And Now For A Little Optimism

In this view, a rekindled optimism about Real Estate is due and overdue. With the Press taking an overall ‘National’ view, it drones on and on about foreclosures and falling prices — simply ignoring the fact that conditions vary widely from market to market.  This ‘broad brush’ smear encourages uncertainty and a profound caution about buying, though this makes sense in many areas, it doesn’t here in Columbia County.

With interest rates still at historic lows, the stage is beautifully set for highly profitable long term investments for first time and second home buyers equally. Other positive recent signs include our Commerce Department reporting new home sales up 5.7% in September, the first such upward swing in months, and current homeowners now benefiting from the Administration-sponsored relaxation of refinancing rules.

All in all, If you set aside your fears for just a moment…you’ll realize that huge buying opportunities are right in front of you, right here – and right now.


Halloween is quickly approaching and everyone is preparing for all the ghosts and goblins to come out, so get the candy ready. There are many events going on leading up to Halloween to check out, here are a few.

 FilmColumbia starts tomorrow and should be a lot of fun; I myself will be going to see some movies.  It is a great time to sit back and check out some movies; most times that have not even hit theatres yet.

On Saturday October 29th, the Chatham Area Business Alliance is holding its annual Halloween in the Village celebration from 11-4.  This will be great fun for the whole family. There are activities going on all over Main Street, you can go to Chatham Kids and decorate a cookie, participate in the Scavenger Hunt, or simply just go trick or treating at each store in your costume. For the adults you will be able to go to the Hudson-Chatham Winery and if you’re in costume you will receive a complimentary wine tasting. We here at Beach & Bartolo will have a Beanbag toss game, and a “Guess How Many” game, and we will certainly have the candy ready.

So stop by Chatham over the next two weekends and check out the great events that are going on right here on Main Street.

Really Good News For Columbia County

Just when you thought good news was an endangered species, it pops up in a big and meaningful way.

After floundering for years, we New Yorkers now have something to be proud of – a Governor Cuomo who realizes that creating opportunities requires strong leadership, this combined with a clear vision of a better future.

And through his efforts so far, some five major high tech companies are coming to our State. This will mean about $4 billion dollars in new revenue (possibly leading to lower taxes), plus some 2500 new high tech jobs and 1900 new construction jobs – most high-paying.  And more may be on the way.

The majority of all this activity will happen right here in our own backyard, the Capital Region.  Beyond the thought of reduced taxes, another result will be more and more people who can afford to buy homes.  Given our location/proximity, wonderful country feeling and affordability, Columbia County will very likely see more new Real Estate activity than any other.  Indeed, really good news.

Thanks, Andrew, we needed that…

The ‘Buyers Market’….Explained

It’s a familiar terms, but what does it really mean?  How does it happen? And, most important, how can it be best exploited to your advantage?

Put simply, a ‘buyers market’ exists whenever market conditions heavily favor the buyer.  The situation typically begins with reduced housing demand…leading to reduced home values and prices. A gradual reduction in sales puts ever more homes on the market, and for longer periods of time.  This in turn leads to a still further drop in demand…and round and round it goes, for some unknown length of time.

Exploiting the present situation to the buyer’s advantage is all about a single factor – timing.  Many savvy buyers now agree that the very best time has arrived and are making their moves; in fact, they know that waiting can indeed be very, very costly because the market can turn with surprising speed.

So don’t wind up waiting too long – then missing and regretting forever – what may well have been your bargain of a lifetime. As the song goes, ‘These are the good old days…’ And indeed they are.

Gold, Silver…and Real Estate

Beyond the monetary appeal of currently high prices for gold, silver and other precious metals, I strongly suspect another, very powerful factor may explain the sell-off. Gold is tangible, offering the security of something solid you can hold and touch; by razor-sharp contrast, stocks and bonds seem little more than vague abstractions. Investing in Real Estate provides all the satisfactions of precious metals — and much, much more. It is a Safe Haven, an investment under whose broad, protective wings you can live and love. With the average homeowner staying in their homes seven years I am confident that, over that period of time, Real Estate will out–perform Gold while providing countless pleasures…and the memories of a lifetime.

