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Happy Holidays from Reclaimed Home! See you’s on Wednesday!
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Another list of volunteer opportunities for this weekend from Bill de Blasio. If you live in a neighborhood that was not hit by the storm, it seems like everything is hunky dory. But it’s not. There are New Yorkers still living without heat and lights. They can’t do laundry, they can’t get food, they can’t get gas to go shopping, even if their cars weren’t destroyed. They rely on volunteers like you!
Join Councilman James Oddo to help clean-up and distribute supplies to residents.
599 Father Capadono Boulevard
Join Rebuild Staten Island for its 3-day “Mega Cleanup”
780 Olympia Boulevard
Help the Red Hook Initiative deliver hot meals to residents.
767 Hicks Street
Friends of Firefighters needs volunteers to help do physical labor at individual homes as well as volunteers to help sort and distribute donations.
Occupy Sandy needs experienced construction workers are needed to help large scale community construction and clean-up projects.
Saturday, November 10, 7:30-10:30am: RSVP here
Occupy Sandy needs volunteers to prepare and serve meals, sort and distribute donations, and conduct outreach.
St Jacobi Lutheran Church, 5406 4th Avenue
The Jewish Association Serving the Aging needs volunteers are needed in Brighton Beach to check on residents and help walk hot meals to elderly residents on high floors. Russian speaking volunteers would be greatly appreciated.
The Brooklyn YWCA needs volunteers are needed to bring meals up and down stairs to homebound residents in Gowanus.
420 Baltic Street
The Brooklyn YWCA needs one car needed to transport food from downtown Brooklyn to Gowanus.
30 Third Avenue
FilmoreCares needs volunteers to sort and deliver supplies, assist with clean-ups, and assess community needs.
2990 Avenue U
Councilman James Sanders needs volunteers are needed to help conduct a massive clean-up of Far Rockaway.
1526 Central Avenue, Far Rockaway
Holy Apostles needs volunteers to help operate its soup kitchen, which serves over 1,200 meals daily.
296 Ninth Avenue (at 28th Street)
Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) needs volunteers to help sort and load donations.
169 171 Avenue B
Congregation Ohab Zedek will take a bus of volunteers from uptown to the Rockaways to help with clean-up.
118 West 95th Street
RSVP for Manhattan events above.
Volunteers are needed to help restore the Manhattan Youth Community Center in lower Manhattan.
120 Warren Street
posted @ 9:00 am Comments (0)
My friend Deb will be helping compile lists of Sandy relief efforts on this blog in the upcoming days and weeks.
For now, here’s a quick cut -n- paste from Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Friday, November 2, 12pm-4pm:
posted @ 12:16 pm Comments (0)
The house had been sitting empty since the fire in 2003. It always seemed so crazy that a once majestic home was allowed to deteriorate while real estate in this pocket of Bed Stuy has remained tight.
I heard that it was going up for auction. First I saw the “suits” meeting out front. Then came the rubbish removal truck. I knew something was going down.
Today I weaseled my way into 91 Macon while my neighbor was waiting to let the water company in. He was put in charge for the day, flashlight and all. Since I’m a licensed real estate agent and it IS officially on the market, it wasn’t verboten even though I felt like I was trespassing.
So here’s how crazy real estate in Brooklyn is. They are asking $900k as is. Word on the street is that they intend to renovate but leave any detail that’s there (Praise God) and that price will be $1.5m. Public record shows that they purchased it at auction for $600k a few months ago. That’s a hefty profit although not quite the $300k it may look like. Perhaps there were other liens and taxes, clean up costs, legalizing “stuff”, getting rid of squatters or dead bodies…
In any case, high for Bed Stuy? Homes in the area have been hitting over a million. Although $900k seems steep, $800′s seems almost fair. It’s 4000 square feet. I’m gonna predict they either get $850k as is, $1.1 on a crappy flip or $1.3 on a nice restoration.
posted @ 6:43 am Comments (0)
After suffering through the endless demo, sheetrock, taping and mudding, I finally got some color on the walls. Personally, I prefer rich jewel tones but since I’ll be trying to sell the house, I went with a lighter palette.
So, my lighter palette choices don’t translate into “safe”. I couldn’t bear the thought of using white. I tried to go with “beach housey pastel” but as you can see, some of the walls are more reminiscent of desserts. Mmm, mint chocolate chip and orange sorbet…..
posted @ 7:59 am Comments (1)
Not being too familiar with Sullivan County, I contacted buyer’s agent Joe Addeo at The Rural Connection to show me around yesterday. What a luxury not having to set up appointments, navigate and drive from house to house!
