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June 10, 2021

Top 5 Home Amenities in Demand for 2021

Potential buyers entering the market have an updated wish list this year.  After almost a year of spending more time at home, the priorities for homeowners have dramatically shifted. Amenities that focus on space, health, and general well being, outdoor areas, and technology are in high demand for buyers.

Local builders that we work with are listening and plan to meet these requests. New construction and development are looking to stay robust throughout the year.

According to Dodge Data, a 6 percent increase for residential starts is expected. Senior economist Robert Dietz, of the National Home Builders, also expects to see slight gains for single-family construction. Builder confidence climbed to record highs for three consecutive months towards the end of 2020. In December, it dropped to 86 from the previous 90 in November, still making it the second-highest number in history with a strong outlook for 2021. New home sales may slow while builders catch up, but potential buyers will be eager for new inventory with new, and necessary, features.

Five Corners Properties annual Builder / Homeowner survey was just completed and here are the most popular amenities expected to surge this year and 2022.

TOP 5 AMENITIES IN DEMAND FOR 2021

Home Office and “Zoom Rooms”


With the majority of employed Americans now enjoying their work office, and remote work becoming more sought-after, office spaces have become the number one priority in a home. Many have already created a workspace while others are preparing for long-term remote working environments. With multiple people working from home, it became apparent that a functioning working area was required.

The pandemic has also brought on the trend of “Zoom Rooms”. These rooms may be a bit different than a typical office. It’s defined as a ‘picture perfect’ corner of the house that can provide a solid background for attendees signing on to virtual meetings. Students need to focus during their virtual schooling, while parents need productivity, privacy, and limited interruption during virtual work meetings. According to an article published by Brad Inman, Zoom has developed a package that provides uses with a professional, high-quality camera, bright lighting, a noise-canceling microphone, and quality speakers. While not everyone is in need, having a quiet space without distractions for the homeowner or the other Zoom attendees quickly became essential.

To have a dedicated area that is for work and video meetings is most likely to stick well past 2021.

Extra Living Areas and Closed Floor plans
Following the trend of rooms for Zoom, comes more room for…everything else! The quarantine and stay-at-home days showed the world that a home was more than just a house. The home functioned as a variety of elements: the bedroom, the gym, the restaurant, the entertainment, the office, and the school. As employees began to work remotely full-time, the availability to work from anywhere became more common. People migrated from congested metro areas to a more the suburbs for a more fitting, affordable home that could suit the whole family.

Unemployment compelled many young professionals to move back home with their parents. Generations United reported, “Multi-generational households reached an all-time high as Millennials and Gen Zer’s took their belongings and left their rentals.” With more people at home, families started to reimagine the usage of space in their house.

Westchester builders notice that the open floor plan – a popular architectural trend since the late 1980's – is now less appealing. The design for large common areas lacking privacy and even noise control became non-functional. The ability to close a door and have “peace and quiet” became necessary in today’s domestic lifestyle.

Homes with extra bedrooms, loft or office areas, finished basements, and additional bathrooms are to be included in new construction this year.

Outdoor Area
State requirements for stay-at-home orders make outdoor space even more important. Homeowners and families got creative with renovations in making at-home entertainment more accessible. Yards and patios became an additional dining room or the main play area for kids. Adding outdoor kitchen appliances and grills became popular as people started cooked more often.

Online home search platforms like Houzz saw almost three times the search activity for entertainment elements like fire pits, pools, outdoor kitchens, and resort-like features. Zillow reported that buyers were also willing to pay almost five percent over the asking price to secure their new amenity-filled home.

Without the luxury of having a private, outdoor area because of living in the city or a rental, people can feel confined. The need for fresh air, sun, and a change in the environment without leaving your home is pertinent, not to mention critical for ones overall well-being and health.

Technology and Touch-Less Features


Technology has been an ever-evolving attraction in modern homes. Smart home devices for lighting, heating, and cooling, and security can be expected these days. Now, families have become more cautious about spreading germs. Homeowners are adding features that can help fight off and avoid viruses and bacteria. Jamie Gold, a Wellness Design Consultant, introduced the following point back when the pandemic first hit: “When this pandemic has passed, many homeowners will be considering how well their residence served them during this period. What could have been better, easier, lower maintenance, and less nerve-jangling? One of the changes likely to be pondered is implementing touch-free surfaces.”

Products such as touch-less faucets and soap dispensers, motion-activated refrigerators, kitchen cabinets and drawers, voice-controlled lights, heating, and entertainment amenities are all ways to create a more efficient, convenient, and health-conscious home.

Moving into the New Year, buyers and homeowners will focus on their overall quality of life. Avoiding the spread of a virus is now routine, but preventative health has also become a priority. Consumer items like UV Lighting, purified air filtration, and aromatherapy enhance the living experience while providing a healthier way of life starting at home. Leonard Steinberg, chief evangelist and broker at Compass, shares: “I do think anything related to health is a long-term trend. The luxury consumer has a great appreciation for luxury that isn’t just cosmetics and fluff. They’re looking for substance and authenticity, and health is the ultimate substance and authenticity.”

