Tom Brokaw lists 56-acre Pound Ridge estate for $6.3M | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Tom Brokaw and 43 South Bedford Road (Credit: Getty Images and Ginnel Real Estate)

Newscaster Tom Brokaw’s 56-acre estate in Pound Ridge, N.Y., has hit the market, asking $6.3 million.

The family compound, which sits on the edge of a private lake, includes a 4,000-square-foot main house, plus a pool house and caretaker’s cottage. The NBC legend bought the estate at 43 South Bedford Road his wife, Meredith Auld, for around $4.25 million in 1998, according to property records.

43 South Bedford Road (Credit: Ginnel Real Estate)

Located about 50 miles north of Manhattan, the property has ample hiking trails and a swimming pool that’s steps from the lake. The compound also includes two fully-approved subdivisions that could accommodate two additional houses.

“This is an exceptional retreat,” said Brown Harris Stevens‘ Kathy Sloane, who has a co-exclusive with Westchester agent Muffin Dowdle of Ginnel Real Estate.

43 South Bedford Road (Credit: Ginnel Real Estate)

According to the listing, the stucco-and-shingle house has four bedrooms and six baths, as well as a great room with a vaulted ceiling.

“The dining room and living room — as well as the master bedroom and several guest rooms — have beautiful views of the lake, which is the central focus of the property,” Sloane said.

43 South Bedford Road (Credit: Ginnel Real Estate)

Brokaw and Auld, who are longtime Manhattan residents, also own a ranch in Montana that’s on the market for $17.9 million.

Brokaw was accused in April of sexually harassing two women. He has adamantly denied the allegations.

 

 

real estate..

 

