Category Archives: New Rochelle Area Information

Welcome to 50 Hamilton Avenue, New Rochelle

MLS # 4922346 A Rochelle Heights gem! Move right in to this bright 4,391 square foot, 7 bedroom, 3.5 bath Victorian home on 0.58 acres with its high ceilings, wrap-around porch and low taxes. The architectural details throughout are sure to enchant – including coffered ceilings, dentil molding, and pocket doors! Three fireplaces, custom radiator covers, an eat-in chefs kitchen featuring dark granite counters and white cabinetry, a Formal Dining room, Powder room, Parlor room, mud room and foyer all on the 1st floor. Grand Master Bedroom suite, dressing room, spa-like bathroom, and the wall of custom Elfa closets, 3 additional bedrooms (2 with custom built-ins) and a beautiful bathroom grace the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor offers a modern bathroom and three bedrooms, 2 large storage rooms. Great basement space w a utility area, laundry room, 2nd refrigerator and more! Central air on the first floor and basement, a partially heated driveway, large stone patio and beautiful updates complete this historic home.Just 30 minutes from New York City. This charming home is being offered at $999,000.

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty web site!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Sotheby’s International Realty Web site in French!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Sotheby’s International Realty Web site in Russian!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Sotheby’s International Realty Web site in German!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Sotheby’s International Realty Web site in Chinese!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Sotheby’s International Realty Web site in Spanish!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on Zillow!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the New York Times Real Estate Web site!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on the Wall Street Journal Web Site!

Visit 50 Hamilton Avenue as it appears on Realtor.com!

Visit New Rochelle, its great restaurants, schools , parks and so much more!

Selling a Home in the Historic District

CRS-2009-Logo-Square-Color-LowRes

 As a Certified Residential Specialist (only 3% of agents in the U.S.  hold this coveted designation), I was thrilled to be quoted in a NovemberDecember CRS Magazine 2015 article on selling Historic Homes, and then I was mentioned in the Sotheby’s November Press Clips. Oh my goodness! 

I live in a wonderful city  with a wonderful Historic Area. Majestic homes were originally built in the turn of the century, and I wrote a blog post about same :

http://larchmontandnewrochellenews.com/2012/07/02/historic-district-of-new-rochelle-original-homes-just-3-5000/ .

Beautiful, large Victorian Homes, Tudor Homes and stately Colonial homes with their columns representing a bygone era.  So many of the homes have architectural details that you would never find in a modern home today,  and the elegant rooms reflect a snapshot of life of yesteryear.

There are also 2 red clay courts in the New Rochelle Heights Historic area.

http://larchmontandnewrochellenews.com/2013/03/03/tennis-anyone-new-rochelle-heights-racquet-club-history-in-the-making/ .

viewer_84

Over the years, like many areas, some of the homes were well maintained, others not, and with the housing bubble, buyers were purchasing those homes  requiring renovation as they were (and still are) offering great value. The area also represented the different Elementary Schools in the city too, and so appraisals were not as straighforward since the appraisal would be based from first, the elementary school,  obviously size and style of the home, and then by zip code and then the comparable homes must be within a one mile radius. Homes cannot be renovated unless approved by the Historic Board, and there are certain guidelines such as no fences allowed, certain window requirements, etc. Many agents  (as well as appraisers) would look no further than the Historic area for comparable sales, and this ultimately could perhaps lessen the price of a home which should not be the case.

So, fast forward to 2015 and within this glorious area,  there are homes that not renovated selling for say $400,000, and other homes that are somewhat renovated and are selling say for $600,000,  or $650,000 and so forth. Some homes are vacant and boarded up. How does one price a home there?

I had the privilege recently of representing a seller who not only was the third owner of the house (which was built in 1905), had lived there for nearly 50 years, and had the original keys for the majority of the doors, but had renovated the home beautifully, and had also obtained the certificate of occupancy for each renovation! This home stood apart from other homes in the same area, and I was concerned that the appraiser,  in perhaps not knowing the area, might not be able to appraise the home properly. Therefore, I advised the owner to have an appraisal by a local appraiser so we could have it on hand for the buyers’ bank appraiser when that time arose, and so she would also have an idea of what the home was worth. She was older, and I did not want her to have any sleepless nights!