Home Gyms


With large gyms and fitness studios closed, working out at home has become all the rage. Even gyms that are staying open under certain restrictions, their members feel more comfortable working out in the security of their own home.

Companies like Peloton and Mirror products are mainstay in most Scarsdale homes.   Online-streaming services have catered to the fitness community. Homeowners have repurposed guest bedrooms, garages, and yards into personal home gyms. The convenience to work out on-demand without leaving the house is a motivating factor for people to continue working out at home.

 Before 2020 a lot of these in-demand amenities were considered luxurious. Today, health-centered, safe, and spacious amenities are definite. With a newfound idea for home, creating a comforting and diverse atmosphere for everyone is essential. Trends and new features will come and go, but the value in a home is forever. Reach out today. We can help you find a home that fits you and your wish list.

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 10, 2017

10 Tips for Protecting Your Home During Vacations

 

I hope you all have  a safe and relaxing time during your vacation this summer.  It’s crucial that we all have time to recharge and recognize what’s important in life.  We only go around once, so it’s important to savor what we have.

 

Before you leave town, I thought you might be interested in a few precautionary safety tips to keep your home and your possessions safe while you’re gone.  Often in the run-up to a vacation, people neglect to take simple steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim of theft or vandalism.

 

You’ve probably covered your bases, but just in case, here are 10 basic precautions you can take:

 

1.    Have someone collect your mail and newspaper daily.

2.    Leave shades and blinds in normal positions.

3.    Put at least two lights and a radio on automatic timers.

4.    Have someone leave trash at your curb on garbage collection day.

5.    Have someone park a car in your driveway occasionally. If you leave your car outside, arrange to have it moved every so often.

6.    Leave a key with a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency. Let the neighbor know where you are going and when you are expect to return, also leave them a way to get in contact with you in case of an emergency.

7.    Lock all windows and doors before you go. Do not forget to double-check basement and garage doors.

8.    On extended trips have someone to maintain your landscaping, (grass mowed, leaves raked, etc.)

9.    Consider turning off your home’s water main to prevent damage from a burst pipe.

10. Be careful how much you check-in on social media while on vacation. If your privacy settings are incorrect you might reveal to strangers your home is vacant!

 

 

Be safe and have a blast...

Posted in Real Estate News
June 11, 2015

You Can Own Your Own Island in CT

For those looking for a showstopper, Tavern Island offers a private island retreat that is rich in history as well as its share of celebrity. Inhabitants of the island date back to 1651 with the arrival of European settlers. The 3 ½-acre island later weathered the British invasion of Norwalk, CT, during the Revolutionary War. In later years, its positioning served as a key point for harbor pilots to guide vessels to land, and once safely arrived, they would invite captains and crew to imbibe in celebratory spirits, hence the re-christening as Tavern Island.

Tavern Island

The Tudor style main house dates back to 1900 and features native stone and other construction materials that were brought to the property by oxcart over frozen waters. Totaling more than 6,100 square feet, the stunning home, surrounding grounds and island infrastructure have been meticulously maintained by its current owners. The main floor features coffered ceilings in the living room, stone fire place and an updated kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances. The second floor showcases luxurious sleeping quarters: two bedrooms with en-suites and a master bedroom with a large dressing area and two offices, exercise room, changing rooms and steam room—all with direct outdoor access so family and friends can enjoy the pool and beach without tracking sand or dirt through the main house. The third floor showcases an additional three bedrooms and bathroom.

Over the years, the spacious home has hosted luminaries of stage and screen, many of which visited by invitation from theatrical impresario Billy Rose. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, Rose wrote lyrics for songs that have become ingrained in the American Songbook, including “ Me and My Shadow” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” Rose’s parties attracted Hollywood and New York elite in the 1950s and 60s, including the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Maureen O’Sullivan.

But Tavern Island’s colorful past boasts more than free-flowing champagne and visits from high society. Writer Lillian Hellman is rumored to have rented the caretaker’s cottage, which originally served as lodging for the harbor pilot. The two bedroom, two-bathroom cottage imbues creativity, for it is at this locale that Hellman is said to have completed The Little Foxes in the late 1930s. For years, Tavern Island was also home to the Falconer family, where author, illustrator and set designer Ian Falconer grew up, traveling by boat to school. One can imagine how his adventurous island childhood may have impacted the creation of his famed illustrated character Olivia, from the children’s book series.

The current owners of Tavern Island have resided year-round on the property for more than 30 years and have preserved the island’s integrity through structural upgrades and meticulous care. Mainland city water and electricity as well as an on-site generator and 8,000 – gallon fuel oil tank service the island. In addition to the main house and caretaker’s cottage, the island’s new owners will also discover a boathouse and teahouse on the grounds. The boathouse was rebuilt in the 1990s and features a workshop with workbench and saws, while the upstairs includes a bedroom and bathroom as well as game room with a ping-pong table for the occasional rainy day activity.

