Sept. 25, 2023

Should You Buy or Rent a Home After Downsizing

Downsizing your home is significant life decision, whether you're an empty nester looking to simplify your lifestyle, or a retiree trying to reduce expenses and maintenance. One of the critical questions that arise after you have decided to sell your current home, is whether you should buy or rent your next home. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and making the right choice you will need to consider both financial and emotional factors.

Buying a Home After Downsizing

Pros of Buying

  • Ownership and Equity: One of the advantages of buying a home is to build home equity. When you own a property, your home is an asset that can appreciate over time. Homeownership can provide stability, since the purchase price of your home is fixed, and you are gaining equity when you are paying down your mortgage. Your home can bring potential financial growth when your mortgage amount is fixed.
  • Stability and Control: Owning a home gives you a sense of stability and control over your living situation. You won't have to worry about rent increases or the possibility of your landlord selling the property. You can enjoy your home fully by customizing and maintaining your home to your preferences without seeking permission.
  • Tax Benefits: Homeownership often comes with tax benefits, such as deducting mortgage interest and property taxes. There are usually tax savings programs on property tax for seniors, to protect from inflation in property taxes.

Cons of Buying

  • Financial Commitment: Buying a home is a significant financial commitment. You'll need to put down a down payment and you'll be responsible for mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs for the next 15 or 30 years. If your financial situation is uncertain, buying may not be the best option.
  • Opportunity Costs: You may have sold your current home and have enough money to pay cash for your next home. However, you still have to evaluate whether that is the best financial choice to have your money tied up. Do you think you may earn more by investing your money and living on your gains or interests? Do you want to have some extra money set aside for travel, emergencies, or other investment opportunities? 
  • Lack of Flexibility: Owning a home is a commitment and ties you to a specific location. If you want to relocate for any reason, selling a property will be labor and time-consuming and expensive. You have to evaluate whether you will settle in your next location for perhaps five years or more, before deciding buying.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Homeownership comes with the responsibility of maintaining and repairing your property. Even if you buy a low maintenance property like a condo or townhouse, you are still usually responsible for repairs inside the house. This can be a hassle and costly, and inconvenient when unexpected issues arise.

Renting a Home After Downsizing

Pros of Renting

  • Financial Flexibility: Renting provides lifestyle and financial flexibility, and you won't have to make a substantial down payment or commit to a long-term mortgage. If you do not want to tie down your savings to a house, you can look rental properties that fit your budget so that you can allocate your savings for other investments or experiences. It will also help to calculate the monthly costs of buying a home vs renting, as some for some locations it is cheaper to rent than buy, and vice versa.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: When you rent a home, the landlord is typically responsible for maintenance and repairs, even for minor issues like plumbing, broken electric outlet or appliances. Perhaps after having been responsible for maintaining your own home for a long time, you can try enjoying a completely hands free and maintenance free experience and see if you like it.
  • Location and Lifestyle: Renting allows you to easily change your living situation if your needs or preferences change. You can explore different neighborhoods, downsize further, or even move to a different city without the hassle of selling a property.

Cons of Renting

  • Lack of Equity: When you rent, you are not building equity in the property. Your monthly payments go towards your living expenses, and you no longer have an asset that can appreciate over time. 
  • Inflation: Compared to buying, where your housing costs was your purchase price, rents can be reset yearly. You not only have to consider whether you can afford the current rent, but also whether you can afford the rent in 10, 20 years. 
  • Limited Control: Renting means you have limited control over the property. You probably need permission from the landlord to make certain customizations to your living space, even simple things like painting a wall or getting pets. Additionally, the landlord can decide to sell the property or increase rent at any time. If you are used to the stability of living in your own home, you may not be used to the limitations of a rental.
  • No Tax Benefits: Unlike homeowners, renters do not benefit from tax deductions related to mortgage interest or property taxes. 

