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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farm 20 - SOLD

Well, it wasn't that long ago that Michael and his soon to be new bride visited us looking for something upstate.  Before long we had them convinced we were the team for them, helped them located 25 acres, design a house, and now they are moving in (or possibly even have moved in).

1950 sq ft 3 bedroom home with a 2 car barn with a green house off to the side.  Some hot colors - I always call this red 'panty red'.

We cleared an acre of land and built these two classic structures.

You may remember Farm 11 the other year over in Narrowsburg - this home was inspired by that one, with some personal choices driving some changes in the floor plan and flow priorities.

Lots of good colors that accented the barn beams and cable rail.  4 panel shaker doors, black hardware, white radiator, sliding barn door and a jacobean stained floor.

Simple fireplace with lots of light.

Our famous barn door leading out into the mudroom.

Here's the main entrance door, off on the side, with a rad to dry the wet winter stinky socks and a stone floor to catch the muddy boots.

Seriously, who wouldn't love this mud room, out to the shelves and into the dining room and out to the deck.

Tito the magician getting it done in the kitchen.

Media room with lots of hi-tech wiring.  Great colors.

Going up in the 2nd floor with wood ceilings and cladded beams.  Another great shot of what's going on - beams, salvaged posts, rail, planks, rads and shaker doors.

Blue and pink rooms.

The 2nd floor shared bath is hot...

but this is the house of the POJAB - pimped out japanese awesome bath - I think that's what we named it anyways, and every house has a starting point, a focus of the dream.  Farm 11 started with the kitchen, Cottage 36 started with the bunk beds, Glasco Cottage really focused in on the porches and outdoor living - this one had an eye from the beginning on this bathroom, and in very few conversations we nailed the general idea and during the course of construction, we nailed the design and materials.

Here's the master bedroom, with the walkin closet and the 2nd floor deck out back.

That's me in the mirror - I just refound my orange hat so I'm pretty happy about that.

And looking out the upstairs window into a dreamy landscape and faraway thoughts about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a Catskill Farms home.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Ok, say we've embraced Pinterest with a passion with the help of Kerry over at Farm 18 who is an expert.  Find it's more usable and relevant and collaborative than a blog and definitely more so than Facebook - and our homes are really about the way they look and you know what they way about a picture being worth a thousand words

I hope to come up with an idea or two every month about some element of our homes, be it the landscaping, the furniture, a favorite nook, a favorite pet spot, deck chair, doobie hiding location, favorite light, etc...  Should be fun.

We've gotten started.  Here's are boards - feel free to post away and repin.  Once on Pinterest site, just search for Catskill Farms, then choose our 'boards' to see what we've started.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Almanac Weekly Article: Rustic Without the Rust

Catskill Farms was recently features in the Almanac Weekly's article, Rustic Without the Rust, by Lynn Woods:

Rustic Without the Rust

Charles Petersheim didn’t know a soul in the Catskills when he left New York City post-9/11 and purchased an abandoned shack in Sullivan County. Petersheim, who had done construction and real estate in the City, found work upstate renovating old farmhouses for weekenders – and quickly made an important discovery: The first-time second-homebuyers who were his customers found the process unbelievably stressful. The charming rustic cottage on three or four acres that is every Manhattanite’s or Brooklynite’s country dream sometimes turned out to be a money pit with all kinds of disappointments and problems.
Petersheim saw an opportunity. In 2002 he launched Catskill Farms, which offers the ideal alternative: building new homes modeled after the old farmhouse. Using salvaged wood as accents and planks for the floors, refurbishing old radiators for the cozy steam-heat systems and siding his abodes in pine or cedar, with metal roofs and fireplaces as options, he realized that he could build farmhouses with all the charm of an original but none of the hassle.

All his homes are energy-efficient, with spray-foam insulation and on-demand hot-water heaters. Plus, the customer can weigh in on the design, such as the height of the ceilings, size and placement of the windows and location on the property, avoiding a common pitfall of old homes, which is they are too close to the road. “We’ve been able to capture the romantic essence of an older home, which is a very subliminal thing,” Petersheim said. “Our homes have a heart.”

