Here are some December Happenings version 2021! Yes, I am a bit late with this post and I do apologize about that! Since working with so many transplants from the city, many of whom are eager to get to know the area, I am bombarded with a plethora of questions on what to do up this way. They are seeking fun local activities, events, and such. So, I have decided to create monthly newsletter-type entries showcasing a few local fun things to do for the month.
December is underway, Christmas is almost here and Hanukkah just wrapped up for the year. I love the holidays, don’t you? The lights, the energy, the shopping, and the fun things to do! But being from the city, it’s not as simple as just a train ride or bumping into something interesting randomly while walking down the street. Up here, you’ll have to do some research or be a part of a great Facebook group in order to get an idea of what’s happening for the month. So to keep it a bit more simple for you, here are some great things to do this month with your family in tow or just solo.
1 – Museum Village’s – Christmas in the Village – Monroe
From December 11th at 11 am to December 12th at 4 pm, experience Museum Village’s winter wonderland! Listen to carolers, shop local vendors, and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.
2 – Sugar Loaf Holiday Celebration – Sugar Loaf
December 11th at 11 am, the Sugar Loaf Holiday Festival is extra-spirited this year. Guests will enjoy a festive day full of holiday cheer including:
- Hot cider courtesy of the Sugar Loaf Community Foundation;
- Treeside caroling with the Warwick Valley Chorale, Warwick Valley High School Treble Choir, and the Warwick Valley High School Meistersingers;
- Visits with Santa to share wishlists and capture keepsake photos;
- Horse Drawn carriage rides through the village of Sugar Loaf (weather dependent) from 1-4:30pm;
- Tree lighting at 4:30pm;
- Shopping the dozens of artisan shops and boutiques
- Dining and snacking at local village eateries.
- Shopping Discount Ticket for all guests! Stop in White Rabbit Restorations at 62 Wood Road to pick up a ticket valid for shopping discounts and freebies from shops and eateries throughout the Village of Sugar Loaf.
Additional details and updates available at https://www.sugarloafnewyork.com/events
3 – Breakfast With Santa! – Chester
December 19th at 7:30 am, Santa’s Firehouse Elves are hard at work cooking breakfast for you!
- $10 per elf
- $5 per seasoned elf (65+)
- Free for tiny elves 4 and under
4 – Santa Paws – Pet photos with Santa – Tractor Supply Co. in Pine Bush
December 11th at 11 am, all pets and children are welcome to have their photos taken with Santa for just $10! They will also have a raffle table of goodies and Christmas gift ideas.
-Each photo will be printed out on site. The photos will also be posted on this page the week after the event.
5 – Breakfast with the Grinch – Home2 Suites by Hilton Middletown
Sunday, December 19th at 10 am – 12 pm, Visit Home2ville at the Home2 Suites Middletown on Sunday, December 19th from 10 am-12 pm! Enjoy breakfast with the Grinch, crafts, and face painting by Legends Barbershop!! Bring your cameras for lasting memories. Reservations are required. Please email: Heather.Parkinson@hilton.com to reserve.
- $20.00 for Adults & Children (in advance)
- $25.00 at the door
- Children under 1 are free
6 – Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair – Sloatsburg
December 11th from 10 am to 4 pm, shop this year at our special Holiday Library Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair, which sets up this season at the Sloatsburg Senior Center.
7 – Brunch with Santa – The Thayer Hotel at West Point
December 5th, 12th, and 19th starting at 10:30 am, join in for their award winning Sunday Champagne Brunch with special guest, Santa! View the Menu: https://www.thethayerhotel.com/santabrunch.html
10:30 AM, 11:00 AM & 1:30 PM
8 – Wynonna Judd – Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, December 15th, at 6 pm, Orange Motorsports & Entertainment is pleased to present WYNONNA JUDD with a special holiday show at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center, in Chester, NY. Tickets · $60 – $75.
9 – Holiday Artisan Fair – Mamakating Environmental Education Center
December 11th at 10 am to 3 pm, Enjoy a festive atmosphere as you peruse the wares of local artisans. Find unique gifts, enjoy holiday refreshments, and support local business at the same time.
