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7 Steps To Help Your Home Age Comfortably in South Salem NY | South Salem Real Estate

A survey by AARP earlier this year found that 33 percent of adults older than 45 have modified their homes to allow them to age comfortably in place. 

Aging-in-place modifications can include: 

1.   Decorative grab bars in showers


2.   Step-free entrances


3.   Levered door handles


4.   Raised electrical outlets


5.   Bathrooms that can accommodate wheelchairs


6.   Widened doorways to accommodate walkers


7.   Higher toilets


Mike Leary, founder of Rochester, N.Y., firm Access Lifts & Ramps, says business is brisk and he expects it to continue to grow. “If my kids stay in the business, they’ll be the ones to make out well,” Leary says. “They’ll be taking care of me. I’m in the middle of the Baby Boomers.”


NAR Article

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10 Ways to Pick Your Paint Color In North Salem NY | North Salem NY Real Estate

Picking house paint colors isn’t just difficult. It’s terrifying! Pick colors that are blah, and your house will seem flat and featureless. But if the colors you pick are too bold, they might overwhelm the architecture… and upset the neighbors.

The best colors will highlight the most beautiful features of your home. Skillful use of color can even disguise design flaws, boosting the curb appeal and market value of your home. How do you find that magic color combination? Follow these tips.

1. Honor History
If you’re planning to paint an older home, you’ll probably want to use a historically accurate color scheme. You can hire a pro to analyze old paint chips and recreate the original color. Or, you can refer to historic color charts and select shades that might have been used at the time your home was built.

2. Jazz Up the Past
In some neighborhoods, homeowners fly in the face of history. Instead of choosing historically accurate colors, they paint their houses modern colors to dramatize architectural details. Using bright colors on old architectural details can produce startling and exciting results. But before you buy 10 gallons of bubblegum pink, it’s a good idea to look at what your neighbors are doing. A fluorescent colored Victorian that looks splendid in San Francisco will seem wildly out of place in more conservative neighborhoods.

3. Consider Your Neighbors
The house next door can give you paint color ideas, but don’t copy your neighbor exactly. Choose colors that set your house apart, without clashing with nearby buildings.

4. Borrow From Nature
The landscape around your house is blooming with color ideas. Trees may suggest an earthy palette of greens and browns. A beach setting might suggest vivid blues, turquoises, and coral colors. Even the garden in your front yard can inspire exciting color combinations.

5. Check the Roof
Your house is your canvas, but it is not blank. Some colors are already established. What color is your roof? Your paint color doesn’t need to match the roof, but it should harmonize.

6. Look For Things That Won’t Be Painted
Every home has some features that will not be painted. Does your house have brick walls? Vinyl windows? A natural wooden door? Will steps and interior railings remain their existing colors? Choose a color scheme that harmonizes with colors already present on your house.

7. Find Inspiration in Your Living Room
It may seem comical to paint entire house based on the pattern of a pillow case, but this approach does make sense. The color of your furnishings will guide you in the selection of your interior paint colors, and your interior paint colors will influence the colors you use outside. Once again, your goal is to harmonize.

8. Focus on Details
Depending on the size and complexity of your home, you may want to choose two, three, or as many as six colors. In addition to color for your siding, select accent colors for shutters, moldings, doors, window sashes, brackets, columns, and porch decks. But beware: too many colors will overwhelm your house. Too few can make your house seem flat and uninteresting.

9. Use Light to Add Size
It’s no wonder large, grand estates are often painted white. Light colors make a building look larger, and white is the favored color for traditional classical architecture. You can add to your home’s sense of size and dignity by using white or a pale cream color.

10. Go Dark For Drama
Dark siding or dark bands of trim will make your house seem smaller, but will draw more attention to details. Darker shades are best for accenting recesses, while lighter tones will highlight details that project from the wall surface. On traditional Victorian homes, the darkest paint is often used for the window sashes.

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Armonk NY Buyers Ask Me Should I Buy Or Rent | Armonk NY Real Estate

Robert Paul Realtor in Armonk NY

Robert Paul Realtor in Armonk NY

Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting

Is it better to Buy or Rent? Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors.  The information listed here will assist you in helping answer this question. Included are statistics and studies on homeowners and renters as well as financing options and tips. (M. Glick, Senior Information Specialist)


Rent-to-Own Deals: Smart Questions to Ask…

For Sellers:

· Who will tend to the property and pay for routine maintenance?

· Who pays for major repairs?

· What are the costs of setting up and managing an escrow account for the portion of rent allotted to the down payment?

· Will you manage the property yourself, or hire an agent?

· What if the renters change their minds? Who keeps the money in the escrow account?

· If the buyers change their minds, what will be required to put the property back on the market?


For Buyers:

· How much of the rent is going to the down payment?

· How locked in are you if you change your mind?

· What will it cost you to get out of the deal?

