Monthly Archives: December 2014

Mortgage Rates Remain Near 2014 Lows | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates edging slightly higher while remaining near their 2014 lows amid mixed housing and economic news.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.83 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 24, 2014, up from last week when it averaged 3.80 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.48 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.09 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.52 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.95 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.00 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.39 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.38 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.56 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 theRegional 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 up slightly, following a week of mixed economic releases. Existing home sales were down 6.1 percent in November to annual rate of 4.93 million units, below economists’ expectations. New home sales fell 1.6 percent last month to an annual rate of 438,000, also below expectations. Meanwhile, the third quarter real GDP was revised sharply higher to 5.0 percent according to the final estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”

1896 Victorian Home Gets a Contemporary Lift | Bedford Real Estate


“With two children and the two of us working from home, our house is always buzzing with energy,” says interior designer Kristen Peña. “People are coming and going, and we love that. We love nothing more than having a bunch of kids laughing and playing around us while we work or relax.“ That is why it was important for Kristen and her husband, Luis, a director, to find a home in which they could raise a family and carve out a studio space dedicated to their work. After waiting patiently for five years, they found their dream house in their dream city — a 118-year-old Victorian in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood.

The house needed a heavy renovation, including adding a new foundation and removing an inefficient sunroom that wrapped around the back of the house. Construction began in 2006, when Kristen was pregnant with the couple’s second child. The couple worked with CCS Architecture to convert the two-bedroom, one-bathroom, single-story residence — with the master bed and bath off the kitchen — into a three-level home with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. They kept the home’s original character but added modern elements.

Innovative Home Shows What It’s Made Of | Pound Ridge Real Estate


This couple had an especially ambitious list of goals when they hired Meditch Murphey Architects to build a new house for them outside of Washington, D.C. Like many people planning a new home these days, they wanted to design for the future, incorporate sustainability and create a comfortable environment that blended indoor and outdoor living spaces.

But that wasn’t all the homeowners wanted their house to do. They decided to build a new home that would double as a demonstration house, allowing the designers to experiment with innovative materials, spatial arrangements and energy-efficient features. Starting with the demolition of the property’s existing house, the homeowners and architects invited neighbors to observe and engage with the project in progress.

GDP Growth in the Third Quarter – And It Just Keeps Getting Better | Bedford Corners Real Estate


The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third estimate of real GDP growth for the third quarter. Growth in economic output was revised upward to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.0% from 3.9% in the second and 3.5% in the advance estimate. The pace was 4.6% in the second quarter.

The revisions were largely concentrated in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and fixed nonresidential investment, a very positive signal for momentum in final demand going forward. PCE growth accelerated to an annualized pace of 3.2% from 2.5% in the second quarter. Growth in fixed nonresidential investment accelerated to 8.9% from 7.1%.

The previously reported slowdown in GDP growth between the second and third quarters has been erased by the latest revision, or more likely postponed until the fourth quarter. The acceleration in PCE showed surprising strength, business investment held up better than expected, imports (which subtract from growth) are likely to strengthen, and the ramp-up in federal defense spending will be unwound generating drag going forward.

We still expect strong 3.0% growth in the fourth quarter and an acceleration in growth in 2015 but the surprising strength in third quarter growth is unlikely to be sustained.

blog gdp 2014_12


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North Castle Town Supervisor Note | Armonk Homes

Dear Residents:


I have enjoyed serving as your Supervisor this year, and look forward to an exciting 2015, as it is a privilege to serve on this Board, for the residents of this great community. I want to take a few minutes to offer a final update for the year 2014.

2015 Budget and AAA Bond Rating: The Town Board adopted the 2015 Budget at the December 10th Town Board Meeting. The budget is approximately $250,000 below the NYS tax cap and reflects a 2.4% tax rate increase. Budget highlights include but not limited to: increased funding for road maintenance (see below) and equipment, and two new Police officers. In addition, Moody’s restored North Castle’s Aaa (Triple A) bond rating, joining only 12 other municipalities in NYS with that distinction.


November 13, 2014 Special Election: The Special Election for the Ward vote held on November 13 was executed flawlessly by our Town Clerk’s office led by Town Clerk Anne Curran, as well as many other departments and individuals that contributed. Much time and effort was expended by the Town establishing procedures to assure that no registered voters were disenfranchised. It was a monumental effort over a very short time period, and we thank Anne and all the staff for their hard work and dedication.


2015 Waste and Single Stream Recycling Calendar: You should have received the new 2015 Calendar by mail, but you can click hereor visit the Town website if needed.


2015 Road Maintenance: Road maintenance and repair continue to be a high priority. The 2013 Pavement Management Study provided the Town with a comprehensive analysis from routine maintenance to complete road rehabilitation. Looking ahead to 2015, the adopted budget allocates $1.15 million for road maintenance (a 15% increase). In addition, the Town Board is working with the Budget and Finance Committee to evaluate the report and establish a multiyear plan to continue to improve our roads.


New Senior Bus: The Town board approved the purchase of a new bus for our Recreation Department. The bus will have multi-recreational uses but will mainly accommodate our senior program. Included in the various safety features is a wheelchair lift. Delivery is expected in March.