10 – Santa at the Tap House – Pine Island Tap House
December 18th from 2 pm – 5 pm, guess who is coming to the Tap House??? You got it, Santa! Oh, what fun this is going to be!!!!
11 – Winterfest – Sloatsburg Train Station
12 – Holiday Market – The Yard – Beacon
13 – Ugly Sweater Party – Hillcrest Entertainment Inc – Florida
December 11th at 8pm, Join in at Hillcrest Entertainment for an ugly sweater party! Come enjoy a night out where the food is always great and the drinks are always cold, all while wearing your ugliest sweater! Saturday. Please bring a New unwrapped toy to contribute to the Toys for Tots program to Make Christmas special for a Child who may otherwise not have one.
14 – Home At Last – the Brewery at Orange County Hops – Walden
December 1oth at 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, beer and music always makes for a good time! Performance by Tom Rausch Gigs.
15 – Holiday Boutique – Stony Point
December 12th from 9am to 3pm, the Holiday season is upon us. So get your shopping started by supporting local businesses at Powerhouse Dance Center’s Holiday Boutique.
16 – A Christmas Carol – Dinner Theatre Show – New Windsor
December 18th at 4:30pm, You’ve seen Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas from a theatre seat. This season, why not dine with them?
17 – Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Drive-thru Holiday Light Extravaganza – Kensico Dam Plaza
Holiday season from 6pm to 9pm, Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Holiday Light Extravaganza, presented by Westchester Medical Center Health Network, returns to Kensico Dam Plaza bigger and better than ever with thousands of more lights, magical holiday animations and a live Santa!
18 – Kids New Years Bash – Newburgh Mall
19 – Holiday Lights on Jenkins Court – Ossining
Reoccurring until January 6th 4:30-9:00 pm. Lights on Jenkins Court is the Staples family’s home light show. The show has run each year since 2017 during the holiday season. Jeff started designing and programming holiday light shows as a hobby over 6 years ago. Today, hundreds of Ossining residents stop by the house to see the 23 minute light show.You can watch the show at 12 Jenkins Court, Ossining. Tune to FM 90.5 to hear the medleys that accompany the display of lights.
Enjoy the holidays and check out some of these December Happenings! As I stated at the beginning of this post, this is only some of what’s going on in the area but it’s plenty to keep you busy! And if you’re looking to migrate up this way, looking to buy or sell in the Hudson Valley area, contact me! I’d love to help!
Fall Market Update
Before I dive in, I just want to share a bit about what is going on in our market in Orange County, New York. New listings for single family homes is down so far, compared to this time last year from 569 to 404, a -29% decrease. As for those that sold, that is also down from 434 to 349, a -19.6% decrease. Days on market have also decreased from this time last year, from 74 to 47 days. What does all this mean? Not a lot of listings, less sales, higher demand, lower days on market. Current inventory is around 500 less than this time last year and median sales price is up 18.1%. This is only in regards to single family homes but condos are following suit as well.
Is this all sustainable?
Well, as long as the inventory remains low and buyer demand remains up as well as the interest rate remaining steady, this will continue. I have seen in my personal experience that multiple bidding, waiving contingencies that protect the buyers, and over bidding have all been slowly declining. Buyers with FHA and VA loans are starting to be able to win their bids which was pretty much impossible a few months ago.
Properties are also being relisted recently and it’s due to two issues: 1) Buyers not being able to get approval for their loan, either they did something silly and made a purchase that they should have waited for or, they simply can’t afford the home. 2) The home didn’t get appraised for the price that was agreed upon and the buyer does not have the extra funds to match their offer price.
How to fix this?
First, ensure that you’re vetting the buyers. They can use whatever lender they want, but if you have a preferred lender that you trust, have them vet the buyers for you. If you have an agent, they should also vet all potential buyers, even if they are represented by a buyer’s agent. Secondly, don’t over price your home! It will take longer to sell and you will end up having to settle for a lower price anyway. You can always contest an appraisal or get the buyer to switch a lender and get a another appraisal but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your price. Also, FHA appraisals are set in stone, so if you get another FHA buyer, they will go off of the other FHA buyer’s appraisal price.
