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No Budget for a Custom Kitchen? No Problem

A Great, Recent Article From The New York Times:

“People often assume that getting a gorgeous kitchen like the ones they see in design magazines would require draining their bank account. And often, they’re right: Building a custom kitchen with upscale materials and finishes can easily run into six figures.

What they might not realize is that there are cost-saving alternatives that can deliver a high-end look for a fraction of the price. One of the most popular, employed by a number of architects and designers, is building a kitchen with Ikea cabinets and then covering those cabinets with custom doors, drawer fronts and panels from companies like Reform, Semihandmade and Kokeena.”

“Ikea makes a great box,” said John McDonald, the founder and chief executive of Semihandmade, a company based in Monrovia, Calif. And inside its Sektion cabinets, he added, Ikea “uses the best hardware you can get…..”

Link to the full New York Times article:

No Budget For A Custom Kitchen, No Problem

Contact me for more information about the expected Rate Of Return on your investment, at resale, for typical upgrades to your home, including the all important kitchen and bath.

Grand Re-Opening; 26 New Rental Units In Dobbs Ferry NY

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381 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY

Only 4 brand new 1 bedroom units are still available, in this iconic, pre-War landmark building, at the most convenient location in Dobbs Ferry. Each residence boasts stainless appliances; gas range, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, granite counter tops and new bathrooms. Coupled with all the charm of yesteryear including terrazzo hallways, gleaming, original, ribbon inlaid hardwood floors and 9′ ceilings. Great security with new key fob entry and video. All new electric in each unit and a new laundry room. 4 blocks to Metro North commuter train. Across the street from Stop and Shop and convenient to all the chic restaurants and shopping in the village. Future plans include a gym and roof deck with river views. Free overnight parking within two blocks. Pets are allowed. Priced at $1999 month. 381 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY

2/5/2020 Call For More Information At: 914-960-3837 cell

More Information About Dobbs Ferry NY

 

New Construction For The First Time Home Buyer

Hardie-Cobble-Stone

From Koby Kepert:
“Most of us have been down this road before… as a first-time home buyer, it seems easy to buy a fixer upper and transform it into your dream home. It seems so easy on all of the HGTV shows we watch, right? Well, the real-life reality is not always like that. Working in this business for so many years now, I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received from people desperate for help with their “DIY gone wrong” issues. I think that, being a first-time home buyer, you should have some serious home improvement skills before attempting to renovate a fixer upper. This surely can save you some money as long you don’t make any expensive mistakes along the way. But if you don’t have the skills nor the time and energy, buying a newly-built home or having it built for you seems to be the best option…..”
See The Full Story At: New Construction For The First Time Home Buyer

Contact Me To See All The New Construction in The Rivertowns
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Homes With Blue Bathrooms Sell for $5,440 More

An interesting news article that caught my attention

Photo courtesy of Sunrise Building

From Zillow.com

“A fresh coat of paint in the right color may help sell a home for more money.
Homes with rooms painted in shades of light blue or pale blue/gray can sell for as much as $5,440 more than expected, according to a new Zillow report.
Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis looked at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country to see how certain paint colors impacted their sale price on average, when compared to similar homes with white walls.
Curious what colors may help you sell your home for more? See below for the full results of the 2017 Paint Color Analysis.”

For Sale Listings with Cool, Neutral Wall Colors Sell For More Money

 

Contact Scott Rosasco today to see any home or  property in the Rivertowns or Westchester County.

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‘Dobbs Ferry Thrives’ in 2016

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Rivertowns Square Rendering

From 914INC at Westchester Magazine:

“Once a downscale, sleepy Rivertown squeezed between Hastings-on-Hudson and Irvington, Dobbs Ferry has taken a giant leap to the forefront with a wave of commercial, residential, and lifestyle improvements.
The biggest news in the village is the expected completion this fall of Rivertowns Square, a $150 million mixed-use development next to the Saw Mill at Lawrence Street. The project will turn an abandoned research laboratory into a….” 

See the full article from 914Inc at: http://www.westchestermagazine.com/914-INC/Q2-2016/Dobbs-Ferry-Thrives/

Also see: 41 Homes Currently For Sale in Dobbs Ferry

Dobbs Ferry Historic District Proposed By Residents

30 Belden Avenue

30 Belden Avenue

Following in its northern neighbor Irvington’s footsteps with their recently acquired knowledge that even national and state historic landmark status designations cannot prevent demolitions, a group of Dobbs Ferry homeowners and other concerned citizens have proposed the first historic district in the village. Centered on one of Dobbs Ferry’s prettiest streets, Belden Avenue, the historic district designation would establish what is and what is not acceptable for home renovations and/or replacements to maintain the historic nature and character of the street.
According to Dobbs Ferry village code, the village board may designate landmarks and historic districts as “a contiguous area containing a number of sites, buildings, structures or features having a special character and historical, architectural or aesthetic interest or value, and constituting a distinct section of the Village
A similar, yet unsuccessful, attempt appears to have been made over 30 years ago, on an equally historic and pretty Dobbs Ferry street, Clinton Avenue. Hopefully, with proper planning and research, this new attempt will be more successful and stand as a model for future districts in the village.
An Ad Hoc Committee of residents, homeowners, architects, attorneys and village officials has been established to research and report back to the village board the necessary steps, benefits and ramifications of creating one or more historic districts.