We saw a bunch of homes that were in pretty decent shape. None of them would have worked for my flip purposes, but it’s definitely a buyer’s market over there. That part of Sullivan County near the Delaware River is beautiful but quiet. Don’t go expecting a scene, man.
Anyway, on to the houses! Find info on all of them here.
The farmhouse pictured above is a steal at $175k. Great piece of property on 5 acres with a pond near Jeffersonville. The house doesn’t need much work at all, which is why it didn’t suit my own purposes. One can just move in and enjoy. I saw some unfinished molding. That was about the extent of the work IMHO.
This lovely cape was in decent shape also. It’s very close to Jeffersonville and the Villa Roma Resort, which is like an Italian version of a Borscht Belt resort. A sausage belt resort, if you will. The house could use some updating or you can overlook the drop ceilings and dated kitchen and just enjoy your summer. Not bad for $139k.
This Cochecton house was pretty sweet for $89k and would have worked for me had the neighboring house not been so close (close by country standards). On the plus side, the neighbors have horses. Unfortunately, that’s a negative when you have dogs. Anyhoo, great bones, good location. Price is unbeatable!
Oh, this was a good one too! Another not-much-to-do house. The exterior looks worse than the interior. I remember that this one had a great kitchen with aluminum cabinets and an old drainboard/sink and the floors were in perfect shape. $139k in Cochecton.
The city girl in me appreciated this one simply because it was within walking distance to civilization. The village of Kauneonga Lake isn’t very big but has 4-5 good restaurants that overlook the lake. This is the perfect retreat for lake lovers, even though the public access is some ways from the house. There’s a hot tub in the back. Who doesn’t like a weekend place with a hot tub? $109,900.
Finally, this lovely Cochecton farm house belongs to my buddy Sal, an antiques dealer in Callicoon. The house is about to hit the market at under $200k. When it does, I’ll let you know all about it…as well as the cool vintage trailers he’s selling. But for now, consider this your head’s up.
posted @ 7:29 am Comments (1)
Who knew it would be more difficult to find an investment property than to find a place for oneself? I’m lovin’ a whole lotta things that I see, but unfortunately, when I do the math on them, they don’t make financial sense.
The house above is on Wittenberg Road just outside of Woodstock in Bearsville. There is not one but two homes on the property. I thought that this was The One until I got home and reread the MLS sheet. It’s apparent that both structures need work but what’s not visible to the eye is that the bungalow isn’t on the well and septic. That would put me over my own budget, but it’s still a good investment. Stay in one house and rent out the other.
The exterior siding needs some work and the top floor shows some leaks but the main room looks in really decent shape.
How cute is this kitchen? The same wonderful vintage wallpaper is in the bungalow too.
The property is listed at $115k and sits on .68 of an acre.
This 1910 stone house is also on .68 of an acre. It’s located on Maverick Road and sits a wee back from the road. It’s adorable but you can’t get away with a $124,900 price tag in Woodstock without needing to do work. There is some settlement on the house to an extent where the slant made me dizzy when I walked in. This is stuff that can be resolved with a decent structural engineer.
The “slanty” room is in otherwise good shape. I would a)resolve the sag problem in the basement first, then b) carefully take up that wood floor to level the joists and put that same floor back.
The kitchen is located in the basement. Gotta love the log beams.
The problem with a small house with a basement bathroom is that it shares the space with the mechanics. Actually, they look to be in decent shape and surely they can be hidden.
This house was on Sawkill Road, which is a busyish road, but the house is set back far enough for it to seem private.
The home needs a total update but it’s not a scary amount of work like some of the other places I’ve seen. What do you expect for $110k on .5 of an acre?
The most impressive thing about the house? This sink. I’d buy the house just for that sink which is hidden in the basement.
Ok, I lied. Not all under $200k. This sweet red house on nearly 4 acres in a great area is a whooping $219,500. The difference is this is ready to move in. We’re not talking high end materials, but it’s clean and ready to go. If you don’t want to worry about renovations, here is an affordable house in Woodstock.
posted @ 7:51 am Comments (1)
If you take the last train to Clarksville, NY you’ll get to Albany. Have someone meet you at the station because the little hamlet of Clarksville is about 12 miles west of the State Capitol.
What is there in Clarksville? Caves! 4800 feet of passage. Worth a visit just for that. Stop at Jake Moon Restaurant Cafe for lunch. Ok, that’s about all there is to see in Clarksville itself, but there are other nearby towns and did I mention that Albany is only 12 miles away?
I couldn’t pull up any Clarksville home listings but here’s what you can find close by.