The decision of whether to buy or rent a home after downsizing has both financial and emotional components that depends on your individual circumstances, financial goals, and lifestyle preferences. If you value long-term stability, know where you want to live for at least the next few years, and are financially secure, buying a home may be the right choice. However, if flexibility, financial freedom, and a maintenance-free lifestyle are your priorities, renting could be the better option. Consulting with a financial advisor or real estate expert can also provide valuable insights to make an informed decision.

Sept. 20, 2023

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home in a 55+ Community

Choosing the right place to call home in retirement is a major decision. For many retirees, 55+ communities present an appealing option. These neighborhoods cater specifically to the needs and preferences of older adults, and ensure you have some neighbors in a similar age range. However, 55+ communities come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. So what are the pros and cons of buying a home in a 55+ community?

Pros of Buying a Home in a 55+ Community

  • Active Lifestyle 55+ communities often offer a vibrant and active lifestyle tailored to retirees. These communities usually provide amenities like golf courses, fitness centers, swimming pools, tennis courts, and organized social activities. Some communities are situated at a beach setting, or close to hiking or skiing, and attract many residents that share similar interests. Residents can enjoy these resort like amenities just steps from their home, without any upkeep necessary like cleaning the pool, driving to the gym, etc.
  • Sense of Community Living among peers in the same stage of life can create a strong sense of community. It is never too late to make friends that share common interests as you. Beyond the amenities, these communities often have a common room that host various social clubs, classes, book clubs, and events tailored to residents' interests. Whether you enjoy arts and crafts, sports, or educational pursuits, you're likely to find a group that suits your hobbies. 
  • Reduced Maintenance Maintenance-free living is a significant perk of 55+ communities. Many of these neighborhoods provide services like lawn care, exterior maintenance, snow removal, and even housekeeping, allowing you to enjoy retirement without the burden of home upkeep. Some communities also include gated entrances and security personnel, which can provide peace of mind for residents, especially for those who travel frequently once retired.
  • Age-Appropriate Housing Designs Homes in 55+ communities are typically designed with older adults in mind. They often feature single-story layouts with no stairs, wider doorways, and other age-friendly amenities.  

Cons of Buying a Home in a 55+ Community

  • Age Restriction Even though it is beneficial for someone living in a 55+ community to have neighbors in the same age range, there is also a drawback with this restriction if you have friends or family members who are not 55 or older. Often, visitors under 55 are allowed for visits, but they may not be able to live with you permanently. There are also rules for people inheriting a house in a 55+ community, and whether they can live there if they are not at that age. Some 55+ communities also have resale restrictions in place, limiting your ability to sell your home to someone under a certain age. Each 55+ community has different rules, so be sure to check out the rules for any community that may interest you. 
  • HOA Fees Homeowners' association (HOA) fees are common in 55+ communities and sometimes be high. These fees cover maintenance, amenities, and community services, so it's essential to factor them into your budget when considering a purchase.
  • Limited Age Diversity While the sense of community can be a pro, you have to think about whether you would prefer a more diverse age range in your neighborhood. If you enjoy interacting with people of all ages, you may feel limited in a 55+ community.
  • Limited Housing Options Some areas have plenty of 55+ communities, while some other areas do not have many, and you might have limited communities to choose from. Many of the ones located in the New York suburbs were newly built, which is a pro, but may have a high sales price for that reason. 
  • Rules and Regulations 55+ communities often have strict rules and regulations governing everything from home appearance to pet ownership. It is also a community, so compared to a single family home, there are restrictions on whether you can have a fenced in yard for your dog, or whether you can own a pet in general. Make sure you check the rules for each community and that you are comfortable with the rules before buying.

In conclusion, buying a home in a 55+ community offers many advantages for retirees seeking an active and maintenance-free lifestyle. However, it's essential to weigh these benefits against the potential downsides, such as age and community restrictions and HOA fees. Perhaps a general condo community of just a simpler home on one floor with minimum stairs is more suitable. Be sure to carefully research and make visits to different communities so that you can decide whether a 55+ community is the right choice for your retirement years. 