As you may guessed from that remark, Petersheim is also a marketing whiz. His company’s website, www.thecatskillfarms.com, powerfully evokes the Catskills’ down-home appeal, from the personal testimonials to the vintage graphics to the country-music classics that play as you flip through the virtual brochure. The company has been featured on DIY’s Blog Cabin, and three of its homes will be featured on the February 14 episode of HGTV’s Selling New York program at 6:30 p.m.

While the 1,600-square-foot “farmhouse” and 1,300-square-foot “cottage” are his most popular models, he also constructs mid-century ranch-style “moderns” and “micro cottages and shacks”: 700-square-foot cottages that start at $185,000. Customers can pick features from different models and combine them and choose where to put the driveway, said Petersheim. So far, Catskill Farms, which employs 15, has built more than 100 houses, with sales of $36 million. Nearly half of them were small farmhouses priced just under $350,000: the “sweet spot” for most customers, Petersheim said.

Most of his houses were built in Sullivan County, where land was cheaper and more available. It has been Petersheim’s dream to build houses in Ulster County, and last summer that dream became a reality. In 2012, he sold 18 homes, nine of which were in Ulster, and plans to expand into Columbia County next. The farther east he moves, the more expensive the houses: Petersheim said that his farmhouses sell for 12 percent more in Ulster than in Sullivan County and start around $395,000.

Petersheim said that the strength of Catskill Farms’ product is borne out by the fact that he has not only survived during the Great Recession, but prospered. Partly it’s because of his business savvy. For example, the company is vertically integrated, meaning that it offers everything from soup to nuts (realtor sales to the final paint job). And to save on the cost of spray foam, which he said is priced artificially high due to a monopoly, he started his own company, Ecotech Spray Foam, in 2009.

Based in Barryville, Petersheim said that working in Sullivan County has been challenging. “My day-to-day existence was one of loneliness and having no industry peers in what I was doing. I spent a lot of time in an area with scarce resources and a shallow pool of labor, and it was a real struggle to grow.” Hence, expanding into Ulster is a kind of arrival.

On the other hand, he said that his company serves as a gateway to the Catskills for many urbanites, regardless of the county, with an average of 12,000 hits to his website a month. “So many people fall in love with the area,” he said. “We would like to leverage real estate and construction skills and resell other homes. I’m positive we have many more challenges in front of us, but I’m excited there will be less of a headwind and more tailwind.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

"Birthday", the Beatles
 - James in the office and me weirdly share the same birthday.

"They say it's your birthday
Well, it's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

(Four, five, six, seven, eight!)

Yes, we're going to a party, party
Yes, we're going to a party, party
Yes, we're going to a party, party
I would like you to dance (birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha chance (birthday)
I would like you to dance (birthday)
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net ]

Dance, yeah
Whoo, Come on, C'mon, Baby

Happy birthday to youSongwriter(s): John Lennon, Paul Mccartney

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catskill Farms hits the Small Screen - HGTV's Selling NY


Catskill Farms featured on Valentine’s Day episode of HGTV hit, Selling New York

February 11, 2013 (Eldred, N.Y.) – The Valentine’s Day episode of HGTV’s top-rated Selling New York focuses on the search for an upstate country home with an old-fashioned look coupled with modern, working amenities. Like many young urban professionals drawn to the region have found, local design/build firm Catskill Farms fills that niche perfectly, having designed and built over 100 getaway homes in Sullivan and Ulster Counties. HGTV’s Selling New York will spotlight three of the builder’s unique homes on Thursday, February 14th at 6:30 p.m.  
The program, which debuted in 2010, features three of New York City’s top real estate companies selling properties to New York’s elite. Now in its fifth season with three million viewers, Selling New York recently taped an upcoming episode featuring Catskill Farms’ homes in the Narrowsburg area, a first for the series which usually focuses on luxury properties within New York City.

“After the great exposure we received from working with DIY’s Blog Cabin, Catskill Farms was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with HGTV’s most popular real estate program, Selling New York,” explained Charles Petersheim, Catskill Farms founder. “Millions of viewers will get a taste of the beauty and simplicity of life in Sullivan and Ulster Counties. We are proud three of our regionally-inspired custom farmhouses and cottages were highlighted as the ideal for someone seeking a Catskills getaway of their own.”