58HamiltonAve_print_102

We also had another issue. If homes were listed between $400,000 and $750,000 – at what price could we list this beautiful 8 bedroom home at?  I advised my client to introduce it to the market under One Million. The photos spoke for themselves,  I had floor plans, a personalized web site,  and together with the price being attractive, the home would stand out against other similarly sized and priced homes, would attract the buyers,  and the market would then speak for itself.  I realized that like some out of locale appraisers, there are also some out of town real estate agents who would question the pricing in looking at past solds (I had the two highest priced sales since 2006 in the area-  one was as the listing agent for $929,000 with multiple bids, and the other was for $985,000 receiving 9 bids and I had represented the buyer). Some agents/buyers thought the home would sell for far less. I had faith.

My owner also valued her privacy, and did not want a ‘for sale’ on the property  nor did she want public open houses which are typical ways to both introduce a home for sale and to market a home to buyers.  Oh my! I introduced the home to the market by serving luncheon to the agents  ( Finger Sandwiches, Perrier and Fruit),  followed up a week later with my serving Champagne, smoked salmon, cucumber & dill salad and more fruit to the agents! My goal was to garner as much excitement as I could within the limitations offered.  My marketing strategy worked! We received 8 bids within 2 weeks, and ultimately closed at $1,125,000 – a new record high for the area.

SO, when selling a home in a specialized area, call someone who will market your home to it’s fullest, and produce a great outcome.

http://www.newrochelleny.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/361

New Rochelle is great!

The Historic District of New Rochelle Where homes originally cost $3-5000!

What is New Rochelle’s Historic District and when did it originate? What is now known as New Rochelle’s Historic District and embodies Rochelle Park and Rochelle Heights, was once farmland and orchards until the 1870’s. The Manhattan Life Insurance Company bought the land in 1881 (through foreclosure proceedings), and while thought quite adventuresome, the owners decided to transform the somewhat rugged land to a beautiful residential neighborhood, unlike any other in New Rochelle!

An English Architect, E.A. Sargent designed the stone pillars leading into the now Rochelle Park area, and 115 building lots were laid out and nearly one third of the land was set aside for streets, sidewalks and pathways of grass. Originally as you entered into the community, there was a 54 foot wide driveway with an 8 foot blue stone sidewalk, and a 15 foot strip of grass planted with trees. All streets led to the Great Lawn with the exception of the Court and The Serpentine which was an intrinsic part of the design, and noted to be of great value within the park with its curved thoroughfare.

The Great Lawn was created for outdoor gatherings, and to also afford a grand vista of the surrounding area. It is interesting to note that in a House and Garden article (May 1904 article by Samuel Swift), he alludes to the “green breathing spot” and “the nearness of an ordinary town is quite forgotten.” (Even in 1904, people were beginning to appreciate the importance of green living. It was felt that The Serpentine offered imagination, elegance and though there could have easily been straight roads built throughout, The Serpentine was a reflection of the artistry of the landscape architect. The outcropping of rock was left to retain some rusticity, and 50 lots were initially sold for $2000 each so it would seem that the insurance company did realize a profit at the end of the day, once again confirming that real estate is the best long term investment.

As a way of protecting their investment, it was mandated that the houses built facing the Boulevard would cost no less than $3000 and no more than $5000. However, homes on other streets cost much more with stables, etc. After some 25 families bought and built in the community, the Rochelle Park Association was formed to take away the management aspects of the insurance company, and henceforth the Association held annual meetings, with each homeowner carrying one vote, and the insurance company having 30. The revenue of the Association was about $2500 a year with each lot owner contributing $25, and this tax paid for the roads to be mended, the lawns to be maintained, but there was great discussion at the time that the homeowners were taxed doubly by the city and the Association. A solution was reached when the city, in realizing the park maintained about 2 miles of city roads within the park, stated in 1903 that they would light the park road free of charge!

The Association is still in existence, but the now $50 yearly fee is not mandatory, and all are welcome to the meetings. This suggested contribution goes towards the upkeep of the Great Lawn, etc. It should also be noted that while the community was open to all when it was first built, it was closed once or twice a year in order for them to claim Rochelle Park as a private community. The homeowners felt that if in paying that secondary tax, it afforded their privacy then it was well spent money to live in an area they cherished.

Rochelle Park and Rochelle Heights was named as New Rochelle’s first local Historic area in 1986 for the purpose of preserving the architectural details of the stately mansions.