19 Livingston Avenue; Round Two at the ZBA, December 10

Before vs. (Proposed) After, at 19 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry NY

Before vs. (Proposed) After, at 19 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry NY

For the second time this year, the developer of the proposed and contentious 12 unit condominium complex, at the former Rudy’s Beau Rivage site in Dobbs Ferry, which seeks to block the panoramic Hudson river views from both the street and neighbors homes, will be appearing in front of the Dobbs Ferry Zoning Board. The purpose of their visit will be to appeal their second denial of the project by the Dobbs Ferry Architectural and Historic Review Board. The developer seeks to make the case that the AHRB once again acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner in denying their application with respect to a number of discrepancies between the proposal and the AHRB village code mandate required for approval. The developer seeks relief and permission to build the project as designed. Their first attempt, was denied by the ZBA, after a multi-month round of hearings. According to the Finding of Fact, submitted by the AHRB on October 22, the reasons for denial include Excessive Dissimilarity to the Neighborhood, Excessive Similarity of the Development to Itself and a failure to follow various parts of the Dobbs Ferry Residential Design Guidelines, as well as a lack of harmony with the neighborhood. Of particular concern in the denial is the fact that the construction of the complex as proposed, will result in a loss of property values to adjacent neighbors of between 10% – 20%. This is borne out by two appraisals from licensed real estate appraisers, submitted by neighbors. That equates to a loss of at least $60,000 – $120,000 per homeowner. Given the obvious and profound ramifications, when viewing the before and after documents and since there certainly must be many other ways to design and build a project like this, yet to the benefit of all, it remains to be seen how development of this parcel will proceed. The ZBA meeting is a public hearing and will be held at village hall, December 10, beginning at 8 PM.

UPDATE 12/11/2014: After an almost 3 hour debate, the application was continued on by the ZBA, until their next scheduled meeting; January 14, 2015 at 8 PM.

Also see:

An 1850 Dobbs Ferry Landmark Disappears Forever

Dobbs Ferry Hudson River Views In Peril

Let’s Relax And Look At Beautiful Hamptons Pools

Atlantic Ave, Amagansett

Atlantic Ave, Amagansett

Terbell Lane, East Hampton

Terbell Lane, East Hampton

Once or twice a year I allow myself a post, not Rivertowns Real Estate centric and this just caught my eye from Hamptons Curbed, on this Friday in late summer. All pools were designed by Greg Darvin of Pristine Pools. Click on the link below for the full article and gallery.
http://hamptons.curbed.com/archives/2014/08/15/lets_relax_and_look_at_beautiful_hamptons_pools.php

How To Hire The Right Architect

Few things are more exciting than building a new home or watching your old one change before your eyes. And the person who will affect the outcome of your project the most is usually the architect. His or her plan will dictate the ultimate appearance and function of the home, as well as the financial costs and emotional toll involved in its construction.
The client-architect relationship is very personal, involving discussions of your habits, your hobbies, your tastes, and even your relationships. So you want the choice to be right. The suggestions that follow will help you analyze the personality, design strategy and communication skills of your candidates. Ultimately, you want to find the architect who’s right for your situation, for your budget and for you.
See the full article at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/22038031/w/sid=1/list/How-to-Hire-the-Right-Architect

A Classic Mid-Century Dobbs Ferry Masterpiece

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This low slung, circa 1958 residence, an architects personally designed home, has only had two owners in over 50 years. With 3300 sq.ft and comfortably ensconced in the charming and established Dobbs Ferry neighborhood of Hilltop Park, it is adjacent to the 76 acre Juhring Estate Nature Preserve. Offering the unique benefits of both the highly regarded Ardsley school district, as well as an easy drive to the Dobbs Ferry train station. Tastefully renovated this past year and redesigned for today’s lifestyles it shows a rare and incredible attention to detail. Custom, lacquered kitchen cabinets, quartz counter tops, bamboo floors and exotic woods are a mere sample of the fine finishes brought to this wonderful home. Offering 3 Bedrooms, two of which have new, full ensuite baths, a full width living room with stone fireplace wall and a full width dining room, both offering floor to ceiling glass doors to let the outdoors in. There is also a new custom kitchen and powder room completing the first level. The lower level offers a third bedroom, new hall bath and family room with an easy walk out thru oversized sliding glass doors to the spacious backyard as well as a 1.5 car garage. Comfortable entertaining takes place on the new mahogany deck overlooking views of the bucolic woodlands below, with nautically inspired stainless steel cable railings, all exuding a sense of quiet and peace.
Hilltop Park is a unique enclave of comfortable residences that rarely come on the market. Streets quiet enough for children to play on, still evenings, friendly neighbors and an abundant sense of nature and privacy make a home in this neighborhood a truly special place to live.
Become one of the privileged few. Offered at only $789,000, this is a rare opportunity. Call me for a private tour at 914-960-3837.

