White Plains, NY Real Estate News

By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
In my job I do a LOT of driving.  After all, "I bring the store to your door" always carting around my hardwood, carpet and tile samples.  I have a hunch a lot of you drive around, too. Well a week or so ago, my GPS broke.  It was on my way to an appointment, and of course I only had 4-5 extra minutes to spare.  Luckily, my part-time office assistant was both around and in front of the internet, so she went on to mapquest and gave me directions (which I had to remember which was challenging given my lack of sleep).  But, I made it, and just in time. I couldn't believe how dependent I had become on this gadget.  I use this to go everywhere - to all my appointments, to get back home, to find the local starbucks or the closest restaurant.  Now, that I have it, I couldn't imagine living wit...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
What type of flooring is better for your bedroom in Westchester NY?  Carpet or hardwood flooring?  My customers seem to be split on this one, and my simple answer is it depends on 2 things:  1) what is your budget and 2) what did you grow up with?      Most customers and realtors agree that hardwood is best for common living areas such as the living room and dining room.  In Westchester, NY and Fairfield, CT, by far that is the preferred choice.  It looks better, it's easier/less expensive to maintain, it lasts longer and it improves the value to the home.  Even though it costs more than laminate or carpet, it will last so much longer that in the long run, it will actually cost less. But, for the bedroom, customers seem to be more split - prob 50% prefer hardwood and 50% prefer carpet. ...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
What is a floating floor?  I get this question often from customers because someone has told them they should get it.  But, they don't understand what a floating floor is.  Do you?  (Lots of customers get this term confused). Technically, a floating floor means that it is "floating" on top of the floor below it and is not directly secured to the floor (i.e. no nails and no glue).  Instead it is held down or secured around the edges of the room - the base molding/shoe molding and transitions.  This is often used if it is going over an existing floor or on top of cement - more abt this later.  Now, because the floor is floated and not secured to the floor there tends to be a bit more movement in the floor - you especially see and hear this in laminate floors and it's more noticeable if it...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
Designing a kitchen backsplash can sound tricky and intimidating.  Many of my customers call me and just don't know where to start. So, here are a few tips to get you on your way.   1.  Decide the objective of your backsplash - Do you want it to be a focal point or just to blend in?  This will determine how you go about it (i.e. how fancy, now intricate).  If you have new granite countertops and beautiful new cabinets, you might prefer for one of those to be focal point.  What trips people up is that they start looking at each section of the kitchen separately and you can't do it.  It's one room and it needs to work holistically together.  If everything fights for your attention, it's distracting.  More often than not, the backsplash is usually meant to blend in and help unify the other...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
Should you install tile yourself? Tile is the one flooring surface that so many do-it-yourselfers think they can install themselves (or they have a friend who can do it). And, tile is also the one surface, moreso than any other surface, where I see such a wide spectrum of skills and some VERY messed up tile jobs, so this is a big watch-out.   Because tile is so labor expensive, it is the most expensive surface to install. And, because it’s more expensive, it’s one of the areas customers try to save on, especially these days. Sometimes these jobs are done by do-it-yourselfers, sometimes by handymen, sometimes by people who are handy. Regardless, this can sometimes lead to major issues, and personally I think it’s best to have a professional tile installer help you.   By far, the biggest ...
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By Ruthmarie Hicks
(Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605)
  Trump Tower – White Plains – Sales History -  2006-2010* The chart below follows the median sales price of 2 BR units at Trump from 2006 through 2009.  Sales of 1BR and 3BR units were too sparse to make any statistical trends valid.  The average sales price peaked in the second half of 2006.  After that there was a gradual decline in the average price which appeared to be leveling off until the the crash of 2008.  Like the rest of White Plains,  prices declined significantly following the stock market crash.  accelerated after the stock market crash of 2008. The current average sales price is $692,000, in a market with low volume which might skew the results.  This is roughly a 21% drop off the highs of 2006.  This number roughly parallels  the drop in price that we have seen in White...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
For those of you who don't know, I'm a true pet lover.  I have 2 cats that are from one of my customers - I can't get my digital to work so I'm sorry I can't share these 2 cute, soft babies with you.   They are so fun and so cuddly and I could go on and on. Also, I love meeting my customer's pets, and better yet, it's so cool when I go to a repeat customer's home a year later and the pet still remembers me. Anyway, my cats are always with me when I'm at home - they follow me from room to room.  They hear every conversation that I have, and I often wonder if they can understand.  I think at times they really can, although I know at times I'm imposing my own wishes and beliefs just hoping they can.  But, I swear, at times they have different expressions on their face and in their eyes. At...
