Tag Archives: Armonk NY Homes

Armonk NY Homes

Case-Shiller: “The housing recovery is faltering” | Armonk Real Estate

Home prices saw a slight increase in nine cities covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices in December.

Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites saw year-over-year increases in December compared to November.

The 10-City Composite gained 4.3% year-over-year, up from 4.2% in November. The 20-City Composite gained 4.5% year-over-year, compared to a 4.3% increase in November.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.6% annual gain in December 2014 versus 4.7% in November.

“The for-sale housing market made great strides toward ‘normal’ in 2014, as runaway appreciation cooled markedly and negative equity fell significantly. But anyone looking to see how far from truly ‘normal’ the market remains need look no further than the red-hot rental market, and its implications on the broader housing market going forward,” said Zillow Group (Z) Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “Many current renters could likely realize significant monthly savings by buying a home now and taking advantage of terrific affordability driven by low mortgage rates and home prices that remain below peak in most areas.”


read more…



Nobel-winner Shiller wrong on housing: Sternlicht | Armonk Real Estate

Global real estate investor Barry Sternlicht told CNBC on Thursday that he disagrees with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller, who predicted a day earlier that the U.S. residential housing market looks topped out.

Housing is a major asset class that’s “actually trailing asset bubbles,” said Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of the $42 billion-plus investment firm Starwood Capital Group. “It’s cheaper to buy a house and finance it, than it is to rent in many markets.”

In a “Squawk Box” interview Wednesday, Shiller, co-founder of the Case-Shiller housing index, said he “won’t bet” on the increase in home prices since 2012 continuing.

“Home prices are … at about the right level based on history. So maybe they won’t go anywhere in the near future,” the Yale professor warned.

A day later on the program, Sternlicht expressed optimism about buying homes as an investment. “The housing sector is going to be a major asset class in this country.”

The Starwood Capital chief did acknowledge that Americans are “a little nervous about taking mortgages.” He blames that, in part, on the gridlock in Washington, D.C., in solving the country’s debt problems and reforming entitlements.

But Sternlicht said the collapse in oil that’s led to cheaper gasoline would help consumers feel more confident. “You’re going to see things like lodging doing better this summer. People will be driving more.” He also predicted the impact of less expensive prices at the gas pump would eventually translate into better retail sales.

On the investor side of the equation, he’s concerned about the easy money policies being pursued around the world.

“Smart investors are really nervous,” Sternlicht said. “It seems to me, there’s a big dike [on] the world’s economies, and the politicians and the [central] banks are plugging all these holes, but it’s getting harder and harder to hold these holes.”


read more…



‘Ultra-Luxury Treehouse’ Outside Nashville | Armonk Real Estate

Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Price: $3,500,000
This 8,120-square-foot modern mansion with a cantilevered prow was built to the specifications of the late Marvin Runyon, a Tennessee business exec who served as U.S. Postmaster General from 1992 to 1998, and according to a short item in Luxury Portfolio International, those specifications were exact. Ms. Atkinson tells the author “it must have taken the mason six tries to stack the stones in a pattern that was just right.” So interested parties can be assured that these limestone walls weren’t haphazardly dry-stacked.

“In essence, it’s an ultra-luxury treehouse capturing a different scene each season,” says architect Seab Tuck, who is said to have met with the Atkinsons “every Saturday morning for three years,” and whose firm, Tuck-Hinton, also designed the extension to the Country Music Hall of Fame. (The very same extension which now contains the Taylor Swift Education Center.) These season-capturing capabilities are abetted by a “two-story sunroom” that, with windows thrown open, can act like a screened-in porch.

The layout, Tuck explains, “is very contemporary, but while most people expect stark white tones, we offset it with soft, natural materials to create a very rustic feel.” Noteworthy material applications include floors of Chinese slate and reclaimed “heart-of-palm wood,” steel-framed walls of glass, and exterior cladding of black-stained cedar.

According to Ms. Atkinson, she and her husband wanted “a home where we could entertain, but also one that was comfortable with only two people in it.” The two guest suites are apparently removed enough from the shelf-lined master suite to make it feel like “it’s almost two separate homes.” Both are guarded by a terracotta warrior stationed in the entryway


read more…



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 atwww.nixle.com 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

Move Up Buyers are Back: Bigger Homes Now Outsell Smaller Ones | Armonk Real Estate


Just a few months ago, one and two bedroom starter homes topped the price per square foot ratings as investors and first-time home buyer scrambled to buy them, bidding up prices in the process.  Prices rose quickly, especially in markets where no new starter homes had been built in years.