This basically means that if any home-owners wishes to change windows, siding, shingles, roofs – any exterior changes or even landscaping then they must complete an application to the New Rochelle Historical and Landmarks Review Board (HLRB).

The Historic District covers The Circle next to the I’95 and goes from North Avenue to Potter Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

Homes range in all prices and over the years some of those majestic mansion owners have sold some land, and so you will find the mid century modern home (split level) home there too! We are also honored to have had some famous people living in our Historic District including Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

Rochelle Heights, New Rochelle

Cities and towns that are privileged ( to my way of thinking) offer Historic areas, and New Rochelle is no exception.  Recognized as being an Historic Distoric back in 1986, the residents have long known and appreciated what the area has to offer. Back in 2012, I had written an article about Rochelle Heights and how the original turn of the Century  homes were built and sold all between $3-5000. The roads were originally private, and there were gas lights (of course!), but with right of way,  etc. , all of that slowly changed. The majestic  Colonial, Victorian, Queen Anne, Antebellum Mansion style homes bespoke elegance, quality craftsmanship, and the area was known as ‘the’ place to sojourn to from the busy city life.

Funnily enough, in my 2012 blog post, I had mentioned how Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee lived in Rochelle Heights. I had the distinct pleasure of selling that home the other year to friends and who also reside in the area. They love it so!

Being recognized as an Historic District, exterior changes must all be brought before the New Rochelle Historical and Landmarks Review  Board for review.  While you might see some fences  around some homes, they were grand fathered, and fences are no longer permitted in the area.  This is fine as it gives the home owners a great opportunity to be creative and artistic in their landscaping!

The HLRB reviews only those changes that are proposed by the applicant, that affect the exterior of the building or property, and that are visible from a public street. If an owner is making minor repairs with the exact same material or is repainting in exactly the same color, then no review is required. However, if an architectural feature is being replaced in its entirety, a COA is required. If property owners are not sure as to the requirements, the safest solution is to call the City and inquire. The Board issues COAs when it is satisfied that proposed work has met legislated standards. “

Over the years,I have had the privilege of selling 7 properties in the area with multiple bidding on all of my listing sales! Located close to all transportation, and yet also close to Larchmont, it offers detailing perhaps not found in today’s modern homes.

One great unsung asset are the clay courts.  Known Rochelle Heights Racquet Club. Anyone from the area can join, and the fees are so reasonable ! The two red clay courts are gentler on the knees too!  Rochelle Heights also offers a wonderful neighborhood association.  Events throughout the year offered by the association are making this vibrant community even more desirable.  There is  the party at the clay courts when they open around Memorial Day,  there is the Pre-Halloween party (pizza and yummies for the many children who  attend),   The 5 K “Turkey Trot”  which was immensely successful these past two years with the proceeds going towards charities, and don’t forget the Holidays lights along Hamilton Avenue !

So, if you are thinking of moving to the suburbs,  if you ever see a home for sale in Rochelle Heights, always pop in and view it! You won’t be disappointed. Many offer lower taxes, larger properties and regal appointments.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

SO Many DIfferent Languages Offered in New Rochelle Schools

There are so many GREAT reasons to purchase a home in New Rochelle. One such reason would be the languages offered to our students in the different schools. 

Did you know that your student has the opportunity of learning a variety of languages such as Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, French and Latin.“Our Dual Language Programs’ mission is to prepare multi-literate citizens in an international community. We seek, therefore: 1. To develop literacy and fluency in both English and in a second language (Spanish or Italian)2. To promote cross-cultural awareness through the integration of English speakers and Spanish/ Italian speakers3. To create accessibility to advanced world language credits and courses in higher grades4. To promote high academic achievement through linguistic cognitive development. “

Mandarin is offered at the Davis Elementary School grades 2nd thru 5th, and at Webster Kaleidoscope grades 4th and 5th. No other elementary schools has Mandarin.  At Davis students have classes twice at week and at Webster every other day.

Ward and Trinity offer CILA programs  (Children’s International Language Academy). This is comprised of students speaking Spanish, and those students  who have some knowledge of Spanish.  However, At Ward, there is a  FLES program  (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) in Spanish K thru 5th. At Jefferson there is also a  FLES program K thru 5th. At Webster  there is a Spanish FLES K thru 5th No FLES programs are offered at Columbus or Trinity.

