Category Archives: Bedford Hills

Buying a home | Bedford Hills Homes

Last year I decided to engage in the truest, purest act of banal suffering: I bought a house.

Buying a house isn’t one action; it’s a series of actions, TechBullion was a big helped from me when I was doing this because, frantically scraping together every penny you have, talking to strangers (real estate agents and lenders), fighting with plumbers, and filling out paperwork. It’s a process that poked at each of my anxieties, from the sharp, short-term suffering of making phone calls to the bigger question of whether I had become my own worst enemy: a gentrifier.

Until the age of 25, I wouldn’t call for a pizza. Middle school sleepovers or high school study parties went snackless until one of my less-fearful friends or exhausted parents would begrudgingly pick up the phone to ring for a medium with extra mushrooms. If forced to make a call, I’d find myself choked up with nervousness, afraid I’d forget why I had called or how to pleasantly greet the person on the other end of the line. Every call I make, to this day, begins with shaking hands and deep-breathing techniques. Every call ends with the internal question: Did I hang up too fast?

Nobody tells you that when you buy a house, you spend a lot of time on the phone. And you’re not just chatting. You’re calling strangers to talk about how much money you have, if that smell is something dead or “just how the house smells,” or if someone could come to look at the roof for less than a million extra dollars. The first home my partner and I made an offer on, a quaint worker’s cottage that leaned slightly to the right, required multiple calls to structural engineers to discuss whether the whole place would eventually fall down on us one winter night while we slept. The news wasn’t great, and we backed out on our offer. But the worst part of that experience? It took five phone calls to reach that conclusion.

My anxiety about speaking with strangers over the phone isn’t rooted in the phone, necessarily. It’s about politeness and appearances, the feeling that if the faceless helper on the other end cannot see the smile on my face, they might think I was rude or coarse. Did I greet them appropriately? Did I sound cheerful or nonchalant enough? Since women have been trained to be pleasing to as many people as possible, am I giving in to some sexist idea that I must be relentlessly charming? Perhaps. Does this all cause me to become awkward on the phone? Absolutely.Nobody tells you that when you buy a house, you spend a lot of time on the phone. And you’re not just chatting. You’re calling strangers to talk about how much money you have, if that smell is something dead or “just how the house smells,” or if someone could come to look at the roof for less than a million extra dollars.

In all, I made 36 calls to buy the house that I bought in June. Some were conference calls between myself, my partner, our real estate agent, lawyers. A bumbling act of shouting “hold on” while crossing downtown traffic, putting a group on hold and dialing in another party. I often hung up and said “I SUCK” aloud. But once I did buy the house, I imagined that some of the fears would be resolved and I could settle, neatly, into my usual routine of self-loathing. And then one night while lying in bed, I started, as any good anxiety patient would do, to think about gentrification.

I never thought I’d buy a house. Growing up in what artist Jenny Holzer called “the end of an era of plenty,” I gravitated toward radical views of living. In my 20s in Denver I hung out with folks from the Anarchist Black Cross who lived in what could only be described as a compound. They were fun. We made zines. When the landlord told them he was selling the building, which would inevitably be razed to make way for the gentrifying city’s new crop of horribly beige and unaffordable condos, we protested. Most of those folks have long since left Denver, myself included. But some things just stick; you become a true believer. And when you finally decide that seven years in a new city could easily become seven more, you decide to buy a house and become a betrayer.

Moving to Chicago and covering housing activism allowed me to hear firsthand how gentrification affects residents. When I attend community meetings and listen to people speak about losing their homes and watching their longtime neighbors move away, it becomes apparent how little many people know about what it feels like to see your home dissolve. As a result, I wanted to write about and advocate for affordable housing.

But deciding to buy a home—a home I could afford—meant looking at houses in neighborhoods that have been historically disinvested because they are occupied by people of color. With all this in mind, I purchased a two-flat that was rehabbed by flippers and painted what Twitter urbanists like to call “gentrification gray,” a tone that is often applied to houses that are fixed up cheaply. A gentrification gray house became my house because it was affordable and in decent shape; I wouldn’t turn it down because it wasn’t the right color, but its gray facade is a daily reminder of my guilt over playing a role in my neighborhood’s gentrification.

