Real Estate Versus The Stock Market

Lately it seems to me that Real Estate is a much safer & therefore a more attractive investment than the Stock Market. Many people may not agree however, I have my reasons for believing otherwise. First, most experts now agree that the market has hit the bottom, & in many markets it is now rebounding. That certainly appears to be the case here In Columbia County. Secondly, the old adage of buying low & selling high is in place with historically lower home prices, coupled with some of the lowest interest rates we have seen in decades. Thirdly, when you buy Real Estate you are getting a tangible asset, something you can feel, touch, enjoy, & even improve. Buying stocks in today’s unstable world economy could be a very risky investment. Even though the company you own stock in may be doing well, economic conditions worldwide now have a greater impact on American Companies. That’s why when people ask about investing in Real Estate, for me it’s always about owning a piece of the rock.


Yesterday & Today

Right here in Chatham we are lucky to have Columbia County’s oldest & largest active theatre. The Crandell opened Christmas day in 1926, and shortly after it opened in 1927, the first talking film opened.

Since then it has been in continuous operation for over 83 years, for much of that time run by the Quirino family until Tony Quirino’s death In 2010. The Chatham Film Club, a volunteer, not for profit group then acquired the theatre and has been committed to the preservation of the Theatre & it’s traditions, while bringing art, independent, foreign, children, and first run films to our community.

Such a treasure here in the village has brought our community together both to save it as well as celebrate it. We who live and work here are fortunate to have The Crandell as a symbol of who we are.  This is why so many of us have chosen to live here, and continue to stay here.  If you have not yet chosen to make that move, visit our site & let us show you the way home in Columbia County.

Our thanks for input & Photo from the Chatham Historical Society. Call (518)392-9236.


Smart Choice

Is now a good time to invest in real estate? Truthfully it depends. There are segments of the market where investing is very promising, and others that are not as strong. In this market rentals are booming, especially seasonal rentals. So it makes sense to buy a property that you can both enjoy as well as rent seasonally. With so many good buying opportunities, you should look at each home also in terms of its rental income potential. Here in Columbia County we have two prime rental seasons, Summer & Winter.

Summer rentals generally are from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and homes with an in ground pool for this period are in high demand and usually go for around $7,000 to $10,000 per month depending on the amenities of the home. The winter season on the other hand generally runs from November to March and these rentals are commonly rented by skiers.

The major advantage to renting seasonally, is the ability to write off all your all expenses, such as taxes, insurance, utilities, as well as the interest on your mortgage. In order to be able to do this all you need to do is rent for at least 14 days during the year.

So why not have the best of both worlds, a vacation home with added tax benefits.


Phantoms of the Fairgrounds…

Its Grandstand completed in 1881, the Fairgrounds was to add a 1.5 mile track and harness racing about 1898.

Many years later, a reputable local gentleman reported hearing the sounds of such racing not once, but three times that summer. For a while, The  ‘Phantom Racers’ were all the talk. Small wonder: harness racing had been discontinued some 12 years earlier!

Some speculate that history actually leaves ‘traces’ which occasionally reveal themselves. Certainly , our old and oldest homes have a distinct character or personality, usually quite apparent on a first visit. It not just an matter of style and the various physical details – it’s a very strong feeling you get…just perhaps all that history added up and ‘speaking.’

You’ve heard it’s a great time to buy. And it most definitely is. So visit our website to review various homes, each with a personality, each with a story to tell…each awaiting a next chapter.

Imagine: you just might wind up making some history of your own.

Our thanks for input & Photo from the Chatham Historical Society. Call (518)392-9236.


Can You Exploit Today’s Market…. Or not?

There’s some good, even surprising news here, along with some not-so-good news. Much depends on you, where you live, your financial situation, your wants and needs. Let’s ask some questions, and come up with some answers.

1)   How credit-worthy are you? Should your needs necessarily involve a lending institution; a strong credit score will be essential.

2)   How vital is the market? Nationally markets vary widely; ours is relatively strong, with median prices up some 6% over last year during the same period

3)   Are you looking for a vacation or ‘bargain’ home? We recently reported that sales for such properties were up significantly in 2011 and  – surprisingly- 41% of these sales were all- cash. Assuming you can afford to buy or can show a strong income profile, the investment of a lifetime both – in pleasure and financially – is likely readily available. But be advised: prices here are already up compared to last year during this period.

4)   Are you looking for a rental? Whether for a summer vacation or long term, these are in short supply- and rates are up. However, if you can remain flexible, some summer vacation rentals are still available. Stay in close touch with an agent here!

