Not too late to order some nice Jewelry..Stella

I love to support local businesses, and when it is a friend then even better! Stella Dot offers some unique custom jewelry that is fun to wear and compliments beautifully… This pastsd1 Poster4

weekend, my friend, Quay Watkins, hosted a Trunk Show, servicing champagne and canapes amidst a welcoming candle-lit warm room full of goodies to purchase. Stella & Dot has great gifts starting at $19.

It still isn’t too late to order in time for the Holildays.. Quay can be reached at or

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Warmth sells homes (in the winter) – Freezing home equals a cold heart!

New Rochelle 10804Back in November, 2010, I had written about showing buyers homes that were either vacant or just cold within…I experienced deja vu the other day when I walked into a home and it was 48 degrees…. That might not seem so cold, but it seemed warmer outside than indoors! The buyers could not wait to leave the home, and the fine architectural detailing was overlooked in the buyers’ haste to leave as soon as possible. Plus this was a Two Million Dollar home. I am not suggesting that a home be warmed commensurate to its price, but if you are seeking top dollar for a beautiful home, then one should not look to cutting corners. With the cost of heating a home, fuel can be quite costly if you are not living there.

Perhaps having a friend, house-sitter, neighbor or relative (or real estate agent) keep the house prepared for buyers , etc. would be a perfect solution. At the end of the day, heating a home when it is on the market for sale is also part of the staging process, and if a few thousand is spent in heating costs, but $10,000 and more is obtained in the actual sales price then it is a no-brainer especially when you look at what can happen should the pipes freeze!

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On Appraisals – The Appraisers are now seemingly appraising close to the sales price.

duck pond Back in March, 2011 I wrote a post about protecting my buyers in the event the appraisal came in lower than the sales price . I had entered into the bid and negotiation that should the property NOT appraise at the sales price (as I feared it wouldn’t but there were multiple bids) then the sellers would offset the differential, and not approach my buyers for additional monies. They agreed.. and when the property did not appraise, I was able to save my buyers some heart-ache and money.. All good. It also made me wonder if there WERE multiple bids…

Now fast forward to 2012, and I have a lovely couple who are buying their first home together.. I felt the home would appraise, but was still surprised to hear that it appraised at just $5000 over the sales price. This is becoming more and more common nowadays as the banks wish to protect their interests – but what else is new!

However, if you feel the home you are purchasing has received a less than correct appraisal then you do have other avenues… You can request a second appraisal or take it further

Westchester is GREAT!

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Great Mortgage Rates are Helping property sales over $1 Million 10538

A recent National Association of Realtors report reported a rise in home sales over $1 Million contributing it to the easier access of Jumbo loans, and the low mortgage rates.

We all know that real estate is local, so how does that equate to Larchmont, 10538 compared to a year ago?

10 Sheldrake Road

Homes that sold between $1 Million and $1,499,000 month ending September, 2012 reflected a 100% change in pendings … A year ago, there were 391 available homes with 40 homes pending with a supply/demand ratio of 10% – low demand… compared to 2012 with fewer homes on the market (370), but with 80 pending home sales resulting in a 5% Supply/Demand ratio which indicates a balanced market.. This can be attributed to those low mortgage rates as noted above. There is actually a 5.4% lower percentage of listings in that particular price range which helped result in some multiple offers on the various homes.

In reviewing the Statistical Chart Report of our local EAMLS (as of December 2nd, 2012), it is currently reflecting a 51.58% in sold properties One Million Dollars and higher , 36.84% active, and 11.58% Pending. There is an average of 71.4% with 120+ days on the market (93.8% Sales to List price), 20.4% 91-120 days ( 97.5% Sales to List Price) , and 8.2% 61-90 Days (with an average of 103.7% (Sales to List price).

This all depicts a brisk market in the Million to $1,499,000 range, and a lower demand in the higher priced homes.  It should be noted that once again, the data reflects that the longer a property is on the market., it would seem to obtain a lower sales price.

For those home owners who did not purchase at the height of the market in 2006 or who perhaps renovated thereafter, are still able to obtain nice sales prices especially if they are purchasing a home elsewhere, taking advantage of lower prices and those low mortgage rates.

Choosing an agent is important. The correct agent extremely important. Choose wisely and choose an agent who will market your home and not just list it!

Larchmont is GREAT!

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Thank you for your service & Yes, I MUST pay you..

