

  7. Hi Charles,

    Just want to say how much I enjoy the photos and real-life banter on your website. We live in an old farmhouse in VA that we are hoping to renovate in the near future and your designs offer a lot of thought food. Since there seems to be a shadow movement questioning your quality, may I make a suggestion? How about a little more technical info on your website? Such as the quality of construction materials and why you chose such materials over another. I know such info can be a little dry, so maybe you could have a separate tech page that people could refer to instead of including it in your entertaining ramblings about nature and the ups and downs of selling in this market. Just a suggestion. It's not so much revenge against the nay-sayers, but more the enlightening of the rest of us.

  8. Thank Mayra and Farmhouse Fancier for the kind words, advice, and suggestions.

    This personal journey through business-building, family-building, recessions, booms, compliments, and complaints is all very real, ongoing, and evolving. It's like a reality tv show that is actually real - funny how when it's too real it's not funny anymore.

    How do I find time to blog? It's simple, - I am inspired by what I do, what we create, the clients I work with, the employees I hire and collaborate with. Given the extremes of what I have encountered over the last 4 years, the real question would be how could you not find some outlet for it.

    Although, un-romantically and unspun, I got in a lot of trouble last night for focusing on the blog instead of the family.

    "Your family needs you too", Lisa said.

  9. Chuck... since your backlogging some of the rant& raves....can you delete/edit my Bronx girl vulgarity...You know what they say "You take the girl out of the Bronx, but you cant the Bronx out of the girl"...thanks

  10. I'd love to Denise - anything for the Tile Queen of Sullivan County (Cornerstone Tile is the best!), but I have no idea how. I'll work on this weekend, but to be honest, I think the bronx thing you have going is really working for you.