At Barnard, there is a Italian FLES program K thru 2nd Grade.  There is an Italian FLES offered at Jefferson 3rd thru 5th Grades.

Latin is offered at the High School, and it is also offered at both Middle school Albert Leonard Middle School and Isaac E. Young Middle School.

Both middle schools offer Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin and Latin. 

Mr. Juan Mendez , Chairperson of World Languages  & the ELL Department very kindly took the time to answer my questions on existing languages offered, but I also wanted to ask some  additional questions:

  1. What do you see for the future of different languages in our school district?  What are the percentages of students taking the AP courses?   (Answer)  At this juncture, there is not interest in adding another language. I do not have the percentage of AP students but I can tell you that we have two sections of AP Spanish language, one section of AP Spanish Literature, one section of French language, one section of AP Italian language, one section of Mandarin AP language, and one section of Latin AP.

New Rochelle Schools offer wonderful programs, and as I wrote in a recent blog, our students attend superb Colleges and Universities!

Come and visit. You will love it, and want to stay!

New Rochelle is GREAT!

Top 33 New Rochelle High Students College Choices 2018

Each year, the Principal usually announces the top 25 students college choices at the award ceremony. This year, since there were 33 students with GPA’s of over 100, Mr. Richardson announced the top 33 students college choices! While I am just listing the colleges, please know that each student was so qualified in every respect.

  1. Princeton – Studying Math and or Philosophy
  2. Harvard – Engineering
  3. Yale University – Political Science
  4. Dartmouth College – Environmental or Biological Engineering
  5. John’s Hopkins – Bio-Medical Program & Computer Science Dual Program
  6. Georgia Institute of Technology – Aerospace Engineering
  7. University of Michigan – Psychology or Political Science
  8. Amherst – Playing Soccer! Studying Neuroscience & Psychology
  9. Purdue University – Engineering
  10. University of California at Los Angeles – Political Science
  11. Washington University in St. Louis – Psychiatrist
  12. Middlebury College – Political Science
  13. Yale University – Law School for Foreign Relations
  14. New York University – Student scored a PERFECT score in the SAT’s in Math
  15. Villanova University
  16. Cornell University
  17. Belmont University – Academic Scholarship majoring in Music
  18. University of Michigan – Ross School of Biusiness
  19. Cornell University – Neurologist
  20. Brown University – Her goal? United States Senator!
  21. SUNY Binghamton – Business & Math
  22. University of Michigan – Public Health Field of Medicine – Pediatrician
  23. University of Texas at Austin – Mechanical Engineering
  24. Binghamton University – Computer Science
  25. Cornell University – Business
  26. University of Oregon – Clark Honors Program
  27. Providence College – Biology Engineering
  28. University of Maryland – Psychology & Early Childhood Development
  29. University of Pittsburgh Honors Program – Mechanical Engineer
  30. Florida State University – High School Teacher & Writer
  31. Tufts – Medicine & Computer Science
  32. Cornell University – Business
  33. New York University – Finance

WOW!

New Rochelle is GREAT!

10804 WIlliam B. Ward Area Sales Stats 2018

I always like to break the sales prices down by different price points as it gives us a proper perspective on what has been selling, and where the market truly is. Whenever we see sales prices reflected in company stats, they are usually created from areas, cities,  or zip codes, but they do not allow for the total number of homes sold at different prices. I always think  it is advantageous to break down those stats.  The 10804 zip code also covers homes in the George M. Davis Elementary School, but to make it simpler, I have just given the stats for the William B. Ward School.  The Ward School area covers different areas such as Wykagyl Park, Paine Heights, Forest Heights, Bayberry, Pinebrook Estates to name a few!

William B. Ward School 10804

In 2018 there were 132 homes sold ranging in price from $379,900 to $2,281,000. In 2017, there were 137 homes sold ranging in price from $150,000 to $1,799,999.