Virtually overnight the picture has changed.  Now larger homes are selling faster and appreciating at rates faster than starter homes, a solid sign that move up buyers are back in the market and taking advantage of low interest rates and equity increases that have made it possible to sell and buy larger homes.

“Higher-end properties are taking up a bigger share of a smaller home sales pie, boosting the median home price nationwide higher even as home price appreciation slows to single digits in many of last year’s red-hot local housing markets,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a news release last September reporting August sales. “On the other hand, markets where large institutional investors and other buyers have not picked clean lower-priced inventory are continuing to see strong, double-digit increases in median home prices.”

RealtyTrac said the share of sales in August in the $200,000-and-below price range was down 9 percent from a year ago, while the share of sales in the above-$200,000 price range increased 10 percent from a year ago.  Breaking down the above-$200,000 price range further, the share of sales in the $500,000-to-$1 million price range increased 18 percent from a year ago while the share of sales in the over-$1 million price range increased 38 percent from a year ago. Overall the share of sales above $500,000 increased 23 percent from a year ago.

Now mortgage technology company FNC reports that property appreciation rates for single-family residential home sales are generally much higher for larger homes and older homes.  FNC said a profile of long-term trends in how different types of properties have appreciated over the years shows that larger homes have generally risen in value faster than smaller homes both before and after the last boom-bust housing cycle. The gap persisted, although narrowed quite a bit, during the worst of the housing recession.

The FNC analysis also found that more sales are coming from homes that have been held for ten years or more—a sign of move up buyer activity.  “As the market continues to gain traction through the post-recession recovery, we are seeing significant declines in the turnovers of homes held for short periods. Year to date, nearly one in three residential home sales have come instead from homes that have been held for at least a decade or longer—signs of increased participation by trade-up buyers,” said FNC Director of Research Yanling Mayer.


read more…



The Japanese Porch | Armonk Real Estate

I’ve written in the past about the essential nature of transitional spaces in a home, which are used to link interior and exterior areas. These spaces have been assigned a variety of names throughout the world — loggia, veranda, lanai, portico. Japanese architecture has its own version, called an engawa.

The engawa is a generous hallway, a roofed transition zone, located between the interior rooms in a Japanese home and the garden, created by extending the interior floor outward. It’s a room that defies traditional description — neither completely enclosed nor completely open. In Japanese culture it has a social importance, providing an informal meeting space, a place for sitting, greeting one’s neighbors and sharing a cup of tea. While it’s similar to other architectural elements, it’s also uniquely Japanese. But it’s worth considering in your own project no matter where you live. Here’s why.

Symmetry Can Rescue Your Room | Armonk Real Estate

Human faces, snowflakes, violins, the Eiffel Tower — so much of our world is symmetrical, it’s no wonder the eye is drawn to things with a mirror-image quality, including interiors. No matter your decor style, embracing symmetry can help your space look its best. Whether you’re bringing grandeur to a small space or doing more with your art collection, here are 10 reasons to work symmetry into your rooms.

U.S. existing home sales hit one-year high in October | Armonk Real Estate

U.S. home resales jumped to their highest level in more than a year in October and outpaced the sales level a year ago for the first time in 2014, further evidence the housing market is on a recovery path.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Thursday said existing home sales rose 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 5.26 million units, the highest rate since September of last year. Sales rose 2.5 percent compared to a year ago, the first time since October 2013 that nesales have risen above the prior-year levels.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales falling to a 5.16 million-unit pace, from an upwardly revised rate of 5.18 million units in September.

“This is the first time in the year where we have seen a year over year annual gain, which means that existing home sales have made that successful U-turn,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, told reporters.

Housing is slowly regaining its footing after activity stalled in the second half of 2013 following a run-up in mortgage rates. While the sector continues to be hobbled by sluggish wage growth, a recent decline in mortgage rates should help support sales.

A separate report this week from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed applications for loans to purchase homes surged last week as low rates lured potential buyers.


read more….