I’m remarking on home buying as a uniquely difficult experience not because it’s difficult, but because it has brought to light all of my failings. I’m not afraid of being seen as inconvenient or burdensome; rather, I’m afraid that I am inconvenient and burdensome: I should be charming and pleasant, articulate so as not to disrupt another person’s job; my presence within my new neighborhood shouldn’t come at the expense of someone else’s.

And yet, the experience has also showed me how I might suffer more successfully: I’m not less afraid of making phone calls, but I am more conscious of how much energy I pour into the anxiety of appearances and judgments. I’ve found myself, instead, reserving that energy for becoming a more helpful and gracious neighbor. Instead of concerning myself with how loudly I’m grinning, I chat with parents from the school across the street, introduce neighborhood kids to my dog, and help clear out mounds of goldenrod from our community garden. Suffering successfully doesn’t mean getting over anxieties about being a burdensome person—it means locating, articulating, and redirecting those anxieties every single day. Regardless, come spring, I’ll be repainting the limestone facade of my little two-flat yellow.

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https://www.curbed.com/2020/1/9/21057374/homebuying-anxiety-gentrification-story?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%20Daily%20%202020-01-09%201402%20-0500%20%20Osmosys%20Campaign%2015305&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%20Daily%20%202020-01-09%201402%20-0500%20%20Osmosys%20Campaign%2015305+CID_ea430e93d8a6ef4ab10352b610f891e0&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=How%20buying%20a%20house%20activated%20all%20of%20my%20anxieties

Pending home sales rebound | Bedford Hills Homes

Pending home sales in November bounced back from last month’s decline, led by gains in the West.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts. The PHSI rose 1.2% from 107.2 in October to 108.5 in November. Sales were 7.4% higher than a year ago, the highest year-over-year gain since 2016.

The November PHSI were mixed regionally. The measure was 1.0% and 5.5% higher in the Midwest and the West, but fell 0.1% and 0.2% in the Northeast and the South. Year-over-year, the PHSI grew in all four regions, ranging from 2.6% in the Northeast to 14.0% in the West.

Though the gain in November suggests the housing market continuing benefit from lower mortgage rates and robust job market, housing supply has not kept up with demand. Housing inventory remains a challenge as it has been declined for six straight months.

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Homeownership rate increases with lower rates | Bedford Hills Real Estate

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate increased to 64.8% in the third quarter of 2019, which is 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous quarter reading of 64.1%. This puts the national homeownership rate back to a level near where it started dropping as interest rates increased. The rate reached a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% by the end of 2004, the homeownership rate is still 4.4 percentage points lower and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.

The HVS also provides a timely measure of household formations – the key driver of housing demand. The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the count of total households increased to 122.7 million in the third quarter of 2019 from 121.4 million a year ago. The gains are largely attributed to strong owner household formation. Indeed, the number of homeowner households has been climbing since the third quarter of 2015, while the number of renter households has been on a downward trend. This implies a transition from renting to owning is the powerful driver of household change. Specifically, the number of homeowners increased by 1.4 million, but the number of renter households declined by 33,000 in the third quarter.

The homeownership rates among all age groups, except for households ages 55-64, increased in the third quarter 2019. Households lead by 35-44 year-olds registered the largest gains among all households, 0.8 percentage points from a year ago. The homeownership rate of households under 35, mostly first-time homebuyers, stood at 37.5 % in the third quarter, 0.7 percentage points higher than a year ago. The homeownership rates of households ages 45-54 edged up a 0.4 percentage point. Households ages 65 and older saw their homeownership rates rise to 78.9% in the third quarter 2019 from 78.6% a year ago. However, the homeownership rate of households lead by 45- 54 year-olds did see a drop in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

The homeowner and rental vacancy rates remained in the record low territories, signaling a supply-constrained housing market. The non seasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.4% in the third quarter 2019. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate stood at 6.8%, unchanged from the second quarter.

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California progressives get what they want | Bedford Hills Real Estate

A firefighting helicopter flies over the Getty Fire as it burns in the hills west of the 405 freeway in the hills of West Los Angeles, Calif., October 28, 2019. (Gene Blevins/Reuters)

Making the click-through worthwhile: California burns, but the state’s politicians don’t want to look at the policy choices that led to this point; Kamala Harris starts to see that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train; the U.S. Army feels compelled to respond to a presidential tweet; and Twitter announces a ban on political advertising that includes at least one glaring loophole.