Sept. 19, 2023

How to downsize your home for retirement

Retirement is a time for relaxation, adventure, and enjoying what is most important to you. For many, it also marks a significant lifestyle change. If you have already decided to downsize to a smaller and more manageable living space, you will need to get ready to sell your home and fit all your belongings into a smaller home. The process of decluttering and downsizing can be daunting, but it's a crucial step in preparing for retirement. In this article, we will provide practical tips on how to declutter and downsize effectively.

Practical Tips for Decluttering and Downsizing:

1. Start Early and Set Goals

Begin the downsizing process well in advance of your retirement date so that you are not overwhelmed. Setting clear goals and a timeline will help you stay focused and organized. Downsizing is not simply for owning less stuff - it also helps you get used to what is important for your new lifestyle. Identify what you want to keep, what you can donate or sell, and what needs to be discarded. Create a checklist to keep track of your progress.

2. Assess Your Belongings

Go through each room and evaluate your possessions. Just like the Mari Kondo method, ask yourself if each item holds sentimental value or if it's genuinely necessary for your new lifestyle. Be ruthless in your decision-making, but you can be mindful of sentimental items. If you have too many items like projects and pottery your children made 20 years ago, consider keeping a few, and taking photos of the rest and create a memory book without taking up physical space.

3. Declutter Room by Room

It may be less daunting if you take a systematic approach, and declutter one room at a time. Start with the areas that are less emotionally charged, such as the garage or storage spaces. As you get more experienced with the process, move on to more personal spaces like bedrooms and living areas. Remember to label boxes clearly and categorize items for easy access.

4. Sell, Donate, or Recycle

Once you have sorted the items that you no longer need, you can decide whether to sell them, donate to charities, or recycle. You can host a garage sale or use online platforms to sell valuable items. For gently used clothing, furniture, and household goods, you can donate them to local charities or nonprofit organizations. Recycling helps reduce waste and is an eco-friendly choice. If you have accumulated too many unnecessary items, or maybe have large furniture that you no longer want to keep, you may need to post them for free online, or if they are almost unuseable, you may need to order a dumpster to discard them.

5. Digitalize Documents and Photos

While you are decluttering, you will find many documents and photos can be scanned and stored electronically. You can take this opportunity to make sure the items are safely stored in case of anything happening to the physical copies. It also reduces the need for physical file cabinets and storage space. Invest in a good-quality scanner and cloud storage solutions to safeguard important documents and cherished memories.

6. Assess Your Retirement Lifestyle

As you declutter and downsize your home for retirement, keep in mind that this process is not just about reducing physical possessions; it's about simplifying your lifestyle to make room for new experiences and adventures. This is a chance for you to embrace living with less stuff and more freedom.

A downsized home can lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable retirement, allowing you to focus on what truly matters to you. 

Sept. 18, 2023

Deciding When You’re Ready to Downsize Your Home in New York

Many older adults start thinking about the prospect of downsizing to a smaller home. The common reasons are: empty-nest situations where grown children have left, and suddenly, all that space feels like more than you need. Or maybe you're just tired of the burdens of all of the ongoing home and yard maintenance. Some may decide that a smaller place might help in achieving their financial dreams.

The thing about downsizing, though, is that it is a pretty personal decision. It is important to acknowledge that each downsizing decision is distinctive to each individual's unique circumstances and motivations. Below are three considerations for when you are trying to make a decision.