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By Ruthmarie Hicks
(Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605)
Late last week, I logged onto the MLS and received quite  a surprise.  No less than 10 new listings at Trump Tower and an additional 3 new listings at the Ritz Carlton.  Some were at very competitive prices. So what gives? Did 10 families living at Trump suddenly say “I’m outta here?”  No. All save one of these listings trace back to Mr. Cappelli’s headquarters in Valhalla.  The last units that have not been sold are on the market now.  Most of these units were on the market at various times over the past four years.  This time, the asking price has been reduced significantly.  They range from $565k – $1.449 million. The Downtown White Plains Condo Market: Added to the 10 listings already on the market at Trump (most of them resales) this doubles the number of listings currently on the...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
When it comes to carpets, stain protection is important. In fact, its often the primary reason that carpets need to be replaced. Well Shaw has recently upgraded their stain protection. Not only is it applied to carpet before its tufted (so it’s good from root to tip), but now they warranty their carpets even longer. To demonstrate the point of resistant their carpets are to stains, they created the world’s largest pie throwing contest. Check out how this carpet survives.   It’s quite impressive. Personally, I love Shaw carpets. They have so many soft and pretty ones. And, as you can see from the video, they are very practical, too.   Oh, and here’s the technical aspects behind it – check out this video. While not as fun as the pie throwing, the demonstrations are quite impressive.   Whe...
Comments 6
By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
The Janka hardness test measures the hardness of wood. It measures the force required to embed a 0.444 inch steel ball into wood to half the ball's diameter.  It is a good measurement technique to determine the relative hardness across hardwoods. Red oak is used as the standard and its hardness is 1,290 on the Janka scale.  White oak is just a bit harder at 1,360.  Bamboo is a bit harder at 1,380 (see my past blog on bamboo flooring - is it hard or soft?) and maple a bit harder than that at 1,450. But, if you shift toward the exotic hardwoods from South America, the woods are on a different wavelength.  The popular Brazilian Cherry is 2,350 - almost twice as hard as red oak.  And, Brazilian walnut comes in at 3,684 - nearly triple the hardness of red oak. Below is a listing of many hard...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
How many times have you been to your friends' house, ready for an enjoyable evening only to be told at the door by your smiling friend "take your shoes off"? Well, one of the dirty little secret of the carpet industry is just this...keeping your shoes off might actually result in you shortening the life of your carpet when compared to your guests wearing their shoes.Here is why....going shoeless on carpets actually transfers bodily oils into the carpet fibers that over time cause dirt to attach to the carpet fibers, and even regular vacuuming and steam clean won't remove the oils. The results is that repeated use only builds up a mix of oils and dirt that eventually weakens carpet fibers, and yes, eventually shortening the true life of your carpet. Now, usually for hardwood, the opposit...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
Here are some tips to make your home look larger - from the perspective of your floor. 1.  Use same flooring material and color across rooms.  Whenever possible, continue that same surface across rooms.  Here in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, hardwood is the preferred surface, and this by the way is one of the reasons we are seeing the trend to add hardwood to the kitchen - by continuing the same surface, you connect the space and it just looks larger.  But, whatever the surface, try to be consistent wherever possible. 2.  Use lighter colors.  Lighter makes the space look larger.  Same goes for walls. 3.  Use wider planks.  Wider makes the space look larger.  Same goes for tile - larger tiles make the space look larger.  (BTW, parquet hardwood makes the space look smaller, so stay away...