See the full MLS listing with all pertinent details at: http://hgmls.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=Westchester&PRGNAME=MLSLogin&ARGUMENT=JZi5FLz3tQIC%2FtL6pU13BSzC%2Fl4VzxZXXZHWNEoBtqo%3D&KeyRid=1&Include_Search_Criteria=&CurrentSID=111136008

SOLD

Dobbs Ferry Hudson River Views In Peril

In the now all too typical “development vs. quality of life” conversation, it appears that the incredible Hudson River views from the once thriving Rudy’s Beau Rivage property, a local landmark at the southern gateway to Dobbs Ferry, are in jeopardy of being lost to a developers vision, for a wall of condominium buildings at the street, approximately 141′ long by 35′ high, on the now vacant site. Frighteningly enough, the village of Dobbs Ferry may be prepared to ignore its own new rules, some 10 years in the making, prohibiting this type of development, which robs the entire village of existing views, for one developers benefit. Currently, under village law, a thorough View Analysis must take place by village advisory boards before permitting this project to go forward. This View Analysis must seek to mitigate to the fullest extent possible the adverse effects of construction on existing views. The item is on the agenda, as a public hearing, for the Thursday, September 12 Planning Board meeting. The developers response so far has been to propose mitigating the loss of the views from his own property, by opening up views from the neighboring Cabrini Nursing Home property to the south. While this is all well and good for the Cabrini property and is probably something that should be done anyway, it fails to address the village code requirement for the applicant to mitigate his own property. Unfortunately, this has become the all too typical way for developers in Dobbs Ferry to shirk their own responsibilities under village law, with tacit support from the village governance.

Existing public Hudson River views are called out as important to Dobbs Ferry, in the recently enacted village code:
Views to the Hudson River, from both public and private property, are particularly important and demand consideration in the review of development applications. The purpose of these standards are to preserve the scenic quality of these resources and thereby promote a high quality of life, preserve property values, and promote sustainable economic development by limiting development that would reduce their visual integrity and to ensure that development does not block observation of a scenic view from delineated public viewing places.”

As well, section 300-46 of Dobbs Ferry Code states:
When development occurs on or in the vicinity of a well-recognized landmark or outstanding view it can have a dramatic negative effect upon the general character of the community. As part of the Vision Plan process, the Village has identified significant scenic views and view corridors from selected viewing places throughout the community. Views to the Hudson River, from both public and private property, are particularly important and demand consideration in the review of development applications. The purpose of these standards are to preserve the scenic quality of these resources and thereby promote a high quality of life, preserve property values, and promote sustainable economic development by limiting development that would reduce their visual integrity and to ensure that development does not block observation of a scenic view from delineated public viewing places.”

It will certainly be interesting to see if the Dobbs Ferry Planning Board, which is supposed to have the first look at these applications and which appears to wield the most power and influence over development, will embrace its new powers to thoroughly address this issue.  Developers should be held fully accountable to village law, as opposed to the more typical rubber stamp reputation Dobbs Ferry has gotten over the past few years, towards development in the village, which comes at the expense of the quality of life of its residents.

For more information:

http://dobbsferry.com/Event/84-village-calendar/2013/09/12/272-planning-board-meeting.html

https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2012/04/10/an-1850-dobbs-ferry-landmark-disappears-forever/

Dobbs Ferry Lands In The Wall Street Journal

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This past Saturday’s, August 3rd edition of the Wall Street Journal featured a great review of living in Dobbs Ferry. Two Realtors were interviewed, myself included, as well as the Dobbs Ferry Mayor, Hartley Connett. In addition to great commentary and information on the flavors of the village, some of Dobbs Ferry’s wonderful dining and shopping destinations were mentioned. Featured on this list were Half Moon Restaurant and The Cookery, as well as the Fiamor and Affordables boutiques.  All in all, a great article in a nationally read, financial newspaper.
The full article can either be viewed on the wsj.com site, generally by subscription only, at:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324136204578642362803411642.html

Or a transcript can be found here, at Scribd.com:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/158527225/More-Homebuyers-Make-a-Landing-in-Dobbs-Ferry

Rivertowns Artists Studio Tours: Sat. April 27 & Sun. April 28

2013 RiverArts Studio Tour

2013 RiverArts Studio Tour

This coming weekend marks the 20th Annual RiverArts Studio Tour of local artists in the Rivertowns. Some artists are well known and some artists have never been featured before. A total of 80 artists studios will be open to the public on both Saturday and/or Sunday, April 27 and 28th. The studios are located in Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson and Irvington. This will be a unique opportunity to meet and greet local artists, see them at work in their own environment, engage with them and possibly purchase their art. Some of the artists involved, whose work I am familiar with, include Mark Gilliland, Larry and Peggy Blizard, Eva Bouhassira, Tim Duch and John Maggiotto.
“The mission of RiverArts is to produce a wide range of high quality cultural events and educational programs which diversify participation and engage our communities in the support and understanding of the arts and artists, thereby enriching our quality of life.”

Download the Studio Map or for more information click here: http://riverarts.org/_images/VisualArtsImages/2013%20Studio%20Tour%20Map.pdf

Visit RiverArts on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/RiverArts.Org

Homes With Appealing Front Views Sell Faster


It’s that time of year again, when the days start getting warmer and longer and people’s thoughts tend to stray toward selling their homes, in what looks like the best Spring market this area has seen in several years. Apropos to that, an interesting article was just published in houzz.com, one of my favorite blogs, detailing what a difference it makes in the sale of your home, to have a house that looks great from the street. Read the brief excerpt below and then click the link to the full article at the bottom.                                                                                                                                                                         As always, if you are looking for expert advice in the Rivertowns regarding the sale of your home, come help me celebrate over 25 years of listing and selling homes in the Rivertowns, at 914-960-3837 or scott.rosasco@randrealty.com.
“Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, a fresh and welcoming exterior is a wonderful thing to come home to each day. From front doors, house numbers and porch furnishings to color schemes, landscaping and basic repairs, this smorgasbord of ideas will hopefully inspire a few changes around your own home.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Read The Full Article at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/8193935/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u250&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery0