Tom Brokaw lists 56-acre Westchester estate for $6.3M

Bedford Town news | Bedford Real Estate

STATUS OF RE-PAVING ROUTE 117 SOUTH OF GREEN LANE
Readers of this column may recall that a few weeks ago, I reported that the NYS Department of Transportation at our urging required Con Edison to restore the surface of Route 117 curb to curb (rather than just the southbound lane, as Con Edison originally reported to us) for the portion of from the residential section of Bedford Hills south to Green Lane.
At that time I also explained that restoration had been complicated due to Mt. Kisco’s water line replacement project which also runs along 117. DOT would not require Con Edison to restore the surface twice – now following its own work and then following the completion of Mt. Kisco’s work. We continue to be concerned about the length of time that the surface has been in very poor and dangerous condition prompting some driers to avoid the rough, rutted surface and drive in the opposing lane of traffic.
When we learned of Mt. Kisco’s project earlier this year, we urged the Village’s engineers to coordinate with their counterparts at Con Edison and with DOT with a view to getting the work done promptly.
Earlier this week I asked DOT and the Village of Mt. Kisco for an update, and received the following reply from Village Manager Ed Brancati:
Supervisor Burdick,
To provide a quick update on our water main replacement:
The Village and our engineers for this project, Delaware Engineering, have developed a plan that significantly minimizes the disturbance to N. Bedford Rd. by keeping much of the work under the northbound sidewalk, but we still need to perform work in the roadway to make a variety of connections across N. Bedford Rd. Our plan is to perform all work in the roadway at the beginning of the job so that we can allow Con Ed to restore the road as quickly as possible.
We have submitted all plans to NYS DOT for their review, have received comments, and provided responses. We have also submitted our plans to WCDOH for their review and are likewise addressing their comments. We have also put the project out to bid with responses due on Thursday July 12th at 10 am and the Board of Trustees will look to award on Monday July 16th. At that point we can begin scheduling the work.
I will continue to keep you informed.
UPDATE ON POLICE STATION RENOVATION PROJECT; CARPORTS
As earlier reported, due to dramatic change in Public Service Commission incentives to solar developers, the Town received no bids for a long term contract in which the value of electricity produced by solar panels on carports would pay for the carports themselves.  We then put it out to bid based on the then carport plans and received a single bid (from the general contractor, Verdi Construction) in excess of $350,000.  The Town Board rejected the bid and approved the recommendations of the project team for new plans which would provide greater flexibility to bidders and potentially lower bids.
With the renovation project between 85 and 90% complete, we intend to avoid delay resulting from the carport bidding and installation.  The project team has developed the following timelines:
  • Bids became available today, July 6 at 11:00 AM.  The bid package can be
  • Walk-through at 9:00 AM on Thursday, July 12 for interested bidders.
  • Bids close at 11:00 AM on Thursday July 26
  • The Town Board will need to award the work to the lowest, responsible bid, as recommended by the project team.  We may schedule a special Town Board meeting rather than wait until the August 14 meeting.
UPDATE ON HYBRIDS AND ELECTRIC CARS
FOR THE TOWN’S OPERATIONS
The Town has had as an objective for over 10 years – beginning under the helm of my predecessor, Lee Roberts – to increase the Town’s use of hybrid and electric cars.  The policy makes sense from both an environmental and taxpayer standpoint.  A summary of the benefits of electric cars is available through the US Department of Energy athttps://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/electric-vehicle-benefits, explaining that emissions are reduced significantly; operation costs are much lower; and from a national security and price volatility standpoint, electricity in the US nearly 100% domestically produced (as opposed to oil, a significant portion of which is imported).  Under Ms. Roberts, the Town’s passenger car fleet became nearly entirely comprised of highly cost-effective hybrids which have borne out their promise of lower emissions and lower operating costs.  Our staff also is very satisfied with them for serving their required functions.
Going forward, the Town benefits from greater competition, moderated purchase costs and more choice.  The driving range on a single electric charge also has dramatically increased with improvements in battery technology.
The Town was the first municipality in Westchester County to undertake a gold pledge under the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge to increase further the acquisition and operation of electric or plug-in hybrids. The Gold Pledge . The 10 year Capital Plan which the Town Board adopted in December provides for vehicle replacement, including electric passenger vehicles. We have ordered a Chevrolet Bolt, one of the most highly regarded electric vehicles.  We did well on the purchase price working through the Sustainable Westchester consortium with a $33,970.00 price tag.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
Bedford Canvas Bags
Newly appointed Reusable Bag Task Force (RTBF) member Rosemary Lee picked up this canvas bag at the Bedford Town House before heading off for vacation. They are $5.00 while supplies last.
PRIOR POSTS OF CONTINUED RELEVANCE
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JUNE 27
TOWN BOARD MEETING ACTION
Note: The Board scheduled this meeting to consider the request of Police Chief Melvin Padilla regarding certain audio visual equipment and related items for the police station renovation project which could not be held over to the July 17 meeting lest it delay the project.
Conservation Board Application for Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) grant
The Board approved the Conservation Board’s request for authorization to submit an application for a $50,000 UCF planting grant. We thank Conservation Board chairman Simon Skolnik and member Fred Pollack who have been tireless and very successful in pursuing grant opportunities.
Appointments:
Our congratulations and thanks for the service of those whom the Board appointed:
1.    Local Katonah resident Jack DeAlto appointed to the position of
Police Officer.
2.    Sally Corbett appointed to the Drug Abuse Prevention Council for a term
expiring December 31, 2019.
3.    Mary Cassidy appointed to the Traffic Safety Working Group for a term
expiring August 31, 2020.
Change Order for Asphalt (Police Station Renovation Project)
The Board approved a change order in the amount $34,362.88.
Proposal from Entertainment Technologies, Inc (Police Station Renovation Project)
The Board approved the requests from Police Chief Melvin Padilla to (1) accept proposal from Entertainment Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $34,707 from for certain audio visual equipment and related items’ and (2) to authorize initial payment to Entertainment Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $12,000 The Board’s action enables the project to proceed without delay.
No Knock Registry
The Board set a Public Hearing for 7:50 PM on Tuesday, July 17 on proposed amendments to the Town solicitation law to establish a No Knock Registry and to revise approved entities for performing fingerprinting.  The No Knock Registry is in response to concerns of some residents regarding door to door sales.  It prohibits such solicitation to the homes of those residents who complete a request to be listed on a “no knock registry”. The Town Clerk will maintain the registry and provide a simple form. The proposal will not infringe upon political, educational or religious activities.
Corrective Amendments to the Town’s Energize NY Benefit Financing law
At the request of the Energy Improvement Corporation, of which the Town
is a founder and long-standing member, the Board set a Public Hearing
for 7:55 PM on Tuesday, July 17 to adopt corrective amendments to the law (Local Law 9-2017)
Resolution Regarding Algonquin Pipeline
At the request of the Town of North Salem and others, the Board adopted a resolution regarding the Algonquin Pipeline to protect the safety of Bedford’s residents, businesses and institutions as it relates to air emissions regulations developed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, affecting natural gas infrastructure facilities. Resolution
REVISION FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018
TOWN BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Summer months are away months and many of our residents are unable to attend two meetings in July and two in August. The Town Board approved the following changes to these summer month meetings. We have cancelled the July 3 meeting and retained the July 17 meeting which was previously scheduled. We cancelled the August 7 and August 21 meetings and have replaced them with a single meeting to be held on August 14.
THE SUPERVISOR’S SHOW
Each month, we spend a short time chatting with members of the community
on recent activities and/or events that are pertinent to all of us. Take a few minutes to get to know some of your neighbors, and how their community involvement serves us all. If you would like to be on the show, send me an email and pitch yourself or your group!
For the latest Supervisor’s Show:
Green Initiatives, Regulations, and the Recently Adopted Reusable Bag Law
click here
Some photos from the Summer Solstice Yoga
at John Jay Homestead
Saturday June 23, 2018
Many Thanks to The Katonah Village Improvement Society, Deirdre Breen and all of the yogis from our many local studios.
Noteworthy:
Congratulations to the Town of Bedford for being recognized by Westchester County with the 2018 Westchester Eco Award. Thanks and praise to Kevin Winn and the highway department along with Bedford 2020 for working with the carters to create a single stream, to the Town Board for putting it into law, and to our entire community for responsible recycling. According to the data, Bedford has the highest recycling rates in the County. Great work!! “
Single Stream Reycyling:
Summer Fun + Bedford Parks
Summer Fun for Everyone! Bedford Recreation’s Park it in Bedford
Entertainment Series is back this summer! Grab your family, friends, a blanket and park hop with us and enjoy the magic of the summer! It’s Better in Bedford!
Bedford Rd Gas Main replacement from Park Dr South to Barker St
Con Ed has informed us that a that gas main replacement project on Bedford Rd from Park Dr south to Barker St in Mount Kisco is scheduled to start on Monday 7/9.
The information below is from Con Ed:
“We are in the process of requesting night hours with WTMC – same stips that we worked last year – 7p-6a. The linear footage of the project this year is about a 1/3 of the linear footage of the project last year so we anticipate a shorter disturbance period.
We are going to work towards completing construction by 10/15 –
As long as the water main project is completed by then, and all goes well on our end, we should be able to get the roadway re-surfaced before the plants close for the winter.
Feel free to reach out with any questions pertaining to this project.”
Larry Dugan
WCM-Gas
914-789-6886
As the start date nears, Con Ed will provide a work notice as a reminder that we will share here.
THE TOWN OF BEDFORD RECEIVES THE 2018 WESTCHESTER
MUNICIPAL PLANNING FEDERATION AWARD
FOR THE ANTIOCH HOMES PROJECT
On Thursday June 7, The Town of Bedford was honored to receive a planning commendation from the WMPF for our work at Antioch Homes. Antioch Homes, which was competed in 2017, is an example of a creative adaptive reuse, as well as a coordinated effort on the part of our community to provide 12 new affordable housing units in Bedford Hills. The project included
re-purposing the former Antioch Baptist Church into four apartments and construction of two new buildings with four units each. The picture below is of Antioch Homes on Railroad Avenue in Bedford Hills.
From L to R: John Tegeder (WMPF), Andrew Chintz (Blue Mountain
Director), Chris Burdick (Bedford Supervisor), Marion Blount (Antioch Homes