In 2018 in the $0-$499 price range, there were 4 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $229.82. The sales price to list price ratio was 96.85%. The average days on the market was 111. The lowest priced home sold was $379,900 and the highest priced home sold was $476,000. 2 of the 4 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2017, there were 58 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $240. The sales price to list price ratio was 95.48 %. The lowest home sold sold was $425,000 and the highest sales price in this category was $495,000. The average days on the market was 90. 24 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2018, in the $500-$699,000 price range, there were 48 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $320.58. The sales price to list price ratio was 94.84%. The average days on the market was 66. The lowest priced home sold was $503.750, and the highest priced home sold was $696,500. 10 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2017, there were 34 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $300.99. The sales price to list price ratio was 94.34%. The average days on the market was 80. The lowest priced home sold was $520,000 and the highest priced home sold was $699,900. 7 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2018, in the $700,000- $799,000 price range there were 24 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $313.62. The sales price to list price ratio was 94.52. The average days on the market was 85. The lowest priced home sold was $700,000 and the highest priced home sold was $798,888. There were 6 homes that sold at 100% or higher.

In 2017, there were 24 homes sold also with an average price per square foot of $319.08. The sales price to list price ratio was 96.56%. The average days on the market was 54. The lowest price home sold was $701,000 and the highest priced home sold was $799,900. There were 12 homes sold at 100% or higher. 

In 2018, in the $800,000-$899,000 price range there were 15 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $298.71. The sales price to list price ratio was 96.70% . The average days on the market was 87. The lowest priced home sold for $800,000 and the highest priced home sold for $899,000. 2 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2017, there were 12 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $301.55. The sales price to list price ratio was 96.76%. The average days on the market was 67. The lowest priced home sold for $805,000 and the highest priced home sold for $881,000. 4 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2018, in the $900,000 – $999,000 price range there were 10 homes sold with an  average price per square foot was $259.31. The sales price to list price ratio was 90.09%. The average days on the market was 97. The lowest priced home sold for $900,000 and the highest priced home sold for $985,000. 2 homes sold at 100% or higher.

In 2017, there were 9 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $280.25. The sales price price to list price ratio was 92.66%. The average days on the market was 60.  The lowest priced home sold was $900,000 and the highest priced home sold was $995,000. No home sold at 100%.

In 2018, in the $1,000,000 – $1,099,000 price range there were 7 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $321.11. The sales price to list price ratio was 93.29%, and the average days on the market was 45. The lowest priced home sold was $1,033,000 and the highest priced home sold was $1,099,000.

In 2017, there were 8 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $315.56. The sales price to list price ratio was 91.71%, and the average days on the market was 180. The lowest priced home sold for $1,007,500, and the highest priced home sold for $1,070,000.

In 2018, in the $1,100,000 – $1,199,000  there were 4 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $293.72.  The sales price to list price ratio was 94.16%, and the average days on the market was 54. The lowest priced home sold was $1,100,000 and the highest priced home sold was $1,165,000.

In 2017 there were 9 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $314.68. The sales price to list price ratio was 95.74%, and the average days on the market was 56. The lowest priced home sold was $1,100,000 and the highest priced home sold was $1,197,500.

In 2018, in the $1,200,000 – $1,399,000 price range there were 10 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $294.32. The sales price to list price ratio was 90.63%, and the average days on the market was 130. The lowest priced home sold was $1,200,000 and the highest priced home sold was $1,374,000.

In 2017, there were 5 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $302.00. The sales price to list price ratio was 95.08%, and the average days on the market was 95. The lowest priced home sold was $1,210,176 and the highest priced home sold was $1,390,000.

In 2018, in the $1,400,000 – $1,499,000 price range there were 4 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $339.93. The sales price to list price ratio was 93.83% and the average days on the market was 108. The lowest priced home sold was $1,407,500 and the highest priced home sold was $1,484,500.

In 2017 there were 2 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $298.24. The sales price to list price ratio was 94.38% with an average days on the market of 200. The lowest priced home sold was $1,420,000 and the highest priced home sold was $1,490,000.

In 2018, in the $1,500,000  + price range there were 6 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $378.77. The sales  price to list price ratio was 97.11% and the average days on the market was 115. The lowest priced home sold was $1,575,000 and the highest priced home sold was $2,281,000. Only 2 homes sold over $2 Million.

In 2017, 3 homes sold with an average price per square foot of $350.48. The sales price to list price ratio was 90.90% ans the average days on the market was 206. The lowest priced home sold was $1,565,000 and the highest priced home sold was $1,799,999.

In conclusion

The actual number of homes sold was very similar  between 2017 and 2018 ( 137 in 2017 to 132 in 2018) . 6 homes were sold  over $1,500,000 and only 3 were sold in 2017.

