Monthly Archives: June 2014

Inside The Stack, New York’s First Batch of Modular Homes | Chappaqua Real Estate


[The Stack, the bulk of which was made from 56 modules over the course of just 19 days, has been in the works since 2009. All photos by Will Femia.]
56 images

Over the course of just 10 months, New York City’s first building made entirely of modular units came together. (Sorry, Atlantic Yards’ B2, but you’re literally going be No. 2 in this fight.) Developers Jeffrey Brown and Kim Frank, along with the creative architecture firm Gluck+, took a 50-foot-wide, 150-foot-deep site on Broadway near the Cloisters and loaded 56 modules into it in only 19 days, stacking them—in a manner that handily produced neat time-lapse videos—into two seven-story structures with one unified facade that surround a central courtyard. Within The Stack are 22 apartments that hit the rental market in May, with studios starting at $1,755, one-bedrooms from $2,400, two-bedrooms from $2,850, and three-bedrooms from $3,990. (There are also six affordable apartments getting doled out via lottery.)

Curbed took a tour of this urban milestone in prefab-ulous construction, learning all sorts new terminology, like “mate lines,” a.k.a. the visible notches in the floor where two modules meet. Fun fact: the quarter-mile-long assembly line where the modules were constructed in Pennsylvania custom-equipped each of the 56 rectangular prisms with everything from toilet paper roll holders and mirrors to kitchen cabinets and countertops, all constructed into position hundreds of miles away based on the module’s final destination in its intended apartment



read more…

Demolishing all or part of the concrete in your yard | Bedford Corners Real Estate


Concrete patios are often found in older homes, especially those built in the ’70s. But by now they’ve cracked and crumbled, leaving many homeowners wondering how to replace them, or even hoping to reclaim some of the green space lost by a particularly large patio.

If you count yourself in this group, here you’ll learn how to improve your outdoor space by removing or shrinking your concrete patio, or replacing an old cracked patio with a fresh new one that better suits your style today.

Chinoiserie Chic in New England | Armonk Real Estate


Interior designer Phoebe Lovejoy Russell’s kitchen/dining room was not working for her family at all. One of the first things you see when you walk into her condo, the kitchen had an oddly placed freestanding closet, and a 4-foot-long island divided the space in an awkward way. Striving to keep it open, light and not too kitchen-y, she created a look that’s bright and crisp with fresh chinoiserie style, taking inspiration from two hand-painted silk wallpaper panels.

A Homebuilding CEO Nailed It On What’s Wrong With The Housing Market | North Salem Homes


Prices are still on the rise, and activity is above crisis levels. But the pace of activity still seems sub-normal, which is being attributed to a combination of: lack of supply, the difficulty of getting a mortgage, and subdued activity among tradition first-time homebuyers.

The missing “first-time homebuyers” is a big source of discussion, as people theorize that the new generation just isn’t interested in homeownership. Or maybe they are interested in homeownership, but due to student loan debt and lack of jobs, they just can’t make it happen.

So what will get them into the housing market? Simple, strong job growth.

On his company’s quarterly conference call this past week (via Calculated Risk), Jeff Mezger, the CEO of homebuilder KB Home, said that there was some slight signs of renewed first-time homebuyer activity. During the Q&A portion of the conference call, Mezger was pressed on what specifically he was seeing. Here’s the key back and forth, where an analyst from JPMorgan asks for clarification on first-time homebuyer activity. Note the bolded part of Mezger’s answer:

Michael Rehaut – JPMorgan

That’s great. I appreciate that. And I guess second question for Jeff Mezger, as there are two Jeffs I have to distinguish. Jeff, you mentioned that in your opening remarks that there was evidence of a reemergence of the first-time buyer and I was hoping you could expand on that a little bit in terms of that if that’s something you are seeing in your own business itself and particularly given that you continue to perhaps shift to maybe away from the historically traditional first-time buyer more of a financially – more financially a stronger type of first time buyer that’s more financially able and more perhaps the move up community, so I was just wondering if this was something that you kind of saw specifically within your own business or if it was more just kind of general comments as it relates to perhaps mortgage lending standards or other trends that you see out there?

