One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The county residential real estate market suffered a major setback in the third quarter as total closed sales numbered 5.4 percent fewer than the year before for the same period: from 2,102 sales in at the end of September, 2009, down to 1,796 now. The major culprit was none other than the economy, especially during the late spring months, the period in which marketing activity generated most of the closings that took place in the third quarter. Part, though, could also be attributed to the artificial acceleration of the market into the second quarter, when some consumers tried to beat the June 30 deadline for closings that were eligible for the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit, according to the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service, which published the report October 21, 2010.
Honors & Accolades
On a more upbeat note, Christina Griffin, Hastings-on-Hudson architect, is the recipient of an award for her firm’s (Christina Griffin Architect), River Town House project. The award comes from the prestigious Westchester / Mid-Hudson chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and will be presented on October 28 at the Celebration of Architecture Gala at the Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab in Pleasantville.  River Town House on Warburton Avenue is the renovation and extension of a 1915 railroad flat building into two three-bedroom condominiums.  What’s more, the project is the first to receive a LEED for Homes platinum rating in Westchester.

Wall Street North?
By the way, actor Michael Douglas, AKA,Gordon Gekko, just bought the brick, center-hall Colonial mansion in Bedford that he and Catherine Zeta-Jones rented for the past 6 months, for $5.25 million, according to the New York Post.  The5-bedroom, 5½–bathroom home also has a pond, pool, and guest house on 5.7 acres.

Grand Opening
The Club at Briarcliff Manor, a $350 million senior living community, celebrated the grand opening of its new model residences on October 20 at the former Kings College site, joining with state, county, and local officials to kick off the new continuing-care retirement community, which, when completed, will have 325 homes and apartments, and a Tudor-style clubhouse. One of the largest residential communities under construction in the region, it’s being developed in partnership with the National electrical Benefit Fund, a D.C.-based pension fund.

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House of the Week
96 Westwood Dr, Bedford Corners
Price: $30 million
8 bedrooms, 10 baths on 101 acres
Annual Taxes: $258,838
Bedford’s most expensive house for sale, this brick Colonial was built in 1901 for J. Borden Harriman but has since been restored and updated. Its park-like setting with walled garden, pool, gatehouse, guesthouse, equestrian facilities, and a caretaker’s house are breathtaking. So are the taxes, for that matter—among the highest in the county. But if you don’t want all that property for yourself, or the tax bite that goes with it, the property is zoned for 2 acres, so it can be subdivided to some extent.

For more info, call Houlihan Lawrence at (914) 234-9099 and ask for James Avery or Anthony Cutugno, the listing agents.

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