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Dracula’s castle is now for sale in Romania | Pound Ridge Real Estate


A view of Bran Castle, Romania. (Daniel Williams/The Washington Post)

The Transylvanian castle erroneously reputed to be the abode of that terrifying abomination Dracula is now technically “for sale.” Bran Castle, an atmospheric pile perched atop a crag, is set to be sold off by its Habsburg owners. The Romanian government has reportedly lodged an $80 million bid.

The fortress dates to the 13th century and has been occupied by various bands of warriors and knights over the years. Images of Bran Castle supposedly reached Bram Stoker, the 19th-century Irish author of “Dracula,” who drew inspiration for his famous work from travelogues and sketches by British diplomats and adventurers in what was then Wallachia (modern-day Romania). He envisioned the scene surrounding the vampire’s lair like so:

The castle is on the very edge of a terrific precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.

Bran Castle fits the bill and has since become a popular tourist destination for those seeking their Dracula thrills. The structure was in the possession of the Romanian Habsburg royal line, but it was appropriated by the state with the advent of Communism. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Habsburgs’ descendants were ceded back the fortress and set about restoring it — making it the desired attraction it now is.



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A pool that cleans itself? naturally with pool cleaning service| Pound Ridge Homes

Summer’s heat is not far behind the bursting of spring blooms and windy rains. This summer imagine yourself cooling off by floating in a backyard pool that feels immersed in nature.

Natural swimming pools use plants or a combination of plants and sand filters to keep the water clean and clear without chemicals, these and others accesories  you can found at  TheFloridaPools.com. They were developed in Austria and Germany in the 1980s and have since grown in popularity worldwide. They can be designed in a multitude of ways: Some look like natural ponds; others may be disguised as standard tiled pools. And if you want to clean leaf from pool and want to buy blower then you must visit to Worx WG546 Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Review. Power failure is a common problem when you face a flooding situation and your sump pump will, at best, be a sitting duck unable to provide any relief. A battery backup sump pump system is your only reliable solutions in such a scenario. It’s most often installed on the basement floor to drain away any water when power is unavailable, to the pump directly, from the house supply line. When the power fails, the battery back-up sump systems are available to power the secondary pump so that water can continue to be pumped from the basement sump pit until the main power supply is restored. Pressure Coach provide a best sump pump for your swimming poll and other use.

Whatever look you are trying to achieve, the principles of function are the same for both natural swimming pools and traditional ones. But natural pools are better for your hair and skin because they’re chemical free.

Top 13 cities for freshly minted millennials | Pound Ridge Real Estate


As a millennial myself and proud resident of the No. 8 city, I’m aware of the numbers of millennials topping off the final days of their college educations and entering the beginning stages of their career.

So where are they choosing to live, or better yet, where should they live?

Niche Ink has published a list of the best cities and neighborhoods for millennials. Factors involved in the study include: data from the U.S. American Community Survey, crime rates from the FBO and types of top entertainment attractions.

While the cities’ unemployment rate might be a key factor, I personally still cherish the added variables of the best shopping locations and best cultural attractions. After all, you need to look good at your first job and have someplace to go to keep life exciting.

The list covers the top 25 in all, but here are the top 13…





Tax overhaul plan has something for everyone to hate | Pound Ridge NY Homes


One of the two principal figures in charge of rewriting the nation’s income tax laws is Republican Dave Camp of Michigan, chairman of the all-powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Last week he released an extremely comprehensive tax code overhaul plan that has been three years in the making. The plan is designed to simplify the tax law and lower overall tax rates while remaining revenue-neutral. To call the plan bold is an understatement. Among many other things it: reduces the number of tax brackets from the current seven to just three, with tax rates of 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. increases the standard deduction so that 95 percent of taxpayers would not have to itemize. taxes long-term capital gains and dividends as ordinary income — that is, at the 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent rates — but exempting 40 percent of such income from any tax. repeals the dreaded alternative minimum tax (AMT). reduces the top corporate income tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, to be phased in over four years


– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2014/03/03/tax-overhaul-plan-has-something-for-everyone-to-hate/?utm_source=20140303&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinesam#sthash.0FUZHMXD.dpuf

Down to Earth Farmers Market | Pound Ridge NY Homes



1840’s Dinner Inspired by Oscar Nominated, 12 Years a Slave;                         Sale on Pasture-Raised Meats & More February 27-March 5th, 2014 Down to Earth Markets
MAM w greens
What’s New and On Special This Week
Beef Sirloin Tip Roasts                                     SALE: $2 OFF/lb Reg. $12.75/lb; Now $10.75/lb. Kiernan Farm Beef Knuckle Bones                                     SALE: $1.75 OFF/lb Reg. $3.75/lb; Now $2.00/lb. Kiernan Farm
Gluten Free Dinner Rolls                                     Meredith’s Bread
Pork Nitrate Free Smoked Ham Shanks/Hocks                                     SALE: $2 OFF/lb Reg. $7/lb; Now $5/lb. Kiernan Farm