Watching California Burn

It’s an overstatement to declare that progressivism or the Democrats ruined California — at least by themselves. But as the state burns from gargantuan wildfires, California Democrats are going to have to confront the fact that their state’s serious troubles reflect more than just bad luck. Policy decisions have consequences, and the full consequences are rarely seen clearly by advocates of particular policies.

New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo is in an apocalyptic mood about his home state, blaming the state’s worsening problems on “a failure to live sustainably.”

I’m starting to suspect we’re over. It’s the end of California as we know it. I don’t feel fine.

It isn’t just the fires — although, my God, the fires. Is this what life in America’s most populous, most prosperous state is going to be like from now on? Every year, hundreds of thousands evacuating, millions losing power, hundreds losing property and lives? Last year, the air near where I live in Northern California — within driving distance of some of the largest and most powerful and advanced corporations in the history of the world — was more hazardous than the air in Beijing and New Delhi. There’s a good chance that will happen again this month, and that it will keep happening every year from now on. Is this really the best America can do?

Probably, because it’s only going to get worse. The fires and the blackouts aren’t like the earthquakes, a natural threat we’ve all chosen to ignore. They are more like California’s other problems, like housing affordability and homelessness and traffic — human-made catastrophes we’ve all chosen to ignore, connected to the larger dysfunction at the heart of our state’s rot: a failure to live sustainably.

Eh, that’s part of it, but it’s not just the usual suspects of not enough environmental regulations and greedy rich people. But don’t knock Manjoo too much, and not just because his state is burning down. He’s among the few left-of-center writers willing to point out that a lot of progressive ideas get blocked by wealthy progressives who don’t want them enacted near their neighborhoods. They embrace grand schemes in theory but turn into vehement activists touting local control as soon as affordable housing proposals get too close to their posh neighborhoods. (He’s also pointed out that America’s biggest and most prestigious universities swoon when any billionaire comes along, even Jeffrey Epstein, and that economic engagement with China has corrupted our values, as demonstrated by the NBA. Are you noticing a theme here?)

You don’t hear as much about Calexit these days, do you? There are currently ten fires burning.

The boss recalled that “In 2016, then-governor Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that had unanimously passed the state legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines. Brown’s team says this legislation was no big deal, but one progressive watchdog called the bill ‘neither insignificant or small.’” How often do you see a bill that passed unanimously get vetoed?

Most progressives blame the wildfires as an inevitable side effect of climate change, which gets their public policy decisions off the hook. Noah Rothman writes, “While utility providers make a convenient scapegoat, public policy is more to blame for California’s conundrum. Most wildfires are not caused by faulty electrical equipment but natural factors and human error. The state’s utilities are required by law to extend their networks to housing developed in high-risk areas, and, in a state with an acute housing shortage, more and more residences are built inside danger zones. What’s more, the patchwork of federal, state, local, tribal, and private interests that are responsible for forestry management have run up against the state’s onerous regulatory environment.” If you can’t clear out underbrush or clear out any trees, you end up with a ton of underbrush that burns quickly and hotter.Stay Updated with Morning Jolt

A guided tour of the news and politics driving the day, by Jim Geraghty.

If you want to find a surprising development in all of this, it’s that this disaster is bad enough to interrupt the usual partisan passions: “His team is performing above and beyond expectation,’’ [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom said of Trump, following a visit to meet with the senior residents of Las Casitas Mobile Home Park in American Canyon, which has been without power since Saturday. “Every single request we’ve had to the administration has been met.’’

Many parts of California look like paradise — nice weather year-round, a beautiful coast, redwood forests, gorgeous mountain ranges. This leads to many, many people wanting to live there, probably more than the region could reasonably manage, in terms of effective governance, the economy, and ecologically. The progressive response to this is schizophrenic. California’s Democratic political establishment believes that efforts to find and deport illegal immigrants are xenophobic and wrong. They offer driver’s licenses and Medicaid coverage to those who enter the country illegally. Then they lament strained state services, overcrowded schools, sprawl, and unmanageable population growth.