Chair), WMPF representative
REMINDER: TOWN FACILITIES FOR RECYCLING,
YARD WASTE & E-WASTE
Most of the following services are free to Town residents:
Recycling at the Town’s Recycling Center
The Railroad Avenue Recycling Center is located at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills, NY 10507. Hours are 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  Carters are obligated to collect single stream recyclables at your property along with trash for all customers. For those who wish to drop off recyclable materials, the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts single stream recyclables (metal, plastic, glass, cardboard and paper). A complete list of single stream materials can be found at http://bedford2020.org/single-stream-recycling/.
Ewaste, Metals, Textiles; Trash Drop Off for Seniors
Residents may bring electronic waste to the Recycling Center, but please note that for CRTs (TVs and old monitors), residents first must obtain from the Town Clerk (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM M-F, 321 Bedford Road, Bedford Hills) the coupon after paying a modest fee (to cover the costs to the Town). In addition, the Railroad Avenue Recycling Center accepts e-waste of all kinds (see below for details), bulk metals of all kinds, textiles, and trash for seniors (60+) who purchase Senior Refuse Coupons (book of 5 for $25) at the Town Clerk’s office. Each coupon can be used for up to a 33-gallon trash bag of household refuse (do not include recyclables in the refuse bag).
Beaver Dam Yard Waste and Compost Facility
The Town of Bedford Beaver Dam Compost Facility processes recyclable wood waste and leaves from the Town and provides beneficial reuse of the waste as compost and mulch. The facility provides an extremely cost effective method for this recycling as well as an environmental benefit of local recycling with minimal transportation requirements. It is open for residents to dispose of recyclable wood waste (logs and branches up to 6” diameter, brush, and leaves), as well as pick up wood mulch and leaf compost. This service is free to Town of Bedford residents between 7:30 AM and 3:00 PM Monday to Friday, excluding Town holidays.
Shredder Services
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder services at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17. We had such services on March 5 and also during Clean Up weekend at the Crusher Road Highway Facility. A mobile shredder truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.).
Please also refer to the “Recycling Division” page on the Town’s website at
or call the Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.
Possible Acquisition from NYC of Community Center Site
As I reported last week, the Community Center of Northern Westchester had contacted me last year regarding plans for an addition to the building it occupies in Katonah. Both the building and the land on which it is situated are owned by New York City, with the NYC Water Board having authority with regard to its disposition.  The Center is seeking a long-term occupancy of the property which is key to its ability to raise funds for the planned addition and to provide certainty regarding its present location.  Lee Roberts and I spoke with NYC DEP Assistant Commissioner David Warne who investigated the matter internally.  In following up on the matter with Mr. Warne earlier this year, he suggested that the Town Board request that NYC convey the property to the Town at $1.00/waived (which would be subject to certain conditions). The solution is ideal both for the Town as well as the Community Center.         I have been working closely with both Lee and Clare Murray, Executive Director of the Community Center to develop the proposal.  The Town Board authorized me to pursue the acquisition. The process will take some time, but DEP has encouraged us. We are cautiously optimistic that approval will be granted following DEP’s review of documents and other submissions (there are several layers and agencies within NYC which must review/approve the conveyance).
Carports for the Police Station Renovation Project  The Board, as recommended, rejected the bid mentioned below for the carports and approved a $16,300 proposal by GPI Engineering to re-design the carports to motivate more competitive bidding including from manufacturers of prefabricated metal carports.  I should mention that the design will allow for later installation of rooftop solar panels should they become economically viable. As mentioned previously, the Board had determined that carports for providing protection to 17 vehicles would prolong the life of the police patrol cars and other vehicles by protecting them from the elements and in addition during winter snowstorms police response time would be affected by the time to clear off vehicles for safe travel.   Before New York State Public Service Commission had revised its incentive program for solar developers, it was a reasonable assumption that the Town would be able to successfully find bidders for installing solar carports at no upfront charge to the Town, but rather financed through federal and state tax and other incentives to the developer and by the Town purchasing electricity from the developer at a reasonable rate.  Following the PSC changes last year, the incentives were not sufficient in the NYSEG service area to be financially viable for developers.  On May 1, 2018 the Town Board authorized releasing bid documents to solicit bids to build the carports. Only one bid was received and it was in the amount of $350,380 from Verdi Construction Company, LLC, the general contractor for the job.  Based on the fact that only one bid was received, Comptroller Abraham Zambrano recommended that the Town Board reject the Verdi bid and authorize the project be re-bid. a proposal to re-design the carports has been obtained from GPI Engineering. We are hopeful that the re-design will result in greater bidder interest including from manufacturers of prefabricated carports.
POTHOLES NYS ROADS AND CLAIMS FOR VEHICLE DAMAGE
For potholes on state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117, 121, 137 and 172 we would suggest that you call NYS’s pothole line at 1-800-POTHOLE.  Also, I’ve been asked whether there might be the possibility of reimbursement for repairs for vehicle damage resulting from potholes or other faulty conditions of NYS roads.  You may consider filing a claim. For information: https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/legal-services-division/smallclaims
HURRICANE SEASON HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED
We received the following e-mail today from the Westchester County Office of Emergency Management:
As we have all been reminded by the widespread utility outages and damage caused by the most recent nor’easters and high winds, following a harsh winter season, severe weather continues to be the hazard to which we as a County remain the most vulnerable all year round. As we approach the summer months this threat evolves yet again to include brush fires, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, as well as tropical cyclones.
Hurricane Season in the Atlantic officially began today June 1, 2018, and will end on November 30, 2018. The season started early again this year with the formation of Subtropical Storm Alberto on May 25th in the Gulf. Below are two links providing updates on this season’s outlook as well as product and service changes implemented by the National Hurricane Center for 2018.
Be assured that the Town is vigilant in checking emergency plans and procedures that we have in place and in identifying and addressing training, equipment and supply needs.
UPDATED: PAVING OUR STATE ROADS: STILL TRYING TO GET ACTION
I-684
It’s been a long haul trying to persuade New York State to pave the concrete portion of I-684 that runs through Bedford (the same original surface from the late 1960s).  You may remember that in early 2014 shortly after coming into office, I started working with Assembly David Buchwald and then State Senator George Latimer to urge the re-paving of the portion of I-684 which runs through Bedford. We also worked with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to press for funds from Washington, since 80% to 90% of the funds to repair our State’s highways comes from the federal government.  Thanks principally to the efforts of Assemblyman Buchwald a portion of the Bedford section was paved (the southerly portion up to Harris Road).  But the portion from Harris Road through a bit north of Exit 6 is in terrible condition. One of our residents who is an engineer and works on major road projects described it in an e-mail earlier this week: “Spring has arrived!! Please take the time to drive northbound and southbound on I-684, including the exit ramps. The pavement deterioration has become very severe in some areas due to the harsh winters. You may see large chucks of concrete in the shoulders that have broken free from the mainline pavement. Perhaps the board can urge the NYSDOT Highway Department to have maintenance crews fill the pot holes in the Katonah corridor as a priority.”
DOT Albany office: 518-457-6195
DOT Region 8 Acting Regional Director Lance MacMillan: 845-431-5750
If you send an e-mail, please consider copying me and our legislators:
State Assemblyman David Buchwald: buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us, 914-244-4450
State Senator Shelley Mayer: smayer@nysenate.gov, 518-455-2031
SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH THESE TWO EXCITING SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER INITIATIVES!
Nissan Leaf Discount Program
Electric vehicles save money and reduce fossil fuel usage and emissions. Click the link below to see how you can save up to $12,500 on a 2018 all electric Nissan Leaf through the Sustainable Westchester bulk discount program.
Community Solar
Now everyone can be a part of the transition to local, clean solar energy, even if you don’t have access to your roof because you are in an apartment or it’s too shady. Currently in con Ed Territory only. Click Here to sign up for Local solar – and save money on your Con Ed bill!
FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR click here 
FOR THE TOWN CALENDAR click here
TO SIGN-UP FOR NIXLE ALERTS click here
PHONE SCAMS – NYSEG
Customers are receiving automated calls from “NYSEG” telling them that their electricity will be shut off later that day.  The customer is instructed to call back to prevent this. The callback numbers, which vary, answer with “NYSEG automated service line,” and prompt you to push 3.
These calls are not from NYSEG and are an attempt to scam residents and businesses.
Some precautions to take to avoid falling victim to a scam:
  • Always type NYSEG’s Web address when making an online payment at nyseg.com. Do not rely on email links. While at nyseg.com, you can also check your account balance and any past-due amount status.
  • When making a payment by phone, always ensure that you are dialing NYSEG phone numbers: 1.800.572.1111 (customer service); 1.888.315.1755 (payment arrangements) or 1.800.600.2275 (self-service line). You can also check your account status by phone.
  • Do not make any payments over the phone to anyone who has contacted you or asked you to dial a different number.
  • Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or bank information to anyone requesting it (over the phone or in person) unless you initiated the contact and feel confident that the transaction is legitimate.
  • NYSEG does not ask customers to purchase debit cards (like Green Dot cards) to make payments.
  • If you have fallen victim to a scam, immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and your local police.
MOVING AHEAD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO
ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Consistent with the Town’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020, on October 3, 2017, the Town Board responded to the New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester challenge by being the only municipality in Westchester County to adopt Gold Tier Pledge under which we commit to purchase Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV’s) for at least 10% of our new light-duty municipal fleet purchases by the end of 202 and revisit this level annual to consider adopting a higher purchasing commitment. At its May 1, 2018 Town Board meeting the Town Board approved the purchase of the highly rated Chevy Bolt, which has an excellent driving range of 238 miles on a single charge. The Town is able to purchase the vehicle under procurement through NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services in which the Town may participate.
FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SAKE
Please consider your neighbor when you go to work with your lawn mower or weed whacker (or your lawn service uses them). We realize that your busy schedule makes it difficult to find time to get work done on your property. We all try to squeeze in time to do it. But please not too early and not too late…
IT’S THE LAW: IDLING
Please be reminded that Westchester County regulates the idling time of motor vehicles to not more than three minutes (with certain exceptions – click here for the law. Let’s all obey the law to avoid unnecessary pollution.
NEW YORK STATE ACTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT) DEDUCTIONS
Many have asked us about what action is being taken in response to the December federal tax law revisions which caps SALT tax deductions for federal income tax purposes to $10,000.
The following is brief description of the new law that can be provided to the public regarding the New York budget bill that provides offsets for Federal SALT tax deductions: The New York State Legislature has adopted new state law provisions designed to offset the impact of the recently enacted federal tax limitation on state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. Specifically, the legislation creates a vehicle for taxpayers to contribute to certain charitable funds that, in turn, would be applied for local tax purposes. The concept is that, as a charitable contribution, the amount paid by taxpayers who itemize their tax returns could be claimed as a charitable deduction on federal taxes. Under the new law, a New York State tax credit would also be provided on a percentage of each contribution. Under the new law, each taxing jurisdiction, including school districts, villages, towns, cities and counties, is responsible for establishing and managing such charitable funds. The funds collected would then be used by each taxing jurisdiction and applied to the taxing jurisdiction’s annual tax levy. The law also provides a mechanism for the taxpayer to receive a tax credit based upon the amount contributed to a school district’s or other municipal corporation’s charitable fund. The exact procedures for making payments into the charitable funds and receiving a credit against taxes owed are still being formulated.
New York State, by being the first state to enact a “workaround” to ameliorate the limitation on the federal SALT deductions, has positioned itself to be the legal test case for whether such an arrangement will pass legal muster. The Town and other government agencies, school districts and municipalities throughout New York State are in the process of reviewing the proposed bill provisions to determine what action should be taken and whether to implement the provisions of this new law. Similarly, tax experts are in the process of reviewing whether or not these new charitable funds will be treated as legitimate charitable contributions that are deductible for filers who itemize their federal tax returns. New York’s Governor and Legislature appear to believe the provisions are sound. However, a final answer has yet to be obtained and we recommend that you consult with your personal tax consultant before taking any action.
We will keep you advised as the situation develops.
FOR THE APRIL 6, 2018 KATONAH-BEDFORD HILLS SEWER DESIGN STATUS REPORT click here
CABLEVISION/OPTIMUM OUTAGE BILL CREDIT
If you lost Cablevision/Optimum service during the recent storms, you may qualify for a credit on your bill. Cablevision has records by address on power outages. We have been advised that if your outage was for fewer than four hours you would not qualify for a credit. If you the outage was for a longer period of time, you do qualify. You will need to contact them. We suggest that you also provide your service outage period according to your records (be specific with dates and times, to the extent you can).  Call them at 718-860-3513 or via Chat at https://www.optimum.net/support/outage/
VERIZON CUSTOMERS, DID YOU RECEIVE A CREDIT FOLLOWING SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS
 We have contacted our Verizon representative inquiring about a credit for their customers impacted by service interruptions during the March storms. She advises us that if you reported the service interruption to Verizon, you will receive a credit automatically on your bill. We advise that you check your bill.  If you did not receive a credit, please call Verizon customer service at 1-800-Verizon to request it. Also, for customers who did not report the outage, it may not be too late, contact customer service letting them know when you lost service and when it was restored.
NEW BEDFORD VETERANS MEMORIAL
I am pleased to report that the Town Board approved construction of a new Veterans Memorial in Katonah, which will honor the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the men and women from Bedford and around America who served in our military. The Memorial will be located on the Katonah Green, directly across from the Katonah Village Library, and will be funded entirely through private contributions. Information regarding the Memorial can be found at http://www.bedfordny.gov/veterans-advisory-committee/.
JOINT LETTER OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR KITLEY S. COVILL AND TOWN SUPERVISORS OF BEDFORD, LEWISBORO, NORTH SALEM, POUND RIDGE AND SOMERS TO NYSEG
click here for the letter
ACTION TAKEN AT THE APRIL 3 TOWN BOARD MEETING
Horse Properties – As scheduled, the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow for a half bath in accessory structures, including barns and stables, the purpose of which is to enable property owners to engage daytime grooms..  The proposed Zoning Code amendment expressly prohibits sleeping facilities and kitchens.  As I mentioned at the outset of the hearing the proposal comes after nearly two years of discussions with horse property owners and others supporting the horse community.  Earlier this year, the Town Board had referred to the Planning Board their petition requesting revisions in the Zoning Code to relax restrictions affecting the horse community. A number of residents spoke on the need to ensure that Bedford is “horse friendly” and we do not continue to lose horse owners.  Following the public hearing the Town Board unanimously adopted the amendments.
Congratulations to Amy Carelli At the recommendation of Police Chief Melvin Padilla, the Town Board approved the appointment of Amy N. Carelli to Police Officer effective on or about April 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Ms. Carelli join the force.
Moving ahead on Electric Vehicles In the first installment of fulfilling the Town’s New York League of Conservation Voters/Sustainable Westchester Gold Pledge on purchase of electric passenger vehicles for its municipal fleet, the Town Board authorized going out to bid for the purchase of a Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that has received excellent reviews for its range of over 230 miles and durability.
Bedford Village Parking  As I mentioned in this space last week, the Town has been in discussions with the Bedford Presbyterian Church regarding acquiring the Church’s vacant land off of Court Road for the purposes of constructing a municipal parking lot.  Last year environmental evaluation of the site showed no issues. We held a public meeting earlier this year at which comments we received showed positive support. We then commissioned an appraisal of the property which was just concluded this week and shows a fair market value of $150,000.  Following discussions with representatives of the Church, I postponed Town Board consideration of approving an offer, so as to allow time for the Church to obtain its own appraisal – a step which is customary and the right action.
FOR THE SUPERVISOR’S MAY MONTHLY REPORT click here
ENERGIZE BEDFORD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Bedford 2020 and Energize Bedford’s limited time campaign in partnership with the Town of Bedford drove an increase in energy efficient homes in Bedford. From September 1, 2017- January 15, 2018, we collected more than 70 leads, helped set up 27 assessments and 11 jobs were completed in the 5 month time frame. Although the limited time discount is over, leads are still coming through and homeowners who entered the program during the campaign are working toward completing their projects.
STOP THE BLEED
Paramedics are trained and prepared to operate with law enforcement in active shooter situations. This additional stop the bleed program is intended to provide a level of basic quick action from the public before help arrives. We have certified trainers in this program and want to start offering it up to various public institutions such as schools. Click here for the booklet.
NO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES
You may recall that last July the Town issued a Request for Proposals for solar panels and other systems for Town facilities. We received no proposals, which we learned was due to the fact that New York State had not settled with the electric industry on incentives and utility obligations regarding solar power provided back to the grid. So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Town went ahead to re-issue an RFP. In late 2017, New York State published guidelines that define the future value of distributed energy resources (a/k/a, the VDER value stack). As of early 2018, solar developers can now use this value stack to estimate future project income from the local utilities, based on specific project locations. We understand that New York’s resolving these future values of solar electricity means that solar developers will be more attracted to investing in potential solar projects such as those in our RFP
The NYS Public Service Commission issued an “implementation order” in September on the “value of distributed energy resources,” following which was substantial work in sorting out valuations with electric utility distributors in the State, such as NYSEG and Con Edison. We understand that there now is a “level playing field” and basis on which solar developers would take an interest in our RFP.  However, the VDER provides greater incentives to solar developers in Con Edison service area where rates are higher.  Our Town facilities, however, are located in NYSEG service area.  One of the solar developers with whom we had worked closely took the time to explain why it was financially not possible to submit a proposal – due to the difference in VDER between the two service areas. Please click here for the letter.  I have recently met with a commercial property owner in Bedford Hills and a solar developer about the possibility of rooftop solar panels for “community solar”. Stay tuned.
SEPTIC SYSTEM REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
NOW THAT THE SPRING HAS ARRIVED – PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM:
septic pump out – if you haven’t done it within the last five years, the law requires you do so. And, if you have a problem with your system, please check out the Town’s Septic System Repair and Replacement program to deal with failing septic systems. The program allows Bedford property owners in the Croton Watershed (about 85% of the Town’s land area) for a 50% reimbursement of repair/replacement costs. If you have a failing septic system, contact the Planning Department at 666-4434 for further information or visit our website.
MOUNT KISCO WATER MAIN REPLACEMENT
Mount Kisco is preparing to replace the 90-year old water main on New York State Route 117 from Preston Way in Mount Kisco to Green Lane in Bedford Hills and continuing to the end of Green Lane.
The construction work is planned for the fall of 2018 and will take place during the night (hours have not yet been determined). The project’s engineering will consider everything that is feasible in the design to minimize disturbance to the public and the property owners.  Currently, the project is in the preliminary design phase, which includes survey and soil boring work along the road right-of-way.  Soil boring work will take place in April during the working day between 9 am and 3 pm and is not expected to result in any lane closures.