With eastern views of the Norwalk Islands of the National Wildlife Refuge and only an hour from midtown Manhattan, Tavern Island at its best is for the adventurer who still wants to maintain easy access to everyday conveniences. Island life can include windsurfing, kayaking, waterskiing or a dip in the Olympic-length pool that overlooks one of four private beaches. On the mainland, a half-acre property is deeded that includes a large dock for year round access, a small garage/cottage, two enclosed heated launches and parking for over a dozen vehicles.

Tavern Island awaits its next great chapter. And if history is any indication, it will be one worthy of a standing ovation.

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 24, 2014

You Make Money Buying A Home, Not Selling A House!

The key to a successful transaction is pricing your property correctly.  Buyers will not overpay to purchase a home when a similar property for less money is listed down the street.  In fact the truth is that you make money when you buy, not when you sell.

What does that mean? The buyer controls the price of the stock, the house, or the item. If the buyer makes a mistake, and purchases something at too high of a price, she can’t “make it back” by selling at an above-market price.  This concept applies if you pay too much for anything: a house, a car, a backyard grill that you've never used.

 

The buyer doesn’t care how much you paid. The buyer only cares about how good of a deal you’re offering, relative to other deals on the market. 

 

 Couple making money

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 13, 2014

The Little Thai Kitchen - Mini Review

One of the hippest casual Thai places to enjoy…is right in Scarsdale!  RATING 4 out of 5 smiles!

The Little Thai Kitchen located at 13 Popham Road caters to mostly locals, from singles to groups of friends and families. The kitchen also does a brisk takeout business.

Ok so the chairs are plastic and the place is cozy (code for small) but that is ok because the moment you meet Bill Rung, the owner, you know you are in for a taste bud experience.

The sauces are the mainstay of Thai cuisine and these will not disappointment, our favorite dishes included the sesame chicken, fried tofu, curry puffs, and the drunken noodles!

 Little Thai Kitchen

 

Stop in and enjoy or order takeout

Posted in Restaurants
Oct. 7, 2014

Cheapest Gas Today In Scarsdale

Lowest Regular Gas Prices in the Last 24 hours

$3.51 Getty  416 Central Park Ave & South Healy Ave

Posted in Local News
Sept. 29, 2014

Committee for Historic Preservation Vacancy Announced

Committee for Historic Preservation Vacancy Announced

Deborah Pekarek, from the office of The Personnel Committee of the Village Board of Trustees has announced a vacancy on the Committee for Historic Preservation (CHP).

The Committee for Historic Preservation determines if a structure located in the Village for which a permit for demolition has been requested is a structure of historical importance.  The Committee for Historic Preservation may also advise as to whether any conditions should be imposed if a certificate of appropriateness and demolition permit are to be granted.
Wrecking Ball

A background or interest in historic preservation or architecture is preferred.  The committee meets monthly, 11 of 12 months per year.
  
All interested residents may apply online at the Village website, www.scarsdale.com, under “Village News, Openings on Boards, Councils and Committees” or submit their resume directly to the attention of the Personnel Committee Chair, Trustee Deborah Pekarek, Scarsdale Village Hall, 1001 Post Road, Scarsdale, N.Y. 10583.   For further information contact the Village Clerk’s office at 914-722-1175.
Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 23, 2014

Last Weekend Bike Sunday Bronx River Parkway! Sept 28th

Last Weekend Bike Sunday Bronx River Parkway!  Sept 28th

 

 

Every year the a section of the Bronx River Parkway from White Plains to Scarsdale Rd, Yonkers gets transformed into an outdoor free for all.  The parkway is closed to cars from 10am-2pm and open to bicyclists, joggers, walkers, scooters, and any other form of physical movement.  The entire course clocks in at 13.1 round trip miles.  If you missed Biking this year your last chance is this Sunday!

 

Biking Sundays Bronx River Parkway

Posted in Special Events
Sept. 19, 2014

Scarsdale's Annual Scarecrow Festival is Sept 28th

Looking for something fun to do with the kids?  Scarsdale Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department’s annual Scarecrow Festival will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. for the first session and 12:15 p.m. for the second session.

This popular event will take place at the Scarsdale Village Pool Complex, located at 311 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale, and admission is only $50 per family (with all food and beverages included in the fee).

For registration information, visit the department’s website (CLICK HERE) 

Space is limited so registration is required prior to event day.

Families can create one scarecrow and are asked to bring their own materials, such as old long-sleeve shirts, old jeans and scarves and hats. The department will provide the straw.

In addition to scarecrow building and food, the event also features face painting, games and a Disc Jockey rocking the music.

 

Scarecrow

Posted in Local News
Sept. 15, 2014

Local Scarsdale Resident Wins Road Race

Local Scarsdale Resident Wins Road Race

The weather was perfect for the annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show Road Race, held Sunday at Wampus Brook Park.

This year the race was named "Jamie's 5K Run For Love," to honor Jamie Love, a 2010 Byram Hills High School graduate and avid runner, who sadly passed away last year with a heart condition. 

The men's winner was Bobby Asher of Scarsdale, with a time of 16:40 who is quite an accomplished runner and participates in many running events!  

Congrats Bobby

Bobby Asher

Posted in Local News