Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Finally the real estate market in the Hudson Valley is strengthing. The phones are beginning to ring and lookers are turning into buyers. We just closed on a 90 acres parcel in Clermont for $400,000 that had been on the market for 4 years. And we have a contract on a property in Canaan for $280,000 which was on the market less that 30 days.

The August figures cited by the New York State Association of Realtors when compared to last August indicate a significant upswing: 13.3% in pending sales; 3.9% in closed sales and 4% in median sales price.

And across the U.S. home resales jumped 7.8 percent in August, the fastest in more than two years. Housing starts also rose, a hopeful sign that a budding housing market recovery is gaining traction.

The PHLX housing sector index jumped 2.2 percent, led by a 4.3 percent advance in PulteGroup (PHM

the second-largest U.S. home builder,

And the resulting rise in housing stocks following stronger-than-expected data on home sales spurred a general rise in stocks across the board. August, 2012 marks the long awaited turn a round in the housing market.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


In this buyer's market one of the most effective paths to acquiring new real estate is the auction. For more information about auctions go to Barns & Farms Realty LLC is one of the few real estate brokers that runs its own auctions. On June 15th three Columbia County properties will be going to auction: 1) A Designer Home in mint condition, in the Town of Taghkanic, listed at $219,000; 2) A 27 acre parcel with dramatic views of the Catskills with great hunting listed for $75,000 and 3) An 2000sf abandoned ranch house on 2 country acres,in the Town of Gallatin, listed at $99,000. While the auction is subject to seller approval, all of these sellers are highly motivated and will consider any reasonable offer.

The advantages of this direct auction is that you avoid the fees that a middleman brings to an auction. A neighbor held an auction of a $2.5 million property and paid in the six figures for the marketing costs. Unfortunately not a single interested party surfaced from this auction. In contrast Barns & Farms Realty, LLC has run six successful auctions in the recent past which have resulted in sales. And the Seller pays the commission with no added costs for the Buyer.

You've got to invest some time in examining the property, but you can get some great deals. And in some instances the Sellers will accept a time limited contingency for financing.

These auctions are much more successful than auctions "at the courthouse steps" which are often a waste of time as friends of the owner or the mortgage holder will often bid against you. Auctions are tricky business so be sure you understand the terms and conditions beforehand. For this Auction go to and make sure you understand the details of the auction process.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


According to an article in Hudson Valley magazine, Chatham, NY is one of the top locations for the Hudson Valley and the only location selected in the Northern Part of Columbia County. Come visit our office at 2 Main Street, in Chatham Village, or call 518 392 6400 for information about this great location. I live in Canaan, up the road from Chatham, on the Massachusetts border and 20 minutes from Tanglewood and Lenox, Massachusetts.

This is a great time to buy real estate in Chatham which is the upstate version of Millbrook and only 30 minutes commute to Albany with all its activities. I go ballroom dancing in Albany several times a week. From Chatham Village which has inexpensive homes ( a four family recently sold for $85,000) to Old Chatham which has million dollar estates. Believe it not there is a log home in Old Chatham on 60 acres with a stream and pond for under $300,000.  And we have a Spencertown antique home in perfect condition with a beautiful setting for $395,000. Or consider a contemporary surrounded by protected land for $368,000. Or a new center hall colonial on 25 acres with Berkshire views and 15 minutes to Tanglewood for $1.4 million.

You can still get great bargains in the great town of Chatham and the surrounding towns of Kinderhook, New Lebanon, Austerlitz, Canaan and New Lebanon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The real estate market is awakening in the Hudson Valley from New York to Albany. With the strong real estate market in Manhattan and surrounding areas, the rural enclaves in the Hudson Valley are seeing the most action in 3 years. During the month of March we closed on 3 properties in northern Dutchess in the Towns of Pine Plains and Stanford and ranging in asking price from $135,000-$450,000.

Good news from the Capital District: Preliminary figures for March show that home sales are continuing to rise in the Capital Region. In 2012, completed sales are up 11 percent from 2011, and pending sales are up 30 percent!