    We met today with Mount Kisco’s engineers to emphasize the need for full coordination among Mount Kisco, Con Edison (with regard to restoration work on the southbound lane of Route 117 – SEE POST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS ONE), NYS Department of Transportation, Westchester County Health Department and Bedford in both the design and the execution of the project.  We made it clear that the Mount Kisco project must avoid the significant disruptions which the Con Edison gas line project caused last fall.  It is also critical that restoration be complete.
We will keep you informed on the status both of the Mount Kisco project and Con Edison’s gas line project.
 .
UPDATED SHREDDER SCHEDULE INCLUDING NEW DATE OF MONDAY OCTOBER 22
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events:
  • at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 15, and November 17;
  • at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5;
  • at the Town Office at 425 Cherry Street on Monday October 22 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
A Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.)
INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA RELATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING
In consultation with the Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee, develop and implement a professional-grade communications plan that identifies local veteran-related events, programs, issues, and concerns and effectively promotes this material via appropriate print, broadcast, and electronic media.
    The successful candidate should have a skill-set sufficient to demonstrate an ability to write effective press releases along with appropriate research, planning and organizational skills to develop and implement a plan that ensures general public awareness.
  The plan should encompass an audience that includes: *     Print media* Broadcast media* Social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)* Local elected officials *Social service agencies * Veterans service organizations
    Junior or senior level undergraduate, or graduate level. Hours to be determined, along with attendance at monthly Veterans Advisory Committee meetings. Unpaid. Supervision: Chair, Bedford Veterans Advisory Committee. Contact: Mark Sindeband, 914-260-4188, aegisresources@optonline.net
FOR THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT click here
WESTCHESTER POWER – HOW’S IT BEEN DOING HERE IN BEDFORD?
There’s been some discussion on Katonah Parents Facebook and questions I regularly receive regarding the Westchester Power (also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA).  By way of background, the Town Board unanimously adopted Bedford’s participation in this program sponsored by Sustainable Westchester and placed us among those Westchester municipalities choosing the “Green Option”.  At the time, we insisted that the rates must be less than the previous twelve month cost for each utility, provide fixed prices (rather than a “bait and switch” of a great rate at the outset only to pop up later) and an opt out provision at any time without charge or penalty, a common complaint at the time against many energy service companies (ESCOs). Westchester Power residential and small business electric customers in Bedford have a rate of 8.00 cents per kilowatt hour in Con Edison’s service area and 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour in NYSEG’s service area.  These are fixed rates, rather than rates which vary month by month (which is the way NYSEG and Con Edison bills).  I’ve received e-mails and calls from NYSEG and Con Edison customers who saw a spike in rates this winter. Just yesterday I received a call from a resident in Con Edison service area who is signed up with an ESCO at over 11 cents per kilowatt hour and was dismayed at her large utility bills.
So how’s Westchester Power been doing here in Bedford? I turned to Dan Welsh, Director of Westchester Power, for an analysis and he provided the following:
“Here is my estimate of the savings for Bedford residents and small businesses through the end of January. We are including the avoided sales tax now when we talk about this as you know, and that’s a significant piece. February saw a low price for Con Ed which would bring this down, but now March is looking that it’s bounced back and so I would look to the end of March for the next update.”
Should you have questions, please contact Dan at
dan@westchesterpower.org or 914-242-4725
IT’S TAX SCAM SEASON. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF
From the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
  • Never give out personal information to people who call you unsolicited. That includes your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card information.
  • If you do owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in the mail that tells you who you owe money to and why. If you haven’t gotten a legitimate piece of mail like that, the collection call is bogus.
  • Last but not least, remember that no legitimate government organization will ever threaten arrest or deportation if you fail to pay a debt.
If someone is threatening you or you are targeted for a scam, please contact my office immediately. We are here to help: 1-800-771-7755.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDINGTAX SCAMS
The IRS, the AARP, NYS Attorney General and many others are issuing warnings about scams particularly directed at the elderly.  Please don’t fall prey. See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
MOBILE PAPER SHREDDER AT RECYCLING CENTER
The Town is pleased to provide once again this year mobile paper shredder events at the Town Recycling Center at 343 Railroad Avenue, Bedford Hills from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on March 17, September 15, and November 17; and at 1 Crusher Road, Bedford Village (Crusher Road highway yard), Bedford Village from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on May 5. A Mobile Shredding Truck will securely destroy documents. The company’s customer service professionals never physically touch your documents so the entire process is “touch-free”. The company can shred paper, paper clips, rubber bands, staples and even the black clips. They cannot shred 3-ring binders, or anything that is non paper (CDs, tapes, DVDs, hard drives, etc.).
 KATONAH FIRE DEPARTMENT UNDER-18 RECRUITMENT PROGRAM
Are you interested in a terrific community service opportunity? Would you like to receive state-of-the art lifesaving and firefighting training? Katonah Fire Department eagerly welcomes applications from 16-year-olds for its Under 18 Program. Interested candidates can fulfill their John Jay High School Community Service obligation, as well as service hours required for other organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Membership in the department as a firefighter is a great way to have your college application
stand out as well!
Any person who is between the ages of 16 and 18, who is physically fit, morally and mentally sound, and who, having met with the membership committee and satisfactorily passed the committee’s investigation (as established in the Katonah Fire Department, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws), may be selected for membership status.
The goal of this program is to carefully instill, enforce, and monitor the practices that lead to well trained, respectful, hardworking members once they reach their 18th birthdays and/or the conclusion of their first year of membership.
In addition, it creates a culture in which these members both realize their age- and experience-related limitations, but also feel as though they are learning and being prepared for taking on the duties of full-fledged, non-probationary members of the Katonah Fire Department.
An oversight committee and a training coordinator act as a resource to these members – in all aspects of KFD membership: firefighting, training, rules and regulations, etc. – and set example for the types of behaviors expected from our entire membership.
Applicants who join receive all training and equipment at no expense to them. They also become eligible for various scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, please sent an e-mail to chief2211@katonahfd.org
TOWN’S WEBSITE
is now available in Spanish. We have added a plug-in allowing for the website’s automatic translation to Spanish. Please note that this does not apply to linked PDF documents. http://www.bedfordny.gov/
MOTORISTS
I wish to augment the below information (e-news 8/25) with the following request for motorists:
Sharing the road with bicyclists. When parked on the street, check for bicyclists approaching from behind you before opening your car door. Always exercise due care to avoid colliding with any person walking or bicycling. Always be vigilant when pedestrians are present, especially those with visual or physical impairments. Bicyclists are fully entitled to use the road and have the right to “take the lane” by positioning themselves at or near the center of the lane when needed to avoid hazards or if the lane is too narrow to safely travel side by side with motorists.
Pass bicycles only when necessary and safe: pass to the left of the bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear. When in doubt, wait until you can pass at a safe speed. Before making a right turn, let bicyclists clear the intersection. When turning left or entering a roadway, yield to oncoming bicyclists as you would to any vehicle.
RULES OF THE ROAD FOR CYCLISTS; SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS; TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
 Some of you may have heard of the tragic death earlier this month of a cyclist in Stony Point. Another was killed yesterday. We also are concerned about the safety of walkers and pedestrians. While we implore drivers to observe speed limits and other rules of the road, we also wish to share with you rules and tips for cyclists and pedestrians some of which a Bedford resident compiled and sent to me.
CYCLISTS
New York State law mandates the following related to cyclists:
  1. Travel WITH traffic (i.e. on the same side of the road) and obey all vehicle laws (stop at stop lights, etc.)
  2. Are not allowed on sidewalks
  3. Helmets (protective head gear) are required
  4. No headphones, ear buds, or other noise cancelling devices are allowed in more than 1 ear.
  5.  Horn/bell audible for 100 feet
  6. Lighting required a half hour before dusk until a half hour after dawn.
  7. Cyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals.
  8.  SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKERS
  9. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk always walk facing traffic.
  10. Dress to be seen. Brightly colored clothing makes it easier for drivers to see you during the daytime. At night, wear special reflective material on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you.
  11.  TIPS FOR CROSSING THE STREET
  12.  Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  13.  Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
  14.  Stop and look left, then right, then left again, before you step into the street.
  15.  If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.
  16.  Keep looking for cars while you are crossing, and remember, Walk. Don’t run.
  17.  If a car is parked where you are crossing, make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left until no cars are coming.
 A regular reader of this weekly newsletter asked why I repeat certain posts from week to week. I do so because not everyone reads my newsletter on a weekly basis, much information provided remains relevant and I wish to continue to alert the community about it. In response to the comment, however, you will see that I’ve divided the newsletter into two sections “New Posts” and “Continuing Posts”. Both sections are relevant and, I believe, worthy of review. I wish to thank readers for making suggestions and comments; over the years, I’ve not only changed format but added content based on them (for example, why the flags are flown at half-staff.