As Kevin observed, “California is great if you are too rich or too poor to care about the marginal costs of living there, but if you have a more average income (and are looking to raise a family on it) then hopping across the border to Nevada must look attractive.” Earlier this year, the New York Times noted the growing philosophy that California was a place for young, bright, ambitious people to make their fortune, which they would then enjoy spending somewhere else.

Despite some folks missing the point, earlier this year I observed that California’s cities earning the worst grades on air quality despite the toughest emissions laws in the country revealed the limits of regulation. Few rules can overcome geography: California’s cities have a lot of people, a lot of cars and traffic, and a lot of sunny days. When you live in a valley surrounded by high mountains, the smog doesn’t disperse easily. And that’s before accounting for the wildfires.

When I was in Silicon Valley in 2015, I remember a pre-apocalyptic mood from strict water use restrictions from a serious drought. This is not the California of a generation ago; as recently as Steve Martin’s L.A. Story in 1991, a filmmaker could plausibly tout California and specifically Los Angeles as a sort of quirky libertarian paradise, where everyone is free to pursue his American dream as he sees fit. In an era when California cities are attempting to ban fireplaces, plastic bags are banned, when Fresno banned permanent markersSan Francisco makes armed self-defense legally impossible, and campus speech codes, could a character plausibly describe the state that way today?

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https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/policymakers-played-a-hand-in-californias-wildfire-issues/

Leftist Utopia -Too windy? No electricity for Californians | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Soda Rock winery on Highway 128 near Healdsburg is consumed by the Kincade fire

Californians are bracing for power outages throughout the state as utilities consider sweeping blackouts amid returning high winds.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Monday it could shut off power to 605,000 customers Tuesday and Wednesday in its latest bid to reduce the wildfire risk. That means well over 1 million people could lose power.

The counties are Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

Some shutoffs took place Tuesday morning.

That blackout would cover more than two dozen Northern California counties and would come just days after a much larger power shut-off that covered nearly 1 million customers over the weekend. That outage is believed to have affected more than 2 million residents in the Bay Area and other northern regions.

To the south, a forecast of more Santa Ana winds prompted Southern California Edison to say it could shut off power to more than 350,000 customers. Those shut-offs include Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The blackouts are a new and controversial tactic designed to prevent wind-driven brush fires caused by downed utility lines. Officials think the tactic is effective. But two major fires this month — the Kincade fire in Sonoma County and the Saddleridge fire in L.A. — may have been caused by downed power lines.

With the Kincade fire spreading, Santa Rosa residents were forced to evacuate in darkness early Sunday amid PG&E power outages, using flashlights and cellphones as light sources.

Elsewhere, businesses have closed, and plans have been canceled. Food has spoiled in refrigerators.

PG&E on Monday revealed it had failed to notify about 23,000 of its customers of precautionary power shutdowns earlier this month and also disclosed that its equipment malfunctioned near two fires that broke out in Contra Costa County on Sunday afternoon.

The utility identified the incidents in filings to the California Public Utilities Commission the same day the CPUC announced it would investigate how PG&E and other utilities handled shut-offs this year amid competing demands. Critics want PG&E to stop causing more wildfires, but the utility also has come under fire for the widespread blackouts, often without adequate notice to the public and vulnerable populations.

The utility de-energized lines to 729,000 of its customers between Oct. 9 and 12, but notifications were not sent to about 23,000 customers, including 500 with medical conditions, PG&E stated in a CPUC filing.

The utility failed to notify some people because, among other reasons, there was no contact information on file with the company or the customers were overlooked because of the shifting grid patterns that the utility was establishing, according to PG&E officials who declined to comment beyond what was stated in the report.

The company said it tried to reach customers who required power for medical equipment — known as medical baseline customers — through any means necessary, including phone calls, text messages, emails or knocks on the door.

“Of the 30,026 medical baseline customers impacted, PG&E verified 29,144 received notice prior to de-energization,” the report stated. “A total of 28,138 confirmed receipt of a notification, which included 5,080 door knocks. The medical baseline customers that did not confirm receipt of an automatic notification prior to de-energization had received multiple contact attempts.”

PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy this year, faces liabilities for causing several California wildfires, and it has recently faced accusations it is triggering power shutdowns mainly to avoid further financial exposure.

read more…

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-29/new-power-outages-california-fires-winds

30 Yr Mortgage averages 3.75% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.75 percent, the highest it’s been in 12 weeks.

