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High sales pace, shrinking inventory in Hudson Valley housing

By John Golden – April 12, 2017

High sales volume in the Hudson Valley region’s housing market has contributed to a markedly shrunken inventory, which lost about one-fifth of its listings at the end of this year’s first quarter compared with a year ago.

The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, in its quarterly report for the four-county region served by Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, said brokers reported 3,700 first-quarter closings in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties. That amounted to a 9 percent increase from the first quarter of 2016, with an additional 309 single-family houses, condominiums, co-operatives and two- to four-family dwellings sold.

Rockland County led the region with a 29.3 percent increase in first-quarter sales of all housing types. Sales of single-family homes in Rockland were up nearly 24 percent, with 444 houses sold. That number represents about 40 percent of the number of single-family homes sold in the first quarter across the Hudson River in Westchester.

The 1,092 single-family houses sold in Westchester was a 7.1 percent increase from the first quarter of 2016. Sales of all housing types in the county were up 4.4 percent, with 1,929 closings. First-quarter declines in condo sales – 261 units sold, down 6.8 percent – and two-to four-family houses – 132 sold, down 9 percent – were offset by a more than 10 percent jump in co-op sales, with 444 sold from January through March.

Sales-leading Rockland saw its first-quarter median sale price for a single-family house climb back above the $400,000 level to $425,000, up 6.5 percent increase from the first quarter of 2016. A 37 percent increase in first-quarter condominium sales in Rockland, where 118 condos were sold, was accompanied by a 10.7 percent rise in the median sale price of a condo, to $217,500.

In Westchester, the median sale price of a single-family house climbed back to $600,000, where it stood in the first quarters of 2014 and 2015, after dropping 5.3 percent in the first quarter last year.

While Westchester condo sales dropped nearly 7 percent in the first quarter, the median sale price of the 261 units sold was $360,000, a 7.2 percent increase.

As the region’s real estate market this year has continued its five-year recovery, housing inventory has been depleted to levels that could create pressure for price increases, according to the housing report. Yet though the four counties’ end-of-quarter inventory shank by 20.3 percent, “The effect on prices has been mixed.”

Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors CEO Richard Haggerty in his quarterly market analysis noted that not much has changed since last year in the local, state and national real estate markets. “Perhaps the only truly dark cloud on the horizon is the prospect of an overhaul of the nation’s tax code which could severely injure the housing market – or maybe help it?”

“Either way,” he said, “that won’t happen until much later in the year. Otherwise, the HGAR real estate market is in excellent shape for continued high sales volume with manageable price increases in some sectors.”

High sales pace, shrinking inventory in Hudson Valley housing

6 WAYS TO DECORATE YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO (ON A BUDGET)

6 WAYS TO DECORATE YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO (ON A BUDGET)

July 29, 2015

As if paying for the down payment and the attendant closing costs on your home weren’t expensive enough, putting your personal design in your new home can easily add up. But it doesn’t have to. Ariel Farmer, a designer with Homepolish, an interior design startup, shares six tips on how to tackle affordable home decorations.

Decorating a new home can be expensive.

While you may not have $20,000 to overhaul the design of your home, that shouldn’t matter, says Ariel Farmer, an interior designer with Homepolish, a popular interior decorating startup. Homepolish is among a crop of new sites — like Hem, Remodo, and Houzz — that help homeowners decorate their homes at reasonable budgets.

“A small budget doesn’t mean you should settle for subpar design. There are so many opportunities to create big impact at an affordable cost. My go-to design trick is the Ikea Rens sheepskin — whether on the floor or thrown over a lounge chair. It never ceases to be chic and sophisticated,” says Farmer.

To help you find the right design for your home, Farmer offers six simple home design guidelines for you (and your decorating budget) to follow.

1. Make a plan and assess what you need

The first question Farmer advises you ask yourself is what are the pieces of furniture you want to keep and which are the ones you’re willing to part with?

If you have the budget to buy a set of new furniture, Farmer suggests you look into buying foundational pieces that are color-neutral.

“If you’re going to look for new sofas or chairs, I would go with either a nice beige or a light gray color,” she adds.