· How long will it take to accumulate enough of a down payment that you are likely to qualify for a mortgage?




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Katonah Museum of Art Helps Make Katonah NY Great | Katonah NY Real Estate

About the KMA

About the Katonah Museum of ArtAccredited by the American Association of Museums, the Katonah Museum of Art originates ten to twelve exhibitions annually, covering a broad range of art and humanities topics. As a non-collecting Museum, the KMA has the opportunity to develop an aspect of art historical concern from a focused and original point of view, and presents it within a fully developed educational context. Committed to making itself accessible and relevant to its community, the Museum offers lectures, symposia, films, workshops, concerts and other events for a general audience; and presents innovative and substantive programs for its member schools. The Children’s Learning Center, which is open to the public free of charge, is the only interactive space in the community where children can come on a daily basis to explore, interpret, and create art. The Katonah Museum of Art serves a primary population of 850,000, with an annual attendance of approximately 40,000 people. 

Our Mission Statement The Katonah Museum of Art, through innovative exhibition and education programs, promotes the understanding and enjoyment of the arts for visitors of all ages. The Museum presents diverse exhibitions that explore ideas about art, culture and society.

990 FormTo receive a copy of the Katonah Museum of Art’s most recent Form 990, please contact Finance Director Pat Keane at pkeane@katonahmuseum.org or call (914) 232-9555, ext. 2972.

Board of TrusteesRochelle C. Rosenberg, President
Virginia Gold, Vice President
Amanda Alfieri, Secretary
Ellen Grimes, Treasurer 

Carole Alexander
Mary Lou Alpert
Cynthia Brennan
Maralyn Carr
Leslie Cecil
Tara Coniaris
Alexander Cortesi
Rosalie Dolmatch
Nisa Geller
LaRuth Hackney Gray
Edith Katz
Paul Llewellyn
Jeanne Markel
Victoria F. Morris
Linda F. Nordberg
Jerry Pinkney
Yvonne S. Pollack
Melanie Rose-Cohen
Dyan Rosenberg
Laura Schroeder
William Kelly Simpson
Sylvia Smolensky
Helena Louise Sokoloff
Lisbeth S. Stern
Judy Widmann 

Board of OverseersJanet Benton, Co-Chair
Alexia Jurschak, Co-Chair 

Ira Alpert
Mary Lou Beitzel
Barbara Cervasio
John Crabtree
Candace Dwan
Anthony B. Evnin
Joseph Handelman
Donald J. Herdrich
Betty Himmel
Leslie A. Jacobson
Paul Jenkel
Robert Keiter
Edward W. Kelly
Dr. Samuel Klagsbrun
Bonnie Klein
Linda S. Levine
David Moore
Stephen B. Morris
Helene Morrison
Leslie M. Pollack
Nan Pollock
Gabriel Rosenfeld
Rebecca Samberg
Ron Schlossberg
Susan B. Scofield
Robert Stahmer
David Swope

Katonah Museum

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Two Katonah NY Homes Burglarized | Katonah NY Real Estate

Bedford police are investigating two burglaries that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Katonah which may be related crimes.

At approximately 3 p.m., a neighbor went to pick up the mail at a residence located at the corner of Goldens Bridge Road and Edgewood Road. The neighbor noticed that the kitchen door was open and damaged. The neighbor also noticed a dark colored sedan—with tinted windows, a missing right front hubcap and damage to the right front fender—parked in front of the house.

As the neighbor was contacting police, he noticed a white male get into the car and drive away.

As the investigation began on Edgewood Road, a second call came into the police department from a Garlen Road resident, who said she found an open window adjacent to her front door; she also reported a missing laptop and a watch. Police officers are still taking inventory of all of the property stolen.

Bedford Patch Story

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Armonk Real Estate Buy of the Week | Armonk NY Real Estate

Armonk House of the Week


Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Mid-Century Modern
by David Hencken

4 Beds
3 Baths
2068 sq ft
1.24 acres
Windmill Farm location
Taxes $13,200
listed by Houihan Lawrence

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Robert Paul Talks About Life In Armonk NY | Weekend Real Estate Report | Armonk Real Estate

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Armonk Supervisor Puts Out Warning | Armonk NY Real Estate




 The Journal News has recently reported that several homes in the communities of Hawthorne and Chappaqua have been burglarized by thieves posing as contractors.


The deception involves enticing a resident out of the home under the pretext of inspecting or approving work that the thief posing as a contractor claims he or she is performing on a neighbor’s property.  Accomplices enter the house and burglarize the premises while the resident is outside on neighboring property engaged in conversation with the pretend contractor.


Please do not leave your home to go anywhere with a stranger, and please do not invite strangers into your home.  


If you wish to report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, contact the 273-9500.