Assessing Your Lifestyle Goals and Needs

The first step in any downsizing journey is to assess your lifestyle goals and needs. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • Empty Nesters: After the kids leave home and settle into their new adult lives, many parents find themselves in large homes that once accommodated a bustling family, but now feel empty and too much to maintain. In this case, downsizing may help reduce the physical, financial, and time demands of a larger home.
  • Health and Mobility: Age-related health concerns may necessitate a move to a house that is more suitable to one’s current and future needs. Your current home with the many beautiful staircases may have become burdensome. Single-level homes, wider doorways, ramps and possibly condos with access to elevators may be what you are looking for
  • Financial Considerations: Downsizing can free up equity tied up in a larger home, providing financial flexibility and peace of mind especially if you are retiring soon. A smaller home should require lower monthly expenses, even in terms of utility, taxes, and maintenance
  • Desire for different location and community: Some people seek the sense of community and companionship offered by retirement communities. Downsizing to a location where most residents are of similar age can provide access to social activities and amenities. You may also look for a community where your neighbors may have more common interests, ie. golf course communities, proximity to the ocean or ski slopes, etc.

Evaluate When is the Right Time to Downsize:

  • Assessing the Real Estate Market: Pay attention to the real estate market in your area. Of course you would want to sell your current home at a favorable time to maximize its value, but if you have to then buy your new home, you will also be buying at a seller's market. Interest rates is also a concern because it will affect your mortgage amount, and possibly whether you get a mortgage or pay for your home in cash. Also, it will be more difficult to obtain a mortgage once you are retired and are on a fixed income.
  • Work and Retirement: Are you thinking of downsizing while you are still working? Will you still need to be close to your place of employment in your new home? If you are looking to relocate to a new area, maybe you can still downsize, but decide to rent until you fully retire so that you can buy your permanent retirement home without worrying about your work commute

Financial Planning for Downsizing:

Downsizing can have significant financial implications, and it's important to carefully consider and plan for them. Here are some financial concerns to keep in mind:

  • Sale of Current Home: If you own your current home, you'll need to sell it. Consider the costs associated with selling, such as real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and potential repairs or renovations to make the property market-ready.
  • Purchase of New Property: After you sell your current home, you will need to buy or rent a new home. Find out how much the costs of the new property, including down payments, closing costs, and any ongoing monthly expenses like homeowner association fees and decide if it is financially sensible.
  • Moving and Downsizing Costs: Moving can be expensive. First of all, downsizing often requires getting rid of possessions you no longer need. You will need to set aside quite some time, and might have to spend money on storage units and professional movers to help with this process.
  • Taxes: Depending on your location and the specifics of your move, you may face capital gains tax implications when selling your current home or other tax considerations. Consult with a tax professional to understand how downsizing might affect your tax situation.
  • New Monthly Expenses: Smaller living arrangements may come with reduced monthly expenses, such as lower mortgage or rent payments, and usually less money in utility bills. The property tax for a smaller home may be reduced a lot too, especially for New York state.  But there may be new additional costs like homeowner association fees or condo fees.
Sept. 8, 2022

8 Tips on How to Modernize Your Home on a Budget

Who said you must use expensive items to modernize your home?

With over thousands of various Amazon finds, there sure are affordable ways to make your home feel like the grandest of hotels. With the right items and a good amount of effort, you can upgrade your space to look like the Westerly Condos which is known for its innovative and modern designs. Handled by a prestigious interior designer, such a condo that takes pride in its vibrant and contemporary design is much awaited by aesthetes and investors alike.

Most modern homes have similar interior layouts that make them look expensive and neat. This interior decorating style is very common among high-end homes and condos. To have an idea what are the latest trends in modernizing a home, see more of these modern homes in the website. 

You can upgrade your home into a modern chic dwelling space even on a tight budget by reading our cost-saving tips listed below.

1 Use an open concept

A lot of modern homes use an open floor plan for their interior layout. This layout allows you to move freely from the kitchen, living room, and dining area since they share the common area without any obstructions such as walls. The open concept or open floor plan allows you to talk to guests in the living room or monitor the kid’s activities even while you are cooking in the kitchen. With a lot of visible square footage, your interiors look spacious with an open layout. 