Classic Subway Tiles Reinvent Themselves

FROM HOUZZ.COM:White 3-by-6-inch tiles, commonly known as subway tiles, are a staple of kitchen and bathroom design. It’s no surprise that homeowners and designers both love this classic tile: It’s affordable and uncontroversial — and best of all, it’s usually in stock.
White subway tile is ever popular, but a style that has been gaining in popularity in recent years is to pair white subway tile with dark gray grout in a running-brick pattern. The resulting look defines the outlines of each tile, adding depth and interest to a space. The wider set the tiles are, the more pronounced the outline effect becomes and the bolder the look.
Gray grout is also a wise choice because it is easy to maintain, unlike white grout, which can easily yellow or stain. Here are 10 interiors with white subway tiles installed with gray grout. From kitchens to bathrooms to laundry rooms, it’s a versatile look that would fit right into many homes.”

Read the full article and view the slideshow at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1613366?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u71&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery8

Reconfigure A Cramped Basement For Living Space


From Houzz.com:
“When a young family needed more space in their 1920s bungalow, they thought about renovating the basement, but the low ceilings, leaky stone foundation, hanging wires and hodgepodge of structural poles hampered their hopes. Then architect Ryan Duebber came up with a plan. He helped turn their once-cramped space into an open family room and bar, and incorporated secondary spaces including a laundry room, storage closet and dream steam shower room.
Rather than fighting the challenging elements, Duebber used them as elements of industrial style for a modern space that suited the clients’ tastes. The result is a sleek and open space that mixes old and new elements and highlights the places where they meet.”

Read the full article at Houzz.com: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/5266676/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u190&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery1

Rivertowns Square Public Hearing Is Tonight At 6:30 PM

Rivertowns Square Proposal October 2012

Rivertowns Square Proposal

The oft postponed Rivertowns Square public hearing, regarding the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), prepared by the applicant and accepted as complete by the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees, will be held tonight at 6:30 PM at the Embassy Center, 60 Palisade Street, Dobbs Ferry. This will be the first opportunity for members of the public to comment on the final document and air their concerns. Although there may be additional meetings scheduled after this and written comments will also be accepted, it’s possible this may be the only opportunity to comment on the FEIS, before this project proceeds further in the development process.
An abbreviated version of the public notice, from the Dobbs Ferry village website, is as follows:

Description of Action:

Application by Saber Dobbs Ferry LLC and Lincoln Dobbs Ferry LLC, as co-developers, for site plan approval of a proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the former AKZO Nobel Chemical, Inc. property. In response to comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”), the applicant has modified the project to now include: (i) approximately 202 residential units (including affordable units); (ii) an approximately 18,000 square foot supermarket; (iii) approximately 62,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space; (iv) an approximately 123 room hotel; and (v) a 33,600 square foot hotel, together with approximately 1228 parking spaces to serve all uses.

Location of Action:

The subject property is located on Stanley Avenue, Danforth Avenue, Livingstone Avenue, Ogden Avenue and Lawrence Street, Dobbs ferry, New York.

A copy of the FEIS is located on the Village of Dobbs Ferry Website and is available at Village Hall, 112 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522.

Hardcore Tips For Successful Home Staging

Home staging is still a fairly new concept to many homeowners, especially those who have not sold real estate in the last 5 years or so. At this point it goes way beyond de-personalizing and de-cluttering your home An important part of preparing to list your home for sale, aside from listing it for the right price with the right agent, is making sure it puts its best foot forward, to appeal to as many buyers as possible. First impressions are lasting impressions and the fantastic home you may have gotten used to living in, for all your own fantastic reasons, may actually turn off many buyers for those exact same reasons. Your goal is to turn on as many possible buyers to the benefits of living in your home in order to distinguish it from the rest and get the highest  price in the shortest  time frame. Especially in a market where inventory levels are high, a typical buyer may be looking at 30 or more homes before buying one. How does your home compare and stand out (in a good way) to those other 29?  A recent article in Business Insider, called Guerilla Staging offered 7 tips for home staging your home for success. http://www.businessinsider.com/guerilla-staging-7-hard-core-tactics-for-sellers-2012-9

10 Projects To Improve Your Home In Less Than A Weekend

Utilize Closet Space

From Stylelist.com: “This weekend, catch up on some of those lingering home fix ups and upgrades that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while. From simple updates such as changing out light switch covers to more ambitious projects like installing a sliding door, here are 10 DIY ideas that are certain to get your home into better shape and put you in a better mood…all in a weekend (or less). Click through our slideshow below for full tutorials for each project.”
http://www.stylelist.com/2012/01/13/diy-ideas-projects_n_1204779.html?ref=stylelist-home&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008#s612124&title=Install_A_Sliding

Well Designed Houses Make Good Neighbors

 

http://www.houzz.com/pro/soorikian4/soorikian-architecture

A Traditional Front Porch By Soorikian-Architecture


From Houzz.comA house that is a good neighbor engages the world around it — even when it’s different. So what does that mean? How does a house engage the world, and why is it important that it do so? To engage the world, a home should have an in-between space that beckons to the passersby while providing shelter and a perch from which to watch the street. This is a space, such as a porch, from which you can see the street, and the street can see you. Creating such a space is more than good manners and neighborliness — it also helps keep a neighborhood safe, as crime typically takes place in the shadows. The in-between space is best when it’s large enough to be a room of its own. A place for comfortable chairs, a table or two, maybe even a hammock. Remember that it is a room that’s part of the home, so treat it with the same attention to detail as the other rooms. In fact, since this is the room that presents your face to the world, maybe treating it a little better than the other rooms is in order […..]. 
See the full article and slide show at:
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/813460/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u123&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery18

