Restoration to the wetlands of Westchester’s Bronx River Parkway Reservation has begun in Greenburgh and North White Plains, the county announced.
The reservation is the oldest park in Westchester and restoration to about 2.5 acres of the area is expected to protect the environment. Work in the Greenburgh and North White Plains area will continue through the winter and spring, with anticipated completion by early summer 2014.
Restoration will improve the wetland’s ability to cleanse and absorb stormwater runoff to enhance the attractiveness of the site, the county said. The project will also help reduce the amount of pollution from stormwater runoff to improve water quality and help manage flooding in the reservation, according to a statement from County Executive Rob Astorino.
Over time, due to development that has altered the flow of stormwater runoff into the wetland, the wetland has been physically separated from the river, which diminishes its role as a natural filter and sponge to treat and absorb stormwater, the county said.
During the restoration, the county plans to eradicate invasive reeds, shrubs and vines. Crews will also plant thousands of native plants along the stream banks.
The project is being overseen by the county’s Department of Planning, and its design and construction is paid for with $950,000 in county capital funds, according county officials. The project was recommended in the 2007 Bronx River Watershed Management Plan developed by the county-led Bronx River Watershed Coalition, the county said.
House flippers helped generate the real-estate frenzy from 2003 to 2006, buying and selling homes within six months or less to turn a quick profit as home values rapidly rose. Some flippers made a killing, but in general they added to the froth that eventually pushed the housing market over the edge. As prices began to plummet, some flippers became reluctant “underwater” homeowners suddenly stuck with a white elephant.
With home prices now rising by double-digits once again, flippers are making a comeback. Research firm Realty Trac recently published a report claiming that “flipping homes will likely become more favorable for investors in 2013 as home prices are expected to continue climbing.” The top five markets for flipping, according to RealtyTrac, are Orlando, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tampa and Memphis.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the number of homes flipped in California has hit the highest level since 2005, leading a national trend. Some flippers are professional investors, but others are individuals who just happen to have the funds for an all-cash purchase. House-flipping seminars have returned in some areas, along with warnings by consumer advocates to be wary of them.
House flipping, like many forms of speculation, has a legitimate place in a capitalist economy, as long as flippers risk their own money and pose no unusual risks to the broader system. Speculators often put up capital others don’t have, which can help keep markets fluid.
Risk of getting swamped
But some real-estate experts think flippers could quickly get swamped in a market that is still prone to shocks. “They’re a real concern to me,” says Stan Humphries, chief economist at real-estate research firm Zillow (Z). “They create volatility and make prices go up more than they should. And it’s usually the less sophisticated participants who get hurt the most.”
The majority of economists think the recent rise in home prices — which soared by a nationwide average of 10.2% per year in the latest Case-Shiller report — is good news for the economy because it repairs some of the damage from a housing bust that slashed home values by 30% or more. But some feel new bubbles are forming. And a full housing recovery is still years away, with price gains likely to be jagged and unpredictable.
This was down 24% from 1.5 million a year ago. It was also down 2 percent from March.
Foreclosure inventory represented 2.8% of all homes with a mortgage, compared with 3.5% a year ago.
Meanwhile, there were 52,000 completed foreclosures in April, the same as March. But this was down from 62,000 a year ago. Before the housing bust, completed foreclosures averaged about 21,000 a month.
Home prices have been boosted by tight supply, especially a decline in the stock of distressed properties.
“Fewer distressed properties combined with improving home prices and a pickup in home purchases are significant signals that the ongoing recovery in the housing and mortgage markets continues to gather steam,” said Anand Nallathambi, president of CoreLogic in a press release.
Here are some details from the report:
“The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in April 2013 were: Florida (102,000), California (79,000), Michigan (68,000), Texas (53,000) and Georgia (47,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.”
“The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (9.5 percent), New Jersey (7.4 percent), New York (5.1 percent), Maine (4.4 percent) and Nevada (4.3 percent).”
“The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5 percent), Alaska (0.6 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.8 percent) and Virginia (0.9 percent).”