It is obvious that 2017 was a more robust year with regards to lower priced homes (0-$499,000) range, and  higher price per square foot ( $258.31 compared to $229.82). The days on the market were fewer also.

As we review the next price bracket of $500,000 to $699,000 there were more homes sold in 2018 (48-34) , with an average  higher price per square foot ($320.58 – $300.99 in 2017), and also with an average fewer days on the market (66 – 80).  There were more homes sold at over asking in this price range also (10 compared to 7).

Interestingly,  in the next price point ($700,000 – $799,000), there were exactly the same number of homes sold in both years – 24, with average days on the market basically the same also. Price per square foot was also very similar with $319.08 in 2017 and $313.62 in 2018. Sales price to list price ratio higher in 2017 with 96.56 compared to 94.52 in 2018, and also 12 homes sold at 100% or higher in 2017 compared to 6 homes sold at 100% or higher in 2018.  So, while at a glance, everything looks to be the same, the market in this price range was stronger in 2017.

In the next price point of $800,000 -$899,000 more homes sold in 2018 than 2017 ( 15 -12 so negligible). Price per square foot was very similar with $298.71 in 2018 compared to $301.55 in 2017, average days on the market was higher with 87 days in 2018 compared to 67 in 2017. This was overall a very positive sign as the new tax law came into effect, and people knew that they would be paying more property taxes with fewer deductions, and this price point really demonstrated where the buyers were. Accordingly, there were mortgage rate increased as the year progressed, and so while the year started off strong,  there were only 3 sales from October to December in 2018 so the buyers were a little more hesitant at that point.

Another interesting factor was the next price point of $900,000 -$999,000. 10 homes sold in 2018 compared to 9 homes in 2017, Homes were longer on the market in 2018 (97 to 60), and price per square foot was higher in 2017 than in 2018 ($280.25 compared to $259.31). However, 2 homes sold for 100% or higher in 2018.

In homes priced between $1,000,000 and $1,099,000, sales were very similar for both years ( 7 in 2018 compared to 8 in 2017) with 2 homes in 2018 selling for 100% or higher. Price per square foot was higher in 2018 ($321.11 – $315.56) and the days on the market were fewer also (45 to 180). 

4 homes were sold in 2018 priced between $1,100,000 – $1,199,000 compared to 9 homes in 2017. List price to sales price ratios were lower in 2018 (94.16 % – 95.74% ) , with three homes in 2017 selling for list price or higher. Price per square foot was also higher in 2017 ($314.69  – $293.72).

10 homes were sold in 2018 in the price point of $1,200,000 – $1,399,000 with 5 homes being sold in 2017. 2 homes sold for 100% or higher in 2017 and list price to sales price ratio was higher in 2017 also (95.06 % – 90.63%). Only one home closed in December in 2018 with the other homes going into contract earlier in the year, and this was the same in 2017.

4 homes were sold in 2018 in the $1,400,000 – $1,499,000 price point with 2 homes being sold in 2017. It should be noted that 2 homes in 2017 were built in 2017, with one home in 2017 being built in 2016. Days on the market were on average 108 in 2018 compared to 200 in 2017, and price per square foot was also higher in 2018 ($339.93 – $298.24). This also reflected the new homes being built so the days on the market are slightly skewed.

Just to make the stats confusing, 6 homes sold  in homes priced $1,500,000+  in 2018 compared to 3 homes in 2017. Price per square foot was higher in 2018 ($378.77 – $350.48) and sales price compared to list price (97.11% – 89.90%) was higher in 2018 too.

SO, where are we? There were so many reports last year of  declining home prices  either based on market inventory or the increasing interest rates.  We were all urged to encourage our buyers to purchase before the interest rates would increase in 2019 and their buying power lessened. However, this is always based on the broader elements of the real estate market?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/were-probably-at-peak-housing-heres-what-that-means-2018-06-27

Paul Breunich, our CEO & President of William B. Pitt Sotheby’s was a calming influence on the vitriole and negativity, by putting things into perspective. “The Sky is not Falling” and then, after his report was received with mixed review, Mr. Breunich then published “The Sky is Not Falling Part 2”.  This was back in August.