Think Nautical For Home Decor In The Rivertowns

From HOUZZ.COM

For a subtler sense of the sea than an all-out nautical theme, look to sails and ships for your decor

From Houzz.com: If a blue and white nautical theme feels too over the top, evoking a sense of the ship in a room may be a more appropriate design choice.
A gorgeous model sailboat, reclaimed sails used as cloth or vintage pieces from vessels no longer in use are all great ways to conjure the feel of the sea.
For boaters and seafaring folk, bringing a piece of a favorite hobby home can make it feel like summer all year.
For the full ideabook go to Houzz.com: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2144154/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u98&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery15

Unearth Your Attic

Attic Refinish

Colorful Girls' Getaway in New York

Even the smallest attics have great potential to be renovated into one of the most charming spaces in your home. Usually attics represent the often odd intersections of your roof which creates all sorts of interesting little spaces that you don’t find in the rest of your home. As well, since in most cases attics are not really included as legal living space, you can be a little more flexible as to what level of finish you renovate the area. Attics with low headroom can be ideal as alternative children’s bedrooms (with proper egress) or play rooms and can offer an enviable escape from the rest of the household. The same ideas hold true as a home office area or studio or even as a pied-de-terre in your own home.
These four attics started out as cluttered and dark spaces. But with a little planning and elbow grease, they were transformed into bright and efficient rooms, adding value and space to the home:
“Katie O’Hagan wanted to transform the attic in her Beacon, New York, home into a bright and cheerful space for her two daughters. ‘We had to move from a house they really loved into a relatively cramped space, so my main goal was to create rooms that would make them excited to move in,’ she says” [……] See the full article at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1644093?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u66&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery19

New Dobbs Ferry Law Affects All Real Estate Sales

Dobbs Ferry Village Hall
Seemingly without much fanfare or public notice, Dobbs Ferry recently changed its building code again, to require all property transfers to obtain an updated Certificate of Occupancy from the village. Irregardless of whether you own property that was built in 1912 or 2012; house, condo or co-op, you will be required to request the building department to inspect your property prior to any sale, to get what will now be called a CCO (Continuing Certificate of Occupancy). The fee will be $150. Currently, it will be good for 90 days after it is issued. Alternatively, you can wait up to 180 days after a successful inspection to get the CCO issued, at which time the 90 day clock starts. After that, a reinspection may be required for another $75 – $150.
This would appear to be a great new benefit for buyers of properties in Dobbs Ferry, to ascertain that the homes they are buying do in fact pass building department standards with respect to fire, safety and building codes.
On the seller side of the equation however, the idea that you would need a new CO for a home that already has an existing, building department issued CO, even if you’ve made no changes to the property, makes this sound less and less like a good thing for buyers and more and more like a new village transfer tax for sellers, once the costs of all the other possible fees are factored in. Especially if you need to bring a home up to conformity with current fire and safety standards as well as village records, which can often times be inaccurate.
There can be no doubt that this has the potential to open a whole Pandora’s box of issues for sellers of property in Dobbs Ferry. As a result, for any homeowner, this inspection needs to be addressed before a property is listed for sale.
For an unsuspecting seller, who perhaps has been living in a home for any number of years, to find out well after a deal with a buyer has been consummated, that their home does not match building department records or current fire and safety rules, even though it has an existing Certificate of Occupancy, this new change may be an abrupt awakening. That homeowner may need to hire an architect or plumber or electrician, with all the associated village permitting fees and possibly be required to bring certain updates before the various statutory boards in the village, taking valuable and expensive time away from a potential real estate sale. It remains to be seen how this new law will work out over time.
A PDF of the new law can be found here, from the Dobbs Ferry website: https://scottrosasco.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/home.pdf

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An 1850 Dobbs Ferry Landmark Disappears Forever

Built in 1850 as a residence and later converted to a variety of restaurant uses; Villa Arturo, later Rudy’s Beau Rivage and now the failed Windows on the Hudson, 19 Livingston Avenue represented a charming and iconic landmark, at the southern gateway to the village of Dobbs Ferry downtown for over 160 years. Last week it was unceremoniously torn down. A combination of excessively grandiose intentions by a new owner, coupled with a diminished economy, limited financing opportunities and a lack of village oversight during the reconstruction phase turned what could have been a great renovation, into a pile of rubble.
It is a sad state of affairs in Dobbs Ferry when what started as a structurally sound building of this vintage, was essentially left to rot, exposed to the elements, in broad daylight on a main road, until such time as there was no other choice but to demolish it. This was the second such building of a similar age and character to be demolished on Livingston Avenue in the past several years. One can only imagine, given the value of the land, which recently sold for $1,145,000, what it’s to be replaced with. Hopefully, it’s not the maximum number of residential units one can possibly fit on the property, sheathed in vinyl siding, as the welcome mat to the village downtown district.
The newly passed Dobbs Ferry zoning code allows the Board of Trustees to request a determination, or catalog, of historically significant buildings and districts in the village of Dobbs Ferry. As of yet, this request has not been made. The demise of these buildings should serve as a wake up call. Perhaps it is time the village exercised the full freedom and powers that the new zoning code allows, in the hopes of either preventing, slowing down or at least adequately regulating and overseeing, with more stringent controls, what goes on during the reconstruction of buildings of this type. Dobbs Ferry, like most other river villages, has an ever dwindling supply of these old buildings, now minus one more. Hopefully, something has been learned here and this can be avoided in the future.