Farmhouse with barn on a little over an acre. Both need work. $65k.
Ooh. A 151 year old farmhouse on fifty acres with a pond in nearby Delmar! Sounds great! $250k.
Newer construction in New Scotland. Over 12 acres of property. $ 264,900.
posted @ 7:35 am Comments (0)
My poor hubby. No sooner did the partner and I decide to delay plans for a storefront than I started searching for a fixer upper to make my own. I just have to get him on board. He’ll come around. But in the meantime, maybe you’re ready to show some love for one of these beauties?
See that baby in the photo above? Big Indian 3 bedrooms with a 2 bedroom apartment over the separate garage. One acre. Guess how much? Go on, guess. It’s down to $85k. With 10% down plus upstate closing costs, you can just about do it with that $20k you have sitting under your mattress. Save some pennies for the renovation though!
Don’t ask where Newport, NY is (actually, it’s near The Adirondacks) but this old farmhouse plus barn on 21 acres is only $59,900. The problem is, with a 4 hour drive, will you want to go up every weekend and will the driving costs be a deal killer?
When we had our crappy modular home near Kingston we always envied the people with the stone houses in nearby Stone Ridge. I could swear those homes cost around $500k back then. This one is up for sale for the first time in 50 years for the low, low price of $179,900! Dude, that’s good. The bad news is that it’s situated right on Rt 209. The good news is that it’s probably zoned as commercial.
Ooh, this is lovely. Ornate Victorian in Catskill, NY within walking distance to everything. 16 rooms! That’s cray-cray. It reminds me of my old Beacon house, only the asking price is nearly $100k less. $274,900. Going once? Going twice?
posted @ 8:57 am Comments (2)
Dreaming of a log cabin? This 1937 home seems to be pretty clean. Located in Bethel (the REAL Woodstock), it only sits on .17 acre. There is access to swimming, boating and tennis nearby though. The price? $54,900.
This is the one that made my jaw drop. It needs sooo much work drooooolll but it’s sooo worth it. Check out the pictures of the interior. OMG, I’m in love. A 3800 square foot grand center hall colonial in Catskill on 1.5 acres. It’s listed at $75k but the sale will be an auction.
Ok, so this Amenia home is very close to the road, but hear me out. Hello B&B potential! It needs work, but $79,900 the price reflects that. No, I did not make a mistake and forget to put the one in front of that number. 4.2 acres. Dreamy!
This 1790 cottage doesn’t resemble anything from a bygone era. The only detail left intact is the stone fireplace, otherwise it’s new reno. Not my thing. But for $100k on 7.3 acres, it could be your thing if you don’t want to give your weekends away to the Renovation Gods.
posted @ 7:48 am Comments (2)
It’s not often I get a fun AND informative expense paid weekend. Once again, thanks to the Plastics Make it Possible campaign for inviting me along to the Solar Decathlon in DC. I was honored to be included among such bloggers of awesomeness as Jetson Green, Dwell, Shawna Coronado and Ugly Duckling House .
The weather wasn’t exactly cooperative, but we struggled through it like troopers. The first home we toured with Brooks Utley was the Caltech Compact Hyper Insulated Prototype or CHIP. I’m not gonna lie. The interior was nice, but this house was alllll about the exterior for me. Anything that looks like a space ship is fabnificent in my book. The CHIP does not have any insulation, not because they are from sunny California and don’t need it. It’s because that funky puffy “siding” acts as the outsulation, a word they are trying to get into the dictionary. CHIP’s skin is made of heavy-weight (24oz/yrd) recycled white vinyl. White was used to reflect as much of solar radiation as possible, reducing cooling load. The “siding” is highly durable and waterproof.
Florida International University also had an impressive exterior. Their perFORM[D]ance House has layered walls designed to protect the house from undesired elements. Check out their website for energy performance on the walls and windows. It’s the louver system I want to discuss. The PVC and aluminum panels shade and protect the house as well as provide hurricane protection. Looks a bit nicer than the plywood or duct tape people were using here for Irene, no?
The winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon was the University of Maryland with their Watershed project. They best utilized sustainable design for running the entire house.
Check out the home’s control panel with an easy button thrown in for good measure.
The dehumidifier is a work of art. The Innovative Liquid Desiccant Waterfall (LDW) system was developed by Maryland’s 2007 LEAFHouse team. A high-saline solution absorbs humidity from the air as it falls through back lit plastic “jellyfish”. It’s beautiful AND smart.