Home prices make the biggest jump in four years | Bedford Hills Real Estate

It is a seller’s market, undeniably. The supply of homes for sale is low, demand is high, and now prices are heating up even more. But sellers today see more reasons to stay put than to profit.

Home prices jumped 7.1 percent annually in May, according to a new report from CoreLogic. That’s the biggest jump in four years. Annual price gains had been shrinking slightly, as mortgage rates rose, but apparently higher rates are not hurting demand. They are, however, exacerbating the already critical supply shortage.

“During the first quarter, we found that about 50 percent of all existing homeowners had a mortgage rate of 3.75 percent or less,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “May’s mortgage rates averaged a seven-year high of 4.6 percent, with an increasing number of homeowners keeping the low-rate loans they currently have, rather than sell and buy another home that would carry a higher interest rate.”

Rising costs could hurt entry level housing supply

Rising costs could hurt entry level housing supply  

If mortgage rates were to rise further, fewer homeowners would want to move. In fact, if today’s homeowners just considering a move were faced with a mortgage rate 1 percentage point higher than their current one, 24 percent would not move, according to a survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Thirty-six percent said they “may not” move. The average rate on the 30-year fixed is now slightly more than 1 percentage point higher than the lows following the recession.

The median price of an existing home sold in May was $264,800, according to the National Association of Realtors. Of course, all real estate is local, and certain markets are hotter than others. Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco continue to see some of the biggest price gains, as they also have the leanest supply.

The supply of homes for sale has been dropping on an annual basis for the past 36 months, according to the National Association of Realtors. The shortage is most acute at the lower end of the market, where demand is highest and where investors bought thousands of distressed properties during the housing crash, turning them into lucrative rentals.

Younger potential buyers have already delayed homeownership due to the recession and high levels of student loan debt. They have also been hampered by high rents, making it more difficult to save for a downpayment.

Higher rents, combined with higher home prices, are the number one reason for the decline in young homeowners, followed by lower marriage and fertility rates, according to a recent study by Freddie Mac.