2 Declutter your home

The modern minimalist look can be achieved by decluttering your home. Keep your home neat and clean by limiting the number of items you put on display. The décor should complement the room or must serve a purpose. Modern homes should look put together and doesn’t look weighed down with massive furnishings, trinkets, heavy objects, and colors. Invest in beautiful, stackable containers where you can keep your items or belongings. Dispose of items that are broken and beyond repair. 

3 Opt for big windows

You’ll see a lot of windows incorporated into the layout of modern homes. Windows are very functional and enhance the aesthetics of any home. It allows a lot of natural light and air to enter a room making it look bigger, brighter, and breathable. Large windows come in many forms such as skylights, French windows, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Choosing the right design makes a big enhancement to your home structure.

4 Apply natural finishes

It is a common sight to see natural materials and finishes being used in modern homes. This creates a stylish and expensive look for your interiors. Using a metal bar counter gives your kitchen an updated look. Flooring made of porcelain tiles, hardwood, and other natural finishes makes your room look modern. To make your living room look stylish, cozy, and put together, spread out a huge area rug. 

5 Use neutral colors for your interiors

Modern homes follow the minimalist look by applying neutral colors to their interiors. These colors are in varying shades of grays, yellows, browns, tans, and solid colors such as black and white. Use home accents such as an area rug, decorative items, and other elements to add pops of color to your room. Avoid conventional color schemes such as pastels or trendy bright colors as they tend to go out of style.

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6 Choose simple, modern furniture

Modern furniture reflects a laid-back lifestyle and often is neat with streamlined designs. These contrast with ornate traditional furniture that is too heavy on the eyes and takes up too much floor space. Modern furniture is the main feature of the home and defines its character. You’ll find this furniture installed on the wall or raised from the floor making the room cozier and more spacious.

7 Choose stylish lighting fixtures

Modern homes showcase stylish lighting fixtures. Sometimes a simple room is enhanced by a modern lighting design. Your budget, personal preferences, and choice of furniture influence how you will select the type of lighting fixture that will fit your interiors. Today’s lighting fixtures come in a myriad of shapes and designs that make each of them unique. The more exceptional the lighting design, the more it adds to the room’s artistic appeal. For example, instead of choosing a table lamp, use artistic wall sconces to add flair to the room.

8 Embrace Technology

Most modern homes are updated with technology. These modern gadgets are usually hidden assets of the home such as CCTV, smart TV, fridge, and others. Residents of modern homes embrace modern innovations to make their lives easier. These modern appliances help them live a carefree life and make household chores easier to accomplish. Upgrade to the latest gadgets to keep up with the dynamic changes in the world. With so many brands available, you can afford to buy a smart appliance that will serve its purpose yet within your means.

When Less is More

In modernizing your home, remember that LESS is MORE! Less clutter, less heavy furniture, and fewer dark colors result in more space and a stylish interior. By following these renovation tips, you can transform even the smallest condo into an elegant modern home.  

Posted in Homes and Garden
Jan. 21, 2022

Pipe Dreams? Best Methods For Unclogging Your Drains

Plumbing is one of those things that nobody thinks about until it's too late, causing water damage that impacts property value. Unfortunately for them, it’s usually when there’s a foot of water on the floor, a broken pipe flooding the backyard, or their drain is completely clogged. 

Fortunately, though, there are some signs to watch for before it gets that bad. And when you notice these signs, it’s possible to dislodge that blockage in your drain and get your water flowing freely again before it becomes a big problem.

Signs of clogged drains

Here are some of the signs your drains could need a good clean out:

  1. Your toilet is bubbling
  2. There is a musty, nauseating odor
  3. Water is backing up in your sicks, showers and baths
  4. Water takes a while to drain
  5. You hear a gurgling sound coming from the drains
  6. Puddles of water on the floor near any sinks or tubs
  7. Toliet does not flush

A number of things can clog your drains, but the most common causes are a build-up of grease, food, or soap in the kitchen; hair, soap, and toothpaste in the bathroom; toilet paper, wipes, and paper towels in the toilet. 

Mould and mildew can also cause issues with your pipes. So, what do you do? Here are some of the best options.