September 2013 Update:                                                                                                Dobbs Ferry Hudson River Views In Peril                                               https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2013/09/12/dobbs-ferry-hudson-river-views-in-peril/

Thinking About Adding A TV Above The Fireplace?

Dobbs Ferry Real Estate

Ever since flat screen TVs became light enough to mount on the wall, everyone seems intent on placing them high above their fireplace mantles. Opinions vary on whether this contributes anything positive to the overall look of the room.There is something to be said, particularly in a very traditional looking decor arrangement, for a very modern TV, looking quite out of place above the fireplace. Additionally, mixing tech with fire isn’t always the greatest idea in the world from a practical standpoint. However if you are thinking about this placement plan, consider these tips from a few pros who have seen it all. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/tv-above-the-fireplace-4-pro-tips-before-proceeding-164424

Try Porch Paint For a New Front Door Color This Spring

Front Door Repaint
With Spring 2012 right around the corner here in the Rivertowns of Westchester County NY, we are all starting to think about ways we can freshen up our real estate for the best possible look in the coming warmer months. A great idea to accomplish a new look without spending a lot of money, is to paint your front door a different color and then accessorize your entranceway to match the new color. Don’t just use any paint though. Use a full bodied porch enamel, deck paint. There are so many different styles of front doors in the charming villages of Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and Tarrytown that to try to pick the most ideal color for every unique door could take forever. Suffice to say that the possibilities for a great new look, in a short period of time, with a little elbow grease are endless.
A quick color change can give an entryway a whole new look, but painting a door isn’t exactly the most fun job on your to-do list. We’re all for taking a shortcut, as long as it doesn’t mean more work down the road. And that’s when we hit the point in our lives where we were excited about door paint.
It turns out the key to painting a door in one easy step is to use…porch and floor enamel. This type of paint dries to a hard, colorfast, moisture and mildew-resistant surface. (All without needing a primer coat.) It’s ideal for front doors because the enamel dries to a super-strong coating that offers unparalleled protection against scratches. Once you paint a door with it, the color will stay bright and fresh-looking for season after season.
The caveat: Enamel dries to a very glossy finish. So if you aren’t a fan of the look, try an oil-based enamel, which has the same benefits of porch and floor enamel, but comes in eggshell finishes. Just be prepared for a slightly longer drying time.”
http://www.stylelist.com/2011/10/23/paint-a-door-porch-floor-enamel_n_1027701.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008

A Cosmetic Kitchen Makeover For Higher Resale Value

FROM BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS MAGAZINE:

If you are planning to sell, kitchen improvements have one of the highest returns on your investment in terms of getting a good price for your home.

Uncovering the Good:
When you start any redesign – think about what is good in the space and what is not. Are the wood floors in bad shape and in need of a few layers of room brightening porch paint? Are the windows covered in dated window treatments that block out natural light? Are the countertops nice but simply covered with too much stuff? Be honest with yourself about the space.

Work With What You Have:
Once you know what works well in the space then you can work from there and take the focus away from what is not working by literally removing it or making it less of a focus.
One easy fix is changing the wall color. By changing these walls from a dark green to a sunny yellow, the kitchen now has a more uplifting feel.
If the cabinets were dark wood or very dated, they could be primed and painted white. Fortunately, in this case they were already white and in good shape. Drawer pulls and knob hardware was changed to give an instant new look, which is something you can do yourself.
Lighting is a big thing. The dated fixture over the sink was changed to a schoolhouse pendant light bought on sale. Then, over the island, a halogen spot track unit worked well into the style of the space and is used to add warmth to the overall space. Lighting truly makes good design come to life.
When you do a cosmetic makeover, you don’t have to rip everything out and start over – you make what you have better. In this kitchen, the stainless steel sink was good, but to give it a more updated look the faucet was changed out with a new one.
If your kitchen has beat-up upper cabinets, you could remove them and install open shelving that gets painted white and displays only your everyday dinnerware and glassware. Something as simple as that can truly give a space or wall a facelift.The appliances in this kitchen were new, so that saved money. If you need to buy new ones for your space this is where it is wise to invest your money. Yes, stainless is still trendy, but white is always classic and works great with various styles and is always a good selling point on a home. Fortunately, you can now get the high-end look without the big price tag. Shop around and compare prices.

Styling:
The last visual change in this room is the styling. For example, a tray that holds cooking spices and oils by the stove, a basket of fruit, simple canisters, a few matching props, a new cutting board and some flowers. You can set a stage for your everyday living that says “welcome home” to your family, friends and potential buyers. The kitchen will always remain the heart of the home no matter how much or how little money you spend to make it better. Be creative with what you have.

