Oasis of Tranquility for $1.3M, Rent or Buy Your Dream Home, Houlihan Lawrence Issues 2011 Fourth Quarter Market Report

1. House of the Week
Oasis of Tranquility
$1.312 million
Annual property taxes: $36,242
36 High St, Armonk
There’s something to be said for living in glass (or mostly glass) houses. I say, “Divine!”—that is, if the house happens to be the white contemporary jewel, overlooking a lake in Armonk, created in 1978 by award-winning architect Alfredo De Vido. “It’s filled with amazing light quality, social spaces, and spectacular views,” says listing agent Todd Goddard. “Even the breakfast nook has a vista of water and wooded landscape. The sliding glass doors provide a great indoor/outdoor flow that adds to the incredible connectivity through the house.” The house is set back on nearly 12 acres of blissful tranquility; privacy was a key design element. “The owners wanted a private, nested setting,” Goddard says. Among its countless stand-out features: a spacious sunken living room,  European gourmet kitchen with Allmilmo white and silver cabinetry stunningly accented with bold yellow countertops, unadorned corner open fireplaces, and two separate wings for a two-bedroom suite and the master bedroom suite. “The elevated master bedroom was positioned for further privacy and takes advantage of refracting light from water and sky,” Goddard says. One of the home’s many unexpected surprises lies behind an unassuming door off the living room. Open the door and enter Paradise—where the indoor swimming pool is paired with a tropical garden lined with jade, hibiscus, elephant palm, bamboo, and other tropical plantings not typically found in Armonk. Yes, it’s possible to wake up and go for a morning swim without taking a step outside. But, along with its beauty, De Vido says the indoor swimming pool also presented his biggest design challenge in the custom project. For more information, contact Houlihan Lawrence listing agent Todd Goddard at (914) 406-0588 or visit www.architecturalhomesny.com. 

2. Rent or Buy Your Dream Home
Rent: $12,500/month Buy: $1.7 million
Annual property taxes: $27,079
40 The Crossing, Purchase
There’s more than one way to get into your dream home; renting is one of them. This pristine 3,570-square-foot contemporary beauty in The Crossing at Blind Brook, the luxury gated community in Purchase that offers every amenity and convenience for a carefree life, is for sale or rent. “Built in 1986, the home has been totally renovated and updated to meet the highest standards of luxury,” says listing agent Fran Klingenstein. “It provides the perfect setting for casual living and gracious entertaining, including twenty-four-hour security, a manned gatehouse, full-time on-site resident manager, and two tennis courts.” In addition to round-the-clock security, gardening and snow removal also are included in the rental fee. Nice! Not included: utilities and the first $200 in repairs, both of which are tenant responsibilities. The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half- bath home also features cathedral ceilings, walls of windows, and skylights that keep it bright and airy; a gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art stainless-steel appliances; and an open floor plan. And the location couldn’t be more convenient to shopping (including The Westchester), divine dining, transportation, and schools. What’s not to like? For more information, contact Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent Fran Klingenstein at (914) 772-4203 or visit www.juliabfee.com.

3. Houlihan Lawrence Issues 2011 Fourth Quarter Market Report
Houlihan Lawrence issued its fourth quarter market report calling 2011 “a year of relative stability” in our area, compared to the volatility of the global financial markets. Among the findings:
• Attributing the largest declines of the year to a lull in contracts signed from August through October, the report notes that buyer confidence was restored during the final six to eight weeks of 2011.
• The report predicts a strong start to 2012: “Looking ahead, prices are likely to remain at or near current levels for 2012. We also expect the emerging trend of higher transaction volume to begin working its way up from the lower price ranges, setting the stage for a more robust housing recovery in 2013 and beyond.”
• The luxury market is showing encouraging signs, particularly in the $5 million-and-up range in which closed sales across the three counties (Westchester Dutchess and Putnam) were up from 2011. Houlihan Lawrence also reports participating in 13 of the 17 record sales.

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4. Antiquing at its Best
If antiquing is calling you, you won’t want to miss “Antiques at the Armory,” the annual event held at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue at 26th St on Friday, January 20, and Saturday, January 21, from 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday, January 22, from 11 am to 5 pm. A mainstay of Americana Week, the event promises 100 select exhibits of fine and affordable American and European antiques, period furniture, Americana, folk art, garden and architectural artifacts, and fine art and prints. Organizers even offer free shuttle service on Saturday and Sunday between this show and The Winter Antiques Show on 67th Street and Stella Shows’ “Americana & Antiques at the Piers”. Admission is $15, with children under 16 free when accompanied by an adult, or shell out $20 for a combined admission to both Stella Shows: “Antiques at the Armory” and “Americana & Antiques at the Piers”. Shuttles depart “Antiques at the Armory” (26th St) on the hour and go to “The Winter Antiques Show” (67th St) and “Americana & Antiques at the Piers” Saturday and Sunday. For information, call (973) 808-5015, email info@stellashows.com, or visit www.stellashows.com.

5. Quote of the Week
“While the luxury real estate market continues to be complex, we were encouraged to see the return of the ultra-high-end luxury buyer to Westchester this year. The increased activity may be due to a couple of factors. Above five million dollars, the sales are generally cash transactions and are not as reliant on bank financing or the ups and downs of Wall Street that heavily influenced sales below five million. We were also fortunate to have amazing properties to market in 2011 and this caliber of real estate always commands attention.” Anthony Cutugno, director of Houlihan Lawrence’s Luxury Country Properties Division

We welcome information about fascinating homes on the market or real estate/home-related news and events—send to Karen Odom at kodom@westchestermagazine.com.

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