I called a local Chimney Sweep to clean my chimney… They arrived when expected, were at my home for just 30 minutes and did a great job.. Okay… I then asked for the bill so I could pay, and they stated “you are with Houlihan Lawrence, think of us in the future, and there is no charge!”. Oh my goodness. How lovely! However, as I explained to the gentlemen.. I am VERY happy with your service, and if you give me your cards, I will be MOST happy to recommend you ..BUT I do not wish to lose my license, and therefore cannot accept anything ‘free or complimentary from you!” (Meanwhile, as I was standing there without make-up – thinking – they KNOW me – Yikes !)nirots967

I paid!

As an honest Realtor, one who works hard to establish her reputation, it is really nice that people would like to offer me a free service of some kind.. but I cannot accept that as it could be interpreted as a ‘kickback’ and that is illegal in my world!… Just do a great job, and I will always recommend you all!

Westchester  is GREAT!

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“Bread and Cocoa”

Bread & Cocoa

Bread & Cocoa

“Bread & Cocoa” – Breakfast, Lunch and so much more! Larchmont, 10538

We have all heard of the old joke ” home made (but just not in my home).”  Well, ” Bread & Cocoa”  takes it to a new level. Laurie’s bread puddings (both savoury and dessert), fruit crisps and cakes are so sought after that the owner, Laurie Vanderwoude, will bake your dessert in your own personal dish of choice, and Laurie will just price accordingly to size. This has been a great favorite ever since the store opened in June 2008, and Laurie is taking orders now for the Holidays.  (For December 24th pick-up).

Favorites from Thanksgiving were savory bread puddings such as a Roasted Root Vegetable & Cheese, or  Tomato & Goat Cheese.  For the Holidays, Laurie is offering  scrumptious dessert Bread puddings such as Toasted Almond & Caramel, and a Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

I can personally state that the croissants are flaky, light and I happened to be there in the morning and chanced upon a croissant just out of the oven, warm, yummy   and delicious.

“Bread and Cocoa”  is perfect for breakfast,  that lunchtime Panini, and for buying scones, breads and desserts.

" Bread and Cocoa"    photos 75 bread and cocoamenu bread and chocolate 75

Closed on Sundays and Mondays …. the telephone # is 914.834-6463, and it is located at 2110B Boston Post Road, Larchmont, New York. Laurie owns the shop along with Angela Ingrao who also owns “Cocoa” across the street… a chocolate heaven !

I noticed that “Cocoa” was named by Westchester Magazine:

  • Best of Westchester Winners: 2010 Best of Westchester – Readers’ Picks:                                     
  • Best Chocolate Shop 201

However, I didn’t need to read that certification. All it takes is one visit, a few nibbles and you will be a devotee.                                                    

Larchmont is GREAT!

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$550,000,000 – Oh My Goodness – Did we win?

Okay, we did not win –  we all know that as we are located in Westchester and the 2 winners were from Arizona and Missouri, but my office had such fun yesterday.. It was such a positive experience even if we lost. Our office totals around 50 agents or so with administrative personnel,  and we collected just $2 each – nothing earth-shattering… We trusted one agent (smile – we love Gregg) to collect, purchase, and our secretary made copies for everyone, and disseminated copies to all who participated… It was fun to just daydream about, laugh about (such as putting a closed sign on our office door once we win – just kidding – we love going to work), having fun and it was a really positive event. It did not hurt  any that our Adman, Chris, celebrated a milestone (50th) and we had all brought in food, decorations (by Katie) for the celebration (yours truly brought in the salad and ‘silverware’), and lovingly organized by our very own LouLou… (below on the left)


Our lives are all quite challenging between arranging appointments, negotiating difficult transactions, financing,  inspections, walk-thrus, closings and the myriad of issues that happen in between, that we all need some joy in our lives.. It is positive to do something like this (I feel) and we were united … We are a cohesive group. We have discussed participating in the lottery each week – we shall see how long it lasts…. but even if it is for a few short weeks, then all good. It put a smile on our faces  and made us sleep well. P.S. If things ever get bad, we have also discussed renting our culinary services to the public!  We come cheap but with great love and caring and it is no surprise that our company has over 36% of the market share! !  Ha!

Westchester is Great!

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“Light the Night 2012” – a few photos!

The recent “Light the Night”  benefitting Leukemia and Lymphoma blood cancers  held on November 27th at the Westchester County Center was a great success. The will to make the event happen (no matter the weather) came through.. Here are a few of the people at the event… everyone has a story.
Dr. Mitch Kaphan went for a routine colonoscopy before Memorial Day weekend of this year. His doctor (luckily) found a mass. There was also some cancer cells found in his bone marrow. Dr. Kaphan – between working in 3 offices, and donating his time at his local Synagogue is too busy to think on the negatives. He is a survivor. He was all smiles last night shown here with Robin (a nurse) and loving wife.

