||House of the week
Rent or buy
$12,000 monthly rent with an option to buy, or buy outright for $5.9 million
Annual property taxes: $48,000
5 Apple Mill Rd, North Salem
Luckily, there’s more than one way to acquire a sensational property. This gem—a six-bedroom Colonial set back on 10 sprawling acres (accessed through electronic gates adorned with gas lanterns) is available for rent with an option to buy or for outright purchase. Either way, the price of entry affords a host of fabulous features: a spacious gourmet kitchen with high-end stainless steel appliances, formal dining room and living room, two-story family room with floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, master bedroom suite with its own corner fireplace, skylight, full walk-out balcony, and marble master bath, all within an open floor plan. A finished lower level is designed for exercise and play with a full mirrored gym and an expansive adjacent playroom. And entertaining couldn’t be easier with a full built-in covered outdoor kitchen and a heated gunite in-ground pool with an attached spa and radiant heat surround. Even the two-bedroom guesthouse is a dream find! “This is really a property that has it all,” says listing agent Lia Grasso. “There’s nothing you would feel is missing—from the full gym to an outdoor fireplace by the heated pool.” For more information, contact Grasso, of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, at (914) 584-8440, or go to www.elliman.com/liagrasso.
Q&A with Prudential Douglas Elliman Realtor John Samios
To rent or buy, that is the question
Q: In this economic environment, are you seeing an increase in high-end properties being offered as rentals with the option to buy along with the traditional outright purchase option?
A: Yes, we have seen a steady increase in this option. For the last few years, both conventional rentals and options to buy have been on the increase in this difficult economy.
Q: For the home-buyer, what are the advantages of a rental with an option to buy?
A: Renting with an option to buy gives a home-buyer flexibility in their final decision of a permanent residence. It can also provide more time to repair past credit errors, while still allowing the family access to a better home than they can currently afford to purchase.
Q: What are the advantages for the home-seller in offering the choice of renting with an option to buy?
A: Many sellers find it difficult to get their asking price in today’s economic environment. A rent-to-own transaction gives the seller an immediate cash flow from the tenant and the opportunity to sell their property later on. For the tenant buyer, there is an immediate sense of pride in ownership. Tenant buyers add value to the community—they take care of their future property, make improvements, and feel good knowing their rent money is working for them.
Q. What factors should a prospective buyer consider in weighing the options of renting versus purchasing?
A: In weighing their options, prospective buyers should ask themselves several questions: How secure is your desire to remain in this area, neighborhood, and home? What is your belief about the future of the home market and mortgage rates—do you believe they are going up or going down? How much do you need flexibility? What are your ultimate goals—are you here for the short term or could you use the current down market to purchase and eventually see a profit when an area returns to a more stable price point?
Kenise Barnes Fine Art Exhibition: Getting Back to the Garden
Be inspired by flowers, fantasy, and beauty from the Kenise Barnes Fine Art Summer Exhibition, “We’ve Got to Get Ourselves Back to the Garden” that opens with a public reception from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Thursday, July 7, and runs through August 20 at the Larchmont gallery at 1955 Palmer Avenue. Featured works by artists include whimsical oil paintings by Gabe Brown, hand sewn recreations of nature by Amy Gross, invented botanical and zoological species by Jill Parisi, three-dimensional hand-cut Mylar drawings by Imi Hwangbo, colourful pop art styled works by Mary Judge, and ceramic sculptures by Leigh Taylor Mickelson (director of the Clay Art Center in Port Chester). For more information, call (914) 834-8077 or visit www.kenisebarnesfineart.com.
Northern Westchester Annual Butterfly Count
If you’re a butterfly enthusiast, you won’t want to miss Northern Westchester’s annual rite of summer—the annual butterfly count at Teatown Lake Reservation at 1600 Spring Valley Road in Ossining on Saturday, July 9 at 10 am. Besides enjoying the beauty of butterflies in flight, the event offers the chance to participate in monitoring these jewels of nature as a citizen scientist. For more information, call (914) 762-2912, ext. 110, or visit www.teatown.org.