Memorial Day Washout
Wow, what a weekend washout. We needed rain bad, real bad, up and down the east coast where I have some projects. We were trying to get grass to grow at 3 homes in Phoenixville and get some transplanted trees and landscaping to take root at my home here in Milford. Conversely, the dry weather has been a bonanza for progress on the construction front since mud and rain are our enemy. So, for it to rain from late day Friday to Mid-Day Monday allowed me to breath a sigh of relief for my plantings (and gave my wells a break) while not skipping a beat on the construction projects. I also spent the weekend holed up with my son, brainstorming on some marketing ideas for our 300 acres in North Branch. Rarely does 3 days offer such opportunity for non-distracted thought.
And there was no hedging it. It was serious shitty weather. Cold, constant rain, all day. It wasn't as if the sun popped out and then went in. Maybe that was for the best - to kill hope early, and let people adjust their plans.
Kind of hurtful, just when the pandemic rules were loosened, to have a solid weekend of lost leisure and business. Though, maybe it was for the best, - with the mask rules rescinded, and lots of unvaccinated people running around, maybe it's best we all just stayed home.
My son and I are working on a massive Range Rover lego project - the instruction manual is 500+ pages. It's one of those old school original Rover's, and, though the motor doesn't actually start, everything else does including the shocks, steering wheel, front tow rope, etc... We've gone through lots of emotions during our 20+ hours so far, and probably have another 20+ hours to go. High victory, low defeat, turning on each other, regrouping. As long as we reconcile throughout the journey, it will have been a great father and son adventure. Lucas found an Ogor to drive the wheel-less vehicle.
Pole barns are amazing structures. Ours went up in a jiffy.
And some pics of the glorious land we purchased in North Branch. Some of the most magical and inspiring land I've ever owned. (I have a lot more photos but damn blog is saying they are 'too large' to post).
Catskills Real Estate
I came across this 'farmhouse design blog/newsletter' this morning, and while not perfect, not bad either. Some nice designs, in part of whole.
The Times Herald Record went out of their way to exclude us from their Sullivan County real estate story. As the single largest investor in Sullivan County over a 2 decade period, exclusions like this are purposeful. The crown of the king lies heavy, and there is little doubt our day to day, year to year, decade over decade effort has far exceeded even our most well-heeled colleagues operating in the same real estate space. I'd venture there is no company operating in Sullivan County that has generated all of its operating cash and profits right here in SuCo, as opposed to bringing money from somewhere else to invest here. I guess fair enough, when you dominate a marketplace as thoroughly as we do, when you are responsible for most of the speculative thinking and example setting, it gets boring, as a story.
We are building a pole barn storage facility in the town of Cochecton, to augment the logistics and transportation and truck storage of our crews in Sullivan County. Hope to do some light sawmill work too. Our main offices moved from Eldred to Wurtsboro, which is much more center of the action for us, the hub of the wheel.
We close on 2 homes next week, continuing a slew of closings that will take place over the next 9 months.
We also did 2 new deals on homes under construction.
Bought 3 new pieces of one-off building parcels.
And closed on 200 acres in North Branch NY, with 23 ready to go building lots.
My pool project is picking up steam, and while we won't make if for the Memorial Day party I had hoped, it won't be long.
Fire Side Chats, By Chuck
Bypassing the written form as of late, I've taken to doing some videos, which actually capture the essences of my business message of that day a lot better than the written form, if for no other reason because you can chase and roll out complimentary themes and ideas as you free verse - whereas, in the written form, not only is that a big effort to go off on tangents, from a purely mechanical perspective, most people can't be expected to read that much prose.
Catskill Farms' Owner Chuck Petersheim shares some thoughts on recent sales, the year that was, and honest dealings.
Ending the week on a high note
No, New York did not legalize marijuana. You still have to make the trip to Great Barrington or so I've heard, I wouldn't personally know. But sometimes, the accumulated victories of the week just outshine and outweigh anybody anyone anything that could possibly attempt to detract from the achievement. This is one of those weeks where even on a Friday beaten, tested, tired, agitated, I can still smell and taste the sweet vintage of victory.
First, the iPhone picture upload issue I was having seems to have been resolved, though it is untested, it appears to be resolved. I am a guilt free Tic-Toc aficionado and end up sending out an assorted variety of TicTocs to a small band of friends who appreciate the TicTocs if not the hour I send them, I found a series of quick videos that are named 'iPhone hacks that will change your life' and to be honest they say that accurately without hyperbole. This one shows you how to change your iPhone settings so that the new proprietary formatting which allows more photos to be saved with less space (HEIC) but less able to be used on foreign platforms, how you can change that setting so you may be taking up a bit more space on your phone but you're able to use the pictures more widely. I have not checked but I have changed the setting and I believe that I will be able to now post pictures from my picture roll to my blog and other assorted platforms that have been blocked frustratingly as I've mentioned.
We sold a house today, Barn 36. This is one of the first homes we sold past pandemic of 2020 since our homes have a 9 to 10 month build out timeframe. So for all the money that has been made in pandemic real estate ours has only yet been booked but not cashed in with 24 contracts on the books that we are busy building and selling. This is the first one meaning this homeowner got a deal of a lifetime because prices during the build have gone up 20% at a minimum. That's a lot of money to leave on the table, or to accumulate while you're building a home. Month by month house by house starting in June of last year we began to come closer to the market rate prices of what our homes go for but we never could have imagined even in our most boastful monologues that our homes would be as valued in the marketplace as they have demonstrated to be over the past 10 months. It is simply remarkable and validating to be valued like we are being valued in the marketplace by a wide ranging variety of home buyers. A Catskill Farms' home comes to market - A Catskill Farms' home quickly gets snatched up at a great price.
Also we were finally able to make Lemonade out of lemons with a drilled well at lot 67 in Saugerties which we would love to close but we're not able to because for the only the second time in 20 years we had trouble finding water on the site. Which is frightening for everyone involved considering most people don't drill wells till you are well into the project. Meaning you can have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested when you realize that you may have trouble getting water to the site. This has many ramifications including but not limited to instilling a complete paranoia in any other projects you may have going. Clearly this doesn't happen very often because otherwise there would be a law that says you need to drill your well first before you build a home and everybody would drill wells before they buy land so it is a rare occasion to struggle to find water 200, 300, 500, 700 feet into the earth. But sometimes it happens, and the amount of effort it takes to pivot, adjust, decide is immense. Well drilling is one of the most expensive least nimble aspects of building home. It's a big industrial rig with a big drill on it that drills into the ground a foot at a time searching for water in small crevices that can be expanded and drawn from. We finally hit water, after a 3 month ordeal. Not cheap, not easy, very distracting from other things, but had to achieved.
So, right when we are acknowledging the 1st anniversary of the biggest disruption most of have and will see in our lifetimes - Catskill Farms will be selling off the deals it made post pandemic over the next 9 months, as well as bringing a few more to market that no-one has heard of yet.
So I take a moment to recognize the achievement knowing full well it's just a matter or minute, hours or days till something big happens that needs to be fixed, solved, resolved or remedied - taken the shine off of and posing a tripping hazard to any victory lap.
Presenting, Barn 36 -