5)   I’ve heard that financing is now tougher for most buyers – is this true? Sadly, but understandably, yes. Bank demands have tightened, and buyers will have higher hurdles to get over. It is still worth moving forward in this buyer’s market.

Hope This has been helpful…


The Day Abraham Lincoln Came To Chatham

It was September 23, 1848, a cool and quiet day seemingly like any other – except to those who know our history well.  About 4:30 that day Abraham Lincoln arrived in Chatham.

His Presidency in the distant future, “Honest Abe” was traveling west on the Boston & Worcester Railroad along with Massachusetts Governor Seward – both having made speeches in Boston.

Disembarking briefly, the far-sighted Lincoln envisioned the growth of the Chatham “village to be” into an important rail link. He also foresaw the long-term agricultural potential of out gently rolling landscapes and those of the entire Hudson Valley as well.

Both prophesies proved correct. Even today, small organic farms are sprouting up to meet current wants and needs, while many of our early and earliest homes still stand, solid and proud.  Our contemporary homes often and easily pass muster as well, blending award-winning architecture with materials of the highest quality.

Just visit our website. Pick a comfortable price range and consider altogether new and intriguing possibilities – these created by extraordinary value plus an enhanced lifestyle, the two coupled with superior long-term investment potential.

All this awaits you, and we mean that…in all honesty.



Now About That Burning Question…

Nowadays we hear this one question more and more – and still more. Are we there yet — has the housing market finally bottomed out? Answering that question fairly means more than just following a Media known for its appetite for negative  news.

It means looking past that Media to many positive developments in recent months that have often gone unreported altogether. In fact, all major indicators suggest we have more than hit bottom — we may be on the way back up. Good news indeed, and backed by reliable evidence.

One supporting example: sales of existing homes nationally over the past six months have increased 13% compared to the same period last year. Still another indicator: the rate of foreclosures and short sales has begun to slow down, thereby reducing the amount of existing inventory.

Historically low prices and interest rates have created a remarkable buyers market in many areas, and a lot of smart money is now moving in a positive direction.

While it’s perhaps a little early to start celebrating, a gentle smile would seem quite appropriate.



The Clock Tower Yesterday & Today

The history of the village of Chatham has always been a very interesting one. The clock tower at One Main street has often been the landmark feature that has come to be considered by many as the symbol of Chatham.

After a fire in 1869 had destroyed a good portion of main street, this unique structure was rebuilt in 1872 by William Woodbridge. At one time, Woodbridge sold the building to the village for $5000, where it served as the town hall, the police court, & also the home of the Chatham fire company.

That was then, today it still stands as the village of Chatham’s center piece, standing proudly at the start of main street. It last sold in August of 2010, for $230,000, that’s quite an impressive increase in value since those earlier days.

That’s part of the reason my faith continues in the long term investing of Real Estate. Check out our website to see  what long term investments you can make.

Our thanks for input & Photo from the Chatham Historical Society. Call (518)392-9236.


How Does The Laws Of Agency Work In Real Estate?

New York State law requires all licensed Real Estate Agents & Brokers to advise in writing to all potential buyers, sellers, tenants, & landlords of residential properties, who they will be representing in any subsequent transaction. This requirement is to be done at the first substantive meeting of the parties. Despite all the written material on this subject I find it amazing that many consumers are still unaware of the options and choices they have when choosing a Real Estate professional. Quite often, a decision on purchasing a home may be one of the most important ones we will make in our lifetimes. You need to become an educated consumer, learn all you can about your choices. For example, learn how you can have your own agent, one who will work on your behalf.  You owe it to yourself.


A Magical Moment At Chatham’s Train

In 1841 Chatham became a major pivot point for Railroad traffic throughout the Region. With the completion of the present station in 1887 — appropriately dubbed the ‘Union Station’– Its importance would grow for a century and more.

Along the way, It also revealed the beauty and fertility of our Land, a glowing reputation the Hudson Valley enjoys to this very day.

It did seemed magical when, in1909, the first  ‘milk train’ left Union Station…hauling some 20 tanker cars of unsurpassed ‘fresh local milk’ to serve the needs of New York City. A remarkable tribute to our farmers and Land alike, it became a daily event for decades to come.

Today, a secure and private lifestyle occupies the County. Ancient farmsteads share space with dramatic Contemporary homes. Small organic farms are springing up, on acreage still beautiful, still unspoiled. – yet as always surprisingly affordable. Whether viewed as building sites or already carrying a fine home, our Land – Columbia County – has a very special ‘spin’.

Review our web site. Consider the prices, the sheer value…and you may well want to create a ‘magical moment’ of your own.

Our thanks for input & Photo from the Chatham Historical Society. Call (518)392-9236.