The negative reports continued.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/02/manhattan-real-estate-closes-2018-as-worst-year-since-financial-crisis.html

However, those interest rates dropped in January, and it is thought that there will ‘only’ be one more interest rate increase (in September)  as opposed to the rate increases we had been led to believe.  Early 2019 will be the first indicator of how the tax laws will affect home sales and purchases .

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/12/21/housing-market-predictions-2019/2218094002/

There has been so much new construction in the city, that sellers were unable to obtain the customary prices they were used to, thus perhaps curtailing their purchases elsewhere such as in Westchester – but was that so?  An interesting subject as we have seen softer sales in the higher priced market. While I would rather address that subject in another report regarding the luxury market, I would like to focus at this time on how it affected the Ward School, 10804 zip code.  Always remember that real estate is always local. When we are invited into a prospective seller’s home, we bring the most recent sales stats and not the reports from the city. Yes, we should all look towards macroeconomics, and with the job market increasing, national productivity holding strong,  the outlook  appears to be quite positive, yet with interest rates a tad higher than a year ago, where are the buyers today?

https://www.thebalance.com/us-economic-outlook-3305669
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-us-housing-market-new-year-20190104-story.html

I have clients who have been seeking a home in the lower price point $300- 550,000 range, and where ever we look in lower Westchester, I am hearing of multiple bidding.  The homes  in this price range (attracting first time home buyers) will have no problem selling in 2019.  This was  also evidenced by the fact that 48 homes sold in 2018 in the $500-699,000 price range compared to 2017 when 34 homes were sold. Another reason why fewer homes sold in the 0-$499,000 price range.   After all, with so many homes selling in 2017 in this price range, it would be logical for a home owner to increase the listing entrée price to their home in 2018 after seeing those 2017 stats. This was also apparent in the next few price points with more homes selling over 100% of list price.  The buyers were still buying all priced homes in 2018 with a preference to newer homes, renovation,  but with that  hesitance towards years end.

I would conclude that in this zip code (Elementary School area), the buyers were still buying in 2018, but in some instances taking longer to find their dream home,  seeking value, fussier, more observant of the higher taxes (taking into effect the property tax deduction of $10,000) but not too much of a difference between 2017 and 2018 . Overall, the number of sales were quite similar year to year but there were fewer sales towards the end of the year, thus the ‘softening’ we as agents saw. This could have been a result of new tax laws, increased mortgage interest rates, and negative press when there should have been perhaps a more positive representation of the economy.

Looking to this year, as a seller, always put your best foot forward! Condition of a home is important, marketing extremely important, and using the right agent always important!  I would also suggest that should a home owner’s property taxes be very high, they offset with a lesser price point .  If you feel your are overpaying your property taxes, then grieve! For a buyer? Make sure you see the lesser priced homes as they enter the market as you might miss out. Determine early on what you are seeking in home size, location, and make sure your have your pre-approval  updated. In the case of multiple bidding, always a good idea to submit all of your information to your mortgage broker so your pre-approval is as complete as possible. Some  banks call this a ‘Priority pre-approval’ which is basically a mortgage approval, but just missing the  appraisal, and home information!

I have been a New Rochelle resident since 1989,  love real estate, and am here for all your real estate needs.

New Rochelle is great!

New Rochelle Ideally Yours ( Always Ideally Ours)

Mayor Noam Bramson , always informative, invited all of the local Realtors to City Hall for an update on the city to address the hopes and concerns of the current and prospective residents,

Mr. Luiz Aragon

and it was very well received! Why not!

SO, what is happening?  Present were Luiz Aragon (Commissioner of Development) ,  and John Barnes  (the Principal of the Albert Leonard Middle School) in addition to Noam.

Mr. Aragon (who has been so great)  commented on how 3 1/2 – 4 years ago, the City had started to pave a new path for a bright future for investment and development in New Rochelle.  He had centered on approximately 300 acres of land in the downtown, with the New Rochelle Library and train station  being a central point (“the heart beat of the city”) , and his goal – along with the powers that be  in New Rochelle, was to build a gateway toward a dynamic New Rochelle, with new buildings, great walkability, a South Street Seaport like venture  -all to further our great city. New Rochelle is also the only city in Westchester to have Amtrak train service go to Boston and Washington.

