Columbia County Happenings, Jan 11 – 13, 2019

Beach & Bartolo has teamed up with Columbia County Current to bring you regular updates on local happenings. Every Thursday, here on the Beach & Bartolo blog, we will list a sampling of events, things to do, and happenings taking place around the county.

Live Music at New Lebanon Library w/ Up In The Air, Jan 11

This will be an evening of soft rock and jazz with Berkshire trio Up in the Air!

Friday, January 11, 2019: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

New Lebanon Library
550 State Route 20
New Lebanon, NY 12125


Columbia Land Conservancy Discussion: Owning & Managing Forested Land, Jan 12

Join the Columbia Land Conservancy, professional foresters, fellow landowners, and other experts for a neighborly discussion about woodland management and conservation options. Refreshments will be served.

Saturday, January 12, 2019: 10am – 12pm

West Taghkanic Fire House
631 Old Route 82
Taghkanic, NY

Registration is required so that the CLC can be in touch in the event of a cancellation. Visit clctrust.orgto register.


Winter Architecture Exhibitions Opening at Art Omi

Opening this weekend at Art OmiEXIT Architecture: Speculations for the Hereafter, and InConstruction: Hariri + Hariri, the inaugural exhibition in this new series focusing on architecture and design projects, by contemporary architects presented publicly for the first time. EXIT Architecture is a speculative look at designing for the afterlife in all its potential architectural and design forms, and new ways of marking our exit, and was curated by Warren James, and Julia van den Hout + Kyle May.

Refreshments will be served, with remarks from the exhibiting architects, curators, and Warren James, Director of Art Omi: Architecture.

Saturday, January 12, 2019: 2 – 4 pm

Omi International Arts Center – Benenson Center
1405 County Route 22
Ghent, NY 12075


Bakyard Birds, Winter Birding Workshop at Mud Creek, Jan 13

The winter months are a great time for backyard birding. Come to Mud Creek ELC and create your own bird feeder from recycled materials. By putting up a feeder in your yard you can experience the wonderful birds of winter right outside your window and stay warm inside while watching. Feeding birds in winter is fun and helps birds during the harsh conditions the season brings.

Learn about common backyard birds, feeding tips, and ways to attract birds to your property. There will also be a stroll along the trail in search of birds.

Columbia County Soil and Water Conservation District ( provides educational programs and services to help residents and communities manage and protect the natural resources of Columbia County.

Sunday, January 13, 2019: 12pm – 1:30pm

Mud Creek Environmental Learning Center
1024 RT-66
Ghent, NY 12075

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – please contact Pamela Price at Columbia County Soil & Water Conservation – 518-267-3313


Columbia County Current is a blog dedicated to all things in, around, and occasionally, way beyond Columbia County, NY.

For more local happenings, news, and events, visit, or follow on FaceBook, and twitter @CoCoCurrent

Shifting Market

Recently there have been signs indicating that the Real Estate Market is beginning to shift in the direction of buyers. There are a number of factors that may be contributing to this. First, mortgage interest rates have begun to rise and this is always a cause for concern as it keeps some potential buyers on the sidelines. Median prices here in Columbia County have begun to drop from $275,000 a year ago, to $245,000 currently. Residential inventory has also seen an increase, partly because the new tax laws now limit the deduction for state and local taxes to just $10,000 which encourages more sellers to put their houses on the market. For buyers who may be waiting until spring to start shopping, maybe you should take advantage of this time of year when there is less competition and sellers tend to be more motivated. 

Voted Best Real Estate Company For Third Year

Every year the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Chatham Courier and the Register Star, invites people to vote for their favorite Columbia County businesses. As a result, Beach & Bartolo Realtors was selected as the “Best Real Estate Company” in Columbia County for 2018. We are excited and so proud to have won this award for the last three years. We will continue the work hard to earn your trust & support in helping you find the way home.

Buying & Selling Real Estate Has Become Much Easier

Thanks to technology, if you are buying or selling Real Estate, the whole process has become a lot easier. The internet provides information that at one time was only available to Real Estate agents, now it’s there for the consumers. Sites like Trulia, Zillow & as well as many Realtor’s websites, allow buyers and sellers to search for all the available properties in their area of interest. More people are searching on mobile devices, so no matter where you are you can be shopping. In addition to the data, you will have photos to review, videos and drone shots of the property from above. Shopping from the comfort of your own space and time frame. Sellers can take advantage of this as well by reviewing homes similar to theirs that they will need to compete with.  Electronic signatures and documents are becoming more and more popular among Realtors, because no one needs to physically meet to sign anything you can sign at your leisure wherever you are to list or buy a property. These advances have proven to be giant time savors for consumers, as they can now eliminate many possible homes from their list without having to go there directly. Who would have thought that buying Real Estate could actually be fun.