Supervisor William R. Weaver

Buyers Need to See Past What They See When Considering a Purchase in Katonah NY | Katonah NY Real Estate

Home shopping for first-time homebuyers it’s an exciting, albeit nerve-wracking, experience. If you’re like others in the market for their first home, you probably have in mind exactly how your soon-to-be home will look.

But it’s important not to fall into the bad decorating, dingy walls and dirt-bare back yard equals bad-home trap. If you don’t see past the hideous wallpaper, funky light fixtures and avocado green carpeting, you may miss out on a home with great potential.

And, if you’re looking for a home in a seller’s market where homes are being snatched up as soon as they go on the market, you’ll come to realize you can’t be choosy if you want to make a competitive offer.

One of the first things to do is to get pre-approved for a loan and determine the maximum you can afford to offer for a house. Don’t look at homes that are asking for more than 5 percent above your maximum, otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment if you find the perfect—but outside your budget—home.

So what to do?
The floor plan of the home is extremely important. If a floor plan isn’t quite to your liking, consider rearranging it or adding on. If you’re looking at an existing home and will need to remodel or expand to suit your needs, the estimated cost of renovation needs to be considered when making an offer.

Also, consider the features of a home:

•Walls. While these are among the easiest to remedy, they also make a huge first impression. If the walls need to be painted, are covered in wallpaper or are painted a color you find distasteful, picture them crisp and clean in the color of your choice—that’s how they could look after you paint them.

•Floors. Like walls, carpet or floor surfaces that are old or outdated can be easily replaced. You could even ask for a carpet allowance in your bid, especially if you’re in a buyer’s market.

•View. Things like old, ugly—even dirty—windows and window treatments can make a view appear less desirable. Those things can be improved, so unless the only view you have is of your neighbor’s clunker on the side of the house, don’t get hung up on what is surely a fixable view.

•Landscaping. Your best bet is a moderately landscaped yard because you can always improve landscaping without spending too much. Worst case, even if you’re looking at dirt, landscaping is one of the easier projects to tackle. Plus you get to design it however you’d like if you’re starting from scratch.

•Closets and garages. You can never have too much storage space, which is why so many newer homes have three-car garages. But if you encounter a converted garage that is now a bedroom or storage room, don’t give up. Converted garages can almost always go back to their original purpose without much cost or labor.

•Kitchen. The most popular room in the house, many homeowners want their kitchen to be large and have modern appliances. Don’t let outdated color schemes deter you because there’s nothing like a fresh coat (or two) of paint to make a kitchen your own. Plus, if you like the rest of the house enough to make an offer, you can give the kitchen a minor spruce-up with some new appliances or a major overhaul complete with new countertops, cabinets, and flooring.


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Foreclosures Can Take a Long Time | North Salem Real Estate

Patsy Campbell could tell you a thing or two about fighting foreclosure. She’s been fighting hers for 25 years.

The 71-year-old retired insurance saleswoman has been living in her house, a two-story on a half acre in a tidy middle-class neighborhood here in central Florida, since 1978. The last time she made a mortgage payment was October 1985.

.And yet Ms. Campbell has been able to keep her house, protected by a 105-pound pit bull named Dodger and a locked, rusty gate advising visitors to beware of the dog.

“They’re not going to take this house,” says Ms. Campbell. “I intend to stay in this house and maintain it as my residence until I die.”

Ms. Campbell’s foreclosure case has outlasted two marriages, three recessions and four presidents. She has seen seven great-grandchildren born, plum real-estate markets come and go and the ownership of her mortgage change six times. Many Florida real-estate lawyers say it is the longest-lasting foreclosure case they have ever heard of.

The story of how Ms. Campbell has managed to avoid both paying her mortgage and losing her home, which is currently assessed at more than $203,000, is a cautionary tale for lenders that cut corners and followed sloppy practices when originating, processing and servicing mortgages. Lenders are especially vulnerable in the 23 states, including Florida, that require foreclosures to be approved by a judge.
Ms. Campbell has challenged her foreclosure on the grounds that her mortgage was improperly transferred between banks and federal agencies, that lawyers for the bank had waited too long to prosecute the case, that a Florida law shields her from all her creditors, and for dozens of other reasons. Once, she questioned whether there really was a debt at all, saying the lender improperly separated the note from the mortgage contract.

She has managed to stave off the banks partly because several courts have recognized that some of her legal arguments have some merit—however minor. Two foreclosure actions against her, for example, were thrown out because her lender sat on its hands too long after filing a case and lost its window to foreclose.

Ms. Campbell, who is handling her case these days without a lawyer, has learned how to work the ropes of the legal system so well that she has met every attempt by a lender to repossess her home with multiple appeals and counteractions, burying the plaintiffs facing her under piles of paperwork.

She offers no apologies for not paying her mortgage for 25 years, saying that when a foreclosure is in dispute, borrowers are entitled to stop making payments until the courts resolve the matter.