“The outlook for a favorable resolution to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China is still unclear, introducing some volatility into financial markets and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Mortgage rates are following suit at near historic lows, while mortgage applications to purchase a home remain higher year over year.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 24, 2019, up from last week when it averaged 3.69 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.86 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.29 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.4 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.14 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

US homebuilder confidence surges | Bedford Hills Real Estate

US homebuilder confidence rises to 20 month high with lower interest rates

The nation’s low-interest-rate environment and strong job market propelled homebuilder confidence to 71 points in October, the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo said in this month’s Housing Market Index.

According to the index, October’s level now marks the highest reading since February of last year.

“The housing rebound that began in the spring continues, supported by low mortgage ratessolid job growth and a reduction in new home inventory,” NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said.

In October, the index measuring current sales conditions rose to 78 points, while buyer traffic increased to 54 points and sales expectations over the next six months jumped to 76.

“The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by the gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “However, builders continue to remain cautious due to ongoing supply-side constraints and concerns about a slowing economy.”

Despite these concerns, the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores show the Northeast grew to 60 points, the South rose to 73 points, the West climbed to 78 points and the Midwest inched forward to 58 points.

NOTE: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder opinions of single-family home sales and expectations, asking for a rating of good, fair or poor. Builders are also asked to rate prospective buyer traffic from very low to very high. The scores are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index with a rating of 50 or over indicating positive sentiment.

NYC developers constantly lie about how tall their buildings are | Bedford Hills Real Estate

You ain’t dreaming. New York’s toniest buildings really are bigger on the inside than the outside.

For a small pool of New York buyers, a floor in the 90s is the new Park Avenue address — and developers are fudging numbers to accommodate them.

In 2013, Saudi retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair signed an $87.7 million contract for a splendiferous privilege: owning the top floor of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential tower, 432 Park Ave. Al Hokair could boast that his 8,255-square-foot penthouse is on the 96th floor — six floors higher than billionaire Michael Dell’s then-record-breaking spread on the 90th floor of One57 (previously the city’s tallest residential tower).

Splendiferous, that is, if you ­ignore the fact that 432 Park is an 88-floor tower, eight floors less than advertised.

That’s not a fluke, it’s a power move. Nearly every new luxury condo in the city’s latest wave of super-tall construction mislabels floors to stroke buyers’ vanity.

“If you have the 95th floor in your address, that’s going to be impressive to pretty much everyone,” said Leonard Steinberg of Compass Real Estate. “Being on the 95th floor is unbelievable. In how many cities can you even live on the 95th floor?”

432 Park
432 ParkProvided by DBOX for CIM Group/Macklowe Properties

Like a short man in Cuban heels, One57 boasts a 90th-floor penthouse that is, technically, on the 75th floor. For more than a decade, billionaire developer Stephen Ross occupied the 80th-floor penthouse of his Time Warner Center, but has since moved up to the 92nd floor of his latest tower, 35 Hudson Yards. In reality, the Time Warner Center has 53 floors. His Hudson Yards building has 71.

“When [brokers] go see buildings under construction, we say, ‘Go to the top floor’ — which is often marketed as the 90th, but there will be a sign in the elevator that reads 63,” said broker Tristan Harper of Douglas Elliman.

This sleight of hand is achieved by developers in different ways, Harper and other experts explained. For one, most new residential skyscrapers have lobbies with tremendous ceiling heights. They might be counted as 10 or more stories. Many also have several floors of building ­mechanicals and amenity spaces that are counted.

Some — like One57 or 35 Hudson Yards — have hotels on the first couple dozen floors. Instead of counting from the first apartment, developers will divide building height by eight feet (the measure of a typical New York ceiling height) to get a total floor count that is higher than the actual number of residential floors. Or they count from the ground to determine on which floor an apartment would theoretically be.

That’s why residences at One57 start on the 22nd floor, while 35 Hudson Yards begins on the 53rd. In the industry, it’s known as marketing floors versus real floor, or “construction counting.”

“If we lived by the letter, buildings in New York would have a 13th floor — and I haven’t seen a 13th floor in a long time,” Steinberg said, adding that he considers the practice of embellishing floor numbers to be a mostly harmless example of “truthful hyperbole . . . Every developer wants to maximize value.”