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

    Westchester County
Mamaroneck Winter                                     Saturdays, 9:00 am-1:00 pm St. Thomas Episcopal Church                                     168 West Boston Post Road (at Mount Pleasant Ave) Ossining Winter
Saturdays, 9:00 am-1:00 pm At the corner of Spring & Main                                     in downtown Ossining
Headed to the city soon? Visit a Down to Earth                                     Farmers Market in NYC!
                                                 Stay tuned to all market happenings via our Down to Earth Markets Facebook page                           and follow us on Twitter @DowntoEarthMarkets
An American Food Story, Sourced from a Down to Earth Farmers Market



Chefs prepare to serve dinner inspired by Anne Northup’s 1840s cooking One of the fascinating things about shopping at the farmers market is that we never know who we are going to meet. Our Park Slope market recently led us to Tonya Hopkins, a woman known as “The Food Griot”. Self-described as “an American food storyteller”, Hopkins uses the name the Food Griot to recall the West African legacy of traveling poets, musicians, and                        storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history.
Recently, Hopkins, together with Executive Chef Heather W. Jones and alumnae from the Institute of Culinary Education prepared a dinner after the style of Anne Northup, the wife of Northup portrayed in the Oscar-nominated movie, 12 Years a Slave. The dinner was served at the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion in NYC, where Anne cooked as a free woman of color during the time her husband was in captivity. Her culinary talents were much sought after.

Case-Shiller Home Rise In Line With Expectations | Pound Ridge Real Estate


The Case-Shiller 20-City home price index was up 0.75% month-over-month in December, and up 13.42% year-over-year in December.

This compares with expectations for a 0.6% MoM and 13.4% YoY rise.

“The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index ended its best year since 2005,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a press release.
“However, gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. Year-over-year values for the two monthly Composites weakened and the quarterly National Index barely improved. The seasonally adjusted data also exhibit some softness and loss of momentum.”

Recent housing data suggests “a bleaker picture for housing,” he said. We’ve seen a decline in homebuilder confidence, existing home sales tumbled, housing starts missed expectations.

Meanwhile, FHFA home prices were up 0.8% in December, beating expectations for a 0.3% rise.

Home prices were up 1.2% in Q4, compared with expectation sfor a 1% rise.

FHFA’s November numbers were revised down to show a 0.1% MoM fall, compared with a 0.1% rise previously.




Porch partners with Lowe’s just 3 months after official launch | Pound Ridge NY Homes


Porch, a 3-month-old startup that’s taking the home remodeling industry by storm, has announced a strategic partnership with Lowe’s that will equip the employees at some of the home improvement store’s locations with tools that will allow them to use the Porch network to connect customers with local professionals.

As part of the partnership, Lowe’s employees in 139 stores in North and South Carolina and the Seattle area will quickly be able to use in-store kiosks or a special mobile app to pull up local professionals on Porch who provide services that Lowe’s doesn’t offer through its installation program, and then refer those professionals to customers, Porch said in a statement. Professionals who offer such services include handymen, painters and landscapers, according to the statement.

“By partnering with Porch, Lowe’s can help our customers achieve their home improvement dreams by providing them with the confidence of knowing who their neighbors have used successfully, and benefit our professional customers by providing them greater opportunities to grow their businesses,” said Jay Rebello, vice president of new business development and corporate innovation at Lowe’s.

Porch, which is one of Real Estate Connect’s “New Kids on the Block” and raised $6.5 million in seed funding in October 2012, claims to provide data on 90 million home projects and 1.5 million professionals. The startup has obtained that data mostly through an array of private partnerships that it cultivated for a year before officially launching three months ago, according to CEO Matt Ehrlichman.

– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2014/01/14/porch-partners-with-lowes-just-3-months-after-official-launch/?utm_source=20140114&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinesam#sthash.HBQV39yy.dpuf

Housing, the next train wreck for Obama? | Pound Ridge Real Estate

As the Obama administration continues to absorb body blows over its implementation of the Affordable Care Act, another potential crisis looms ever-larger, according to Barron’s: housing.

By trying to protect consumers from the excesses of the run-up during the 2004-2006 period, the administration is set to deliver a gut punch to mortgage markets:

Inadvertently, they are assuring that fewer Americans will qualify for home mortgages. This promises to speed-shrink the housing market, which constitutes an estimated 15% of the nation’s gross domestic product, versus 18.6% prior to the Great Recession. This, in turn, will ensure that the recovery remains anemic into the foreseeable future, with an average of about 190,000 or fewer jobs created each month — far short of the 300,000 required to make up for recession-related losses.

Crucial parts already are flying off the train. Banks are exiting from the mortgage business in large numbers, primarily because of the high operating costs and heightened litigation risks imposed by the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law.

                    Source: Barron’s