Jeff Mezger – Chief Executive Officer

Mike, it’s part of why I split it into the two different business dynamics we are dealing with today. In the higher income with land constrained areas I don’t know that our first-time buyer mix has changed. It’s a different first-time buyer I know it’s a higher income buyer than we would have seen 10 years ago. What I was trying to point out in the cities pick a Texas City because all four of the larger cities has solid job growth and real population growth going on today. And it’s a because of the job growth we are seeing more first-time buyers. They are not – it’s a well healed first-time buyer, but it’s not the high income first-time buyer like you would see in Orange County or up in the Santa Clara County. So I think it’s because you have job growth going on in those cities and that’s within our own business we are seeing this .


read more…

4 Costs New Homeowners Have to Plan For | Waccabuc Real Estate


We all know that buying a home is a huge financial decision that requires adequate funds and thorough research. But there’s more to owning a home than just buying it. Beyond what you pay to own the home, be sure you take into account the additional costs that come with being a homeowner.


Moving may seem minor but it’s a cost that often comes very soon after forking over a large sum of money. Once you’ve purchased the home you want to live in, you have to get there. Whether you rent a truck and do the heavy lifting yourself or you have full-service movers take care of the hard work, there will be a cost to move all of your things from your current home into your next home. This is important to remember when you are figuring out how much of a down payment you can afford. You want to make sure you have enough left over to get to that wonderful house once you buy it!

Mortgage Payments

While renters are usually used to paying on a monthly basis, owning a home almost always comes with monthly mortgage payments. This includes the repayment portion of the principal as well as interest. The monthly expense depends on the amount borrowed, interest rate and whether your mortgage is fixed-rate or adjustable-rate. Be sure to do the research and make an agreement with a monthly cost you can afford.

Taxes and Insurance

As a homeowner, you have to pay property taxes and home insurance. The construction materials and location of your home affect the cost of insurance — and insurance can rise over time. You may also need supplemental insurance if you live in an earthquake or flood zone. These expenses are often paid each month, and are often rolled into your monthly mortgage payment



read more….


Down to Earth Farmers Markets | Cross River Real Estate




Grand Opening Celebration of New Rochelle Farmers Market Tomorrow;
SALE: Fresh Mussels from American Pride Seafood;
Making Berry Love Last + MORE

June 26th-July 2nd, 2014
What’s New, In Season, and On Sale This Week

Rexcroft Farm

Roasted eggplant dip

Nana’s Home Kitchen

Alex’s Tomato Farm
Fishkill Farm
R & G Produce

Rexcroft Farm

Caramelized Garlic Loaf
Wave Hill Breads

Chocolate Chip, Ginger & Peanut Butter, all made with local honey

Honeybrook Farm

Taliaferro Farms

Pika’s Farm Table

Cauliflower, carrots, celery,
and sweet peppers steeped to perfection for delicious snack
Sale: Pint = $4 (Reg. $5)

Pickle Licious

Taliaferro Farms

Green & Purple Kohlrabi
Alex’s Tomato Farm

Macadamia Nut Bars
10% OFF this week


SALE: $4/pound or $7 for two pounds

American Pride Seafood

Nana’s Cheese Beurak
Oven baked puff pastry w/cheese

Nana’s Home Kitchen

New Potatoes
R & G Produce

Alex’s Tomato Farm
Newgate Farms
Taliaferro Farms

Rainbow Chard Ravioli with Black Pepper Pasta
$10 for 18 pieces

Trotta Foods

Roman Foccacia
Wave Hill Breads

Sour Cherry Pies & Tarts
Regular & gluten-free – made with local cherries!

Meredith’s Bread

Fishkill Farm
Migliorelli Farm
Wright Family Farm


Wright Family Farm

Yellow Zucchini
Migliorelli Farm

Click on a Market to see all vendor and event details…




8:30 am-1:00 pm


8:30 am-1:00 pm


9:30 am-3:00 pm


9:00 am-2:00 pm


8:30 am-2:00 pm

Spring Valley

8:30 am-3:00 pm

Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow

8:30 am-1:00 pm

New Rochelle

8:30 am-2:30 pm

Headed to the city soon?

