A Historic Manor, Q & A with Realtor Michele Flood, and a Garden Lecture
House of the Week, Q & A with Realtor Michele Flood, and Garden Lecture
House of the Week
Annual Property Taxes: $70,327
162 Old Briarcliff Rd, Briarcliff Manor
A stone-pillared entry greets visitors to this circa 1916 brick manor home on 6.7 acres. Called “Stonleigh,” the residence has seen restorations and renovations over the years, while retaining its original Old-World character. It has seven bedrooms, seven full baths, and two powder rooms, as well as a heated in-ground pool, a circular driveway, and manicured lawns. Add to that “an “unspoiled nature-scape laced with towering woodlands, century-old specimen trees, and stonewalls,” says listing agent Phyllis Weydig of North Country Sotheby’s International Real Estate. For more information, call (914) 238-2467 or visit http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-1116-4291697/stoneleigh-manor-briarcliff-manor-ny-10510
Michele Flood of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Rye was the top seller this year for her agency and among the most successful countywide. Here, her insights of what’s really happening on the residential scene.
Q. If you came into a million-dollar inheritance today, how would you invest it?
A: The first thing I'd invest in would be real estate. I would purchase a home that needed work in the best neighborhood I could find. That old adage, ‘location, location, location’, is always true! The market will eventually come back, and a purchase today should be considered very seriously because opportunities abound and prices are realistic. Once I renovated that purchase, I would rent it until the market in fact rebounds. Rentals are always in demand.
Q: What was your biggest sale ever?
A: In 2006, I sold a waterfront Colonial with floating dock and pool with ninety-two hundred square feet on two and a half acres in Mamaroneck for seven million, seven huyndred thousand dollars. In 2009—which was a low point in the market—it was a six-point-five-million-dollar sale for a forty-nine-hundred-square-foot home on point sixty-three waterfront acres in Rye.
Q: If I need to sell my house now, what should I do to get the best price?
A: Usually, my first suggestion is to ”de-clutter” every room in the house including the basement. Next I suggest that sellers freshly paint the interior—and exterior and trim if necessary. Even a basement floor benefits from a fresh coat of semi-gloss hunter green paint. And if moldings are missing, add them to warm up the rooms. In terms of paint, think in terms of light, neutral colors. Also, if there are lovely hardwood floors under that wall-to-wall carpet, take up the carpet and wax or refinish those floors! We are living in a time when hardwood floors are really appreciated. And look seriously and objectively at the kitchen. If the cabinetry is good but the counters are old, consider replacing them and adding a back splash. Another easy fix is to 're-face' the cabinets. It's inexpensive but gives a great new look.
Finally, remember that fresh flowers placed around the house provide a nice finishing – and welcoming -- touch.
Q: What are the worst mistakes home sellers make?
A: Not to check that all permits have been closed out and that all rooms have certificates of occupancy. Laws change and building departments have tightened up their rules regarding sales of homes that need these items addressed. In fact, one of the most pro-active things a seller can do is to have a pre-listing inspection done on their home so they are aware of any flaws and can remedy them.
Q: What are the worst mistakes buyers make?
A: Not do their homework. They should check taxes and permits and certificates of occupancy themselves or through their agent. They should know where the flood zones are and whether the house they are purchasing requires flood insurance. They should also hire a well-respected inspector for their own inspection.
The Garden Conservancy and the Friends of Rocky Hills will present "Gardens of the Hudson Valley," a talk by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner with photography by Sue Daley and Steve Gross. The lecture, which will be held at the Chappaqua Public Library on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 pm, will feature some of the area's iconic and historic gardens, both public and private. Admission is free. For more information, call the library at (914)238-4779.