1. Start with DrainO 

Unclogging your own drain is one of those things that you don’t have to be a qualified plumber to do. If you find that a drain in your house is clogged, start with DrainO. DrainO is a chemical mixture that causes a violent reaction, using its acidic properties to eat through whatever is clogging your drain. Follow the instructions carefully and stand back while it does the work. 

2. Use a natural solution 

If you're not that keen on using chemicals in your home, there's a natural solution for your drain clogging woes. Chief among these natural de-cloggers is a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. The reaction between the two will cause the food or other blocking item to break down by the force of the chemical reaction and hopefully free your drain. 

3. Break out the snake 

Otherwise, it’s time to bring out the snake and stick that down the hole, in the hopes of unclogging the drain. The snake is a long metal wire, with a coil on the end-user to collect and pull up whatever is clogging your drain. 

The snake is mostly used for the more tricky clogging, such as food, or bunched-up toilet paper. While usually in a plumber's toolkit, the snake should also remain part of your own personal home plumbing toolkit. 

You may need to try a different angle of attack when it comes to using the snake, depending on the location of the blockage. This may require the cutting of some piping before you can access the pipe. Only do this with a pipe cutter if you're confident in your abilities, or, if not, be sure to call in the plumber. 

4. Use the good old plunger 

This should perhaps be the first thing that you try - the old plunger method. This is relatively simple. Plunge away at your clogged drain till the blockage is shifted. The pressure created by the air forced down the pipe by the plunger will hopefully be sufficient to move whatever the blockage is. Plungers must be used whilst simultaneously blocking any other route for the air pressure built up to escape, make sure to plug any other air gaps such as overflows before you start giving it all you've got. 

What about the shower or tub? 

While it is less common, bathtubs and shower drains can indeed become blocked too. These will build up over time, rather than be an immediate problem, as the hair becomes trapped in the drain. To solve this problem, simply remove the drain cover, cover the overflow pipe with a cloth (while pressing against it) and plunge away. 

You can also use a snake in this instance, too. Be sure to keep your drains as clean as possible to prevent a recurrence. A good investment is a drain guard for your bathtub, used to catch all of those stray hairs. 

No matter the plumbing project, it goes without saying that if you are unsure of your work, you should have it checked over by a professional. However, it doesn’t hurt to try things for yourself and see how you make out. Unclogging a drain is a relatively simple skill that everyone needs to learn how to do, but if the above tips don’t work (or you don’t have the time yourself), call in a plumber.

Posted in Homes and Garden
Dec. 20, 2021

Hudson Valley Jazz Weekend in 2022

The Cove Castle, 13 Castle Cove in Greenwood Lake, has live jazz. Its most recent owner has done an outstanding job of presenting live music, hosting weddings, Broadway Nights, outdoor summer attraction and now an upstairs jazz club. Their stage, lights, sound and quality food make it an ideal city alternative in the pristine Valley.

Partnering with The Hudson Valley Jazz Festival, utilizing many of the artists heard through their yearly series, The Cove has had it's first "jazz weekend" in November and the next one January 20-22. In addition there are a series of Sunday Jazz Brunches, Jan 30, Feb 6 & 13. Artists include Rave Tesar, Vinnie Cutro, Jeff Ciampa, Ryan Berg, Joe Vincent Tranchina and Teri Roiger, leading their groups which include among others, Sue Williams, Pete Levin, Jeff Siegel, Lew Scott and festival director Steve Rubin. Prior performers to date have been Mike Jackson, Mitch Schecter, & The Hudson Valley Jazz Quartet with Gabriele Tranchina.