Visit a Down to Earth
Farmers Market in NYC!


Susan Chasen from the Organic Teaching Kitchen will be at the Croton-on-Hudson farmers market this Sunday from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, creating a seasonal raw kale salad for all to sample. Pick up a recipe to try at home and l
earn more about organic eating.

New Rochelle – Tomorrow – Grand Opening at 10:30 am

It is time to cut the ribbon and celebrate the 2014 season of New Rochelle’s Down to Earth Farmers Market! On Friday, June 27th, help us welcome several community leaders and market supporters, including State Senator George Latimer and Mayor Noam Bramson. The market now has an expanded selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats, local honey, and baked goods. We’re located on North Avenue, at Huguenot Park, in front of New Rochelle High School. See you there every Friday, through November 21st, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.


Calling all kids! The Rye Free Reading Room will be hosting an ‘Eating Green with Granny Jean’ Storytelling event at the market on Sunday from 11:30 am to noon. Join storyteller Granny Jean as she reads stories and shares activities to inspire curiosity about healthy foods.

For additional events, visit our Down to Earth Markets Event Calendar.

Stay tuned to all market happenings via our Down to Earth Markets Facebook page
and follow us on Instagram and on Twitter @DowntoEarthMkts.

Berries, Let’s Make this Love Last
This is how we feel about the annual berry harvest

This week we went on a Choose Your Own Adventure – of the berry variety. Our quest was to preserve the beautiful berry harvest of late June. We chose strawberries as our protagonist in this story, but it could have just as easily starred the season’s blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or cherries. They are all appearing at our farmers markets these days – have you seen them? Have you tried them? Have you relished every bite, and with each one, taken a moment to say thank you to summer? Yes, SAME HERE.

We tried two different methods of preserving our quarts of fresh, local strawberries: 1) drying and 2) freezing. On the drying front, we don’t have a dehydrator, so we tried the oven method. It calls for cleaning the berries, cutting off the green stem, and then placing them in the oven for 3-4 hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We’re sharing this because we’d like our fellow preservationists to learn from our mistakes: Don’t do it.

When we pulled out the berries at hour #4, our they had shriveled to little flakes and used a lot of energy in the process. Yes, shriveling is the point of drying, but nonetheless, it was an energy-intensive process that created a hot kitchen on a hotter summer day — without much return. In seeing the final outcome, the phrase Pinterest Fail quickly came to mind.

We’re happy to say that the journey of freezing the berries went much better. It’s so easy to do in just 5 steps:

  1. Rinse the berries.
  2. Dry them with a paper towel. Our method is to roll them around in a colander lined with paper towels.
  3. Cut off the green stem, so there is a flat surface on one side.
  4. Distribute them across a baking sheet; do not allow them to touch. This is how we prevent the berries from freezing into one massive bunch.
  5. Put the berries in the freezer. Once they are frozen (2+ hours), add them into a Zip-Loc freezer bag. Now we’ve got berries to add to smoothies, pancakes, and more for many months to come. And they taste divine.

To share the process visually, we snapped a few photos along the way and posted this photo album online. Click on any photo to read its caption.

Are you preserving the harvest this year? If so, we’d love to see what you’re up to, so let us know. AND – See you at the farmers market berry table this weekend!

Rotating* Vendors This Week
*Vendors who rotate through
various markets during the season.
They enjoy getting to know many communities, and here’s where to find them this week:


Calcutta Kitchens
#Freedom Craft Brewery
Lulu’s Southern Pies
The Peanut Principle
The RAD Soap Company
Trotta Foods

New Rochelle

e-Desserts (Freshly baked scones, cakes, and more!)


