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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween, Snow and Construction

God, if you want to be depressed, read the NY Post or Daily News some morning over coffee. Between the promising young boxer who was pushed over the bridge in a car pile up, or the mom who got hit by a grocery cart, or the 15 other depressing news items, really quite the way to start off your day. I must be getting soft!

Here's a suitcase of amputated arms and legs Lucas and I came across.

And the big Saturday snowstorm was cool. Ended up cancelling my 5 sales appointments and just hanging with neighbor watching college football and eating chili. Later in the day, we pulled out the new plow truck and did some plowing - the storm was such an early surprise that I figured some of our new homeowners didn't yet have their snow plow guy lined up, so we tooled around the new homes looking for stranded and worried homeowners. Didn't find any too worried, though there was a good 8" of snow on the ground. Once again, this area did not get the brunt of the damage and inconvenience.

This is how I get a really bad name in the community for bringing in all these New Yorkers. Here's Justin from Cottage 19 fame, with his leaf blower, ear muffs and most importantly, glass of white wine, probably a perfect fall foliage country home yard work blend.

And then off to the big Halloween party in Woodstock NY, where they close down a 1/2 mile stretch of main street to allow free ranging for the ghosts, goblins, and assorted Space Rangers.

"When there is danger, you need a space ranger".

Lucas was a big hit and just goes to show what a full embrace of costume can do for a guy. He didn't quite get the candy thing down perfect, not really discriminating between the giveaway candy at the house and stores and the candy in other kids pales, but you know what, he's only 3 so give the space hero a break. And he really didn't get away trying for a 2nd bite at the apple, going back to some of the stores accidentally twice, since he was pretty recognizable, both in Tude and dress.

Cute little guy, don't you think?

And below is pre-halloween costume try-on day.

But, back to business, where are middle name is 'progress'.

Barn V, in contract, is moving right along with the foundation in.

Here's da footins' -
The walls 'formed' -

And the walls poured, stripped, and tarred ( sounds like a bad vegas sex show).

Over across the street, Dean the framer is just getting started one day last week -

Day 2

From the 2nd floor by Weiden Lake,

Day 4, we got a 1500 sq ft Farmhouse on 8 acres.

Old Joe and Katie's Farm 16 on 7 acres should be finished next week with a closing the following week. That will be our last sale of the year and leave us with sales of 25% higher this year than last. That's not just a reflection on the total amount of homes sold, but also a surprising trend towards bigger homes - not big, but bigger, with more than a few having 3+ bedrooms and 1500+ sq ft.
Our houses in Saugerties/Woodstock continue apace, with both homes sort of rounding that last bend in the road. Wild Wind is being painted on the inside currently. I think this 1300 sq ft 2 bedroom cottage looks great, with the stone, the elevated entrance, the sage green siding. It's just perfect low-country design, with the low slung front dormer really defining her.

Even though these are our first two homes up there, construction is moving briskly - and in this business, that's the name of the game.

Farm 17, inspired by Farm 6, twisted into Modern 1, adapted in Farm 12 and 15, and now living presently as Farm 17 -

Big back porch with a screen area off the kitchen.

Good looking, restrained, simple, classic architecture. Neither me nor our clients have any inclination or tendency to be showy, gaudy, or worse - flashy. Good old fashioned elegant modesty.

And the Big Barn, weathered in with some tyvec house wrap.

I'm going to Miami for a few day, for some sun and rest after a very busy fall calender. Halloween is an apt holiday for Catskill Farms to reflect on all the companies out there that try on our costume for the occasion. Lots of companies would like to dress like us, be like, make the money we do, invest in the community like we do - lots of companies would like to sell the number of houses we do so they try on the Catskill Farms thing and realize how damn hard it is - how demanding the customers are, how challenging building something in the middle of no where is, how difficult it is to blend our disciplines like we do (develop, design, build and sell), and how quickly those margins can dissipate with just the slightest inattention to process, detail or product.

And I leave you with one pronouncement, from all Space Rangers -

"To Infinity and Beyond!"

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