Now, is the fall a good time to sell?
The early spring through the summer are generally the busiest times of the year for home sales, but the fall can be a particularly advantageous time of year for sellers. Housing inventory drops off during the fall months, as I had mentioned at the beginning, inventory is lower than it was this time last year, so sellers definitely have less competition. That means you can expect higher offers, and still aim for fewer contingencies, and less scrutiny from buyers. You maintain more power over your terms, as it is still a strong seller’s market.
Fall buyers are serious buyers!
Early in the year you can get lots of lookers who are just thinking about buying at some point, but by fall the buyers still looking are ready to get under contract and often have a deadline. Many fall buyers are anxious to get settled before the holiday season and, if they have children in school, they will want to get them in their new schools before too much of the school year passes.
Employers who pay to relocate employees also like to shop off-season to save on moving costs. If you live near a large hospital, university, technology center, or industrial area, your home may be attractive to relocation services.
Fall is also prime time for buyers who aren’t shopping school districts. Young professionals and empty-nesters are two populations more likely to shop in the fall. If you are marketing to these populations, you might want to show off multi-use spaces for exercise rooms, a home office, or game room.
The fall is much more fun for showing a home than the dead of summer. Use the mild weather and a festive atmosphere to enhance your home’s showing potential. As the temperatures cool and we welcome crisp, clear fall days, it becomes easier to maintain your yard and add to your curb appeal. You can use fall colors and foliage in your home décor to create a cozy atmosphere. Don’t forget some pumpkin spice scented candles or warm oatmeal cookies to warm buyers up for a sweet deal.
If you’re thinking about selling but can’t decide between listing now and waiting until after the holidays, now is the time. Give me a call or reach out to me here, and let’s tie the whole process up in a pretty red bow long before the new year.
We couldn’t resist this wonderful weather anymore. Being suck at home due to the winter weather AND COVID has been a nightmare so finally being able to get out, while social distancing of course, has been godsend!
It was near the mid 60’s today with mostly clear sky’s. We took a little drive (okay, maybe not so little as it took us about 40 minutes to get there but the drive was smooth and scenic) out to a place called Space Farms: Zoo & Museum in Wantage Township NJ. My husband actually suggested it but unfortunately couldn’t join us since he had to head in for work.
It wasn’t packed at all, lots of room to roam, and an ample amount of animals to view and learn about from their bulletin boards. It’s no Bronx Zoo but it gets the job done and made my son happy (as well as myself). He was teaching me so many things about the different animals, facts that I didn’t even know. We truly enjoyed ourselves.
Note: the animals couldn’t care less for the corn kernels, except the deer, they don’t care what you feed them – “just feed me” mentality. But most of them did love the cookies.The museum wasn’t amazing. It’s a pretty quick to walk through, although my son had mentioned somethings he learned from school about Native Americans, since they did have Native American artifacts there. Really, the trip is more for the animals than anything else there.
We didn’t try the food since we ate before we got there and it took us a little over an hour to check out all of the animals.
You can find out more from their website www.spacefarms.com
Music: Country Life
There’s a reason why people love looking at photos of homes for sale — it’s rare that we get to see a place look it’s very best which makes it so appealing when we do. Also, scrolling through gorgeous room after room helps serious buyers see themselves settling down in those very rooms which makes this one of the best seller strategies one can implement.
But as any seller (or photographer) can attest, getting a home ready for its close-up (also known as “staging”) is not easy and is definitely not always fun. It involves a ton of cleaning, some furniture removal (or placement), a plethora of attention to detail, and usually a lot of light. This is why professional home stagers charge hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars for their services.
If hiring a home stager isn’t in your budget or you’re simply more of a do-it-yourself type, consider taking advantage of these relatively quick and easy methods for helping your soon-to-be-sold home appear shiny and new.
Here are 5 home seller strategies for staging your home perfectly.
1. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean
Even if you follow every other tip on the list to an exacting standard, if your home isn’t clean, you won’t be reaping all of the benefits that staging could generate for you. There are two big steps to cleaning for staging:
- Decluttering your home
- Deep cleaning everything … everything
First is the clutter. This might be a good time to join the neighborhood garage sale or arrange for your sister-in-law whose kids are a few years younger to come pick up all the hand-me-downs you’ve been promising. It always makes sense to start with things that you don’t want to pack up and move to a new location.
Don’t forget about the furniture — too much furniture in a room makes it look cramped and small, so remove what you don’t need.
Resist the temptation to box everything up and stash it in one room, the garage, a basement or attic — unless it’s not your room. Buyers are going to want to open doors, cabinets, and drawers, and peer into closets and utility rooms, so if you want your home to look its best, you need to keep those areas neat, too.
Some sellers rent storage facilities during the process, and that’s always a possibility, too. If you have family or good friends in the area who can take some of the larger items for you, then you might be able to get a smaller storage unit. (Make sure to pay your loved ones back with a gift or thoughtful gesture when the home is sold!)
When the surfaces are clear and your surroundings are feeling more vacation-home than lived-in, it’s time to deep clean those surfaces. Scrub the inside from ceiling to floors; wash your windows; consider power-washing the outside to brighten it up. Plant new flowers, keep your sidewalks and walkways clear and weed-free and set some inviting chairs with fluffy cushions on your (freshly polished, cobweb-free) front porch.
Once the decluttering is done, it’ll be much easier to get everything looking shiny and new — and easier to hire help, too — so make sure to tackle this step first.
2. Light up
One of the most simpler and cost effective seller strategies can be done with just a simple switch of a bulb. If you haven’t changed a light bulb in a while, then you might be surprised by how much brighter they’ve gotten — or what a difference a bright bulb can make in a room that you thought was naturally dreary and dim.Changing out your bulbs can be a quick way to give your entire home a quick lift, brightening up every room and helping potential buyers see exactly how well-maintained those original wood floors are, and examine the crown molding close up.
Experts suggest that you obtain 100 watts of lighting for every 50 square feet in your home, and consider using three different types of lighting (not just overhead lighting) to get there. Overhead or ambient lighting is important, of course, but accent lighting (on walls and tables) and task lighting (reading or under-cabinet lights) will help showcase your space in all its glory.
3. Rearrange with an eye for balance
Most of us don’t live in perfectly symmetrical surroundings, but if there’s a way to achieve it with your furniture, then it’s worth it to try — at least for the photos. Try to balance any shelves, counters, and mantelpieces in the same way, with an eye for highlighting the accessories that will help make your home look like a retreat from a messy world.
You can do the same thing with area rugs and artwork. Arrange your floor and wall coverings to draw the eye down the halls and through the house, which will give touring buyers a pleasant sense of welcome and discovery.
4. Organize and energize
There are always going to be parts of your house that are made to hold “stuff” — but you can make that stuff look presentable with a little bit of organization.
Some decluttering and color-blocking on your bookshelves can make the display draw the eye instead of distracting from the rest of the room, for example. Kids’ and pets’ toys are another opportunity to organize and beautify with a decorative box or basket, or a fun shelving unit that holds everything with style.
Straighten your shoes on the closet floors and neaten up the hanging areas, then open up the doors when you leave for a buyer’s tour. They’ll enjoy the welcoming feeling of the open doors (and you know they were going to open them up, anyway).
5. Polish up the appliances
If you can afford it, new appliances in the kitchen can go a long (long!) way toward helping a buyer fall in love with the heart of the house. New appliances tend to help generate high returns for sellers, so depending on the condition and upgrades in the rest of your home, you might want to consider it — you might be able to find some good deals on floor models or end-of-season sales, too.
If not, help your appliances look their best by using stainless steel polish, glass polish, or whatever else you might need to help regenerate the shine on your stove.
These 5 seller strategies have helped my past clients
But you don’t need to take all these tips when staging your home — just don’t ignore them all when you’re selling, either. Taking the time to pay a little bit of attention to staging before a buyer even sees the place can reap big rewards at the closing table. If you have anything to add please feel free to comment or if you would like to hear more seller strategies to get your home sold, contact me.