A Beautiful New Paneled Entryway

Entryway RenovationThe entryway is a great candidate for a new year spruce up. As the first space to be seen when walking into a house, the entryway sets a tone for the rest of the house. Unfortunately, it’s a place where shoes, clothes, packages, and mail tend to build up. However, according to Jami Nato, some planning, a weekend’s worth of time and about $85 can fix all of that.
This recently plain entryway was revamped into something quite spectacular. Using a bunch of 1×6 and 1×3 boards and some well-placed hooks, this built-in panel effect was created. Backpacks, hats, scarves and jackets now all will have a home. One great element is the picture ledge on top. It’s a great place to place children’s artwork.
Read the Full Article With Complete Photo Instructions At: http://thenatos.blogspot.com/2012/01/entry-way-re-do-yes.html

A Perfect Cape Cod Style Renovation


1820s home gets new life with beloved collections, new storage solutions and lots of natural light
HOUZZ.COM: In spite of an extensive renovation, this 1820s petite Cape in Vermont still maintains a petite footprint. “The house is quite small by today’s standards,” says Pi Smith, the project architect. “All of the spaces we designed are working really hard.”
The client had owned the home for 15 years, dreaming of and planning for a kitchen renovation for every one of them. While she waited, she filled her barn with collections in anticipation of the day they would rebuild, storing vintage plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, cabinet hardware and antique tiles, among other things. “Our client has a big interest in all kinds of design and has a really good eye; the project was a wonderful collaboration.”
Between creating storage solutions, squeezing as much functionality out of each inch as possible, letting in natural light, creating outdoor rooms, planning around the client’s beloved collections, this is one smart and dramatic transformation.
Full article and complete slide show at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1005795?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=updates&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery8&w=518816

New Irvington NY Waterfront Rezoning Draft Released

Irvington Waterfront Rezoning
On January 5, 2012 the Irvington Board of Trustees released a revised draft of a new waterfront plan to replace the previous unapproved draft. That draft, originally prepared as of September 28, 2010, which was debated and also revised thru three public hearings, was ultimately not approved by the Board of Trustees, after they closed the last of the public hearings, in April of 2011. Reasons for the lack of approval centered on the possibility of a parking garage structure in the newly created waterfront zone. The new draft is much briefer at a mere 7 pages and leaves out a number of protections which were meant to further enhance the expected quality of life concerns for the village of Irvington, with respect to any future development on the waterfront. The tradeoff is that the new plan does not in any way encourage or permit the construction of a parking garage. The parking garage was deemed necessary by the property owner for any realistic future development of the waterfront. 
The Irvington Board of Trustees invites review of this proposal and comments from the public, either at the public hearing scheduled for January 18, at village hall or via regular mail or email to the village administrator, Larry Schopfer, 85 Main Street, Irvington NY 10533 or LSHOPFER@irvingtonny.gov
The revised draft can be seen here: http://www.irvingtonny.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=5125

Dobbs Ferry Walgreens Clears Final Hurdle

Dobbs Ferry Walgreens

At Tuesday nights Architectural and Historic Review Board meeting, the latest iteration of the new Walgreens building on Ashford Avenue was approved by a 4 – 1 vote. Occupying the spot of the former Brothers Market, G & L Deli and Off Broadway Restaurant, this caps a number of AHRB meetings where the scale of the building was changed from one story to two story to match the required village code for the Gateway Zone and the overall character of the building was substantially modified. What started out as more of a signature Walgreens, big box building, that one might see in the vicinity of the Central Avenue shopping corridor, was modified by the developers architects, in response to a variety of AHRB concerns, to graciously reflect both what is currently there now and also to incorporate what the AHRB expects to be a precedent for inclusion in other future Gateway buildings.
The overall look is meant to resemble several individual, articulated storefronts with fabric awnings and signage, much in the way storefronts in buildings on Cedar Street and Main Street are now articulated. In this case however it just so happens that the entire first floor is to be occupied by a single tenant. This matches the expectations of the recently adopted Dobbs Ferry Vision Plan. Materials consistent with the dominant buildings of the Gateway neighborhood have also been incorporated into the design, most notably a dark, somewhat more traditional looking brick. A substantial re-landscaping plan is also to be implemented for the parking lot areas, adjacent to the residential neighborhood.
While opinions may vary with respect to the benefits of the eventual tenant, it is clear that this new building has the potential to be a great new neighbor to the other buildings in the Gateway, both present and future and also to the existing character of the village of Dobbs Ferry as a whole.
Also see: https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/10/10/dobbs-ferry-walgreens-site-plan-approved/

9 Ways to Create a Not-So-Standard Bathroom

From Houzz.com: Sometimes it’s hard to get inspiration for a potentially uninteresting 5′ x 8′ bathroom space, and there are good reasons for it. Once you install the sink basin, toilet and bathtub there is not much room for accessories, and most homeowners and builders tend to choose neutral tones and colors for finishes because they are thinking of the resale value. The results are bathrooms we don’t want to spend much time in besides doing our daily routines. Here are some designs to spark ideas for your next bathroom.
Read the full article at:
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/890524?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=updates&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery13&w=518816

Dobbs Ferry “Rivertowns Square” DEIS Released

The DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) for Rivertowns Square, located in the vicinity of Ogden Avenue and the Saw Mill River Parkway has been released by the village of Dobbs Ferry, to start the public review process.
At last nights Board of Trustees meeting it was reiterated several times that this is just the start of the review process by the public and that the first public meeting must be held no later than 60 days from today’s release. In fact, there is already a public hearing on Rivertowns Square scheduled for December 19 starting at 6:30 PM in village hall. However this is an open-ended process. The Board of Trustees has the option to extend this public hearing process as many times as is necessary to be sure all questions are answered to the satisfaction of the Board and the public. Further, the developer, as a matter of law, is required to answer every question and comment made by the public with respect to the DEIS.
This is an exhaustive document (well over 500 pages in itself with an almost 2000 page appendix) that represents the proposed project from the perspective of the developer and how they plan to mitigate any concerns associated with it. This document does not represent the perspective of the village board or residents. Now is the time for any comments, questions or concerns that the pubic has, to be made during the public hearing process and read into the record for a response by the developer.           
The PDF documents are available here: www.dobbsferry.com
CD’s can also be burned by the village upon request and with some notice for a fee of $5.00 each.