The National Association of Realtors says we’re seeing the continuation of an uneven but higher sales pattern. “The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year.” “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7 to 10 percent in 2012.”


My last post was Thanksgiving, but I am resolve to publish weekly as we follow Hudson Valley Real Estate, with particular reference to Columbia, Dutchess and Greene Counties. Elizabeth White our Pine Plains (Dutchess County) salesperson closed on one of David Birch's listings. It was a great deal - a lakefront cottage (year around) on Lake Road in the Town of Pine Plains. If you haven't been to Pine Plains you should visit. 90 minutes from New York City with a special exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Following today's trends it was listed at $149,000 and sold at $117,500.

An interesting aspect of this sale was that it got held up by a lab result showing a high coliform reading. Actually high coliform readings, indicating the presence of bacteria are not unusual, particularly where a house hasn't been occupied for some time or the water hasn't been in use regularly. The well was shocked with chlorine, which is routine procedure cost between $50 and $150. In this case, however, it cost the seller $1,000, because nobody could find the well, even with a metal detector. They had to hire a backhoe and dig up the front lawn, which accounted for the high price.

In Greene County, we got a great listing of a property on the Hudson River with 7 acres and an old cottage in very good conditions

In Columbia County we just listed a beautiful home of almost 5000 sqft with three living spaces in the Town of Canaan. The home comes with lake rights to Queechy Lake and is in the most protected high end area in Northern Columbia County only minutes from Tanglewood and Jiminy Peak.

For more information contact Barns Farms Realty, LLC at 8003988802 or call my cell 5189287239

David Birch, Principal Broker and Attorney

Monday, November 28, 2011


My last post was last Thanksgiving, but I promise to post regularly starting today. Hudson Valley Real Estate has been selling slowly, but properties priced well will find a buyer. A major problem is the sellers still look back to better times. If you can wait that is the way most likely to achieve a satisfactory price. But are you willing to wait 2 or 3 years or even longer. If not contact a broker who is in tune with the market and using the latest tools. And consider reductions in price of 1/4 or more to move your property. The costs of not selling can often outweigh the loss in selling into a Buyer's market.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Buy real estate instead of Turkey this Thanksgiving. Consider these great buys: Dutchess County: 90acres in the Town of Clinton $399,000; or 70acres with 5000SF Colonial $995,000; or $89,000 for six acres. Or consider Columbia County: 2Family, needs 2nd unit completed $99,000, current rent: $8500, double your income by finishing 2nd unit.; 1910 Colonial on 3 levels, large barn with animal stalls on 18 acres for $310,000; 27 acres with great Catskillvus only $110,000. Or consider Greene County 75 acres, including 25 acre self contained lake with some old buildings, great fishing asking $499,000 Estate Sale. 18acres with subdivision potential, water and sewer and access all onsite; Victorian on 2acs hi traffic Commericallocation $69,000; 5000SF Colonial, great original detail, needs everything, quiet country road $95,000, owner say make an offer! Rensselaer County: 50 year old Colonial, move in condition, nice level lot $159,000; 3 lot subdivision only minutes from Albany, $75,000; 85 acres on the Kinderhook Creek, sand & gravel, older buildings $399,000.

Current Market Conditions as summarized by NYSAR indicate that the volume of
New York State Sales of existing single-family homes fell singificantly, but statewide median sales price grew. Sales volume fell by more than 27 percent in the 2010 third quarter from the second quarter. Third quarter sales were expected to underperform after the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit. The opportunity to benefit from a tax credit of up to $8,000 moved buyers from the typically active third quarter into the second quarter as indicated by the strong second quarter sales totals and the June sales record. There were positive market indicators during the third quarter found in the continued gains in statewide median
sales price, which show activity is taking place across a broader spectrum of home prices. This is an indication that buyers are returning to the higher price ranges in local markets in many areas of the state. Overall, the survey found New York consumers are negative about the current real estate market and moderately optimistic about its future. They continue to feel that now is a very good time to buy, but a poor time to sell. Optimism about future buying prospects was positive, but down from last quarter, while future selling sentiment improved.