“Historically low mortgage rates and increasingly favorable employment conditions should have generated a far greater number of home purchases by young adults, especially in the last five years,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, home-price and rent growth above incomes — driven primarily by a severe shortage of housing supply — have been too high of a hurdle for many would-be buyers to clear.”

read more…

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/02/housing-is-getting-more-expensive-as-home-sellers-retreat.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief

Core Logic: Mortgage rates average a 7-year high | Bedford Real Estate

Home prices continued to climb in May, according to the latest Home Price Index report from CoreLogica global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

Home prices increased 7.1% nationally from May 2017 to May 2018, and increased 1.1% from the prior month, according to the report.

The chart below shows that home prices have increased moderately since 2013.

CoreLogic- July 4th

(Source CoreLogic)

“The lean supply of homes for sale is leading to higher sales prices and fewer days on market, and the supply shortage is more acute for entry-level homes. During the first quarter, we found that about 50% of all existing homeowners had a mortgage rate of 3.75% or less,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “May’s mortgage rates averaged a seven-year high of 4.6%, with an increasing number of homeowners keeping the low-rate loans they currently have, rather than sell and buy another home that would carry a higher interest rate.”

An analysis of home values in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on housing stock indicates 40% of metropolitan areas had an overvalued housing market as of May 2018, CoreLogic reported.

Another 26% of the top 100 metropolitan areas were undervalued, while 34% were at value. When looking at only the top 50 markets, 52% were overvalued, 14% were undervalued and 34% were at-value.

Several states posted double-digit increases in their 12-month price growth, including Utah at 12.9%, Washington at 12.8%, Nevada at 12.4% and Idaho at 11.2%.

The national home-price index is projected to increase by 5.1% from May 2018 to May 2019, according to the CoreLogic HPI Forecast.

The forecast is an econometric model that projects calculations from analyzing state-level forecasts, which are measured by the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

As of May, the report indicates that despite financial obstacles, there is a strong demand for homeownership.

“The CoreLogic consumer research demonstrates that, despite high home prices, renters want to get out of their rental property and purchase a home,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “Even in the most expensive markets, we found four times as many renters looking to buy than homeowners willing to sell. Until more supply becomes available, we will continue to see soaring prices in cities such as Denver, San Francisco and Seattle.”

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/43854-core-logic-mortgage-rates-average-a-7-year-high?eid=311691494&bid=2162019

Home prices are plummeting in Puerto Rico | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Hurricane Maria exacerbated problems for Puerto Rico’s already-struggling real estate market — creating opportunities and pitfalls alike for would-be home buyers.

The storm, which devastated much of the Caribbean last fall, caused home prices to drop 15%, to an average median home price of $116,750, according a recent report from real-estate website Point2 Homes. In some areas though, the storm left the housing market in even more dire straits.

In the town of Humacao, the median home price fell from $250,000 in 2016 to just $97,250 as of March. A similar situation can be seen in other popular parts of the territory, including the capital of San Juan, where prices have dropped nearly 50% over the past two years.

“With the devastation there, it’s going to take as long as the recovery from the Great Recession or possibly even longer for a market like that to recover,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at real-estate data provider Attom Data Solutions.

Home prices could very well continue to track downward across Puerto Rico in the months, or even years, to come. A major natural disaster like Hurricane Maria can trigger a vicious cycle in a housing market that depresses prices, Blomquist said.

Homeowners may find it difficult to afford monthly mortgage payments. Meanwhile, other owners may sell their homes to escape the disaster-stricken area. Those homes, combined with the foreclosed properties, drive home prices down.

Puerto Rico is already well into this cycle: Hurricane Maria resulted in an extra 57,000 mortgages going into delinquency, according to a February report from real-estate data provider Black Knight.

Some housing markets fare this cycle better and recover more quickly. The housing market in Houston took a hit following the flooding produced by Hurricane Harvey last August, but the market has already rebounded, said Danielle Hale, chief economist with Realtor.com.

Why low prices might be here to stay in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s recovery from Maria will look a lot different from Houston’s post-Harvey rebound. Prior to the storm, Houston had a thriving local economy — and it still does, adding 84,500 jobs between April 2017 and April 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Puerto Rico, meanwhile, was suffering from a major economic crisis that had already caused home prices to fall as residents moved elsewhere in search of better opportunities. “We weren’t looking at a very resilient market before the hurricane,” Hale said.

Indeed, investors were gobbling up swaths of Puerto Rican real estate and distressed mortgages before the storm. Now, it’s unclear if these low prices will attract enough interest from investors. “There is going to be some patience involved on the part of the buyer,” Blomquist said.

There are other factors holding back house prices and sales activity as a result of the island’s financial crisis. Owner-occupants may encounter more difficulty getting a home loan, said James Westfall, broker and owner of Island West Properties, a real estate firm located in Rincon, a town on Puerto Rico’s western coast. “The banks are now a little more hesitant to pull the trigger,” Westfall said.

Buyers need to know what they’re getting into

Not every part of Puerto Rico is facing the same difficulties. The median home price in Rincon, in the western part of the island, fell 4.3% between 2016 and 2018, according to Point2 Homes.

Rincon is known for its surfing and the local economy benefits from the resulting tourist industry, Westfall said. “Investors may be more comfortable going into a town that has that kind of mix,” Westfall said.

Wherever the home is, a prospective buyer should take insurance into account when in the buying process. There are still big challenges to take into account. The cost of insurance in disaster-stricken Puerto Rico could rise, which would offset any dip in pre-hurricane prices.

 

read more…

 

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-prices-are-plummeting-in-puerto-ricowhat-buyers-need-to-know-2018-06-27

Dutch city’s 3D-printed homes could help upend the construction industry | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Image: Project Milestone

An artist’s illustration of Project Milestone, an initiative in the Netherlands that will build five 3D-printed concrete homes in five years. Houben + Van Mierlo Architects / Image: Project Milestone

In the Dutch city of Eindhoven, engineers, contractors and architects have joined forces to create one of the world’s first 3D-printed commercial housing projects.

Dubbed Project Milestone, the initiative will use a huge 3D printer to fabricate five concrete houses in a wooded area near the city’s airport. Plans call for the first home, a three-bedroom dwelling of just over 1,000 square feet, to be completed in mid-2019 — though the entire initiative will take five years because the technology is still being refined.

The effort is being undertaken in the midst of a shortage of bricklayers in the Netherlands, Rudy van Gurp, a project manager at Van Wijnen, the construction firm that’s overseeing the project, told CNN. But the main goal will be to show how 3D printing can cut costs and concrete waste (and thus curb the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of cement, concrete’s main ingredient.)

“I feel excited,” van Gurp told NBC News MACH in an email. “We are reinventing some details in the real estate industry, and it feels to be at a start of a tech revolution in this industry.”

Image: A 3D Printer creates concrete
A 3D printer at Eindhoven University of Technology printing concrete for a bridge construction project. Imagecollectors

The robotic printer used to create the homes will follow architectural plans to put down layers of a special concrete mix. The first house’s roof and walls will be fabricated off-site and then brought to the building site for assembly. Once the technology is honed, it should be possible to print an entire home on site.