Hudson River Apiaries
Nana’s Home Kitchen


Kontoulis Family Olive Oil
Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery


Kontoulis Family Olive Oil

Down to Earth Markets 173 Main Street Ossining, NY 10562 Phone: 914-923-4837

Zillow and Douglas Elliman Real Estate Enter Into Marketing Partnership | South Salem NY Homes


Zillow Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate, one of the largest real estate brokerages in the nation and New York City’s largest residential brokerage, announced they have entered into a new strategic marketing partnership. All of Douglas Elliman’s listings will appear as featured listings on the Yahoo!-Zillow Real Estate Network, the largest real estate network on the web, via a direct feed from Douglas Elliman. The direct feed ensures accurate and up-to-date information is being shared with home shoppers from across the many regions Douglas Elliman serves, including New York, Westchester/Putnam, Long Island, The Hamptons, South Florida and Los Angeles. Also as part of the partnership, Douglas Elliman’s exclusive inventory of Manhattan properties will be marketed on Zillow for the very first time. As featured listings, all of Douglas Elliman’s listings will appear at the top of the search results on Zillow as well as on Zillow’s popular suite of mobile apps and on Zillow partners AOL Real Estate and HGTV’s FrontDoor.

“We are excited about our partnership with Douglas Elliman,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO. “Combining Douglas Elliman’s listing inventory with our broad marketing capabilities and audience of nearly 82 million users brings many benefits not only to Douglas Elliman’s agents, but also to home shoppers looking for property in Manhattan and in the other markets served by Douglas Elliman.”

In addition to displaying as a featured listing on Zillow, all Douglas Elliman’s listings will feature unique branding and the company’s agents will get priority placement next to their listings, including a logo and link back to their website. The partnership will be live later this week.



read more…

Fixed Mortgage Rates Lower Than Same Time Last Year | Katonah Real Estate


Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving lower following the release of the first quarter real GDP final estimate. Fixed mortgage rates are lower this week than at the same time last year when Fed remarks spurred market speculation that it could begin tapering its bond purchases causing mortgage rates to spike.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.14 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 26, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.46 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.22 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.50 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.98 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.00 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.08 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.40 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.41 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.66 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were down following the release of first quarter real GDP final estimate, which fell at a 2.9 percent annualized rate, a steeper than expected decline and the worst reading since the first quarter of 2009. Also, the seasonally-adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index was up only 0.2 percent in April from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, prices remained strong in April up 10.8 percent, but slower than the 12.3 percent in March.”







Dramatic Glass Design With Penobscot Bay Views Asks $4.75M | Bedford Hills Real Estate


31 images

Location: Camden, Maine
Price: $4,750,000
The Skinny: There’s a stereotypical assumption that glassy, modern homes are usually found in the warmer climes of states like California or Florida, but the northernmost regions of the country do have their own representatives of see-through housing—exorbitant heating costs notwithstanding. Philip Johnson’s Glass House and the Ben Rose house (of Ferris Bueller fame) come immediately to mind, and now New York architect Toshiko Mori has designed a dramatic glass home on the shores of Maine’s Penobscot Bay. The 3,500-square-foot glass-enclosed home’s windows put the dramatic seasonal changes of the Maine landscape on full display, from the lush green of summer to the stark, snowy vistas of the deep northern winter. Inside the light-filled, climate-controlled bubble of the home there are two bedrooms and three bathrooms, an indoor lap pool, and views of the bay from almost every room. The home, which also features landscape design by Michael Van Valkenburgh, is recently completed and is asking $4.75M.



read more…

Jonathan Safran Foer Reduces Price of Park Slope Mansion | Bedford Real Estate


19 images

While Brooklyn townhouses are still selling like crazy, apparently the $14 million threshold remains a tough one to break. For evidence, look no further than writer Jonathan Safran Foer’s extremely nice and incredibly expensive limestone townhouse in Park Slope, which he and his wife, writer Nicole Krauss, put on the market for $14.5 million back in October. The couple separated shortly before listing the house and are now “living in separate homes in another Brooklyn neighborhood.” In the meantime, the house has not sold, and yesterday it was relisted with a reduced asking price of $13 million.



read more…