Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hamlet of Wallkill offers simple outdoor pleasures for an easy lifestyle

On any given day in the center of the hamlet of Wallkill you’re apt to find young mothers with children gathered on the ample grounds of the public library, which also serve as a large shady playground for the kindergarten set. Wallkill is one of the few small towns in the area which offer play spaces inside the town proper and five-star outdoor recreation activities on its immediate outskirts.

The Wallkill Rail Trail and the Wallkill River Walk are just two examples of fresh-air diversions on hand for residents of this town of about 2,500 bordering the Ulster side of the Ulster/Orange county line. A gateway to the rural pleasures of the Shawangunk Mountains, Wallkill attracts fly fishermen, rock climbers, kayakers, hikers and backpackers who come to enjoy the simple pastimes offered by the Wallkill River and the Shawangunk Ridge, whose cliffs form the western edge of the Appalachian valley.

After a day outdoors, head to the Magnanini Winery to experience simple, authentic Italian food and good Hudson Valley wine grown on 13 rolling acres of vineyard in the Wallkill country side. Started in 1970 by the brother of a famous Italian painter – Magnanini’s works hang in The Hermitage – the winery has become popular with locals and day-trippers alike. Dinners can become boisterous affairs, with lively music and entertainment frequently scheduled.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Buyers’ See More Options as Orange County Home Listings Rise

The number of single-family homes listed for-sale in Orange County rose to 2,581 in May from 2,305 in January. The lead story in the current issue of Real Estate in Depth, a monthly trade publication of Hudson Valley realtors, cites the warmer weather as the prime driver motivating sellers to make a move. As we sail into the summer “busy” season for real estate, buyers should have an increasing array of housing options to choose from across many price levels. In Orange County, we’re seeing new listings come on from $175,000 and up. There is also an increasing amount of “luxury” inventory above $400,000, many of which offer excellent value at current price levels. The story also notes that listings are up across Putnam, Westchester and Rockland counties.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Marlboro Set for School Budget Vote

The Marlboro Central School District issued a proposed $52M budget for 2015-2016 that will be voted on next Tuesday. In its recent newsletter, the District states that the tax rate increase is anticipated to be 1.91 percent, with much of it eligible for reimbursement to taxpayers under the state's STAR program. For a home valued at $250,000 in Marlboro, for example, the District estimates an increase of $114.  More information can be found here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Home Prices on Uptick Nationwide

News from the National Association of Realtors today shows average home prices in the U.S. inched up in first quarter 2015 compared to a year ago in the majority of metropolitan areas surveyed. The Northeast region of the U.S. saw home prices climb 2.4 percent – to $240,000 for an existing single-family home -- although overall sales were down. Nationwide, the median price for a one-bedroom condo was $190,600.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lloyd's specials for Mother's Day 1976!

On the eve of Mother’s Day, here’s a special, multi-page Mother’s Day ad from the long-defunct Newburgh Evening News from Saturday, May 8, 1976. The store is Lloyds, which stood for years on the current Home Depot site on Union Avenue in the Town of Newburgh. Lloyd’s was the area’s first superstore – you could grocery shop, buy clothing, browse hardware and garden supplies and even eat a meal or get a haircut under one roof. Plus there was a goldfish pond in the lobby! Full of pennies that people threw in for good luck.  Just for comparison, a 20-gallon metal garbage can was $3.88 in 1976. Freshly baked sweet buns were six for 59 cents. Yum! A king-size box of Tide detergent was $1.79. Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day to mom’s everywhere!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Billy Bergin Joins The Blumenthal Team of REMAX Benchmark Realty Group

RE/MAX Benchmark Realty today announced that William “Billy” Bergin has joined the firm as a licensed real estate sales person and the newest member of The Blumenthal Team.
A 2002 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy, Bergin served in Afghanistan in 2010 with 827th Engineering Company, 204th Battalion as a combat engineer. Currently a sergeant with Alpha Company Recruiting and Retention at the New York Armory, Bergin plans to focus his new career in real estate helping active-duty and reserve service personnel find affordable and timely housing.
“Military personnel have unique needs for housing,” Bergin said. “Aside from navigating the specialized VA Loan process, service members often have short time frames and constrained resources to devote to moving and relocating, which they are frequently called upon to do.”
Fully licensed to serve clients throughout New York,  Bergin lives in New Windsor with his wife Emily and new baby girl Brooklyn Grace. Thirty-one years old, he joins one of the most prolific sales teams in Hudson Valley real estate led by Lyra Blumenthal, a local expert with a multimillion-dollar record of homes sold over the past 20 years.
“Billy brings unique insight into the needs and requirements of our military servicemen and women,” Blumenthal said. “With West Point and Stewart Air National Guard base in the local area, Billy is positioned to help many of the military families who serve our country to relocate and find the readily available housing they need. I’m proud to have him as the newest member of The Blumenthal Team.”
An avid sportsman and golfer, Bergin coaches local hockey youth leagues at Ice Time in Town of Newburgh.
Billy Bergin can be reached directly at 845-825-4847;

Multi-generational living in vogue again?

I have been noticing that more and more families seem interested in multi-generational living arrangements lately. In the “old days” it was more common for many generations of families to share a roof or at least live in close, walking proximity to one another. Today Newsweek is running a story that confirms the trend I’ve been observing locally – a record 57 million Americans live in some sort of multigenerational housing arrangement today. A number that’s doubled since 1980.
Extended families living in the same home can enjoy many benefits along with the obvious downsides that come with loss of some privacy, etc. My husband’s family is from Italy and his relatives there live in a small town. They’re all literally living on top of each other and it seems to work out well for them. When I visit, I notice that there is ample and readily available child care from aunts, uncles and grandparents. Alternately, the seniors are given as much in-family care as possible from relatives who live close enough to share the challenge of caring for the infirm elderly.

Perhaps the trend towards multiple generations sharing the same home is coming back in vogue here? Extended families of all types are indeed becoming more common, with more and more buyers looking for larger homes for parents or for combined family units