Visit our website: www.thecatskillfarms.com

Don't miss our fun Video Series

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cottage 31, Sold

It's been a wintry week up here with schools closed twice and delayed 2 hours once. Icy rainy mix one day, then a real soft fluffy snow Thursday night.

It's the 2nd time in as many weeks where we had a closing scheduled and then a snow storm sneaks up and tempts the hand of fate. Thing about closings is that they take a lot of coordination among a lot of people. Typically there is a mortgage lock rate deadline breathing down everyone's neck, then we have to get the Certificate of Occupancy, send it off to the buyer's bank, then wait for the bank to give us the Clear to Close, meaning the 27 documents necessary to complete the loan are in order.

Then my attorney, the buyers, the buyer's attorney, the bank, the title company and I'm probably forgetting someone - everyone needs to get on everyone's schedule, which isn't so easy considering the massive amounts of refinancings the banks are processing.

So to have a snow storm sneak up and upset these nicely made plans sort of sucks, not to mention I'm out my couple of hundred grand. It's not like you just say, 'let's do it tomorrow'. You got to start all over with coordination.

Like I said, when we closed on Cottage 33 last week we had a storm, and now the night of Cottage 31 we had a storm.

And for some reason, everyone has gotten a lot more touchy about a little snow. I've had to push the issue and reassure everyone that I'm sure we can all make it to closing in spite of a little snow. This past closing the buyer's attorney was trying to cancel the closing 4 days ahead because of a snow warning - that definitely didn't fly. We do, actually, live in a snow prone region kids.
Cottage 31 is great. Some clients like Erin come up once, never before looked at real estate, never really thought about buying, and end up buying Ranch 2 the first time up. Others, like Van and Eric of Cottage 31, travel around the state for months or years, getting a feel of the lay of the land, different regions, different areas and terrain. I can emphasize with both processes, having gone through both in the several houses I've lived in. Both the common denominator is Catskill Farms - both scenarios and the ultimate motivation for choosing southern Sullivan County - and perhaps pulling the trigger period - were the efforts, designs, history and ability of Catskill Farms and our homes - our creative process, our serious commitment to scheduling and getting it done, our no-nonsense approach to bringing the whole thing in for a soft landing and a quick closing.

Cottage 33, by contract, was set to close on January 15, date set in September. We closed a week before. Cottage 31 was set to close by contract in mid-January - we closed on the 21st.

It's a process without excuses - come snow, holidays and what have you.

Cottage 31 was a design that kept on evolving from something in our portfolio, to something that merged successfully with what Van and Eric had in mind. Cedar shake siding and arts & crafts stoned columns define the front elevation, with the large roof overhang protecting the 2nd floor bedroom deck.

The home has some views north west and in the spring we will probably screen in this side porch. Presently the porch is all spindled in with a gate to keep the dog in.

The stone mason did a nice job on these big oversized stone columns and tapered wood tops.

The entry way has a 12 light front door, and some local square stone. These guys liked the house of Dean a lot. If you remember Dean of Cottage 13 fame, he also is one of the creative directors for Levis. His home has inspired lots of people and design choices. The grays and angular stone set the tone for this one - plank ceiling, crown molding.
Walking in the house opens up, with open stair treads, cable rail, and lots of well-placed windows opening up to a good western view. Their friend called it a 'fairy tale' - I like that almost as much as when Sasha said our homes 'feel like a big hug.'

Some of the defining aspects of this home are the salvaged posts, recycled from some carefully dismantled barn.

Straight from the front door, past the steps, is a sunken living room with radiant heat and lots of windows, a fireplace, super high clerestory window pop-up and 4 symmetrical schoolhouse lights.
From the living room corner, looking up towards the front door. Significant fireplace, nice beam, couple of random stone accents and a stair case that obstructs nothing.

I think that's an early american stain on the floor. An interesting design decision that in retrospect was very smart. Instead of the no-brainer set of double french doors/sliding doors, we kept the view path just windows and situated the porch door off the the side, which worked out terrifically. That appears to be a dutch door, with the top leaf and bottom section opening independently of each other. One of our most common requests.

Down below is our woodburning fireplace and irregular hearth stone, perched up 7" and a little oversized in order to allow for some close fire perching.
The kitchen is a study of not just a good use of space, but also a good use of budget. We used some salvaged distressed red wood siding on the wall behind the sink cabinets, and a big 'island'.

One of my favorite countertops, birch plywood stained and epoxied. It's really not only a great looking countertop, it's affordable - one of those perfect marriages/blends of price and product.

From the kitchen looking out. 3 doors, from right to left - bedroom, closet, and bathroom.

The bathroom is a simple clean use of dark paint, rectangular stone, clawfoot tub, fast toilet and wall hung trough sink.

Going up the stairs where a full bath and large bedroom reside - duel sliding barn doors offer privacy and detail. The light has a story, of which I can't recall the exact narrative.

Looking past the rail out the view and into the living room space below.

Lots of light and lots of openness.

The bedroom is large, with pitched roof and salvaged beams.

And some of the details -

Trough duel sink, plank horizontal wainscoting.

Modern duel flush toilet.

5 panel solid core doors with a classic porcelain door knob.

A kitchen scone on salvaged red barn wood.

A barn light electric style galvanized ceiling mount fixture.

And that's it. James and I spent a lot of time with Van and Eric and I think the final product really shows the effort.

Just got done with a final walk-thru at Farm 14 which closes tomorrow. We are also closing on Micro 2 - added up, sums up to 4 closings in January. Then we got one scheduled in March, one scheduled in April, and we have just closed the preliminary deal on 3 starts in the spring, pre-sold.

Looks like another big year for the Catskill Farms operation. Sooner or later I'll stop thinking that my luck will run out and sales will slow - at this point, it's hard to attribute it to luck.


  1. I think this house is gorgeous. If I ever win the lottery, I just might trade up to something similar ... but it will have to be on Tuthill Road.

  2. Another masterpiece, Charles. Really love this one. Gorgeous!

  3. Really like the bathroom floor! What kind of stone is it?