Yorktown Heights, NY Real Estate News

By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
Are You Selling Your Vacant Land, Fall is the perfect time to sell!!!! When most buyers look at vacant land in the Spring and Summer they have trouble envisioning what a home would look like on the Vacant Land. This is because the leaves and bushs block their vision of the property. When there are no leaves they can see the lay of the land and can better envision the location and layout of the property. Are You Selling Your Vacant Land, Fall is the perfect time to sell!!!!
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
Well, I think the MARKET is BACK!!! How About YOU?   Well in the past 6 weeks I have 5 Clients that had put things on hold come back to the market.   I have gotten 28 calls on my cell from new clients.   Picked up 7 new clients on the up desk.   Do you think the MARKET is BACK????   I have put 8 new listings up. And just did two more CMA’s.   I have 3 Accepted offers for Buyers.   Do you think the MARKET is BACK????   I have seen 6 listings go into bidding wars and 5 go for more than asking.   There have been a lot of new listings that have come on the market and have accepted offers in the first 30 Days.   Some gone in the first week.   Well, I think the MARKET is BACK!!! How About YOU?
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
If you are Selling or Buying Your Vacant LandLand Easements, How do they effect your purchase or sale? When you are looking to buy a parcel of Vacant Land, you'll want to make sure where the utility (power, water, septic or sewer and telephone) easements are if any. You'll also want to make sure that the road is public or private. These easements can sometimes hinder you ability to build. Utility easements will have an area around them included in the easement so the easement can be maintained. Also a huge Power Line easement will sometimes have setbacks required by the municipality. When you buy a lot, access to the lot may not be obvious. There may be other property between you and the main road. Any utilities in the area may have to cross another property to get to your lot. You need...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
My friend Dave Goldberg, the plumbing and heating supplier in upper Westchester, now retired from his own business, called me last week to tell me that he had joined the board of Freedom Gardens in Mohegan Lake in upper Westchester and asked me if I might visit it. He didn’t have to tell me what it was because I knew it as a small colony of homes for the disabled that I would drive by regularly during a period that I owned a “country” home in Putnam Valley, just 11 miles away from my regular home in Yorktown Heights. And just recently, on my town’s architectural review board, I participated in the review of its development of three new homes and club house. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to explore housing needs for the disabled which surprisingly enough is a consideratio...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
Would you believe that 52 percent of American companies operate as home businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration? My wife and I have occupied that category almost from the day we were married and perhaps, at least on my side of the family, it was ordained. I was fascinated when as a child my mother told me that my paternal grandfather had been a soda bottler in Philadelphia, and more interestingly, that his bottled sarsaparilla was delivered to and stocked by the corner store owned by the father of the wildly popular singer at the time, Mario Lanza. When I asked where the bottling plant was located, I was astonished to learn that it was based in the basement of my grandfather’s row home, and further, that the returned bottles were hand scrubbed with round brushes ...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When I was 10 years old, I had a summer experience of great wonderment. My father had taken a short term work assignment in Lynchburg, Virginia, and my mother, he and I took up temporary residence in an in-town ante-bellum mansion that had come upon hard times after the Civil War and was split up into rooms for transient tenants like us. There was an unkempt back yard that was a bramble of underbrush that seemed all but impenetrable. In an apartment on the first floor of the building was a couple, Bella and Jake, who looked after the premises as caretakers. They were both world weary and Jake was particularly weather beaten. Sometimes in the late afternoon he would sit rocking on the back porch and tell me stories about the Civil War in which his dad had been a drummer as a boy. One day...
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As a young child I was overly impressed by the movie “Gone with the Wind,” especially Scarlett O’Hara’s line, “I’ll think about it tomorrow,” and whenever there’s been an unpleasant task at hand, I’ve frequently pulled it from my bag of tricks to accommodate procrastination. Now as I tread gingerly through my Golden Years, that trick doesn’t seem to serve me very well and it’s become all but impossible for me to live with certain gnawing aggravations that I’ve tolerated for years on end and done nothing about. Among them are a few annoying spots on my carpets and upholstery from which I’ve averted my eyes for years. Lately they serve beacons of frustration, especially since I’ve started writing as The Home Guru. Some 25 years ago, I stumbled upon a great opportunity near my New Orleans ...