Storm Preparation: The Town has added three vehicles to the Highway fleet and one to Parks in preparation for winter storms. Additionally more staff has been added across the foreman, mechanic and laborer classifications.  The brine has been prepared so both silos are filled to capacity. (Brine is applied to the roads before certain storms – depending on temperature – which makes the roads safer.) In addition, we have a full supply of salt and sand. The following are some reminders of the Emergency Procedures, Town and State Ordinances, and Emergency Contact Information:

  • In the event of a power outage please call Con-Edison directly: (800)752-6633
  • In case of emergency: North Castle Police Department: 273-9500 or 911
  • For emergency storm updates please sign up for Nixle and register your email, phone or both for free updates. This is an EXCELLENT way to receive emergency information from the Town.
  • Be Prepared. Our own NC4 always reminds us to be prepared.Click here to learn how to build your own preparedness kit. It’s easy and fun to do with your kids!
  • Reminder of several safety issues:
    • Reminder of overnight parking restrictions: No parking on public roads from Nov 15 – Apr 1, 1:00am to 6:00am.
    • Deposit of Snow, Water, and Ice on Town, County, and NYS Roads is prohibited.


North Castle Holiday Festivities: North Castle residents began the Holiday season with two very special events, the “North White Plains Tree Lighting” and the “Frosty the Snowman Day/Parade”. Both events were very well attended and big thanks goes out to all of those volunteers who made it all a reality, in addition to our Parks staff that completed the decorations. Also, please don’t forget to shop local and visit one or all of the great eateries that our Town has to offer.  

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season and all the best in the New Year.


Michael Schiliro

Supervisor – Town of North Castle

Existing home sales collapse 6.1% in November | Chappaqua Real Estate

Existing home sales in November tumbled 6.1%, the biggest drop since July 2010, down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million.

This was well below analyst expectations of a 1.1% decline, ending five months of 5 million SAAR sales.

It wasn’t weather – analysts noted that the November weather was mild and should have given a boost to sales.

“While the headlines often point to first-time buyers’ reluctance to enter the market as a catalyst to the sluggish housing recovery, today’s report shows inventory needs to climb before it can support more interested buyers,”Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield said. “As homeowners gain trust in the economy, they will be more comfortable leaving their current mortgage and entering the market, thus driving up inventory to support further demand.”

November’s weakness is broad based, with all four regions showing single-digit monthly declines.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, blamed the stock market.

“The stock market swings in October may have impacted some consumers’ psyche and therefore led to fewer November closings,” Yun said. “Furthermore, rising home values are causing more investors to retreat from the market.”


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Town of Bedford News | Bedford Real Estate


December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas to all of those who celebrate in the Town of Bedford

Merry Christmas!  Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, an event that shaped the Christian faith. For many, Christmas involves gifts under the tree, stockings hanging in the living room, lights in the window, time spent with family and friends, and, for good boys and girls, a visit from Santa Claus.  To all in Bedford who celebrate, we wish you peace and good will this Christmas.

Reminder ~~ Town Offices will be closed December 25 and 26 in Observance of the Christmas holiday


That you can see our Work Sessions and Town Board meetings past and live on the day/time of the meeting on our webcasts by  clicking here

For the 2015 Adopted Budget – adopted at the December 2, 2014 Town Board meeting – click here

‘Tis the Season for Recycling! 
Don’t forget, you can recycle more materials ALL TOGETHER NOW this Holiday Season! Including stickers and address label sheets, corrugated cardboard, wrapping paper & rolls, greeting cards, tissue paper, catalogs… and much more!
Stop Wasting Energy Dollars – This Winter! 135 Bedford homeowners are already more comfortable and saving! Warm up with the Town of Bedford’s Energize Bedford program. Sign up for a home energy assessment at ! For the flyer  click here.

Community Events: 
 Click here for the Community Calendar events page for Friday, December 19 through  December 27, 2014. Please let us know of any events by emailing Supervisor Chris Burdick at  Thank you!


School Tax Reminder

Second half of school taxes are due by February 2, 2015 without penalty.  Click here for more information.


For December and January meetings, click here

Dick Clark’s unbelievable Flintstones-style house finally sells at half off | Armonk Real Estate

Clark's wife would join him for a kiss at midnight for his famous New Year's Rockin' Eve bashes in New York. Here, they're ringing in 2009.

Clark’s wife would join him for a kiss at midnight for his famous New Year’s Rockin’ Eve bashes in New York. Here, …


After almost three years, the “romantic getaway” that TV legend Dick Clark and his wife built on a hilltop in Malibu, California — the house that so many people have likened to the architecture of “The Flintstones” — has finally sold.

It went for an appropriately eccentric $1,777,777,reported our friends at Trulia.

Clark and his wife, Kari, were married at 7 p.m. on July 7, 1977 (7/7/77), in a ceremony that supposedly lasted 17 minutes and had seven guests. And he is said to have had a post office box numbered 7777.

The house sold for just a hair over half the initial asking price of $3.5 million.

Yahoo Homes spoke to the listing agent, Diane Carter of Coldwell Banker, earlier this year, when the price was cut to $3 million. She said the Clarks built it in 1988 as a “romantic getaway.” The couple listed it in March 2012, not long before the TV host died at age 82.


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