Farmers Markets | Armonk Real Estate


“Clothes The Loop” Textile Recycling Event in Ossining;
Life Changing Sisters Wicked Good Soap Comes to Croton-on-Hudson;

In Larchmont, Stone & Thistle Farm Offers Farmhouse Beef & Bacon Stew;

November 13-19th, 2014

What’s New, In Season, and On Sale This Week
Farmhouse Beef & Bacon Stew
Stone & Thistle Farm

Honey Whole Wheat
Wave Hill Breads

Lavender Baskets, Bunches, Wreaths, and more
Great items for home & gifts
North Winds Lavender Farm

Marzipan Pear Cake
Christiane’s Backstube

Natural Buttermilk White
Wave Hill Breads

Pate de Campagne
Stone & Thistle Farm

Pork and Ale Pot Pie
Stone & Thistle Farm

Pumpernickel Bread with
Caraway Seeds
$7.00 this weekend (Reg. $7.50)

Wave Hill Breads

Squash (Baby Dumpling) Lentil Samosa
Samosa Shack

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




8:30 am-1:00 pm

Indoors at Claremont Elementary School on 1/10/2015!


8:30 am-1:00 pm

Through Dec. 13th


9:30 am-3:00 pm

Through Nov. 23rd


9:00 am-2:00 pm

Through Nov. 23rd


8:30 am-2:00 pm

NOW through Dec. 21st

Spring Valley

8:30 am-3:00 pm

Through Nov. 19th

Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow

8:30 am-1:00 pm

Through Nov. 22nd

New Rochelle

8:30 am-2:30 pm

Through Nov. 21st

Headed to the city soon?

Visit a Down to Earth
Farmers Market in NYC!

Root Vegetable Tastings This Weekend

How fresh the season tastes! Stop by the manager’s tent at your favorite Down to Earth Market to try the season’s best with our root vegetable tasting. Sample a few varieties of root vegetables from producers around the market and then pick up some to enjoy at home.
Please see our event calendar for precise day and times.

Ossining: BIG NEWS – Winter Market to Move Indoors

We are thrilled to announce that Ossining’s Down to Earth Farmers Market will have an indoor home for the 2015 Winter Season. All your favorite vendors will be easy to find at Claremont Elementary School, on Van Corlandt Avenue, off of N. Highland Avenue/Route 9. (For GPS, the address is 2 Claremont Road).  According to Google Maps, it is ONLY a 3 minute drive from our main market home at the corner of Spring and Main Streets in downtown Ossining.

The Ossining Farmers Market will continue to take place in its current location through Saturday, December 27th, 2014. We’ll open in Claremont Elementary on Saturday, January 10th, 2015. Please stay tuned to our website, as well as this weekly email, for upcoming market events and vendor details. We thank our partners who helped to confirm this venue, and we look forward to working with the Claremont community.

Ossining: Recyle Your Unwanted Clothes & Textiles

This Saturday, Down to Earth Markets is happy to host Green Ossining and our local Girl Scout troop for“Clothes the Loop”. This national event is part of America Recycles Day. These groups will collect collect clothing, linens, footwear, and more to be recycled. As part of the effort to eliminate plastic bags at the market, they will also demonstrate how to create reusable bags from t-shirts. Find the full list of what to donate here and please make sure to bring only clean, dry, and odorless items.
See you at the market!

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.

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:


**NEW VENDOR!** – Aroma Roast Coffee
Christiane’s Backstube (Locally sourced, German inspired baked items)
Flourish Baking Company
North Winds Lavender Farm
Pie Lady & Son
Samosa Shack
Simple Eats with Chef T (Healthy prepared foods to go)
Trotta Foods (Italian foods with a seasonal ingredients)


Sisters Wicked Good Soap (Handmade soaps without detergents)
Taiim Falafel Shack (Israeli soul food)
Trotta Foods




(Alpaca fleece, yarn, roving, and more from the Hudson Valley)

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

Local Representation for North Castle | Armonk Real Estate

Local Representation for North Castle Neighborhoods

Understanding the Ward System – Frequently Asked Questions

Neighborhood Representation on the North Castle Town Board will  make Town Government more accessible and accountable.



A special election considering Neighborhood

Representation on the Town Board will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014.


Propositions to convert Town Council elections to the Ward System and to increase Councilpersons to six from four will provide a more representative system for North Castle citizens.



What is the Ward System Proposal?