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
  SO FAR YOU HAVE REFRAINED FROM LISTING YOUR PROPERTY WITH ME! SINCE THE YEAR 2000 I HAVE PARTICIPATED IN OVER 100 LAND DEALS! EITHER AS THE LISTING AGENT OR THE SELLING AGENT! THAT MAKES ME THE #1 AGENT IN LAND SALES SINCE THE YEAR 2000! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SELL YOU PROPERTY, YOU SHOULD LIST IT WITH ME RIGHT AWAY WHILE THE BUILDERS AND BUYERS THAT WANT TO BUILD THIS YEAR ARE STILL LOOKING. THE LAND MARKET HAS NO BOUNDARIES, EXCEPT THE ONE YOU PUT ON YOURSELF BY LISTING WITH SOMEONE THAT IS NOT VERY EXPERIENCED IN LAND SALES. Don't Miss The Opportunity To List Your Property   With An Expert That Gets The Job Done!!!!! SO FAR YOU HAVE REFRAINED FROM LISTING YOUR PROPERTY WITH ME!      
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When I first met Kim and Matt Cozza and their teenage daughter Sydney, I knew I would enjoy helping them find a home because they said they would consider an historic one and, as a realtor, I had developed a specialty in historic homes, having studied early American architecture at The College of William & Mary in Virginia and having interned at Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts, with the intention of becoming a museum curator. But, somehow that profession and my more gregarious personality didn’t seem to match up, and I ended up in the more “out there” fields of public relations, then real estate, instead. However, I have enjoyed owning and restoring two historic homes which has greatly enhanced my living experience, and I have been fortunate to be called upon to list and sell a good n...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When the bundle of energy that is Hillary Sheperd bursts into a room, or in this case, into the sidewalk café where our networking meeting was taking place, you can’t help but take notice. I overheard her apologize to friends for her tardiness with snippets about “traffic” and just having had to deal that day with a really “dirty, dirty” job. My ears picked up. “You mean you do dirty work like Mike Rowe on ‘Dirty Jobs’ on TV?” I asked her as soon as I could grab her attention. “Yes, I’m the female Mike Rowe,” she responded, extending a friendly hand. More questions revealed that Sheperd is co-owner with her husband Forrest, a contractor, of a ServPro franchise serving the mid and lower Westchester area. The company handles fire and water cleanup and restoration, mold removal and remedia...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When I announced in the office sales meeting at William Raveis that The Home Guru Team was just about to list a great “mother/daughter” house, my office manager Doris Ellias gently advised me that “now it’s suggested that we refer to them as ‘extended family’ houses.” Oh, no, I exclaimed mentally, now we have yet another widely accepted housing term that is considered either politically incorrect or unacceptable to the Fair Housing Act’s advertising guidelines. I looked for any reference to support Doris’ notation and couldn’t find anything, but I’m sure she’s right. After all, my friend Steve Welles lives in that kind of set-up with his two sons, Shane and Cody and why should his house be called a “mother/daughter” and not a “father/son?”   So, I guess “extended family” can cover a bro...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
It was more than 40 years ago, but I still feel the sting of being swindled by an unscrupulous home improvement contractor. As a young couple, my wife and I had just managed to qualify for a mortgage and cobble together enough money for a down payment to buy our large historic house that at that time was in fairly poor condition. We didn’t have much money left for needed improvements but it was essential to renovate the mudroom which was literally falling off the house. It was the main entrance from the driveway to the kitchen and needed the works: a cement floor, new framing, roof, new door, insulation, a half bath, and closet. Our friends Linda and Michael who had moved to Westchester just before us recommended a contractor who gave us a quote of $2,000 for job and told us he required...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
The historic house was one of the loveliest I had ever listed, but it was on the market for over a year and, while it had many showings, it hadn’t yet gotten a single offer. When it came time to relist it, the owners and I considered what else we might do to make the home more attractive to a broader reach of buyers. Noting that their hardwood floors were somewhat dull and faded, I suggested that they might consider the investment of having them refinished. I had heard of a floor refinisher named Debbie Gartner, aka “The Flooring Girl,” who had established a reputation in the Hudson Valley region for excellent work at reasonable prices and suggested her to the owners (visit her at www.TheFlooringGirl.com). As Home Guru readers would know, I’m always intrigued when I find a woman supplie...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
For more than a dozen years, The Home Guru has been observing and writing about the housing market and home building design, repair and maintenance. I have focused on hundreds of widely varied subjects, sometimes into areas quite unexpected. Who would expect a home columnist to write a treatise on mattresses or toilets or delve into the ghosties that still live among us? No matter how far flung my pen or keyboard may reach, there are so many thousands of topics that deal with the experience of “home” that this column could last far beyond my earthly years. Even though it’s not my favorite kind of reporting, I’m reminded from time to time, especially when my editor forwards me the quarterly report from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR) which manages our Multiple Listing S...