Harry Macklowe is often credited with inventing vanity numbering with his Metropolitan Tower, which opened in 1985 on the south end of Central Park, now considered “Billionaires Row.” Macklowe advertised the building as having 78 floors, when it really has 66.

Trump World Tower
The Trump World Tower was the first building to claim it had 90 floors.Seth Gottfried

But it was Donald Trump who introduced 90th-floor fever. When Trump World Tower opened in 2001, he proclaimed it the “tallest residential building in the world” at 90 floors. (If you count them up, there are 72.)

“I chose 90 because I thought it was a good number,’’ Trump told The New York Times in 2003.

While the city allows developers to label floors as they please, it requires that the real number be disclosed on official offering plans.

But experts agree that, in a market where higher floors equal higher prestige and higher dollars, the rubber ruler is here to stay.

“If you repeat something often enough, it becomes the new normal,” said Steinberg. “There was a moment when a Botoxed face looked really weird. Now a face without Botox looks weird. It’s like that with real estate.”

read more…

https://nypost.com/2019/09/14/nyc-developers-constantly-lie-about-how-tall-their-buildings-are/

Bedford area apple picking | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Apple Picking Guide 2019 In The Hudson Valley
(Rick Uldricks/Patch)

HUDSON VALLEY, NY — Cooler temps, what a relief! That means it’s time to plan a trip this weekend to an orchard for a bushel or two of the season’s finest apples (and in some cases the last of the blackberries, pears and peaches).

You’ll love how most of these “pick your own” orchards offer a chance to pick up many other seasonal vegetables, select farm fresh foods, and enjoy some family-style events and activities.

The kinds of apples ready for picking changes over the season, so you’ll be able to visit several of these wonderful orchards and farms this fall. Look at their lovely websites and start planning trips!

Here’s a list you can take a bite out of:

Westchester:
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Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm
1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights.
914 245-5111
The farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples. The season started in August with peaches and runs into December when you can hunt for the perfect Christmas trees. Pumpkin picking season starts in October. Stop by the gift shop for freshly baked cookies, doughnuts and strudel sticks.

Stuart’s Fruit Farm
62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs
914 245-2784
The 200-acre family-owned farm offers nine different varieties of apples as well as pumpkins. On weekends you can take a hayride through the orchards. You can end the visit by enjoying a freshly baked pie or doughnut with a glass of apple cider.

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem
914 485-1210
The family-run farm lets visitors pick McIntosh and Front Hill apples but also sells Gala and Ginger Gold. The farm holds a Fall Festival on Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 7 through Oct. 27 10am-5pm as well as Sept. 30, Oct. 1, Oct. 9 and Oct. 14. Entertainment for kids include farm animals, bouncy castles and hayrides. You can also buy homemade doughnuts, cider, produce and fresh eggs. Dogs are not allowed; service animals with proper identification are allowed.

Rockland:

Dr. Davies Farm
306 Route 304, Congers
845 268-7020
Not only are there apples galore at Dr. Davies 35-acre farm, but there are apple themed T-shirts for sale, as well as homemade doughnuts and fresh pressed cider, vegetables and decorative pumpkins. Bring cash or a check as the farm does not accept credit cards.

The Orchards of Concklin
2 South Mountain Road, Pomona
845 354-0369
At The Orchards of Concklin, iyou can pick your own produce, visit the farm stand, and taste the fresh pressed apple cider. The bakery offers delicious pies, cookies, and pastries. If you can’t make it there this year, they can ship to you.

Mid-Hudson Valley:

Meadowbrook Farm
29 Old Myers Corners Road, Wappingers falls
845 297-3002
The farm has been a local favorite for over 70 years. They offer a large variety of apples for picking and uses their own apples to make fresh cider.

Fishkill Farms
9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell Junction
845-897-4377
The farm offers several varieties of apples for picking, hayrides, a farm market, cider doughnuts, and barbecued jerk chicken for lunch. In addition to 40 acres of apples, they grow peaches, nectarines, black currants, cherries and pumpkins, all of which are available in season for pick-your-own. They sell New York state hard cider, wine, beer and spirits, roasted coffee and local ice cream.

