Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sold Properties

Posting this week's blog a little late. I guess technically since it is Sunday I missed the week. However, I am going to cut myself a bit of slack, and say I made it in under the wire.  Busy seems to be the word these days. I have been swamped just fielding leads and setting up appointments, so the blog took a back burner.

Ayway, I got a call from an old friend of mine who wants to sell her house in Lakewood PA. Lakewood is in Wayne County, sort of  in the middle of nowhere, about 20 miles north of Honesdale, and 15 or so miles west of Hancock/Lordville area. Nice countryside, but further out than most second homeowners want to be.

 I have my Pennsylvania real estate license, however I do not sell much in PA, and I am not a member of their MLS. It is something I may do some day if it starts to make sense monetarily, however for now I just haven't really done more than stick a toe or two over the border.

Well my friend is looking to sell her home, and wanted me to give her an idea of what it is worth. I called a colleague that works in a PA RE/MAX office, but he was temporarily unavailable, so I figured I would as a "layman" in this information age we live in, attempt to get some information on the local Lakewood PA real estate market.

It was surprisingly difficult. Active listings were very easy to find. They were splashed across half a dozen sites, tons of pictures and info, including acreage, square footage, taxes etc. However the good stuff, days on market, price reductions, distressed property info, all that was hidden, which makes it difficult to form any sort of opinion.

And sold comp info was even harder to find. Wayne County actually has a much better tax info site than Sullivan County. Tax info  However in order to find a sold price, you would need to know it had sold, and then look each one up individually. Still that is better than here in S.C. The only way to find sold info here if you are not in the business, is to schlep to the courthouse and look it up manually.

And that is why I have decided each week to post the houses that have sold here in Sullivan County NY. I will post the ones both from the Sullivan County MLS and the Greater Hudson Valley MLS, and for the convenience of my vast audience, I will omit the duplicate listings. This week we had seven sales in Sullivan County.

Sullivan County Sold

Greater Hudson Valley Sold

Let me know if there is any other info that I have left out that might be helpful or interesting.

My pick of the week is a 115 acre parcel in Jeffersonville with a somewhat nondescript house. It has just dropped in price by fifty thousand dollars. The reason I picked this one is because of the land. It is a gorgeous piece with two ponds, woods and some really big open fields. However like I said, the house is not anything special. Recently there was a 60 acre piece that sold in Fremont in the 600K range, but the house on that one is a really great farmhouse renovation. Pretty breathtaking. However similar square footage,  the land on this one in Jeff is comparable, if not better, and there is 50 more acres!

It just goes to show you that the wow factor of the house is what sells, but if you can look past that, those are where the deals are. I'm not saying that this is a deal at 699K, but as the old saying goes, they're not making any more land.

Jeffersonville House with Acreage

Friday, May 20, 2011


I ate dinner out the other night. It is a much rarer activity we can indulge in now that my son has come along, but every once in a while, we persuade a friend or relative to babysit, and we get a much needed night out. We went to Live Bait in Roscoe. Great little place. The food is American casual, the atmosphere when we went was upbeat and lively. The owners did a great job decorating the place, and it fits into the general feel of Roscoe.

I have always liked Rosoce. It has a different feel to it than other Sullivan County towns. It is hard to explain, maybe it is the way the highway runs right through (or should I say over) it, or the old buildings along main street or all the streams and rivers around it. But there is something that I like about it. There are half a dozen places to eat, including the famous Roscoe Diner, all the necessary shops, including a great little wine and liquor store, and of course the fly fishing shops.

The town is currently in the finals for the title of "Ultimate Fishing Town". Right now they are in second behind Waddington NY, and could use all the help they can get. Click here to vote. 

The whole area around Roscoe including Fremont and Rockland townships, and even into Delaware County hide some really nice second home spots. I think this area is overlooked a bit because mileage wise, it is further than other Sullivan County towns. However the straight shot to get to Roscoe actually makes the time in the car less. Taxes are historically lower in this area as well. If you are interested, drop me a line. I've got a few favorites picked out in each price range. My pick of the week below is a Roscoe house.