Quite simply, it is changing the way we elect Board Members from town wide elections, to elections based on districts built around neighborhoods.  It is also proposed to increase the number of Councilpersons from four to six to allow more direct representation of the many neighborhoods in the town.  No other aspect of Town government changes.




Why do we need a change?


The current system allows one area of Town to dominate the election process leaving other parts of town underrepresented.


There is no geographic diversity on the Town Board. In recent memory, there has not been a council member from North White Plains, the Middle Patent or Banksville  areas. Other neighborhoods such as Windmill and Whippoorwill have had to  rely on Neighborhood Associations to be heard.


Currently the all  Town Board Members live, on average,  one mile from the Town Hall and this has been the case for decades.  The Armonk centric Board does not understand the needs of the many neighborhoods in the Town. The ward system will provide elected  neighborhood representation and will assure your neighborhood has representation on the Board.



Why is this a problem?  Our town spans a large area with highly diverse communities.  Different geographies – urban, suburban and rural;  different age and economic profiles – middle class, professional, new families, retirees;  different school districts – Byram Hills, Valhalla, Bedford, Harrison, Mt. Pleasant.


Almost 10% of active voters in North Castle signed the Petitions calling for the referendum. They and many more believe that the Town Board structurally “didn’t get it” and would not until there was a reform in the system.




How will this benefit Your Neighborhood?


Your neighborhood will have someone on the Board who understands your needs; will be from your neighborhood; and is accountable to you.



The change to the Ward System will also bring the Town Board back to standard two year terms instead of the current four year.  This will  increase the accountability of councilpersons.




Will we lose influence by voting for our own Councilperson?



You will gain influence.    The current political environment in North Castle is dominated by factions and parties, not by neighborhoods where the need for services reside.


Current Councilpersons are accountable only to the biggest blocs of votes, not to every neighborhood.   A dedicated councilperson will be your representative and and will have a seat at the table.


Without a representative system 51% gets 100% control and 0% for the rest.  That is why we need representative government.


In North Castle you will gain representative government. You will vote for your  councilperson, the Supervisor, the Town Clerk and Tax Receiver.




Why increase the number of Board members?



North Castle is spread over a large and diverse geography with numerous distinct neighborhoods.  Six councilpersons are necessary to create districts built around key neighborhoods



Will there be enough candidates?




More than enough.  The Ward System dramatically lowers the barriers to running for office. Candidates will no longer have to rely on The Democrat or Republican  Political Parties  to effectively launch a campaign.




Candidates need only compete in their neighborhood rather than Town wide, making campaigns closer the the voters, lower cost and easier to conduct.



We currently have four Councilpersons in an area which would be the equivalent size of one ward.  Those councilpersons are arguing that we could not get one “qualified”  candidate from each of the other proposed 6 areas.




Will this Cost the Town More?



It should cost less, not more.  A change in the Board system is an opportunity to adjust Board compensation from $18,000 per year plus benefits to perhaps $10,000 like New Castle or $0 like Scarsdale.  The cost is totally up to the Board and can be reduced substantially.



Will the Ward System create divisiveness on the Board?



Current Board members are arguing that it is now peaceful on the Board and that the Ward System would create divisiveness.



They are somehow assuming that the current set of councilpersons, who live on average just a mile from Town Hall, can work together responsibly, but representatives from other parts of Town cannot.  A Board from all parts of town is not divisive.  It is representative. The implication that a representative from currently unrepresentative neighborhoods could not work constructively on the Board is insulting.



We can be sure that Town Board members will have the wisdom to work together for the benefit of the whole town. Having geographic diversity on the Board will help them to make better decisions.  Some disagreements on the Board may be a good thing.



How will districts be drawn?


Under the law, districts must be made up of approximately the same population.  The petitioners are proposing six districts built around major neighborhoods in Town.  The exact boundaries will be established by the Westchester Board of Elections.  The Town and the public will have input into the final boundaries. 




Who Supports Neighborhood Representations?

Some councilpersons contend that the ward system is a “solution in search of a problem”.  Almost 10% of North Castle active voters signed the petition supporting neighborhood representation via the ward system. They think there is a problem.  These petitioners came heavily from neighborhoods which do not feel represented by the current system.























Informed Citizens | tony@armonk.email | Informed Citizens 2014 | Box 59 | Valhalla, NY 10595