Apple Hill Farm
124 Route 32, New Paltz
845 255-1605
Apple Hill Farm overlooks the picturesque Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains. The apple picking season begins in September with McIntosh, Cortland, Opalescent and Spartan and end the season with Red and Golden Delicious. Pick-your-own hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors can also check out the restored 1859 barn for fresh pressed apple cider and mulled apple cider donuts, as well as wreaths, dried and fresh-cut flowers. Hayrides.

Hurds Family Farm
2185 Route 32, Modena
845 883-6300
At Hurds Family Farm you can pick a variety of apples, including Ginger Gold, gala, Honeycrisp, Empire, Cortland, Jonagold and Golden Delicious, as well as Fuji, Rome Beauties and the flavorful Ruby Frost. You can find out which apples are being picked at the moment by visiting the site. There’s also a lot for kids to do, too.

Wilklow Orchards
341 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland
845 691-2339
The family who runs Wilklow Orchards has been farming the spot for six generations. They try to be sustainable and ecologically minded because they want the farm to last for another six generations. Besides picking your own apples, when you visit the site, you can also shop at their bakery. New York State flour and regional butter and eggs are used to make muffins and bread. Fruit from the farm is used to make jam and cider. There are 13 different varieties of apples to pick so call and find out what’s ripe.

Greig Farm
227 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook
845 758-1234
The farm is open for picking blackberries and apples, including Jonamac, Gala and McIntosh, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The farm has been open to the public for more than 60 years. You can also pick raspberries and other vegetables. Kids may appreciate feeding the goats. There’s also a nursery/garden shop and Christmas shop. The farm organizes wine tastings.

Rose Hill Farm, 1798
19 Rose Hill, Red Hook
845 758-4215
Established in 1798, the farm offers cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples and pumpkins in a peaceful and scenic slice of the Hudson Valley. Gingergolds and Paula Reds apples are ripe. The farm also offers flowers, fresh eggs, meat and jam.

Lawrence Farms Orchards
39 Colandrea Road, Newburgh
845 562-4268
The family farm is a family-friendly location with “show chickens,” playful goats, a”Little Village” and hay bale maze. The farm has been doing “pick your own” fruits and vegetables for 30 years. Brand-new this year are milkshakes and frozen cider.

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https://patch.com/new-york/bedford/apple-picking-guide-2019-hudson-valley?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=around-town&utm_campaign=alert

Most homebuyers would sacrifice a big yard for a shorter commute, realtor.com says | Bedford Hills Real Estate

aerial neighborhood houses

Realtor.com added a new filter that allows people to look at homes for sale based on the commuting distance to their work. 

The new search option, created in response to user feedback, is designed to help buyers understand how long it will take to drive to and from work before pulling the trigger on a home purchase, realtor.com said in a statement. About 85% of people in a survey of 600 users of realtor.com said they would compromise on various home features, including lot size, square footage, and style of the home, to reduce their commute time. 

“Buyers would choose to save their sanity and sacrifice various home amenities in turn for a shorter commute,” realtor.com said.

The new feature currently is available only on the company’s IOS app, meaning right now you can only see it on iPhones, which represent about a third of the mobile market. In coming days it will be added to realtor.com’s Android app as well as its website, according to Shannon Baker, a spokeswoman for realtor.com.

The average American’s commute inched up to 26.9 minutes from 26.6 minutes in 2018 from the previous year, according to Census data. While that 18-second increase was small, it added up to two and a half extra hours on the road when tallied over the course of the year. 

Washington, D.C., has the nation’s worst commute, at an average 41 minutes each way, according to Geotab, a company that sells GPS fleet management systems, based on its computation of Census data. That’s followed by Boston and New York, both at 40 minutes. San Francisco is fourth, at 36 minutes, followed by Atlanta and Chicago, at 35 minutes. Los Angeles and Miami are seventh and eighth, at 33 minutes. Rounding out the top 10 is Philadelphia and Seattle, both at 32 minutes. 

This is what the filter looks like:

realtor.com's new filter

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49485-most-homebuyers-would-sacrifice-a-big-yard-for-a-shorter-commute-realtorcom-says?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=74291785&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9j58HHTMliEJmwZipM5rhh_O4VD6CzS9EkZVIHI7VToGUFvt5LIsNcWzip68L6WdCbZpAtAHtmu061zfsIR8Kj1ZsByg&_hsmi=74291785