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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.

July 14, 2022

Recession (and sold Ranch 56 in Saugerties)

Recession (and sold Ranch 56 in Saugerties)

I still have some stuff to write about re the travel adventure but first I want to write about all the recession talk going around.  

So weird, just 2 months ago we sailing along and now all anyone can write about is about the looming recession which may already be here.

I remember way back reading an article in the Financial Times that studied the correlation between the frequency of the word ‘recession’ used in journalism and the news (not necessarily the same thing) and the likelihood of a country going into recession.

Seriously, if the news wouldn’t be shouting it, or say you were in say Africa and didn’t have access to news, there is nothing in the day to day that would give you any hint of a recession.  

I know in my business, there is zero indication that anything has changed.  I nary a colleague in any industry reports anything other than busy busy can’t return all the calls environment.

Sure, interest rates are up, prices are up, but wages are up and employment is full.   And there is so much money out there, from god knows where I haven’t a clue.

We just put another $3m in contract in the last 30 days, which continues a winning streak that started in Mid-2020.  A lot of this is covid related but since our sales to completion cycle takes 8+ months, we are still just beginning to monetize what most in the real estate industry long ago pocketed.  In fact, getting a little rocky out for the real estate pros who were printing money just a year ago  - low inventory, pickier buyers, and rising rates.

Ranch 56 on Rivka Road in Saugerties sold today - this was a project I was hesitantly buying in early 2020, then really foot-dragged when Covid hit, then the 16 lot purchase was the best thing that ever happened to me (this is hyperbole but ranks up there for sure).

16 affordable building lots in the prime-est markets in literally the whole nation.  Bought just before they would have doubled or tripled in value and would have had interest out the from investors, speculators and families.  When I made the commitment, I was certain 2020 was going to be a tough year for real estate and we had 4 or 5 homes under 900 sq ft going up.

Then Covid hit and I occupied my historically profitable contrarian position and thought all was over, and things were going to tougher, making my purchase of these lots all the more the bitter pill to swallow.  Then it turned out I was wrong - Covid propelled real estate as we all now know, and I was holding gold on my balance sheets with every piece of property I owned.

The same scenario with the Crest in North Branch NY in SuCo (Sullivan county for you none hipsters not mentioning any names Eric Goldstein (square)) - some big league world-wide property owners who owned 25 lots in North Branch, decided to get this money losing decade old development off their books, right onto my books.

Seems easy in retrospect, but it was certainly a combination of being in the game, luck, and old fashioned risk-taking, good timing - luckily being in the market for land just prior- and of course I always have my bank - Jeff Bank - there to finance my decisions and choices.

Ranch 56 is a beaut.  


These houses sold for $510k in 2019 and before.  This one just sold for $710k.  You do that a dozen or more times a year and you really start to have something to show for your efforts.

(this is the way it formatted when posted from Notes, and I'm just going through it)

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