Times Are Changing

The Real Estate Industry like all others, is changing very rapidly, primarily due to technology. Consumers now have greater tools to do much of their shopping online. This can be both good and bad. Good, if you want to see a lot of properties without having to leave the comfort of your home. Bad, if you are going to rely on internet sites to predetermine property values. Many sites like Zillow are offering home value estimates, which very often are dramatically off from the real market values, sometimes as much as 35%. The data used is often outdated and not accurate. Once you narrow your search you should rely on the experience of a Real Estate professional. Realtors know the local market, they do this every day. They have access to the latest local data, and know the local neighborhoods, as well as current trends. Your Realtor should be your guide through the complex and detailed home-buying or selling  process. Choose wisely, you have a lot of money at risk.

Homebuyers Survey 2016

The National Association of Realtors does an annual survey of buyers and sellers. Here are some interesting results that may surprise you. 35% of all homebuyers were first-time buyers, here in the northeast that figure was 44%. Out of all the buyers surveyed, 86% said they used the internet to search for homes. Of this number 54% used a mobile device to access the internet. Half of the homes purchased were within 12 miles of the buyers previous residence. Only 16% of the buyers said they used a newspaper ad as an information source. Homebuyers did indicate that in 34% of the cases, it was their Real Estate agent who alerted them to the home they eventually purchased. While the internet has become a very valuable tool for both buyers and agents, the survey also indicated that 90% of all home purchases were done through a Real Estate agent. It’s reassuring to know that having a good Real estate agent continues to make shopping for a home a smart choice. Good luck shopping!

Why We Live Here

There are many reasons why we decide to live where we do. For most of us, it’s about where we find the most suitable work opportunities. However, when that isn’t your primary reason to pick a locale, then what is. Many times school districts are high on many priority lists. Let’s look at other factors that are equally important. Take this one for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released data that shows New York’s crime rates for 2015. The Times Union Newspaper compiled a list of the safest New York cities, towns & villages. They used the FBI crime statistics from 2015 to determine the results. The FBI gets this data from the local law enforcement agencies. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Chatham Village came up as the number one safest community in the state. This is simply another reason why we all have seen the recent new spike in the number of newcomers to our village. Sales of Real Estate in and around the village has seen a surge of sales activity, as more and more folks discover our little secret. In addition, we are fortunate that now it appears we are becoming a destination, as more new and diversified retailers open on main street. We’re all glad to be here.

Thank You

Every year the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Chatham Courier, and Register Star ask people to vote for their favorite Columbia County businesses. As a result, Beach & Bartolo Realtors was selected as the best Realtor in Columbia County for 2016. We are extremely proud and appreciative of this outstanding award and recognition. We have been a supportive member of the chamber of Commerce for over fifty five years. It is our mission to work hard everyday to maintain our reputation as an honest, trustworthy and professional organization for all our many customers and clients. In addition to our seventeen licensed agents, our support staff continues to allow us to be a leader in the field of internet marketing, social media, and technology. We will continue to work diligently to earn your trust and business.

Buyers Beware

As mentioned earlier, the housing market has really heated up. The tide is beginning to turn and we are starting to see more of a seller’s market. If you are a buyer what should you do? First get yourself pre-approved by your local bank or mortgage broker. If you should end up competing with another buyer, you will have a far better chance of getting the house when your agent attaches your pre-approval letter with the offer. Secondly, engage a local experienced agent to represent you as a buyer’s agent, they know the local market and often the history & backgrounds on many of the homes you may select. As your agent, they can guide you through the buying process, and also recommend what they believe the market value is on any property you may be interested in. Thirdly, act quickly, waiting can be costly, as both housing prices, as well as interest rates, are heading upward.

Last Year In Review

In 2012 Columbia County saw an increase in total residential sales from 402 in 2011, to 437 in 2012, which is an 8.7% increase. In addition, the median price went up to $200,000, also a good indication that the market is improving. Another number we look at is average days on the market, which went from 205 in 2011 to 184 in 2012. All good signs that our market is tracking in a far better direction. If you have been on the sidelines, it’s my opinion now is the time to get off the bench and in the game. Good luck going forward.