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By Ruthmarie Hicks
(Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605)
White Plains New York homes have been following patterns seen throughout  county with Westchester county  homes for sale  continuing to drop in value.  Sales volume was up during the period that the tax credit was in place.  But like much of the county, sales volume has has dropped across the board to 2009 levels since after the expiration of that stimulus. For Q2 2010  prices for White Plains NY homes for sale were down from the previous year.   Single family homes – which took  the brunt of the housing decline last year – had less of a correction this year.  The good news here is that as far as single family homes in White Plains goes – we may be still trending down, but the steep declines apparent between 2008-2009 are not present.   The story is different and more discouraging for ...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
Did you know that hardwood flooring can boost a home's selling price? Sorry all - I can't seem to upload the picts today. You might want to consider upgrading to hardwood - both for current enjoyment of home as well as resale potential down the road.  The luxurious look and feel of hardwood is on the upswing.  The latest trends are towards the more exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany, Bamboo, and Brazilian Walnut. Wider planks, especially those that are 5 inches or more wide, are also in style.  Many consumers prefer the latest engineered hardwood which hides the gapping that you can see between planks during the arid winter months.  Wider planks tend to make rooms look bigger, as does a diagonal lay. In some areas of the country consumers are also going for a mor...
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By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
This is the market report for the single family home sale activity for the county seat, White Plains, for July of 2010. The city has a number of zip codes, as well as many other types of housing (multi family, condos, co ops) and I can break the activity down down by zip code or property type by request. This should give an overall trend of the market compared to July of 2009. All information is from the Westchester Putnam Multiple Listing Service for single family homes in White Plains. Things are looking up. Sales are up, the median price is up, and there are a whopping 42 homes under contract, which equals almost one third of the available homes for sale. The same condition existed back in May, and the market is showing no signs of cooling off with Autumn approaching. This speaks to ...
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By Anthony Stokes-Pereira, Realtor
(Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty)
Every season, Anthony Stokes Pereira, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty collects information about community events throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley for our clients, colleagues, and friends. If you would like to suggest events for inclusion in the summer, fall or winter guides, just email me your event and contact information at anthony.stokespereira@randrealty.com White Plains, NY August 13 thru August 21,  - The White Plains Performing Arts Center proudly presents the following performances: August 13, 14, 8 PM, Aug 15, 2 PM - 25th Spelling Bee August 20, 21, 8 PM, Once Upon a Mattress White Plains Performing Arts Center, 11 City Place (914) 328-1600 www.wppac.com  Ongoing thru September 26, Sundays, 10-2 PM, White Plains - Bicycle Sundays. The Bronx River Parkway opens...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
More and more I am getting customers who want green flooring products.  This really makes me happy.  Sometimes it's easy to find a solution; other times it's challenging to find something that is green but doesn't cost too much green.  So what flooring products are green? Well, if you're talking hard surfaces, many of the following can classify as green products: Bamboo Cork Laminate Some hardwoods Linoleum For carpeting, it's often more challenging to find green options. Wool Sisal (or jute or seagrass) Some nylons are greenish (can be recycled and/or use partially recycled materials)   Bamboo and cork are green because they grow rapidly and are easily replenished...in fact, within 5-7 yrs.  These are true green products but still make sure it's a reputable manufacturer you are working...
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By Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
(The Flooring Girl)
I love hardwood.  Besides the fact that it's beautiful and can improve the value of the home, I love how it can redefine the house - make it feel all new again.  One of the things I really enjoy with hardwood is showing customers the range of options, especially when I show them ones they never even knew existed. Exotic hardwoods, which are mostly grown in South America (esp Brazil), are rapidly growing in popularity.  They are much harder than those grown in the US.  For perspective, Red Oak which is the standard of hardness is 1,290 on the hardness scale, while Brazilian Cherry is 2,350 almost twice as hard.  And, on the other extreme is Brazilian Teak and Brazilian Walnut which are over 3,600 - almost 3 times as hard as oak. But the main reason customer love the exotic hardwood is be...
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By Anthony Stokes-Pereira, Realtor
(Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty)
August 10, 7 PM, White Plains - "Summer Movie Madness" at Saxon Woods Pool. This event features an outdoor movie and barbeque. Adults $15, children 3 & under free. For information on other pool parties, barbecues and movies at Westchester County Parks please call (914) 995-4480. www.westchestergov.com/parks   This community event is provided as a service. As event information is provided by organizers and can change without notice, we advise you to contact organizers directly to confirm all details. Every effort is made to provide information that is accurate. However, information of this community event is subject to change at any time by the organizerses. Every season, Anthony Stokes Pereira, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty collects information about community events throughout W...
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