When you’re building a website, it’s tempting to get distracted by all the bells and whistles of the design process and forget all about creating compelling content. But having awesome content on your website is crucial to making inbound marketing work for your business.
So how do you balance your remarkable content creation with your website design needs? Why, with your ‘About Us’ page, of course! For a remarkable ‘About Us’ page, all you need to do is figure out your company’s unique identity, and then share it with the world.
I know … easier said than done.
Still, there’s no excuse for you to neglect one of the most important pages on your website — which also happens to be one of the most commonly overlooked pages. Let’s read on to discover six companies with awesome ‘About Us’ pages and see how you can emulate them on your own website. By the end of this post, showing off how awesome your company is won’t seem like such a challenging feat.
Why the ‘About Us’ Page Rocks: It tells us a story.
Have a cool story about how your product or service was created? Put it on your ‘About Us’ page. Good stories humanize your brand and provide context and meaning for your product. What’s more, good stories are sticky — which means people are more likely to connect with them and pass them on.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks does an amazing job of telling you about its product by describing the founder’s journey to Thailand and the birth of his “big idea” for the brand. Like any good storyteller, Yellow Leaf Hammocks uses words to paint a picture, rather than simply describing the events that happened. Sentences like “the hammock wrapped around him, cocooning him in its cloudlike embrace” immediately give you a mental picture of what’s happening.
Every company has a story to tell, so break out your storytelling skills from that random English class you took years ago and put them to work on your ‘About Us’ page. Using descriptive and emotive copy, an ‘About Us’ page with a story works harder for your business than a generic one.
Why the ‘About Us’ Page Rocks: It shows some personality.
You’re not like everyone else — so why should you sound the same as everyone else? Stand out with an ‘About Us’ page that shows off who you really are with witty headlines and a real brand voice.
That’s exactly what video production company LessFilms accomplished on its site using witty copy and the image of a large wrestler (yes, a wrestler). Although the wrestler dude and the funny headlines have nothing to do with LessFilms’ business model or product, they show off the founders’ sense of humor and give the brand a personality.
For your ‘About Us’ page, you don’t need to pretend to be a comedian if that isn’t part of your brand’s personality. Find another aspect of your brand’s personality to showcase and make a lasting impression by being yourself.
People tend to think that ‘About Us’ pages have to sound formal to gain credibility and trust. Most people find it easier to trust real human beings rather than a description that sounds like it came from an automaton. Trying to sound formal on your ‘About Us’ page results in stiff, “safe” copy and design — the perfect way to make sure your company stays invisible.
Eight Hour Day does a great job of showcasing the people behind the company to make the brand seem human. Including the founders’ names in the header of the website and featuring the photos of them on the ‘About Us’ page drives home the point that Nathan and Katie are a “couple that loves to create.” Even the picture of their dog makes you think Eight Hour Day has real people behind the brand.
Festivities will include arcade-style games, new rides, home-cooked carnival favorites and outdoor grills.Photo Credit: Provided
BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Carnival at St. Patrick’s Parochial School in Bedford Village continues its 40-year tradition this week, culminating in a grand prize raffle for a 2013 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic or $25,000 in cash.
The event begins Tuesday night and runs through Sunday. Admission is free.
Carnival grounds are located on the big green lawn of St. Patrick’s school at Route 22 and Greenwich Road. Parking is free at the church and surrounding areas of Bedford Town Park and Bedford Elementary School.
Raffle tickets are $100; 1,000 tickets will be sold.
Always starting the Tuesday after Mother’s Day, the carnival draws thousands of families from Northern Westchester, Putnam County and nearby Fairfield County.
The event is run by church volunteers. All money raised from the raffle will be used for educational and charitable ministries of the parish.
Festivities will include arcade-style games, new rides, home-cooked carnival favorites and outdoor grills. On Saturday and Sunday, one bracelet lets you ride all afternoon for a single price
Originations for borrowers with credit scores below 620 mostly disappeared in recent years, eliminating low credit scores from the housing market, Elizabeth Duke, member of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System, said while speaking at the Housing Policy Executive Council.
