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Catskills - Sullivan County - Ulster County Real Estate -- Catskill Farms Journal

Old School Real estate blog in the Catskills. Journeys, trial, tribulations, observations and projects of Catskill Farms Founder Chuck Petersheim. Since 2002, Catskill Farms has designed, built, and sold over 250 homes in the Hills, investing over $100m and introducing thousands to the areas we serve. Farms, Barns, Moderns, Cottages and Minis - a design portfolio which has something for everyone.

May 5, 2024

Ranch 67, Another One Sold

The 3rd house at our Ashokan Acres project sold on Friday.  A Ranch, on 9 acres.  Pretty nice set up.  One thing we learned along the way on this one is don’t order from West Elm - jeez, between interminable delivery times, product delivered that doesn’t match the website, and poor customer service, it’s just a vendor who is missing on too many fronts to be trusted with our speedy home delivery process.  

We are well over the 50% completion up there, so it becomes about ‘what’s next’?  I don’t really know.  Land opportunities don’t abound.  Starting a modular container ship pool company that should simplify the pool acquisition dreams of lots of families, and that might get interesting, even among our existing clients of which number over 300. Working on the branding.

Without thinking too hard - it is early Sunday morning - of the 300 homes we sold, I think probably more than 200 original families still live in them.

It’s fascinating how many different ways we are monetizing our efforts these days - single family home rentals, single family home sales, spec homes, custom homes, Airbnb, holding mortgage notes.

The rotator cuff surgery recovery is being tested now that baseball season is in full swing.  The overall healing seems to be holding, but the tightness is proving a handicap on the accuracy of the throws, and the strength isn’t really there yet.  Throwing a ball- especially the motion of throwing a baseball - is a very complex motion/movement, un-natural in many ways, with stresses on a bunch of small muscles weaved in and out of bone.  While rotator cuff issues aren’t uncommon, from what I learned during this process about the muscular and bone makeup of this region I’m surprised they aren’t even more common, especially for us who have literally thrown a ball tens of thousands of times.

God, when I think back on that recovery, it seems otherworldly in its plodding process through pain and range of motion restrictions.  Day after day, month after month, where 9 months later it still is recovering.  Then you go back and read all the things your surgeon or primary doctor didn’t tell you, and you see that the process is pretty predictable.  It was never going to be a 2-4 month recovery.  PT was never going to be those tedious motion movements you see most often at a PT venue but instead soul-destroying range of motion movements earning ¼” of movement after ¼” of movement, all through eye-popping pain.

I can see how people never make it out of the recovery period -it just gets old, tedious, painful and the sacrifice of some permanent range of motion becomes less important than moving past the daily routine of attempting to regain the motion.  If you look at the tiny muscles they repair, it’s hard to believe that repair sends shocks waves up and down the entire upper body as it first ‘protects’ the injury by overcompensating other muscle groups, and then as you work to regain motion, it yanks the rest of the torso out of equilibrium as the extreme tightness in the shoulder puts pressure elsewhere. If I never hear the word 'Supraspinatus' again I'll live happily.

Rotator Cuff Disorders: The Facts - OrthoBethesda

The question I get asked, and that I ask myself is would I do it again knowing what I do now about the recovery.  That is a moving target question, with my answer changing as the process winds down.  At first, you spend 4 months in intensive rehab without full confidence that all the work will result in actually a better shoulder - it just seems so unlikely based on its initial baseline of non-functionality.  Like all memories, as progress was made, the memory of the hardship fades, and if in a year I’m throwing a ball like I did 10 years ago, well, then it will be hard to argue it wasn’t worth it - but let’s qualify it this way - if my left shoulder goes for whatever reason - my non-primary arm - it’s highly unlikely a surgical repair would be top of my list.

I have a passion for personal finance literacy, consume tons of podcasts and books on the topic, and have my long journey from money-less to monied to pull from for lessons.  So, I’m leading a class at the local high school on Tuesday, a 90 minute class, that I hope to flip into a club or ongoing education.  With every current of American life encouraging debt and buying what you can’t afford, and little counter-education available, keeping kids out of early debt, and raising their awareness of the debilitating consequences of debt on their future wealth-building tools is something that seems valuable indeed.  I'm paying the incentives to attend through a donor-advised non-profit fund I set up in 2021 and now has a balance exceeding 6 figures. This one could get pricey if we get good attendance, at $100 a pop.

For me, and my journey, I used debt like the devil.  My first house I bought with one of those credit card bank checks that come in the mail. 

400 sq ft of glory.
Same house as above. The Rock House, in Cochecton NY.

I was so far into debt for so long with little in the way of income that the idea I came out the other side is a testament to sticking with an idea, working non-stop for decades, and having a really good idea that I kept improving.  I wouldn’t recommend it, because for one, few products are like houses where the payoff and cash flow is so sizable.   Now I’m debt averse, do most everything with cold hard cash, and cringe every time I need to borrow operating capital to finish a home.   But it wasn’t always that way - Just ask my neighborhood bank Jeff Bank - who funded this endeavor with bold strokes of trust that somehow, someway, I’d figure it out.  Of the many rewards of the this journey, having the local bank board made up of a cumulative centuries of local experience take a winger on me has always been a fascinating part of the story - just like I often say I know my clients and their respective aspirations better than they do in many situations, this bank probably knew or saw or had an inclination into my chances - having seen so many people - as well or better than I did.

And that intuition of this bank has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of local economic stimulus derived from my efforts.  It’s a cool story.

The below is the house in Fremont Ny that I passed one day and I labeled it 'the perfect house' in terms of roof lines and the essence it captured.

We recaptured its glory in this Farmhouse, which we've built 4-6 times in the ensuing 20 years.

As someone with a long history of in-depth reading of all things journalism, across a wide range of publications, you get a feel for how things get reported.  I'm just wondering when that photo from Gaza will emerge that forever defines this whole disaster. Or maybe it never will - the self-censorship of all media is extraordinary although I'm sure all the dead journalists and other aid workers has been a deterrent for an intrepid photographer. Who knew Fox and the NY Times shared such common values?

Phan Thi Kim Phuc - Wikipedia
CIVIL RIGHTS William Hudson photographer Iconic photogra
Hindenburg disaster - Wikipedia

How an iconic AP photo showed toll of Vietnam War to America | The  Associated Press

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