“This is every lender’s nightmare,” says Robert Summers, a Stuart, Fla., real-estate lawyer who represents Commercial Services of Perry, an Iowa-based buyer of distressed debt that currently owns Ms. Campbell’s mortgage and has been trying to foreclose. “Someone defending a foreclosure action can raise defenses that are baseless, but are obstacles for the foreclosing lender,” he says, calling the system “an unfair burden” for lenders.

While Ms. Campbell is an extreme case, more homeowners in trouble are starting to use similar tactics and are hiring defense lawyers to challenge their foreclosures, hoping to drag out the foreclosure process long enough to reach a settlement with the lender.

Nationwide, there were 2.1 million mortgages in some stage of foreclosure as of October, according to research firm LPS Applied Analytics. The average loan in foreclosure—the process typically starts when a loan becomes 90 days past due and a bank files a complaint—had been in default for 492 days as of October, up from 289 days at the end of 2005, according to LPS. In Florida, one of the states where foreclosures are handled by courts, the average loan in foreclosure has been delinquent 596 days.

Okeechobee County, a rural jurisdiction of 40,000 known for bass- and perch-fishing festivals, hasn’t experienced a foreclosure problem as intense as in many coastal regions of the state. Ms. Campbell’s house—which has vinyl siding, boards over the windows (to protect it from storm damage, she says), a crumbling backyard swimming pool and an old sedan rusting in the driveway—stands out among the manicured lawns, stucco ranch houses and cattle pastures interspersed among the houses.

In the town of Okeechobee, the county seat, signs of a local economy dependent on agriculture abound: stores selling pre-fab barns, animal feed and lumber line State Road 710 leading into town.

Lawyer Robert Summers, below, who represents the current owner of her loan, has faced seven appeals of the foreclosure action from Ms. Campbell since 2000.

Brian Whitehall, Okeechobee’s city administrator, says unemployment in the area is hovering around 14.5%, slightly higher than the statewide average of 12% in September. Foreclosure filings have nearly doubled each year since the state’s housing market peaked in 2006, with 617 filed in 2009. But the national housing slump and the area’s economic woes aren’t immediately apparent in Okeechobee’s quiet neighborhoods.

“We’re not like the Port St. Lucies of the world, where entire subdivisions are empty and it’s like a ghost town,” Mr. Whitehall says.

Court records outline the rocky road Ms. Campbell’s loan has taken over the past 32 years. In 1978, Paul Campbell purchased the house on SW 19th Lane, a few minutes’ drive from the small pharmacy he owned, using a $68,000 mortgage from First Federal Savings and Loan of Martin County. He married Patsy in 1980, and died later that year from emphysema, leaving the property to his wife.

In 1985, Ms. Campbell stopped making mortgage payments because of an illness that caused her to lose income and get behind on her bills, she says.

By then, the savings-and-loan crisis had begun to take hold. First Federal merged with First Fidelity Savings and Loan, which assumed ownership of the Campbell loan. In 1987, First Fidelity sold the mortgage to American Pioneer Savings Bank, an Orlando-based lender that collapsed in the early 1990s.

The loan would change hands four more times, and four different lenders would try to foreclose on her. But every lender that held her loan either merged or collapsed. Each time ownership of the lender changed, the foreclosure case against Ms. Campbell would be dropped.

The loan eventually made its way to the Resolution Trust Corp., the federally owned asset manager that liquidated assets of insolvent S&Ls, and later, to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In June 1998, the FDIC sold the mortgage to Commercial Services of Perry, which filed to foreclose in 2000. After another illness, Ms. Campbell deeded the house to her daughter, Deborah Pyper. Years later, after Ms. Campbell recovered, the house was deeded back to her. Ms. Pyper declined to comment.

Ms. Campbell’s early briefs in the case were strongly worded and colorful, drafted with the help of a now-retired Okeechobee County lawyer.

The briefs presented dozens of reasons why Ms. Campbell thought the bank didn’t have the right to her house: Paul Campbell’s signature was forged on the original mortgage, she said, and the original sellers never received money from the bank. At other times, she said the mortgage was never properly conveyed between banks and federal agencies, and she demanded paperwork that they were unable to immediately produce.

Attorneys’ fees and court costs from previous cases hadn’t been paid, or the amounts were wrong, she argued. One brief said that “Defendant Campbell specifically denies the existence of any ‘debt.'”

In 2007, a trial-court judge tossed out all but two of Ms. Campbell’s defenses, calling the case an “unnecessary paper chase which has been an unproductive and unnecessary use of judicial resources.”

Commercial Services paid a court-determined amount to settle court costs from previous cases, and moved to take the foreclosure to trial, with a date set for early October 2010.

In response, Ms. Campbell filed for bankruptcy, effectively blocking the foreclosure until a stay is lifted by a bankruptcy-court judge.

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