Previously, Duke said, “Borrowers with lower credit scores have typically represented a significant segment of first-time homebuyers.”
Between 2007 and 2012, originations for borrowers with a credit score between 620 and 680 tumbled nearly 90%, compared to a 30% drop for borrowers with a score greater than 780.
Meanwhile, the median credit score skyrocketed from 730 in 2007 to a whopping 770 in 2013.
With few lending channels, borrowers have turned to mortgages insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs and theRural Housing Service, Duke said.
As a result, the share of purchase mortgages guaranteed or insured by the FHA, the VA, or the RHS escalated from 5% in 2006 to more than 40% in 2011.
Armonk NY real estate was UP 34% in 2010 compared to 2009. Very good news. The Armonk NY median price dropped 6.37% to $955,000. Sellers understand there is a lot of competition to sell and need to price accordingly.
Do you remember the New Year resolutions you made last year?
If you’re like most people, you made New Year resolutions – but you probably didn’t stick with them all year long.
But New Year resolutions are a good thing – so what’s the secret to making and keeping your New Years resolutions?
1. Make Resolutions You Can Achieve
Most New Years resolutions can be achieved, but not all of them are realistic.
If you want to feel good about your resolutions, don’t set unrealistic goals. Saying “I resolve to lose 100 pounds this year” if you don’t know how you’re going to achieve your goal is a sure way to fail. Help yourself by only making New Years resolutions you can keep.
2. Make 2 or 3 Resolutions You Can Keep and 1 You’ll have To Stretch To Keep
By making realistic resolutions that you can keep, you’ll set yourself up to feel good about yourself when you achieve your resolutions.
And by making 1 New Years resolution that you’ll have to really work at to achieve, you’ll challenge yourself to be successful.
3. Write Down Your New Years Resolutions
Do you really want to make some changes in the New Year? Then you need to put at least a little thought into the changes you’d like to make.
Blurting out a few resolutions at a New Years party may be fun, but you probably won’t take them seriously. But if you take a few moments to think about some realistic changes you’d like to make – you’ll surprise yourself by being successful.
4. Put Your Written New Years Resolutions Someplace Where You Can Find Them
About a week after New Years, take out your list of resolutions and start planning how you’re going to achieve your goals.
Weight loss, making more money or travel, if your goals are achievable and you actually come up with a plan, your New Years resolutions will become a reality.
5. Celebrate Your Success
When you achieve one of your New Years resolutions, reward yourself and celebrate. Your friends will be amazed when you say “I just achieved one of my New Years resolutions.
New Years resolutions are a good thing. Improve yourself, make a positive change, do something you’ve always wanted to do. Make the New Year count – you’ll be glad you did.
Many American homeowners lost their shirts, their shorts and even their homes when the U.S. economy fell off the wall like Humpty Dumpty. Two years later the government still struggles to put it all back together again while regular hardworking Americans and stars of all stripes continue to be pummeled by the steep devaluation of their real estate investments, many of which were purchased at the peak of the recent real estate bubble.
Even though they priced them far below what they paid, there were oodles of celebs who failed to sell their homes in 2010 and many who lost substantial amounts of money, even when they did manage to offload their properties. And still other famous folks, like Latoya Jackson, Timothy Busfield and hip-hop entrepreneur Damon Dash, found themselves forced into foreclosure on luxurious and expensive residences they could no longer afford.
One of the biggest losers in the 2010 celebrity real estate game was idiosyncratic and stunningly beautiful actress Scarlett Johansson who plunked down a very A-list $7 million to buy a huge house in May of 2007 in the star studded Outpost Estates section of Los Angeles. (This was before she wed Ryan Reynolds; she and Reynolds made headlines this week when they announced their marriage was over after just two years.) Her neighbors included Oscar nominated desperate housewife Felicity Huffman and Oscar winner Charlize Theron. Property records show Johansson caught a very serious and costly case of the real estate fickle and sold the 1930s Spanish hillside villa at a pocketbook punishing $3 million loss in June of 2010.