Yorktown Heights, NY Real Estate News

By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
There’s some lucky stiff spending eternal life on top of Marilyn Monroe thanks to either his vanity or warped humor, or his wife’s open-mindedness or wealth, or whatever circumstances led to the shelling out of $4.6 million at auction on eBay in 2011 to buy the crypt just above the blonde bombshell’s final resting place at a cemetery in Los Angeles. When we are alive and kicking, we put so much thought into where we want to live – the community, the neighborhood, the block, the style of house, the amenities – and sometimes, but not always, we put just as much thought into buying that piece of real estate where our remains will stay after our souls have left this earthly plane, whether it’s a plot of land with a headstone, a grand mausoleum, a crypt or an urn for the mantel. From what I’...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When I was a bachelor living in Manhattan, I had an acquaintance who would occasionally visit friends living in “the country” over the summer weekends. Maybe I was a little jealous about not knowing anybody outside the reaches of the steamy city because I found myself having little patience when he called me one day to complain at some length about having contracted a case of poison ivy in his friends’ garden during his last visit. I just didn’t want to pay much attention to his whining. The next day he called again and this time he upbraided me for not showing any sympathy about his itchy plight. Instead of apologizing and showing some concern, I made the mistake of marginalizing his condition by saying that I had frequently had poison ivy before moving to the city and that, while I fo...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
“Oh, no!” I exclaimed, when I came home from work one evening and witnessed the monstrosity of a commercial sign that had been installed directly across the street from our federal townhouse in Brooklyn Heights: a large glaring light box with the name “G. Marcolini & Sons Wine & Spirits,” so outsized that it actually reached a few feet over to the building next door which the Marcolinis also owned. The sign lit up the entire block. Like a wild man, I ran across the street into the store and all but accosted old man Marcolini asking how he could perpetrate such an outrage in New York City’s first historic neighborhood. Being no slouch himself, he responded with a few choice Italian expressions which I didn’t fully understand, but got the general gist. We never spoke again. That sign was ...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
This week, just when I thought I had finished my checklist of things my clients Diane and Don had to do prior to the listing of their gorgeous home and before the brokers’ open house, Don mentioned that he would paint the front door, which he thought was in need of refreshing. I said, oh yes, embarrassed that it was one item I hadn’t thought was really needed, but then, Don is such a perfectionist. But, wait, what color would he paint it, I asked? White, he responded, the same color it already was. Then it dawned on me. Why hadn’t I thought of it? Color pundits and feng shui consultants say that a front door should never, ever be painted white. It’s a cardinal rule. The theory is that the door should relate to the landscape in some way, and pure white is rarely found in nature. Would yo...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
For several years now, I’ve noticed that my Home Guru column has enjoyed advertising support by Miracle Home Improvements, but I didn’t know anything about the company, so I thought I’d call and introduce myself. When I asked for the owner I was directed to Robert Sniffen. I thanked him for his company’s support and asked if there was anything that he would consider unique about his services. “I certainly do,” he said. “I have a secret weapon: my wife Mary. She is my sole sales representative and she is very successful at it because women are the decision makers about home improvements and they relate better to another woman.” In thinking about that, I realized that for the many years I’ve been a homeowner, I have never once encountered a woman to pitch a home improvement job to me. Yet...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
When I rented my first apartment on my own, without roommates, my first purchase for it, even before I bought a bed, was a rug, a beautiful Karastan with a tree of life pattern in predominantly blue and red. I bought it as a hand-me-down from an eccentric friend who was a window dresser for Saks Fifth Avenue who decorated and re-decorated his apartment frequently, and I was a beneficiary of his discards. In the many years since that impulsive purchase that ate up a month of my salary, impulsive because I had to sleep on that carpet until I could afford a bed, I’ve purchased many rugs as my digs grew from that first studio in the city to a large home in the suburbs, and I always bought oriental and privately, second-hand, until now when my wife and I wanted all new for an all new home. W...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
Some of you may be old enough to remember the men’s movement of the mid-1970s, which I tolerated for a short while. Men would gather to pursue personal growth and to relate better to others by sharing issues and discussing how we might best deal with them. Personally it didn’t do much for me, but it was in one of these groups that I heard the most fantastic story about what we should not be doing ourselves around the house. I’ve waited more than 30 years to tell it. One night when it was a rather quiet member’s time to share, he told the story about how he had climbed a ladder on his two-story house to clean his gutters, lost his balance, fell and knocked himself unconscious. When he came to, he was in the emergency room, his wife by his side, having his head checked out. While there, h...
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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)
When you want to list your vacant land you need the rights R. E. agent Listing VACANT LAND for SALE can be very trying without proper agent.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 relationsh...
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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)
How To Calculate Capitalization Rate for Real Estate!!! First find a recent sold price of an income property, such as an apartment complex or Office Building. Example: Six unit apartment building (Office Building)sold for $400,000 For that same building, determine the net operating income, or the net rentals realized by the owners. Example: The rental income after expenses (net) is $36,000 Then divide the net operating income by the sale price and that will give you the cap rate. Example: $36,000 / $400,000 = .09 or a 9% Cap Rate (The Capitalization Rate) How To Calculate Capitalization Rate for Real Estate
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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)
4 Critical Home Fixes To Do Before Mom and Dad Move In With You   When an older relative decides to join your household, these four projects belong on the top of your to-do list: 1. In the bathroom, have a carpenter install safety rails in the tub and put up a grab bar disguised as a towel rack. Neglect to do this and your mom will use the towel or toilet paper racks to steady herself as she moves around the bathroom. When this causes the racks to give way, you’ll have to repair the drywall. Add a rubber bathmat or peel and stick non-slip strips to the bathtub or shower. 2. Get rid of throw rugs and rearrange furniture so your dad doesn’t have to walk around any pieces as he goes through the rooms in your home. Coil or tape any cords or wires to the wall, or have new electric outlets in...
