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Monday, May 3, 2010

Wide Angle Extravaganza

I bought my wide angle lens, so today I went around experimenting with it. I got one word - priceless. I mean, this lens is the bomb. Below here is pic of my home, pre-dinner.

I know these homes and the people buying them aren't right for the NY Times but I think they are pretty cool, and the 60 families that have bought them find them alright, and the 5 under construction are moving right along and 4 just getting started are looking fine - but who am I to judge, a lowly designer and builder of upstate getaways in Sullivan County, when the NY Times in their editorial discretion has obviously decided that our perfect demographic, our ability to sell right on through the Great Recession (their words, not mine), our ability to see the future and build small when everyone else was building big, our ability to get 17 homes financed in the most difficult financing environment in recent history -

no big deal - but that prefab modular idea that they have written about 5 times in 3 years under various aliases and diversions, that editorial coverage of the next big thing that their readers have soundly deferred on. Oh well, they know best, even if the data and their readers disagree with them.

What I know best is that we have perfected a very simple idea - build small, build quick, build well, and build with style and pizazz. It's hard to duplicate because we have been perfecting this idea and process and product for 7 years - have had the ups, the downs, the miscues, the wins, the losses. No one knows the region's real estate nuances better than me, no one is a more attentive student of the trends and thoughts of the potential buyer. Mostly I like to stay attuned because our business is so nimble that every time we pick up on a new pulse or direction of interest we can bring out a house that fits that niche - 1300 sq ft cottage, 960 cottage, 750 sq ft micro cottage, homes with a modern twist, homes with a traditional bent, homes with a barn beam feel, etc... Keeping it real, keeping it fresh. Even after 70 homes.
Cottage 25 moving right along, with the wide angle bringing the whole thing home.

This 'great room/dining room/cathedral ceiling room' will be a real looker when its complete. Probably a good place to stain the ceiling, though I'm not sure what the home owner is looking for without checking my notes.

Interior doors ready to go in, floors installed, and the famous sheetrock art.

Farmhouse #12 wide angle - shaker-esque, lots of porch, narrow roof overhangs, 6 over 6 windows, deck off the master bathroom, big covered porch in the back, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a neat mudroom/laundry area.

A wide house perfectly suited for a wide angle lens.

Big trees, small house, big lens. We should be getting our Certificate of Occupancy this week, setting up a June 3rd closing.

Some unique good design here (good job daniel) - dual closet clad with salvage barn wood, spiral staircase into the basement, white washed ceiling.

And Barn #2, looking sharp from the wide angle perspective. Should be closing on this one by months end, and in case anyone is counting (I surely am), that will be 5 homes this year which leaves us on track to hit 12 or so, if everything continues in a straightline (fat chance).

Old Jake in the foreground -

Tuthill Road. About two weeks before the leaves really get kickin.
Cottage 17 looking sharp through the trees. We finished her up back in October.

Cottage 19.
Reclaimed Farmhouse outside of Barryville. This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath farmhouse on 2.5 acres is pretty sharp. We pimped it out pretty good, and the construction show should be wrapping up here in the next week or two.

Hey, Nice Rocks!

Floors a little dirty but this wide angle vantage from the kitchen, through the fireplace sitting room, into the media nook, got it all covered. Wood burning fireplace, bunch of radiators, and some stain accents to keep it crisp.

1/2 bath, and mudroom with sliding barn door. Now this is a picture that just wasn't possible - pre- Wide angle (or PWA for short).

Master bedroom with gas burning fireplace, stained ceiling looks like a hot time.
And we used a new 'picket fence' look on the steps. Gives it a real playful feel. The round modern light helps too. White painted ceiling boards.

And Richard and Nancy's cottage, the original homestead of the 44 acres I purchased at the height of the panic and pessimism last March. Now I continually buy when people sell - bought Toyota at the height of the recall, and just put an order in for Goldman Sachs after the Fed Gov't indictment on Friday.

Bryce, Thom, Justin and Jason were milling around the pond at Nancy and Richard's house, all admiring the pond life, consisting of frogs, lillies and a whole bunch of other things which I now can't recall because my frickin dog jake came running at me at 45 mph and instead of veering off at the last minute, he rammed all 70 lbs right into me at a full leap, knocking my ass straight on to the ground in front of all my customers. I mean, I did save the wide angle lens but ended up slamming down on the same elbow that I slammed down on at Courtney and Bronson's Cottage 22 when I fell going up their stairs while holding Lucas and a nice bottle of wine. Save the baby and bottle, damaged the elbow.

What Jake was thinking as he leapt at high speeds I'm not sure, but what is for certain is any 'cool' aspirations I may have harbored have quickly dissipated after these confidence-busting falls. Oh well, keeps me humble.

Big week ahead. Lots of construction happening. Can feel the economy quickening. Won't be long and vendors will be too busy to call back - just like in 2005.


  1. For what it's worth.... the fall was very graceful... and the camera-lens saving efforts were exemplary to say the least...

    And yes, in case you were wondering... we all got a kick out of you falling especially after you were telling us to "watch out" for Jake!

    Hope the elbow is OK :)

  2. Sorry about the elbow but I don't think a mere tackle by a dog is going to keep you humble!

  3. Denise@Cornerstone TileApril 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Nice move on Goldman Sachs.

  4. Wide angled lens nothing, how about wild angered wife! Put up another picture of our house when it's messy and I'll do more than tackle you!


  5. Not as bad a walking through a screen door!

  6. or, not to sprinkle salt on an open wound anonymous, or using the wrong paint to touch up an entire house, locking yourself out of your own bathroom.

    Lisa thinks there is a great book out there waiting to be written about country transition stories.

  7. I wonder what kind of trouble I'll get into this coming weekend. I'm picking up 30 trees in celebration of Arbor Day and will be planting them on my own. I just hope I can wield that new pick ax without problems.