Fall Events in Columbia County

Here in Columbia County the end of summer is marked by the Columbia County Fair, which wrapped up after 6 days of activities and entertainment on Labor Day. With the kids back at school and everyone back to work, it seems that summer is truly over. With the summer wrapped up it is now time to look forward to the exciting fall events that are happening in Columbia County.

Something exciting to look forward to is the annual Film Columbia Festival October 19-23 at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham NY. Last year the festival featured award-winning movies “Black Swan” and “The King’s Speech” before they were released. This is a great event for movie lovers.  Click Here to find out more information.

October 9, from 11am to 4pm, The Austerlitz Historical Society will be holding it’s annual Autumn in Austerlitz. This is a great event for the whole family, the event features volunteers dressed in early 1830’s costumes, antiques, live music and entertainment for children, many different vendors and a variety of hot and cold foods. Click Here to get more information.

This time of year in Columbia County is also a great time to go apple picking at the local orchards, there are many orchards around the county that offer pick your own apples. For a complete list Click Here.

The Hudson Valleys’s Growing Allure

At last, the word seems to be getting around, because more and more visitors are being drawn to Columbia county and the entire Hudson Valley.  More and more new full-time residents as well.
The reasons for this may be a bit more than first meets the eye.  Certainly the about two hour proximity to the Metropolitan Area makes the ‘country’ surprisingly close.  Also, the surprisingly attractive prices here – and sheer value – of homes and sometimes large properties is immensely appealing.  What would be a million dollar + situation in Westchester County, on perhaps just a fraction of an acre, might cost half that amount here, and easily include ten or more acres.
I suspect, though, that another factor may be at work – the ever-increasingly demand for fresh produce and Organic Foods.
We continue to see small farms springing up, these serving up all manner of vegetables and cheeses to growing numbers of coop food outlets.  With only some 63,000 residents throughout the County, there’s surely a ton of room for more vegetables – and more nature-oriented people as well.
Why not give this not-so-radical idea some thought, as many already have. A whole new and simply wonderful lifestyle is truly right under your nose.

Events Going On This Weekend

There are many events going on this weekend and the entire month of August in the County. If your looking to see a show you can go see “The Real   (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County!” at the lighthouse Marina & Restaurant in Copake NY every Friday in August. It should be a fun show to go and see.

On Saturday August 13th there is a sangria festival at the Hudson-Chatham Winery on route 66 in Ghent from  12:00    to 5:00. This should be a fun filled day of trying different kinds of Sangria, Mexican food and massages. For  more information

Also happening this weekend is the first annual Hudson music fest. Happening on Saturday August 13th starting at 7:00pm. The city of Hudson will have music in every possible indoor venue and outdoor public space the organizers can conjure – jazz brunches, buskers on street corners, dueling DJ’s, dance parties, country bands, classical music concerts, singer/songwriter contests, new age music and old time Dixieland, salsa and soul. It should be a fun weekend full of music. If you would like more information go to

Interest Rates – The View From Here

Our Government finally cut a deal saving us from default, but then Standard & Poors downgraded our credit rating.

How might this affect you and me — and the housing market?

Some consumer interest rates will likely begin tracking higher.  However The Federal Reserve in a response to the lower rating just guaranteed its interest rates for the next two years, a positive move for all of us.

So, if you’re now shopping for a home – or even a car — moving quickly could well save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Historically, Real Estate has proven the single best place to invest your money long term. I remain convinced that today it remains just that.

Money Talks Once Again

  ‘Money talks’ is a very old  expression, and one whose truth is often demonstrated – but only very occasionally in a truly startling fashion.

Thumbing my way through a current issue of USA Today, I spotted a Real Estate Report that some 30% of existing home sales in a recent month were all cash transactions, a pattern now seen in markets all across America.  Certainly a shocker, it in fact has a simple explanation: savvy investors taking advantage of today’s major Real estate opportunities.

This trend is showing up right here in Columbia County as well – fueled by super attractive prices and still low mortgage rates, neither likely to stay that way much longer.  For some, the Buying Opportunity is here, and now.  Don’t miss it.

And with the beautiful weather we have been having here in Columbia County, it is a perfect time to come and check out the area.  Visit our  About Columbia County page to find out more about the area.