Kartrite Hotel and Indoor Waterpark at Resorts World Casino

The Kartite Hotel and Indoor Waterpark will open in 2019.  Here is a brief update.  Find more news and information here.  Coupling the casino, golf course, and waterpark brings Sullivan County, NY Hospitality to a new level.

Resorts World Catskills–Comprehensive Update

It’s been two months, and the casino is settling in.  The anticipation, and now reality, of having a full scale gambling and extended entertainment venue in Sullivan County, NY is beginning to take shape along many fronts.  Read the extended article and listen to the podcast for a fuller understanding of the what Resorts World Catskills is doing and how it is effecting the local economy and infrastructure.

Across All Buyers, Millennials Have the Most Purchases

Across All Buyers, Millennials Have the Most Purchases

In housing, generations intersect regularly. Who’s downsizing? Who’s driving the market? Who’s trading up?

The generation impressing on the market most today? Millennials, according to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, recently released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Millennials are accounting for 36 percent of purchases, ahead of baby boomers at 32 percent, Generation Xers at 26 percent, and the Silent Generation at 6 percent.


“REALTORS® throughout the country have noticed both the notable upturn in buyer interest from young adults over the past year, as well as mounting frustration once they begin actively searching for a home to buy,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, of the study. “Prices keep rising for the limited number of listings on the market they can afford, which is creating stark competition, speedy price growth and the need to save more in order to buy. These challenging market conditions have caused—and will continue to cause—many aspiring millennial buyers to continue renting unless more Gen Xers decide to sell, and entry-level home construction picks up significantly.”

Millennials are buying homes with higher values, but the same square footage: $220,000 for 1,800 square feet, versus last year’s $205,000 for the same size, reveals the study. They are close to family and friends, as well, and prefer to reside near them—an attribute in common with other generations.

“The sense of community and wanting friends and family nearby is a major factor for many homebuyers of all ages,” Yun says. “Similar to Gen X buyers who have their parents living at home, millennial buyers with kids may seek the convenience of having family nearby to help raise their family.”

Additionally, 52 percent of the millennials in the study have at least one child—an indicator of the likelihood of a move—and another 52 percent purchased in the suburbs. Eighty-five percent purchased a single-family; just 2 percent went with a condominium.

“While there is an overall trend among households young and old to migrate towards urban areas, the very low production of new condos means there are few affordable options for buyers, especially millennials,” says Yun.

All generations enlisted a real estate professional for their transaction, according to the study. Ninety percent of millennials are most likely to purchase through a REALTOR®, with 75 percent believing they can educate them about the process. Ninety percent of millennials are most likely to list with a REALTOR®, as well, and at least 84 percent of every other generation partnered with a REALTOR®.

“Especially in today’s fast-moving housing market, consumers of all ages want a REALTOR® to guide them through the exhilarating, yet nerve-wracking experience of buying or selling a home,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall.

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Pending Sales Cave Under Mortgage Rate, Supply Pressures


January’s pending home sales caved, dropping 4.7 percent in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). All four of the major regions in the U.S. experienced fewer sales, with the Northeast 9 percent lower, the Midwest 6.6 percent lower, the South 3.9 percent lower, and the West 1.2 percent lower.

January 2018 Pending Home Sales Infographic

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, January’s activity is attributable to mortgage rates and supply, which have created conditions that are stifling transactions.

“The economy is in great shape, most local job markets are very strong and incomes are slowly rising, but there’s little doubt last month’s retreat in contract signings occurred because of woefully low supply levels and the sudden increase in mortgage rates,” says Yun. “The lower end of the market continues to feel the brunt of these supply and affordability impediments. With the cost of buying a home getting more expensive and not enough inventory, some prospective buyers are either waiting until listings increase come spring or now having to delay their search entirely to save up for a larger down payment.”

Inventory in January was 9.5 percent lower than what it was in January 2017; mortgage rates have shot up simultaneously. As of February 22, the average, 30-year, fixed mortgage was 4.40 percent—and it could increase to 4.75 percent over the next year, forecasters speculate.

NAR’s REALTORS® Confidence Index, however, indicates there is traction, even with January’s figures sliding.

“Even though contract signings were down, REALTORS® indicated that buyer traffic in most areas was up January compared to a year ago,” Yun says. “The exception was likely in the Northeast, where the frigid cold snap the first two weeks of the month may have contributed some to the region’s large decline.”

There are other positives, says Yun.

“As new multi-family supply catches up with demand and slows rents, some large investors may begin putting their holdings of affordable single-family homes up for sale, which would be great news, particularly for first-time buyers,” Yun says. “Furthermore, sellers last year typically stayed in their home for 10 years before selling (an all-time high); although higher mortgage rates will likely discourage some homeowners from wanting a new home with a higher rate, there are possibly many pent-up sellers who may look to finally trade-up or move down this year.”