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
I Am Who Should You List Your Vacant Land With!   Listing your VACANT LAND for SALE, it can be very trying. Most agents in the business have never listed or even sold a piece of VACANT LAND. You are going to want and AGENT with EXPERIENCE in BOTH LISTING and SELLING LAND.The first way to do this is to ask them for a list of PAST and PRESENT LISTINGS. If they can not produce these, than they are not the right agent for you. The second thing you want is a list of actual sales. This is sometimes more important than a lot of listings because it shows they can get the job done. The third thing is their knowledge of what it takes to get approvals in your area to build on the property. Also the knowledge of who can help you get these approvals and the relationship one process has to the other....
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
Vacant land sales will be making a come back in 2014! In 2013 from Jan 1st to Dec 31st the were only a total of 107 land sales in Westchester and Putnam County. So far in 2014 there have been 51 sales already but as of today there are already 52 more in contract. I am hoping that the total number of sales will reach 120, based on the in-contacts and the number of properties on the market that seem to be better priced than the average listings over the past few years. As they say the " Lord is not making any more vacant land" We have seen builders buy old homes and knock them done to make their own vacant land, it is good to see vacant land price come down to earth! Vacant land sales will be making a come back in 2014!
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
The Record Continues-- Number 1 From Jan 1st 2000--Dec 31st 2013  Based on MLS Records Tom Santore has done more vacant land deals than anyone else from Jan 1st 2000--Dec 31st 2013! If you are trying to sell your Vacant Land and are not having any success, You should call the agent that has consistently gotten the job done. Vacant land is a specialty that Tom has mastered, and continues to find ways to improve his skills by continually educating himself on all the new rules and regulations concerning Vacant Land approvals Tom has bought, gotten approvals and sold vacant land of his own and can help you get yours sold!!   The Record Continues-- Number 1 From Jan 1st 2000--Dec 31st 2013  Based on MLS Records Tom Santore has done more vacant land deals than anyone else from Jan 1st 2000--D...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
The conversation started on the 4th of July weekend about a beautifully written essay in The New York Times by a man who had found Leaves of Grass to be a beacon of hope when growing up in the South as an Evangelical harboring the secret that he was gay. My wife somehow had missed the homoerotic messages of Whitman’s work and was as surprised as when she first learned that Rock Hudson was gay. “But it was a nun who put that book in my hand,” she said. That comment struck me funny because, when I went to Catholic school in Philadelphia, the only thing I remember a nun putting into my hand was a ruler with a smart whack. When I asked my mother why that nun was so mean to me, she said, “Because she’s Irish and you’re Italian!” Maybe my first grade nun had issues, but obviously my mother di...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When she visited at Christmas, my daughter Emma who is very sensitive to such things alerted me that there must be mold in our living room. She could sense it as soon as she walked into the room, which very honestly is used only for special occasions nowadays. I looked into all the corners of the room along the baseboard and found no evidence of it, but a thought popped into my head and it was a correct assumption. In one far corner is an early nineteenth century chest with a glass door-enclosed bookcase on top displaying my collection of antique books, mostly for show, about old New York. Sure enough, on the top shelf, a whole section of them, neglected for some time, was covered with a powdery film of bluish, dusty mold. I closed the doors and thought, oh well, might as well ignore it...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When you are working on a job around the house or in the garden, are you like me in that your mind wanders to dreams of worlds to be conquered or occasional regrets about paths not taken? I had never thought about what might occupy the minds of others as they tackle home projects until I met Steve Haggerty who makes a living of it as a contractor. In his case, thoughts on the job feed his passion as a poet and writer. Traveling along a road on the way to a job, he might see a fog settling over a field with a cows and, rather than worry that the mist might slow his arrival at the work site, he makes a mental note of how the scene might fit into his writing later in the day. He observes the will of a blade of grass struggling through a crack in concrete and makes another notation, perhaps...
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