They had allowed themselves a 10 year time frame for this undertaking, and already 50% of the projected plans have been approved. Partnered with RXR, these projects are grounded in reality, creating a zoning code that has been easier to follow than the past with RXR underwriting the environmental review thus shortening the usual time span required to file for new buildings. Some of the projects includes  new rental buildings . For example,  where the Smoke House is currently located will be 74 Housing Units with municipal parking.  Young Companies has several buildings planned all the way from the car wash to  Fifth Avenue.

Two Hamilton Avenue by Spiritos Properties is another development where the facade will be restored to its original glory with four additional Timber Construction floors with residential units.  Did you know that New Rochelle will be the first community in the region to have an entire timber constructed building?

ELD Properties are building New Ro Studios at 11 Burling Lane offering a preference to artists, and the ground floor will feature a co-working space for the artist residents!  Across the street from there at 22 Burling Avenue, ELD is constructing a building with a center courtyard with a tropical garden!

64 Centre Avenue will be the site of a 110 unit building – all rentals with some commercial space on the ground floor. Where the Loew’s Theatre  was once located  – 587 Main Street will house a 10,000 square foot Black Box  (inter changeable) Performance Theatre.

391 Huguenot will replace the U-Haul company currently there with a robotic parking.  Adjacent to the former  Church/Division Street parking garage, will be the new site of a  self-serve hotel with 80 rooms.

Where the Church/Division Street parking garage once was, RXR Realty will be building  two 28 story residential towers,  and a public pedestrian plaza offering an environmental friendly pocket park.

500 Main Street – where the Covenant Church stood, will, in partnership with the Baptist Church occupy the ground level.

A new dormitory is being planned for Locust Avenue by the St. Katherine’s Group – a private development in partnership with Monroe College. 

14 LeCount Place will be the site of two towers – 28 stories tall with 500 units total. This is the undertaking of Wilder Balter Partners, Inc.

Macquesten Development, LLC in partnership with the city has planned a 27 story Residential building at 45 Harrison Street..

45 Harrison will house the new City Hall with the fire station being relocated to a new fire station site (to be built).

The Printhouse is being built by East & Hudson and Megalith, located at 165 Huguenot Street will be a 6 story, high end 71 unit building complete with a rooftop terrace, residence lounge, state of the art fitness center, and ground floor retail! This is expected to be completed in 2018!

The Cappelli oganization is building at 251 North Avenue which will feature both retail and apartments.

Twining Properties has a long term project in the works at Pratt Landing where  it will resemble a South Street Seaport with great walkability from downtown. The 100,000 square feet of space will be the site of housing units, town homes, condos and a 200 bed hotel. This is in the marketing phase.

In all, approximately 6370 new housing units have been planned, with approximately 3300 right now approved..  The condos at the old Beckwith Pointe ( Watermark Point) have been a tremendous success with over 30 of the condos currently sold (72  condos in all).

In order to attract all of this development, there has been a PILOT program utilized ( Payment in lieu of Taxes) with the city receiving approximately 120 Million in net benefit over a 20 year period. The question of parking ( always a concern) was brought up, and it was mentioned that developers must offer one parking spot for each unit. However, developers can also pay into a fund which can reduce up to 30% of the parking requirement. The fund will be utilized to build new parking garages.

Mr. John Barnes

Mr. John Barnes , who has been the Principal of the Albert Leonard Middle School for 6 years then spoke about the school system.

He spoke of the wonderful languages the schools offer ( Please see my earlier blog on this subject!),  the 80 sports teams – 56 teams being at the High School, 24 teams at Albert Leonard – and of course he mentioned our undefeated soccer team! There is a recycling club, a writers workshop, more than 32 AP classes offered, and of course, every single Ivy League School will be represented  by at least one New Rochelle student  this fall. See my blog on the Top 33 Student college choices!

Lastly, two representatives from ENERGIZE New Rochelle spoke on how residents can lower their energy costs.  “New Rochelle is partnering with a non-profit program, Energize New Rochelle, to encourage home owners to take advantage of a home energy savings program. ”  The program pairs home owners with licensed contractors to go through their home to find ways they can save money by making their home green.  (914 – 302-7300, ext. 8102)  New Rochelle.EnergizeNY.org

New Rochelle – a city – but we all know one another- it just feels like a village! New Rochelle – Ideally Yours!

Thank you Noam, Luiz . Energize New Rochelle and Mr. Barnes for a great presentation!

New Rochelle is GREAT!