For those homeowners who may be reluctant to part with existing pieces of furniture, they can always mix in new pieces with the old. If you’re looking for new furniture, Farmer suggests homeowners visit online sites that sell attractive furniture at favorable prices, like Wayfair, One Kings Lane, Target, and Dot & Bo. If you’re operating with a tight budget (like $1,500 and under), Farmer says sourcing thrift stores and Etsy, which you can use to find furniture items close to where you live, are affordable ways to find new furniture.

2. Avoid buying matching sets of furniture

Furniture stores that offer a $699 deal for a furniture set that includes a sofa, a love seat, and an ottoman may sound appealing. But Farmer suggests you avoid those deals altogether.

“Your furniture will actually have much more longevity if you focus on each item individually,” says Farmer.

Instead, Farmer advises you dedicate more of your decorating budget toward a new sofa. You can also find a new lounge chair or ottoman in a thrift store and reupholster it.

“It’s better to have a living room full of furniture that is collected over time than a big box store deal that looks dated in six months,” says Farmer.

3. Choose paint colors and hardware design

“Before you get too heavily involved with the furniture pieces, make sure you do things like picking out the paint colors, figuring out if you want to swap out any hardware [like door handles and faucets], and what kind of hardware you are going to replace it with,” says Farmer.

For instance, swapping out door handles for new ones in the kitchen and repainting the front of a door white can “elevate the design,” she adds.

4. Work out the floor plan

Before you design the space, figure out how you want to use the space.

“Are you going to entertain a lot? Will you need seating for additional people? Do you want to have a more formal sitting arrangement?” asks Farmer.

Answering these questions will help homeowners tailor the layout of the furniture in a way that will be conducive to their lifestyles.

5. Think about the home’s aesthetic

“I always remind clients to think big picture,” says Farmer. “It’s important not to let decor and fabric options overwhelm you. At the end of the day, a pillow is just one moment in the grand scheme of things.”

Homeowners should instead have the shell of the space figured out and know what types of furniture are going to be needed. Determining the finishes and the materials of the space beforehand will allow for a more seamless design process.

6. Personalize your decorations

Hanging family photos in a wall gallery pattern, stocking your favorite books in your bookshelves, and using living designs (like trees and plants) can bring a personal touch to any space.

Art is another way to personalize your living spaces, especially if you don’t want to paint the walls to bring in colors and pattern to the room, says Farmer.

Websites like Minted, 20×200, and Tappan Collective offer wall art at affordable prices.

Design isn’t just limited to home goods. One client of Farmer’s had spent $700 of the $1,000 he set aside for his design budget and was looking for one last affordable decoration.

“We just bought a small fiddle leaf fig tree and put it in the corner of his living room, and that alone had such an impact,” says Farmer.

 

 

Ariel Farmer is a designer with Homepolish, an online design company. (Claire Esparros)

Bluestone Commons – Rentals for Active Adults Now 50% leased!

GRAND OPENING!!!

Join us for the Grand Opening of the Bluestone Commons, Orange County New York’s most scenic Active Adult Rental Communities.

Spacious master bedrooms to indulge in. A private Clubroom to gather with friends. A Fitness Room for daily work outs. A Yoga Studio for relaxing. A Library/Media Room to unwind with a book or do research on the computer. Amenities abound at Orange County New York’s new rental community for Active Adults 55 and better, Bluestone Commons!

Located in Maybrook, Orange County, NY and within five miles of shopping, recreation and hospitals, Bluestone Commons offers one story living with 1 and 2 bedroom residences starting at $1,150 per month, complete with oversized kitchens and spacious master bathrooms. Conveniently located near I-84 and Stewart Airport, you are a short drive to shopping, restaurants, farmers markets, antiques, wineries and more. With the abundance of activities Orange County New York offers, you will never be at a loss for something to do.

Come home each day to a serene neighborhood nestled in the quaint village of Maybrook. Bluestone Commons provides both liveliness and relaxation coupled with affordable Active Adult living in charming style. Whether you are in the mood for a walk around the pond and meticulously landscaped grounds or venturing into the beauty and excursions Orange County is known for, come and see why you’ll want to call Bluestone Commons “Home”.

Call 845-427-7444 for a private viewing or visit www.bluestonecommons.com for more information and directions to Bluestone Commons.