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Sullivan County NY Sales Data 2018

For 2017, home sales in Sullivan County NY increased by 2.2 percent with end of year total accounting for 590 home purchases.  Median prices rose from $128,000 to $135,000 accounting for a 5.5 % increase from 2016 levels.  Medium pricing is defined by 50 percent of homes sold fall above $135,000 with the remaining 50% falling below that number.  (See Local Realtors: Pace of home sales largely returning to prerecession levels)

Local Sullivan County brokers anticipate stronger sales for 2018 with many more showings occurring in the usually slower winter months.  The “Casino Effect” has shaped the Monticello, NY market to some extent by creating excitement and new motivation for home buyers to consider buying while commercial investors continue to eye the area to determine long term investment potential.

Overall, realtors® are optimistic 2018 will continue the upward trend with m.)ore buyers and somewhat higher pricing due to stronger demand.  The rental market is being driven by the new casino housing demands while other businesses continue to expand job opportunity creating a better return on investment for rental property.

Resorts World Catskills Direct Web Link


Welcome to Resorts World Catskills

Click on above link for full information on this brand new Destination Resort.  Graphic contained in this post is the property of Resorts World Catskills.

Vacant Home: Decorate to Sell

You may be forced to leave your home vacant if you need to move for a new job or family matter, and can’t wait around for your home to sell. While some think that an empty house might be more appealing because it makes the home seem bigger, there are many in the real estate industry who feel the complete opposite.

For one, a vacant house may give the impression to potential buyers that something is wrong with the house and it had to be abandoned. This could also make them fearful that things will fall apart quickly.

Of course, if you’re already in a new place, your things have come with you, so it’s not like you can just buy all new things. But you need something in place to attract homebuyers.

Remember, people aren’t just looking to purchase a house, they want a home. Without furniture, art, rugs, lighting, décor, etc., there are no emotional connection points in the house when people come to look around.

And, with no items to focus on, potential buyers will be on the lookout for imperfections, such as scratches on the floor, nail holes in the wall or dirty grout in the kitchen—things that stand out in an empty structure.

If visitors only see flaws in a house and aren’t thinking about the potential, that’s going to mean less offers, possible price reductions and more days on the market.

And buyers are sharp. They know a vacant home means that someone most likely has already committed to another place, and may come in with a low-ball offer thinking you are more desperate to sell.

Enter a home stager, who can do his or her magic and bring a vacant home to life. Now, when potential buyers come to view the house, they will see a beautifully designed home complete with a lived-in feel. And since stagers are experts on making a house look the way people want, it might even command a better price.

By hiring a stager, you can create a look that house hunters will gravitate toward and walk away with a stronger offer.

Why Home Inspections Are a Must

Buying a house is one of the best decisions you may ever make, and it’s always a thrill to go through the process. But there are ups and downs on the road to homeownership and sometimes things can get a bit overwhelming. The house you want to buy might seem like the perfect home, but upon further inspection, hiding underneath that dream home could be potentially serious defects that can make your future investment a costly one.

That’s why you should hire a home inspector for every sale. You probably know the general idea behind an inspector’s job—taking a thorough look at the house and finding out if anything is wrong with it—but it’s much more detailed than you think.

A home inspector will do a complete physical inspection of the entire structure and systems of your prospective home. While you may love how beautiful the living room’s wood floors are, your inspector can tell if the flooring itself will stand for another 20 years.

A typical inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement and structural components.

Best of all, an inspector is an objective voice that will determine not only the condition of the home, but will also provide details of any immediate or future risks based on what’s in the report. Those are future costs you will need to consider.

A complete inspection will list the positive and negative aspects of the house, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. Once an inspection is over, both parties in the transaction will have a much clearer understanding of the property value and what it needs in terms of repairs and maintenance.

 Understanding these issues could help you at the negotiating table, as well. The home in good working order may have been worth $350,000. But if $20,000 of work needs to be done to fix the roof or replace faulty wiring, you may be able to argue that the price should be lower.

Before jumping into any contract signing, you should hire an inspector to look over the good, the bad and the ugly of what your new home really offers.

Stereotyping Sellers-Buyers & Brokers

Hope is an abiding attitude in the real estate business.

Sellers “hope” their house will sell.  They want a quick purchase, at the highest price.  Delayed maintenance shouldn’t impede negotiations and a comparative market analysis doesn’t mean pricing at current market value.  As in”  “I want to net out at this number, can’t or will not lose money, will not cut the grass, paint, or complete any fixes that will help sell my home.”

Buyers “hope” they can buy a home of their dreams, that it’s truly affordable, the school system is perfect, the local park is a few blocks away, and the taxes are “reasonable”.  “I need a seller’s concession to help with closing costs, a fire place, and finished basement.  “If you can’t find that for me Mr. Broker or Agent, I’ll find someone who can.”