Lauren Berger, MPH, Senior Direcotr, Patient Services Programs

In the center, Lauren Berger, Senior Director, Patient Services Programs for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was all smiles at seeing this special event come to fruition.
Houlihan Lawrence of course was represented, and shown here is Liz Nunan, Vice President/Global Development (on the left) who painstakingly coordinated the event through the 24 Houlihan Lawrence offices and Kerry Barger (our super SEO genius!). Also featured are Lewis Arlt, Manager of the Scarsdale Office and Frank Lederman from the Scarsdale office also.
There were so many people at the event, and they all deserve a special thank you!
Westchester is GREAT!
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“Light The Night Walk 2012” – for Cancer Patients, Survivors and their families

There is an old saying “Where there is a will there’s a way…”  With nearly a Million Dollars raised at last year’s fund Raising event “Light the Night Walk” and with over 3000 participants and growing each year,  it was with great anticipation that this year would surpass that.. but Hurricane Sandy visited the neighborhood and then some, and this wonderful fund-raising event which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (both monetarily and spiritually) had to be postponed..The event had been held for the past 5 years at the Rye Playland, and we all know that the Boardwalk was ruined because of “Sandy”… It was rescheduled for Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 6 p.m. at the Westchester County Center not knowing that there would be inclement weather via freezing rain and snow and so it was held within the center..!   The organizers make things happen.

Chris Meyers, 2013 “Light the Walk Chair”

“Light the Night Walk 2012”

The weather might have delayed the event, but the spirit was very much there,  and as cancer survivors  spoke of their personal experiences, the audience applauded their life battles.  There is usually an outdoor walk with colorful illuminated balloons in memory of loved ones (with family members and friends holding gold balloons) , survivors and those who are currently fighting their daily battle with a blood related disease (holding illuminated white balloons), and loved ones holding red balloons. This was, by necessity, accomplished indoors but with no less fanfare. There was food galore, love and heartfelt support permeated the room, and there was music supplied by “The Turn” (a ‘returning’ favorite) and Primrose Drive, new to the event.

What is this event that has been held every year for the  past 5 years? It is a way of raising money for blood related cancers, and it is hoped their goal is to break that Million Dollar Amount.

Cancer strikes most families, and Chris Meyers, the COO of Houlihan Lawrence is no exception. Having a family member who has cancer, he has been very active within the local “Chapter”, and he briefly spoke at the event as the incoming 2013 Corporate Walk Chair.  Mr. Meyers was introduced by  the 2012 Corporate Walk Chair, Mr. Daniel Carlton, Regional Sales Vice President HM Insurance Group.

Rob Astorino, the Westchester County Executive graciously arranged for the Westchester County Center to be available, making the event a great success.

While the evening’s event is over, it isn’t too late to donate

Westchester is GREAT!

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Congratulations New Rochelle High School Varsity Football Team – NYS AA Champs !!

It is no secret that the New Rochelle High School has an astounding football team. It has for years. Coach Lou DiLorenzo (the High School football coach) has led many young men into victory on the playing field.. There were a few short years when he was not the coach, and the team did not fare as well.. As soon as he returned, his magic, together with the athletes‘ great talents have made history. I have always wondered why he hasn’t been approached by a college or more.. He is an excellent coach.

They would not have made the Championship without Coach DiLorenzo,  but he also has some help from the Pop Warner Youth Tackle League of New Rochelle which introduces young athletes to football at the tender age of 5 or so… It is so adorable to see them practicing in their tiny uniforms, and then participating at their games… The coaches of that program instill fair play, hard work and diligence, and by the time they go to the High School, they are seasoned athletes knowing that grades are important as well as athletic performance.

Several players like Ray Rice and Courtney Greene went on to play at Rutgers, and basically put that college onto the football map too. Ray returns to the High School every spring for a Ray Rice day, and it is also his dedication in being there for the athletes young and not so young that helps. He is a great role model. It is also a team effort.  One borne out of love, respect for the program and for the very special coaches who are there every step of the way for these players.

Congratulations to the High School Varsity Team. I know that they will take this championship forever –  wherever they might go, and they will always be a success knowing that the hard work that took them to the State playoff game can be theirs at any level, any avenue they decide to embark upon.

I am proud of you. We all are.

New Rochelle is GREAT!

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