My personal favorite was New York’s Parsons School of Design. Not because I’m partial to NY (I am). Not even because I thought the house had the best overall design. It’s the story behind it that I fell in love with. The EmpowerHouse is a Habitat for Humanity home and of all the houses we toured, this one felt like a HOME. It’s probably because the lucky family who are inheriting the house were there on hand. Their photos were on display. This was actually someone’s home and I got a little verklempt when I met them.
My own honorable mention and the winner of the People’s Choice Award is Appalachian State’s Solar Homestead. Whereas some of the entries felt a bit cramped, this home had space and style. Once again, it was the exterior that blew me away.
The modular porch with outbuildings is kept dry by a bifacial PV canopy that acts as a net zero energy source for the home. The technology allows each 195 watt panel to collect sunlight bounced from below as well as above.
But honestly, the had me at the bark siding. Yes, this is durable and water resistant as long as it’s not sitting in a flood zone. The bad news is that it’s expensive.
Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on some other innovations I saw and easy DIY techniques we can steal for you kids to try at home. The bark included. Yum!
posted @ 10:02 am Comments (1)
Think you can’t afford a second home? What if I told you you can grab one for as low as $15k? Yup. I’m not saying it’s the most desirable house in the most desirable area, but you can make it a sweet getaway.
Don’t even THINK of grabbing that house above for $15,000. I want that one. Looks like an old farm house but it was actually built in 1970. This could be a plus, as it sits on 2.31 acres and old farm houses are almost always right on the road. So it’s possible this house is set back a bit. It’s located in Monticello. Last time I was in Monticello, I was about 12. No kidding. It was kind of crappy back then, although it’s a beautiful landscape. Anyway, who cares about any of this? The. house. is. $15k.
This listing doesn’t give much detail. I guess the agent couldn’t be bothered to even take a picture for her commission on the $29,900 list price. Looks good from that angle. It’s a 2594 square foot four bedroom in Hurleyville, NY. I think I have an idea of where that is. Nice hikes and all, but not much going on culturally. In fact, I do believe that if you’re not an orthodox Jew, you may feel a bit out of place. On the other hand, if this is a flip, a 4BR would be a selling point.
Yeah, I know. It looks like a trailer. But hear me out. It’s actually a 1950 ranch on 4.9 acres. divided into 2 parcels. Still with me? Good. Take a look at the interior shots. There’s something to work with here. Can you see your mid century fab getaway? Are you seeing the fifties kitchen? Oh, I didn’t mention that it’s in Neversink and includes lake rights and three outdoor sheds.
**When you’re looking at distressed properties, please keep in mind that you may encounter wildlife living INSIDE of the house. Try not to freak out. Where boots and bring a flashlight (although, if the realtor doesn’t have a flashlight for abandoned homes, they should be fed to the wildlife).
posted @ 5:10 am Comments (0)
Over the weekend we ventured out to Howard Beach, Queens to hang with a buddy who’s a member of the Federation of Black Cowboys. Those are the guys you see riding their horses on South Conduit out near JFK.
Black cowboys have been part of American culture since the 1860′s, but the current incarnation of the Federation was born in 1994. The website is not currently being kept up. They do often welcome visitors, but check first to make sure it’s cool. When we showed up, most of the cowboys and cowgirls were at a Juneteenth rodeo in NJ, so it was a quite day back at the ranch.
This is our buddy Ralph. By day, he’s a heavy construction laborer, but much to his wife’s dismay, he spends evenings and weekends tending to his garden on the Federation’s 25 acre property.
“Mountain Man” was proud to show us the museum he’s been working on. Housed in one of the trailers, it has some very cool old western gear, but I winced at the animal skins, body parts and traps. He uses all parts of the animal, so kudos to him for that.
This “kid” is only 17 years old. He has his own horse and attends an agriculture high school right there in Queens.
The garden, barbeque pit and picnic area are just off the main road. Making the most out of the urban/rural experience!
Black Cowboys Flickr set
posted @ 7:09 am Comments (1)
Staatsburg. $185k. Nice detail in this 1900 Craftsman on a quarter of an acre. 1764 finished square feet and I can’t figure out if the extra 906 unfinished is the attic or basement.
Oh, my. Hyde Park. $240k. It’s a short sale, meaning it may be a pain to get a loan. If you have $200+ floating around in your pocket, you could make a sweet cash offer. The Culinary Institute is located in Hyde Park. Also, an antiques center and a drive in.
Red Hook. $299k. 8 acres. Need I say more? Oh, the house is cute too.
Red Hook. $299,900. You think the house is nice? Check out the in ground pool. All this on 5.9 acres. I’ll go in with you.
posted @ 6:10 am Comments (0)