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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 16, 2023

Mid-Spring Fast Start

A combination of weather, team and effort has allowed us to get a fast start out of the box, this spring of 2023.

New Mural at my office facade.

I’d say at this point we’ve more or less completed the transition since ‘the departure’.  Been a pretty heavy lift and fascinating journey, and my enhanced engagement has benefited both me and the business.  I think I’ve said the previous before - but I don’t go back and read my recent previous posts - but it’s true - the somewhat auto-pilot out to pasture posture I had assumed was bad for my mental health as I twiddled my thumbs and only was served up sticky problems to solve instead of sticky problems to serve but also with a healthy dose of positive client interaction.

We have a lot going on - and I can honestly say I don’t think we’ve missed a beat or caused a delay or failed to keep looking forward with the business.  Hard to say right now, right in the fog of war, but it seems to me like all is proceeding exceedingly well.  And part of the reason for that is that I’m asking, suggesting and demanding more from my vendors and partners.  With the previous designer/project manager, she allowed our partners to lean on her for everything, when a fair amount of tasks, decisions and efforts should have been bounced right back to the vendor trying to shirk the task or delegate it back to us.  So you take 20 skilled partners, and ask just a little more from them (and in reality no more than they should have been offering anyways) and net benefit to the process is huge.  Everyone just needed to grow up a little bit, and do their fair share and maybe a little more.

Upper Big Sky Farmhouse just about done.

Another benefit of my enhanced engagement is my team can see up close and personal how much I care about what we are producing - before, I come in, I review, I critique, I move on. Now I’m in the weeds, early middle and late process, and everyone on the team is reminded of why this business is what it is - I know what I’m doing, I have a good eye, and I care.  And I don’t suffer fools.  We pay our partners good money, and we pay on time.  Week after week and year after year.

Currently, we are finishing up Upper Big Sky and had a really good site meeting with the clients on Friday.  Few more weeks and that $1.2m house on 10 acres with best in class views will be completed and banked.

Site meeting with UBS owners.

We started a house in Copake, NY in Columbia County and it is going really well.

New foundation for a Ranch in Narrowsburg.

2 Ranches in Narrowsburg are more than half way done.

Quarter mile of road being built in Olive for our new 9 lot project, Ashokan Acres, after a year of planning board meetings and negotiations.

Lunch with the Famous Erik Freeland

2 new small houses (720 sq ft and 500 sq ft) getting started in Narrowsburg.

Big Barn on a lake in Forestburgh continues and is about 60% complete.

Just painted a mural at my office and had the office painted.

Big landscaping project at my home, with new planting beds and all roof water running into rain barrels and being recycled - Pools Open!

New renters/tenants at the new construction rental, Arches.

And just got elected to my 2nd term as HOA President of my community in which I live.

Been experimenting with drafting our houses, real life renderings, and 3-d walk-thrus, using a bunch of remote workers - some that work out, some that don’t.  This should be super neat.

Developing a new product portfolio on the website so people can see what others have done better.

And hiring and experimenting in the office and on the jobsites.

A lot going on.   But it feels like the right tempo.

Doing manly stuff like driving through mud.

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