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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.

April 20, 2024

Progress impeded, progress attained

Another week of rain. I'm not being a baby, I'm just reporting it as it is. It rained a lot more in Olivebridge than Wurtsboro, so I was quite beside myself when I went up to check on the jobs on Friday and found a muddy, intractable, progress-impeding mess. Not cool. It's been going on for months, and everyone expects it to one day just straighten out and be sunny, but that dream has been out of reach since September 2023. The cost of it is adding up, and I'm sure I'm not the only one experiencing financial harm because of it. It's more of a drip drip of impeding progress and lost gain than anything overt, and you can almost lose track of it from one day to another, but make no mistake, the rain we've experienced since September 2023 has been unreal - it's turned my Ashokan project into a constant concern about the degrading impacts all the rain.

Starting a pool company. A modular, crane-installed, container pool shipped whole to the site and installed in a day. Pretty cool idea and should be an interesting pool solution for many families, rather than the drudgery of the 2+ years process a lot of people experience currently. Plug and play as they say. They come in a variety of rectangular options- just enough options to be fun, just enough options not be overwhelming.

The bill from my lumber company for March was INSANE. That's the price of progress, the price of putting up 3 homes in Narrowsburg, and 3 homes in Olivebridge, with their associated windows, roofing, decking, etc... The cash flow that sloshes in and out of this company, from my pockets to the pockets of others, is - as I've often said - remarkable for the economic crossing multiplication ripple effect across towns, families, businesses, and communities. Every month for years if not decades Catskill Farms pumps a million dollars a month into the pockets of small businesses, helping them grow, hire, stabilize, maintain. And that's the thing about why the actions of Ben Forman and Corby Baumann just didn't work for me - throwing shade and accusing these men and woman of purposely sabotaging a construction site is literally the most offensive insult you can hurl, based on the efforts I observe on a daily basis, the problems I see they solve, the sacrifices I see them make. It's going to be worth the price of admission to see these two millionaires and their pompous attorney explain how they were victimized by these hardworking Ulster County small businesspeople, while these people were building their 3rd home and 4 bay garage. Only morons think that's going to play well.

The thing about rain and progress is you can get a lot of it done with the right crews - the right crews - excavation, framing, roofing, etc.. will find a way to get it done. They will show up and wait out the showers and get a half day when a lot of companies would sit at home and get nothing. So you can get it done, but it's slower, more dangerous, a lesser product in some short term ways. But when it gets near the end and you have to grade the land to a manicured state, or install a septic, or dig a utility trench that fills up with water - when guys are working in calf-high water. Whatever. Just another push to wrapping up this Catskill Farms journey.

I can tell things are calming down on the chaos front since I have less to write about, less to figure out. Just a low simmering annoyance at the weather and all the difficulty it's creating. Today, Saturday morning, overcast, wet, puddles and mud everywhere. I literally over the last few months have to be ready at a moments notice of a break in the rain just so I take my dog for a walk.  You can tell I'm over it. As are a lot of people in my circle.

I thought venting would help - but it hasn't. It's actually a dreadful existence at this point for what I do for a living. And the impacts are widespread- I can't believe that businesses across the board aren't suffering as people huddle up depressed in their homes, unwilling to go out once again in the drizzly rain.

Whatever. So much fucking construction going on it can make your head spin.

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