Catskill Farms was founded by Petersheim in 2002 after finding refuge in Sullivan County himself post-9/11. Positioning the Catskills as the ultimate escape from weekday city life, with the charm of country living in a classic farmhouse on a big, beautiful piece of land has helped Catskill Farms become one of the region’s most dynamic and successful design/build firms. The company’s success can be attributed to a clear mission: build small, well-designed, high-quality farmhouses and cottages for those seeking a simpler way of life. When most in the industry struggled to survive Catskill Farms more than doubled in size, with more than 100 total homes built throughout Sullivan and Ulster Counties, including over $3 million in sales in just the last three months. They completed and sold 18 homes in 2012, including 9 in Ulster County, and are currently expanding into the Rhinebeck/Hudson region.

Catskill Farms is also an important local success story and an example of how small business is fueling the economic recovery. During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this small homebuilder grew into a vertically-integrated development, design, construction and real estate company, expanded into Ulster County and continues to grow. They have won multiple awards and been recognized by the national press including USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Builder Magazine and the New York Daily News among many others.

For more information about Catskill Farms, please visit www.theCatskillFarms.com
Charles Petersheim founded Catskill Farms in 2001 after leaving NYC after 9/11. Since then he has designed and built more than 100 unique getaway homes in Sullivan and Ulster Counties for the NYC weekend crowd, specializing in well-crafted, well-designed, small homes, gaining national attention along the way.  He lives in a home he designed and built outside of Eldred, NY with his young son and Labrador.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dodged the Storm

Up here in western Upstate NY we dodged the storm.  We didn't, however, dodge the hysterics, school closings, business interruptions, etc..., but we didn't get much snow yesterday, and woke up with a nice 6" this morning (that's what she said).

A pic from my home office -

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New York Times Fashion Writer and Catskill Farms homeowner...

Strikes again with his slightly askew observations and interest-piquing insights.

The Fashion Week Diet

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hot 2011 Sales

Here are our hot homes from 2011.

Cottage 36 - 1400 sq ft (plus a finished basement)- Narrowsburg, NY - Under $450k
3 beds, 2 baths, 15 acres
Profession - Lawyers

Farmhouse 16 - 1500 sq ft (plus finished basement)- Narrowsburg, NY - Under $425k
3 beds, 1.5 baths, 8 acres
Profession - Beauty/Construction Management

Cottage 31 - 1300 sq ft - Narrowsburg, NY - Under $340k
2 beds, 2 baths, 7 acres
NYTimes writer/New Media (is that right Van?)

Cottage 34 - 1400 sq ft - Narrowsburg, NY - Under $400k
2 beds, 1.5 baths, 6 acres
Profession - Art

Micro Cottage 2  - 700 sq ft - Barryville, NY - Under $200k
1 bed, 1 bath, 7 acres
Profession - Art

Micro 3 - 790 sq ft - Barryville, NY - Under $225k
2 beds, 1 baths, 5 acres
Profession - Advertising

Barn IV - 1300 sq ft - Narrowsburg, NY - Under $350k
2 beds, 2 baths, 5 acres
Profession - Publishing

Cottage 33 - 1000 sq ft - Barryville, NY - Under $300k
2 beds, 1.5 baths, 7 acres
Profession - Finance

Farmhouse 15 - 2400 sq ft - Narrowsburg, NY - Under $500k
3 beds, 2.5 baths, 7 acres
Profession - Dr. of Chemistry

Farmhouse 11 - 1900 sq ft - Narrowsburg, NY - Under $475k
3 beds, 2.5 baths, 12 acres
Profession - Finance/IT (sorry guys no better pics)

Cottage 29 - 1000 sq ft - Barryville, NY - Under $250k
2 beds, 1.5 baths, 7 acres
Profession - Advertising

That's all folks.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Schoolhouse in Lumberland NY

So a couple of clients of mine who bought a cottage a few years back decided to pick up this old schoolhouse (and later incarnation as a gospel church) in Barryville, NY, and now we are renovating it into a 2 bedroom home (albeit with a lot of history).

When we found it it was this really great open big one-floor space.  We are poking a hole to the attic, building a staircase, and creating 2 bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs.  There's a great old bell tower up there too.

From a construction perspective, this was a real dozey - add in 0 degree temps when we started and a foot of snow and that made it a little harder.  But we had a good plan, the right machines and the right guys on the job and we hurdled those complexities without too much drama, cost or delay.