Fri Jan 21: Rave Tesar Trio 7 PM

Sat Jan 22 Vinnie Cutro Quartet 7 PM

Sun Jan 23 Jeff Ciampa Trio 1 PM

Sun Jan 30 Ryan Berg Trio 1 PM

Sun Feb 6 Teri Roiger Trio 1 PM

Sun Feb 13 Joe Vincent Tranchina Trio

Posted in Things to do
Sept. 21, 2021

How To Make The Most Of Your Outdoor Spaces: Renovation Tips

Image Credit: Pixabay

Is your outdoor space looking a little bit – lonely? If you are searching for ways to customise your backyard, there’s good news. You have many options to choose from. 

The tricky part is selecting what to do in terms of customisation. Coming up with creative ideas can help you maximise what you get from your outdoor space. Don’t worry if nothing comes to mind - the following tips are designed so you can use them to create a backyard with great utilisation of space. 

Building a backyard tool shed and workshop

If you’re a keen DIY enthusiast, why not utilise your outdoor or backyard space to build a backyard workshop? Your tools are going to need a ‘home’, particularly if they are looking a bit out of place inside the main house, and a tool shed will provide the best space for your equipment. You’ll have easy access to your tools, and they’ll remain rust-free in your tool shed as the environment is completely dry.  

Why not go a step further and really get the most out of your backyard? Why not build a backyard workshop or invest in an outdoor shed? It’s ideal for staying on top of your small DIY projects, keeping organised and keeping your main home clutter-free. To create one, you’ll need to think about the size of your outdoor space and then consider the design of your backyard workshop. Think of it as a tool shed on a slightly bigger scale.

Constructing a children’s play area

Your backyard is a great place for your children to get fresh air and exercise – that’s why it is the ideal location for a small children’s play area. It’s one of the best ways for your children to explore their outdoor space in a safe, secure way while having hours of fun and entertaining themselves. 

You might consider installing a slide or a swing set if you have space, which will then leave the rest of your backyard free for all your other projects. But just bear in mind, any changes you do, ensure that they’re going to add value to your property.

Creating a decked area or small nature nook

If you’re in your later years and your family has grown up, some of your best, most peaceful moments can be spent relaxing in a decked area in your backyard. A decked area is also ideal for those who want to recline in an outdoor swing with a good book and enjoy their outdoor space. For this reason, a decked or paved area has made our list of popular things to construct in your backyard.

Now, there’s nothing better for those who enjoy being outdoors than a small and quiet nature nook. It combines the best of nature’s elements – the flowers and shrubs – with the benefits of a seated decking area. In the same way children love treehouses (which is another feature you might decide to build in your backyard.), a nature nook is just ideal for adults looking to pass their free time outdoors, get back to nature and relax.

Building a pool house

Do you have an outdoor pool? How about a pool house? You’ll reap so many benefits from building a pool house in your backyard, including a top storage location for your outdoor pool items. 

A backyard cabana will cost around $4,000 to $10,000, but it’s important to contact your local council before you start to build because sometimes planning permissions are required, but pool houses are the way to go. 

With a relaxed style, your pool house will invite you and your guests in and they won’t want to leave. You’ll be able to furnish it with seating areas and maybe even a bathroom where your guests can change into their bathing suits.

Maximise your outdoor space

Now you’ve got some great ideas for things to build in your backyard, all you need to do is go out and do it. Just remember, to make it easier:

  • Always think about the amount of space you have
  • Contemplate the design of your outdoor building project, and
  • Don’t forget to look into those planning permissions and ensure you’ve got the green light


You’ll be surprised how what you build in your backyard can change the space for the better. Give it a try and get your project started.

Posted in Homes and Garden
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates
April 6, 2016

Rockland and Orange County March 2016 Real Estate Trends

The warm winter has helped the real estate market stay active in the Hudson Valley! Real Estate sales in March 2016 was the highest in March since 2007. Rockland and Orange Counties are seeing a healthy balanced real estate market. The average property that is well priced does not stay long on the market.

The most expensive home sold in Rockland and Orange County in March 2016 was a 4000+ square foot mini estate in Tuxedo, Orange County. It sold for $1.45 million.

Westchester and Putnam County March 2016 Real Estate Trends