Broker’s “hope” their seller understands proper pricing is the number one reason why one home sells more quickly than another similar one down the block.  The CMA, Comparative Market Analysis, pinpoints recently sold properties within a short distance of the one to be sold, adjusts some for positive features like an in ground pool, special or extraordinary interior or exterior features (water front-100 acres included-rentable chalet, and so on) or a negative adjustment for substantial delayed maintenance, mold, no landscaping, buried oil tank, etc..

Broker’s “hope” their buyer clients understand you can really only accomplish two primary goals regarding home ownership within a budget-LOCATION AND PRICE or PRICE AND LOCATION.  Any additional factor like more acreage, great school district, pool, deck, finished basement, wine cellar, high end appliances are a true bonus.

No one should ever lose hope.  But-Sellers and Buyers need to realistically evaluate a broker’s guidance on how best to sell or buy real estate.  This advice isn’t about inflating your broker or agent’s ego.  It’s about your money and how best to use your real estate professional’s years of experience to get what you want.

These buyer/seller/broker hopes are somewhat stereotypical snap shots.  Individual sellers, buyers, and broker/agents vary in great degree.  Putting people in boxes does little to forward the real estate process.

If you, the seller or buyer develop the trust and confidence in your real estate professional, stick with that person and listen critically.  Then, ask the needed questions, get the answers, and get on with moving in a positive direction toward closing.

The Grateful Broker

I retired from a law enforcement job in April of 2007 after 25 years of service and became a Licensed New York State Salesperson the same month.  Realizing my pension and Social Security wouldn’t be enough to see me through into my eighties or longer, I embarked on a real estate career at the worst possible time imaginable.

The world was going into the “The Great Recession”, “Too Big to Fail” was a phrase just coming into public awareness, business and bank failures would soon bring the general economy to a crawl.  In short, my decision to try real estate seemed an outrageous business model to pursue.

Being somewhat ambitious by nature and also a part time house painter, I decided to book paint jobs while learning real estate basics.  Seemed like a reasonable way to acclimate and break into an unfamiliar business world while still paying the monthly bills.

I interviewed with a local broker, we shook hands, and I went to work answering the phones, learning a new business vocabulary, and having frequent tutoring sessions.

Warren turned out to be a great teacher and mentor.  I am grateful for the many lessons he provided and his ability to impart valuable information that made good sense.

Not much real estate business was being conducted anywhere in the country, let alone Sullivan County, NY., but I stuck with it picking up a few sales and began to understand the real estate business in a more process driven way.

After working with my first broker more than several years, I struck out on my own in November of 2012.  I took the required courses to achieve Broker status, said thank you to Warren, and opened up my own firm.

The transition from NYS Licensed Salesperson, to Associate Broker, to Broker/Owner wasn’t smooth or without missteps.  The school of hard knocks provided some eye opening experiences which prepared me to shoulder the very responsible position of handling untold sums of other people’s money.

It is now Thanksgiving and Holiday Time 2017.  I have a basketful of items for which to be truly humbled and grateful.  Ten years of real estate experience has given me some perspective and tools to serve an ever increasing clientele during a much better economic climate as measured against April of 2007.


I give thanks to: (BTW–not an all inclusive list)

My creator for keeping me alive and useful at 66 years of age

My wife who has more than filled her role and cherished me for more than 4 decades

My Family Tree for bringing a history, time table, and genetic understanding forward

My children and grandchildren who continue to grow and mature

My pet dogs who have loved me unconditionally, each in their own way and time

My guitars, microphones, bass, equipment rendering untold hours of personal enjoyment

My musical experiences with partners, band members, and the general public

My ability to read and comprehend


My clients who have provided me the ability to buy beer and pizza every time I want a beer or pizza pie

My clients who have chosen to review my services on Zillow and Trulia–Heading towards 100 Five Star Reviews

My customers who aren’t quite sure yet if they will become clients

My agents Amanda Ferrantello-Scott Cortright-Lisa Miller-Lonnie Smith & Andrew Lorenc who continue to build their own business while allowing me to supervise

My recommended  providers including attorneys, mortgage brokers, lenders, banks, home inspectors, title companies, plumbers, electricians, surveyors, chimney sweeps, wood suppliers, general contractors, builders, pest control specialists, and more

My attorney’s legal assistants at law firms we do business with

Realtors®, The National Association of Realtors®, The New York State Association of Realtors®, The Sullivan County Multiple Listing Service.  Hudson Gateway MLS, Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors®, and many more

In short, were it not for a wide ranging cast of supportive individuals, circumstances, and timing, my gratitude would have no meaning.  Thanks to all and everything that has contributed to my development, well being, and perspective.