Renderings of the planned homes show futuristic-looking structures with curvilinear shapes and rectangular windows and doors. The designs are intended to show off the printer’s versatility, including the ability to create unusual shapes that are hard to make with conventional construction methods, van Gurp said.

But will 3D printing really revolutionize the construction industry?

Carlo Ratti, an architect and professor of urban technologies and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told MACH in an email that while he believes digital fabrication will revolutionize construction, 3D printing in concrete is unlikely to be the key. “Still, it is positive that we are seeing a myriad [of] experiments in concrete printing — Project Milestone is one of them — that will be useful to perfect the technique,” he said.

Image: Project Milestone
The houses’ eccentric designs show off the 3D printer’s ability to create nearly any shape or design. Houben + Van Mierlo Architects

The project certainly seems to have captured the attention of people looking for a place to live. Within a week of the renderings’ release, van Gurp told The Guardian, 20 families had applied to rent the first home.

read more…

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/dutch-city-s-3d-printed-homes-could-help-upend-construction-ncna886351

Did LeBron James tip his L.A. arrival through real estate? | Chappaqua Real Estate

The Los Angeles Lakers finally reeled in its prized free agent over the weekend when four-time league MVP LeBron James agreed to a four-year deal with the team.

The addition of James, who leaves behind his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, is a major coup for the Lakers, but should it come as a huge surprise? Not if you consider his business and real estate ties to the L.A. area.

Some began to predict that James would eventually land in Los Angeles in 2015 after the basketball superstar’s production company SpringHill Entertainment inked a deal with a Burbank studio to create television, film and other digital content. The company has since built up a strong portfolio of projects, including the Disney series “Becoming,” an upcoming “House Party” reboot and a rumored “Space Jam” sequel starring James.

The arrival of SpringHill wasn’t the only one that year. Months after the production company set up shop, James purchased his first home in the area, paying about $21 million for a gated estate in Brentwood.

The Traditional-style home, designed by Ken Ungar, was built in 2011 and has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and nearly 9,500 square feet of living space. Lawn and a swimming pool and a semi-circular spa/fountain make up the grounds.

Many basketball players own real estate in Los Angeles and spend the off-season there, but James appeared to double down on the area in December when he bought a second home in Brentwood for $23 million.

Sitting up from the street, with city-to-ocean views, the 15,846-square-foot home is furnished with an elevator, a home theater and a custom kitchen with a La Cornue range. A lower level was designed for entertaining and holds a home theater, wine cellar, cigar room and onyx-lined wet bar.

The second house has a total of eight bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. A spa with a steam room, sauna and massage room are among other features.

Similar to James’ own purchases and investments, those of his inner circle also offered clues. One by one, his closest advisors and friends have joined the 14-time all-star out West.

Two years ago, Rich Paul, a longtime friend and agent to James, bought a newly built house in the Beverly Grove area for $3.47 million. James’ business manager, Maverick Carter, also owns a home in the Hollywood Hills, which he recently put on the market for $4.695 million.

Now that he has settled on a home base for the next four years, the next question is whether his two Brentwood estates will be enough home for the King.

In Akron, Ohio, his hometown, James resides in a massive 30,000-square-foot mansion that has six bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, according to Busted Coverage. The property, which reportedly boasts a two-lane bowling alley and a casino, is two to three times as large than either of his Brentwood properties and has more square footage than both homes combined.

In other words, perhaps L.A.’s top real estate agents should get ready to bring their A-game.

read more…

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hotprop-lebron-james-real-estate-los-angeles-20180702-story.html

Seattle hits 20 months as the nation’s hottest housing market | Armonk Real Estate

Seattle retained its long-running title of the hottest housing market in the country, according to the Case-Shiller national home price report, but there are signs of hope for would-be buyers frustrated by the slim supply in recent years.

Seattle home prices in April rose 13.1 percent over the same period a year ago. Las Vegas and San Francisco held on to their spots just behind Seattle with annual price growth of 12.7 percent and 10.9 percent respectively.

Seattle has been atop Case Shiller’s index for 20 straight months now, and a combination of a historic population boom and record-low supply of homes for sale has been the primary driver of the city’s skyrocketing prices.

Seattle’s streak is among the longest on record for Case-Shiller’s index. San Francisco had a 20-month run as the fastest growing market between 1999 and 2001, at the heart of the dotcom boom. Portland topped Case-Shiller’s index for 23 straight months from 1990 to 1992.

But another report released earlier this month indicates that supply-starved Seattle is starting to see a rise in the number of home for sale. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, brokers added 14,524 new listings in Seattle and the surrounding area in May, the first time that figure topped 14,000 since May 2008. It’s also the first time in close to four years that the market has shown an annual increase in the number of new listings.

Seattle’s median home sale price in May was $830,000, up more than $100,000 from a year ago.

Also on the rise are condo listings, an important trend because condos tend to be less expensive and represent an opportunity for first-time buyers. Condo inventory grew by 21.4 percent over last year, boosted by the addition of 1,803 new listings in May.

While increased supply isn’t a cure-all for bringing prices down, it can slow growth. Take Seattle’s apartment market where thousands of new units opened in recent years, and many are now sitting empty. This has caused landlords to offer incentives to renters like free rent and other perks.

 

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https://www.geekwire.com/2018/seattle-hits-20-months-nations-hottest-housing-market-relief-buyers-may-horizon/

Builder Confidence Slips Two Points as Lumber Prices Soar | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell two points to 68 in June on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The decline was due in large part to sharply elevated lumber prices, although sentiment remains on solid footing.

Improved economic growth, continued job creation and solid housing demand should spur additional single-family construction in the months ahead. However, builders do need access to lumber and other construction materials at reasonable costs in order to provide homes at competitive price points, particularly for the entry-level market where inventory is most needed.

Builders are optimistic about housing market conditions as consumer demand continues to grow. However, builders are increasingly concerned that tariffs placed on Canadian lumber and other imported products are hurting housing affordability. Record-high lumber prices have added nearly $9,000 to the price of a new single-family home since January 2017.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI indexes inched down a single point in June. The index measuring current sales conditions fell to 75, the component gauging expectations in the next six months dropped to 76, and the metric charting buyer traffic edged down to 50.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose two points to 57 while the West and Midwest remained unchanged at 76 and 65, respectively. The South fell one point to 71.

 

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Builder Confidence Slips Two Points as Lumber Prices Soar

Home price index up 6.6% | North Salem Real Estate

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index in the US rose 6.6 percent year-on-year in April 2018, easing from a downwardly revised 6.7 percent increase in March and missing market expectations of a 6.8 percent advance. Seattle recorded the biggest increase (13.1 percent), followed by Las Vegas (12.7 percent) and San Francisco (10.9 percent). Meanwhile, the national index, covering all nine US census divisions rose 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent in the previous month. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States averaged 161.11 Index Points from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 210.17 Index Points in April of 2018 and a record low of 100 Index Points in January of 2000.

 

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index

 

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/case-shiller-home-price-index