Houses of the week: A modern marvel
Dream house of your own creation
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Another dream house featured this week is a personal paradise of another kind—the one you create yourself. Now on the market in Irvington is the last lot in a private cul-de-sac on Hugh Hill Lane in the heart of Irvington (within walking distance of shops and restaurants), bringing with it the rare opportunity to customize a three-story, 5,000-square-foot home from the ground up. There’s no settling for details that aren’t exactly what your heart desires or dealing with the hassle of renovating, or buying a spec house that reflects the pre-set preferences of a developer. This luxury property that accommodates up to five bedrooms is the last of five luxury homes custom-built in the new Hugh Hill development. For more information, contact Houlihan Lawrence listing agent Cindy Kief at (914) 772-7880 or visit www.houlihanlawrence.com.
Q & A with Hugh Hill Realtor Cindy Kief, of Houlihan Lawrence, and Developer Joseph DeNardo, president of DeNardo Development
Q. Why did you decide to begin focusing on pre-construction homes?
JD: I started moving in this direction about a year ago. When the housing market crashed, we found that we owned so much land and so many houses that we couldn’t sell them. The pre-construction approach allows us to find a buyer before we build. We ended up having four pre-sold homes in less time than we could have sold even one spec house.
CK: I have a background in marketing and branding and when I first had the opportunity to be involved in pre-construction homes, I saw the writing on the wall in terms of spec housing. I also noticed changes in the high-end buyers who want direct input into their homes from day one. They enjoy picking out their kitchens, flooring, tile, trim, bathrooms, home theaters, wine cellars—all without having to renovate or hire contractors and other experts.
Q. What is the benefit to the buyer in purchasing a pre-construction home?
JD: The buyer can pick the exact site, the actual style of the house, the colors both inside and out—all the details they want. They can spend ten dollars or a thousand dollars on an item, depending on what their budget allows. When it’s a spec house, the developer is making those decisions. We also take care of all the hassles, starting with getting the required approvals through the village, which usually takes about three or four months.
Q. What’s the benefit on your end?
CK: It offers a different take on the usual real estate market. The pre-construction business has been very successful at the height of the worse housing market in recent memory. In a little over a year, we sold four pre-construction homes in Hugh Hill. It’s an uplifting aspect of the real estate world and indicative of another approach that works. Now pre-construction homes have become my primary focus.
JD: From a development perspective, I don’t have to worry about trying to make changes after the house is built. With spec houses, there’s always something the buyer wants to change, whether it’s a change in the style, colors, or other amenities like adding a home theater or wine cellar, or installing radiant heat in the floors. This has been an amazing experience and makes a huge difference when all the decisions are made up front.
Q. Can you describe the process?
JD: The buyer purchases the land and puts down a deposit on the construction contract. They pay as we build. We have an entire team working with the buyer. For example, we have a designer to work with the buyer in selecting colors for the exterior and interior, the siding, kitchen appliances, the tile, flooring, style of windows, and the exterior, including any stonework. With experts guiding them, the buyer doesn’t have to worry about making a mistake. Usually, we start building the week after we close on the land and the buyer can move in about a year after closing.
CK: We’re a complete team—we offer sales and marketing, development, interior solutions, and design—the buyer gets all of us. We completely cater to their schedules and their needs. If necessary, we can even provide door-to-door service. For example, when one of our clients was pregnant, we were able to bring the experts to her. We begin with a floor plan and sit down with the buyer to start customizing from that point.
Brunch or Lunch & Learn about Painting
If you’re an interior designer (or designer wannabe), you won’t want to miss the chance to brush up on your painting knowledge and skills at two August 16 sessions jointly presented by Mamaroneck-based Murphy Brothers Contracting and Benjamin Moore & Co. Sign up for one or both sessions presented by Bob Upton, architect and designer representative of Benjamin Moore, being held at Murphy Brothers Contracting (416 Waverly Ave. in Mamaroneck). Session 1 Brunch & Learn: Paint 201: Practical Solutions and Problem-Solving Techniques (from 9:30 am to 11 am) covers a summary of paint types and relative properties along with a review of common problems and solutions. Session 2 Lunch & Learn: Creating Healthy Living Environments with New Paint Technology (from noon to 1:30 pm) reviews sustainability and socially responsible “green” design, the control of VOCs and LEED, and how paints affect these issues—a presentation that qualifies for Sustainable Design (SD) credit. For professionals, each presentation qualifies for American Institute of Architects (AIA) or American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) credits: (1.0) CES (HSW) credit for AIA members and (0.1) CEU credit for ASID and International Interior Design Association (IIDA) members. Space is limited, so reserve early. For more information or to register for one or both sessions, call (914) 777-5777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.