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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)
Coldwell Banker Moves an Award Winning Web Site! This web site brings in a fantastic amount of business.As you can see from the chart below it out performsRaveis.com, Eliman.com, Randrealty.com, Houlihanlawrence.com, Juliabfee.com!  This web site brings in a fantastic amount of business.As you can see from the chart below it out performsRaveis.com, Eliman.com, Randrealty.com, Houlihanlawrence.com, Juliabfee.com! Coldwell Banker Moves an Award Winning Web Site!
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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)
2014 FIRST QUARTER RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE SALES REPORT The Market in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties, New York Has been on the rise for the past three years.Westchester, which accounts for about 60% of the region's Real estate Sales, led the way with a powerful 19.4% sales increase in it's single family house sector, and 21.0% in it's cooperative unit sector.
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
Women who have fought to claim their right to have jobs traditionally reserved for men have always fascinated me, and I have championed their cause.    When I was an Operations Officer at The Culinary Institute of America in the 1970s, I looked around and saw that only two of the 1200 enrolled students were women. I knew that something was wrong and set out on a promotional campaign to open American kitchens to women chefs. By the time I left the Institute in 1980, a third of the student population was female, and today when I read about remarkable achievements of women chefs, I feel that somehow I had a little something to do with that. It was only natural that when I showed up recently at Author’s Day at the Mahopac Public Library to talk about my book, “Musings of the Home Guru,” I w...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
This column comes with an advance warning: You may not believe it, but I swear to you, it’s true. It involves a feng shui seminar The Home Guru Team sponsored last week for my fellow associates at William Raveis Real Estate to celebrate my birthday.  I had recently met a fascinating feng shui practitioner named Deanna Trust whom I invited to join the Home Guru Team in order to offer her services to listing clients over a certain price point. Midway through the two hour presentation, my mouth was open, my eyes open even wider, as I realized that, unwittingly, I had created a set of conditions within my home that has revolutionized my life within the past three years. Would you believe me if I told you that only a few years ago, as a direct result of the tragedy of 9/11, I was down on my ...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
God has a great sense of humor. In the early 2000s when the Cappelli Organization came to Yorktown to reveal a plan for a large, luxury residential complex it wanted to build, I thought to myself I’d never want to live in a place like that. I thought it was just too big and expensive for our area. But, as I announced last week, I just bought into it. What happened during the intervening dozen years that has rendered me an enthusiastic buyer just dying to get into the place? A number of things. When first announced, the units were to be priced from the mid $500,000s  to $1.3 million. In our sleepy community where the average single-family house sold at the time for under $450,000, that seemed to me, as a member of our architectural review board, a bit out of whack. When I brought this to...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
Buyers are liars and sellers are storytellers is the first adage I heard when I got into real estate. While I got the gist of what the second phrase meant, I couldn’t quite grasp what agents meant when they called buyers liars. Then I caught on when I would hear such things as, “let me talk to my husband, I’ll get right back to you.” In my own case, I have a completely different interpretation of the expression. I was a liar, but only to myself, in what I said I wanted as a buyer because what I ended up buying just last week is completely different. After some years of promising–or threatening–to move from the home in which I have  been ensconced for 43 years, The Home Guru is moving. After having utilized my beloved and historic Ebenezer White House for a broad range of articles as I p...
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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)
National Association Of Realtors® Award  
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
The Home Guru has been away for a couple of weeks. The announced reason was that I was enjoying some well-deserved vacation after five years of never missing a single deadline, but really, I just needed to stop. I just needed to pull the emergency cord on practically everything that goes with holding house and home – and head and heart – together because I had a real emergency. It all started when I got involved with a community issue that was highly charged and polarizing. I took a position and utilized this column, in retrospect not the best venue, to engage readers and to express my views on the matter, using a metaphor unthinkingly that caused quite a ruckus. Some community members on the other side of the issue, some of them friends, became upset with me, some saying so quite point...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
It’s late and I’m sitting in my easy chair, comfy cozy with my comforter pulled up from my toes to my chest, protecting me from a cold winter’s night. My half glasses resting on the bridge of my nose, making me look like old man Silas Marner, I’m squinting into my laptop, happy as a clam in my not-so-humble abode, happy to be working on a project I love doing. Yes, life is good, life is perfect, safe and secure. Suddenly, I hear a warning buzz, then ominous silence. Then, the sound of a skillful landing nearby, unseen. I look around with trepidation. Is it on the lampshade? The end table? The side of my chair? Oh my God, could it be on ME?  I see nothing. Silence. Maybe that nasty little creature with the primitive shield on its back slithered into some crack in the space between the fl...
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By Bill Primavera
(William Raveis Real Estate)
“Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see,” was one of my mother’s favorite expressions when teaching me how to find my way in life.  When I became old enough to think for myself, however, I would say to myself, what kind of nonsense is that? But after a fancy, formal education as well as enduring a rather rigorous college of hard knocks, I find myself still relying a lot on those pearls of wisdom doled out at my mother’s knee. From time to time, however, I forget. Recently, I found myself in a situation where I believed everything I heard when I shouldn’t have. And I was ashamed of myself for it. As registered voters where we own homes, we all take part in the process of shaping what our towns are and what they are to become in the future. Through zoning codes and ...
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