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Monday, April 13, 2020

Business as Usual at Catskill Farms


Lulu,  my dog on the left, has a new friend, Izzy, on the right.   They play and play and play and play.  Lots of growling, running, rolling, nipping, chasing and fetching.

This home, ranch 36 in Kerhonkson, just went into contract.  We are just plugging along, staying in our lane, cautious but assured that we have a product that has sold in many different types of economic environments, and assured to know our margins are big enough that if we need to squeeze them, we can.  The same can't be said for most of our competitors, who can only exist in a boom-boom economy, because their prices are - by any historic measure - high.  We actually been able to raise our prices because of their lead, even with some skepticism of how long the party may last for them.


Funny byproduct of this pandemic is how much more time families are spending in their homes.   I mean, I guess it's not a secret, but one thing that makes our great homes awesome from a business plan vantage is how little they are used.  Take a home, put a fulltime family of 5 in them and all their friends and parties and get togethers - using each and every element and fixture and knob 12 times a day- , and watch how quickly the home has issues.  Our homes are used lightly, maybe 9 days a month, and a lot of families keep them in museum condition, so the warranty obligations and wear and tear on the home is just less.

But interestingly, now with families just camped out at their homes for a month plus, dealing with all sorts of emotions - boredom, sadness, crankiness, cabin fever, productiveness - we are getting a ton of emails from clients about this and that on their homes.  They aren't wrong - but frankly, it's more of a pivot of their use, and a perception of priorities, that is driving the warranty claims and house questions, not any increased or decreased quality of the home.  People are in their homes, bored, so why not write the builder!?  I get it, we are cataloging and will attack as necessary when the 'stay home' order is lifted.

Which brings me to my biggest spur in my saddle about this whole stay at home order.  Seriously, why is fast food open?  How can that be considered essential?

First, it's unhealthy from a purely nutritional vantage.

Two, from a virus spreading vantage, what could be worse than having the same cashier, and then the same food distributor touching the money, exchanging the germs, with the hundreds of people per hour that come through the pickup window?  From what I've seen, no gloves, no protocol after each diner, just business as usual with maybe now a glass partition and an ill-fitting mask.

How you can argue fast food is essential and not dangerous, but single family non-urban residential construction somehow threatens us all?  let me see here, fast food deals with hundreds of people per hour, single family construction is lightly staffed, lots of space, typically pretty solitary, and a lot of times outdoors?

Single Family residential construction is well-paid is well paid and provides the lifeblood of many families, yet here we have an industry (fast food) that is allowed to continue that barely pays a living wage, serves crap food, and has every opportunity to spread the virus (think of one server with the virus) vs well-paid, non-public facing hardworking tradesmen?  it's stupid, and it sort of pisses me off, and makes me wonder what type of game Gov Cuomo is playing, since he has always been serving some well-heeled master in the past.  He's smarter than this.

Is it safe to eat fast food every day? - Quora

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