Pick of the week. This house sits just outside of Roscoe on Old Route 17, which I think is a pretty cool country drive along the Willowemoc River. This is an old 1850's farmhouse. It has been "restored",  and the owner did a pretty good job (although there is some evidence of Home Depot pergo). It is a phenomenal spot though. An authentic civil war era farmhouse with water is very difficult to find, and I think it is priced to move. Click Here for Listing

In contract/sold pick of the week. As soon as I saw this house come back on the market at the price it was listed, I knew it would go quick, and it was in contract in a matter of weeks, and closed last week. Originally it was listed above 250K I showed it a few times when it was listed in the 230K range. (I tried to get the listing after it expired the first time, but the owner never called me back.)  It is a 3000 square foot Cape Cod on Sackett Lake Road in Forestburgh on 2.2 nice acres. This is a really nice house that is a product of the market. It sold for 140K.

This is a classic example of an owner throwing up their hands and taking what the market will bear. In mid '07 it would have been heresy to suggest this home was only worth $140,000. However this is not a distress sale, and it is now in the comp pool. Like it or not. Click Here for Listing

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Support Our Firefighters

Now that spring is in full swing, and these nice seventy degree days are beginning to feel like summer, our county is showing signs of coming out of hibernation. Towns and roads were busier this weekend, as the slow influx from the southeast works its way towards us.  Suddenly there will be a bit more Burberry scattered across the county, and a bit less flannel. The Delaware River will be dotted with canoes, rafts and kayaks, the country roads sprinkled with joggers and bicyclists.

All the local businesses who cater to the summer folk are also getting ready. Signs are going back up, outdoor umbrellas are appearing, and cobwebs are being dusted off.  As the local farmers put it, "Gotta make hay while the sun shines."

Well, there is a particular group of people who are rolling up their sleeves and trying to make some hay for a pretty selfless cause. They are our volunteer firefighters, and every year the various stations hold assorted community events, the proceeds literally going to help keep the lights on in the firehouse the whole year round.

Sullivan County firefighters are all volunteer, save for a few in Monticello. These are men and women who live in our communities, who donate time and effort to ensure our safety. And firefighting is not their only duty. We also have a volunteer ambulance corps, but it is small and with the huge area that it must cover, the response is understandably slow. And of course we have state police, and local sheriffs, but they too must cover a large area. So, 99% of the time in any emergency call, the local fire department will show up first. They are trained in First Response, and are equipped to stabilize and save lives until further help arrives. I know a bunch of local S.C firemen, and their commitment to helping others is something I admire and respect. They have families, jobs, and lawns to mow, but they take time out of their busy lives to make our county safer. Good bunch of people.

The fire department in general is pretty inter-woven into the community. From parades to field days to pancake breakfasts, you can find a fire department event pretty much every weekend. In just a few weeks for Memorial Day, there are two parades in Sullivan County. One in Roscoe, and one in Fremont Center. Click Here for Sullivan County Events.

My favorite is the chicken barbecues. Many of the firefighters are weekend grill warriors and take special pride in their grilling. At most of these events you get a tasty piece of freshly grilled chicken, some various sides, a piece of corn on the cob, or homemade potato salad, all for around eight bucks. Whether it be a day on the Delaware, or on one of our lakes, or golfing--however you decided to enjoy the Sullivan County Catskills, stop by the local firehouse and pick up dinner for the family. It goes to a good cause. They are the ones that will show up first should you ever need them.

And now for my "pick of the week." This house (more like estate, it is a 12 bedroom B&B) just came back on the market. It is a really cool old building on Washington Lake, and although it, and the surrounding area is in a bit of disrepair, it seems they are finally having a dose of reality, and have dropped the price. I am not saying it will sell at this price. It needs work, and a bunch more money for whomever buys it. I hope it does sell though. Some fresh energy on Washington Lake would be great. House on Washington Lake. Click on the "show all photos" on the top.

I am also going to add a weekly listing. It is going to be a house that has gone into contract that is in someway remarkable, whether it be the price, style, whatever.

This week it is a house on Australia Road in Lumberland on 56 acres. This house has been on the market forever--I believe well over three years. It dropped in price from 699K to 585K over a year ago, and stayed put there. I know this property pretty well, because I had an interested party. We walked the acreage. It is beautiful land which backs up to 1500 hundred acres of state land that runs all the way to Rio Reservoir.  At the top of the property, the views are spectacular, you can see all the way to New Jersey. The house is a log, I believe Beaver Mountain, but the layout was a little cramped and funny. The bedrooms were more like lofts, and open. Despite the obvious draws of this property, I did not believe it would sell until there was a substantial price reduction. I was wrong. I am curious to know what the agreed upon price was. Lumberland Home With Acreage