Also see: https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/08/06/rivertown-square-development-review-moving-along/

Top 5 Remodel Projects For The Highest ROI


To almost no ones surprise, the top two out of five remodeling projects which tend to bring the greatest ROI (return on investment) remain your kitchen and your baths. It is almost a necessity in todays real estate market to have an updated kitchen and bath, hopefully in the last 10 years, but preferably in the last 5 years. While many homeowners attempt to add some individuality to these two areas, the safest approach is to try to remain as neutral as possible, especially if a resale of the property is contemplated in the near future. Left to their own devices, many buyers will overestimate the actual amount of money it will take to change your version of perfection to suit their own tastes immediately, especially if they add in the price of luxury appliances for their dream rooms and then subtract that amount from their purchase offer. The safer alternative is to have a neutral kitchen and bath that the prospective buyer may not actually be in love with, but can see themselves living with for a while, until they get around to their own remodel.
The top 5 projects are:

1 The Kitchen

2. The Bath(s)

3.The Deck

4. The Siding

5. The Windows.

More at: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/renovating/5-remodeling-projects-with-highest-roi-angies-list-magazine-157992

Also see: https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/09/18/custom-doors-for-ikea-kitchen-cabinets/

https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/08/25/easy-concrete-countertops/

https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/08/14/new-architectural-digest-amazing-kitchens-design-app/

Custom Doors For IKEA Kitchen Cabinets


While some may look down on IKEA kitchen cabinets, it is well known in the industry that these products are very durable, very budget conscious and relatively easy to install. While the boxes themselves are not often made of real wood, it is a fact that the materials that are used in their construction are the very same materials used by the higher end manufacturers as well. The only difference is the price, which IKEA keeps low by mass producing a limited number of sizes and a limited selection of sometimes less than attractive door fronts. A new company http://semihandmadedoors.com/ has now come up with the not so new idea of producing custom door fronts for existing or new IKEA cabinet boxes. You simply order your cabinets from IKEA, minus the doors, send the company your kitchen plans, from IKEA’s own kitchen design program or your own design plans and then wait for your doors to arrive separately. There appear to be quite a number of options available. This may go a long way towards getting the truly custom kitchen look you really want at a fraction of the price that you had expected to pay. For more information:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/kitchen/checking-in-with-semihandmade-custom-ikea-doors-156179

http://semihandmadedoors.com/gallery/

https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/08/14/new-architectural-digest-amazing-kitchens-design-app/

https://dobbsferry-rivertowns.com/2011/10/23/top-5-remodel-projects-for-high-roi/

Today is National “Clean Out The Garage” Day


Saturday September 10, 2011 is National Clean Out The Garage Day. Here are six tips to clean out your garage, to recognize this little known, national holiday. Whether for the purposes of getting your home ready for sale before the winter or just so that maybe you can park your car in the garage again and keep it out of the snow and freezing rain, which is most definitely coming. Read the full story at:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/698572/list/6-Garage-Organizing-Tips-That-Really-Work

A Simple Home Office Space


This office space uses a hallway of all places, has a wall mounted desk and uses recycled material such as packing crates to provide all sorts of uniques shaped storage units. This idea can be adapted for almost any area of the house and will increase the value and functionality of your Rivertowns home.
Read the full article at:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago/workspace/a-small-home-office-with-a-few-good-ideas-155158

Easy Concrete Countertops


In the competitive real estate markets of Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Hastings-on-Hudson and the rest of the Rivertowns, where up to the minute styling and move-in condition are the cornerstones of a successful sale, can it really be this easy to get the now trendy look and easy durability of concrete kitchen countertops? According to this homeowner, on her great blog, it’s almost as easy as mixing and pouring the concrete. Perhaps having a handy partner helps and also assuming you don’t mind doing it all in your kitchen, since most of us tend to do things twice. The first way the hard, messy way, and the second, the clean, right way. And all of this, supposedly, for not much more than $200. Read more at:
http://designstocker.blogspot.com/2011/05/big-kitchen-reveal.html

And for an even more in-depth look at how this was done:
http://designstocker.blogspot.com/2011/08/concrete-countertops.html

New Architectural Digest “Amazing Kitchens” Design App



An interesting new “app” for iPhone and iPad users.
“Architectural Digest’s first ever app for the iPad and iPhone, AD Amazing Kitchens is an essential tool for those planning a remodel of one of the most important rooms in the home. Now with new products, more tips, and additional photos, it is your source for endless kitchen inspiriration from Ad, the international design authority.”
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ad-amazing-kitchens/id424382251?mt=8

Westchester Has New Design Standards For Residential Housing

On July 11, the Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously approved a bill requiring Universal Design Standards in all county funded, new residential construction. The primary purpose is to help occupants of these properties that are elderly or disabled to stay in their homes as independently and as long as possible. Among other things the new bill requires that no-step entries, one story living spaces, wider doorways and hallways, turn around floor space, grab bars, removable cabinets and reachable switches be incorporated into at least 50% off all housing units which receive some form of support from the county with regards to funding.

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