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Applefest sign

Yes, I am a Realtor, so one might think that my posts are initiated because Real Estate is my profession and I need to earn a living.  The truth of the matter is that the place that I’ve lived for the past 28 years of my life where I’ve raised my children and been involved in the community still amazes me.  Believe it or not, there are places so close to where I live that I have never actually seen before.  Seems I can drive 10-12 minutes in any direction, turn the corner, and be where I feel like I’m always on vacation!  The sites and smells are beyond words.  The vast open spaces, rolling hills, corn fields, cows, horses – the list goes on.  Everyday, I appreciate this place called home more and more.  So, yes, Real Estate is my profession.  But I want to help people find the home of their dreams in a place that will allow them the same experience I and my family have had and still have.  Recently, I sold a home to a couple who described Warwick and said, “since we’ve moved here, we feel like it’s added 10 years to our life – we love it here!”  Thinking the commute would be too far, they decided to go for it anyway.  After a certain point in the commute and once reaching the top of Mt. Peter  looking down at the Warwick Valley, one decompresses and breathes a little better.  This is the Hudson Valley, this is Warwick, Bellvale, Sugar Loaf, Florida, Chester…..

With so much to offer here in the Hudson Valley, of course, the Warwick Applefest is one of the most waited for events and kicks off the Autumn Season.  This year The Applefest will be on Sunday, October 6th.  Now in it’s 25th year, Applefest began in 1989 as a simple harvest celebration to support the Warwick Valley Community Center. Named one of the “Top 100 Events” in the country, over 30,000 visitors now attend the one-day event, traveling from neighboring states to experience the extraordinary variety of Warwick’s apples, culture, and entertainment.

Stay the day, stay the weekend!  Take advantage of the many places to pick fresh, crisp apples or enjoy a day at one of the many wineries the Hudson Valley has to offer.  You won’t be disappointed!

Oh, and of course, if you find that the Hudson Valley is where you want to live and raise your family, be sure to contact me.  I’d be more than happy to assist you in finding the right home for you!

Check my website, www.kimberlystarksrealtor.com, for community information.  My contact information is there also.

See you at Applefest!

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Did you ever forget where you live?  I don’t mean literally forget and get lost; I mean in the day-to-day routine forget what’s around you.  This recently happened to me while driving to meet a client at a property in the Mt. Hope area of Orange County.  Driving through the roads of Warwick, Westtown, Johnson, Minisink, and into Mt. Hope, I got totally lost in thought and really took in the sites of what was around me while driving.  The open spaces with farm lands (even in the 90+ degree temps there were farmers working in the fields), older farm houses with tractors outside and farmers tending to their cows, newer homes, breathtaking views of rolling hills and horse farms, beautiful ponds… – I really started to think how much I take this place where I live for granted.  If I didn’t know any better, I almost would have thought I’d driven to another State – maybe somewhere out West!  When I finally arrived at my destination, I was calm and rested.  A client once said to me, “Since I moved to Warwick, I feel like I’ve added 10 years to my life – the slower pace and feeling of calmness is refreshing and peaceful”.  I never quite thought of it that way; having lived in Warwick for nearly 28 years it just became my way of life.  When my children were little, they did not know any different.  Now that they’re grown and both Interning in Manhattan, they appreciate coming home to “the country”.  Coming out of the congestion, hustle-bustle, and traffic, there’s a definite sense of calm. 

Some may enjoy City life, while others enjoy Country life.  Personally, I enjoy both (more of the country).  No matter where life puts us, don’t take it for granted.  Take time to appreciate what’s around you. 

 

 

ImageDo you feel like time is passing before your eyes?  I do more than ever!  As I’m decorating our home for this Christmas season, I’m realizing just how quickly the year has passed.  And how true it is that time goes quicker the older we get.  As I look back it’s hard to believe my son is finishing his third semester in Law School and my daughter is finishing her third semester at Cornell University.  It really does seem like just yesterday that we were enjoying the Holiday activities at their elementary school, listening to the musical performances, baking cookies with their classmates, having sleigh riding parties and afterwards enjoying hot chocolate with homemade cookies that the kids had made and decorated.  Now, I’m an empty nester (for most of the year) and am picking out a Christmas tree, decorating the house, and shopping without the children in tow and helping with the festivities.  I count the days until they’re home for Winter break.  The house will be lively again, and the smells of home baked cookies, the Christmas music, the decorating, the messes of wrapping presents, the chitter-chatter, and all the excitement of anticipation will again make the house a “home”. 

     While they’re home, I hope to be able to take advantage of and enjoy the activities that Warwick, NY, has to offer.  This quaint Village is all decked out for the Holidays, the shops and restaurants are bustling, there’s horse and buggy rides, carolers, and so much more.  The Holiday spirit is stronger than ever, and one can feel it while walking the Village sidewalks, shopping in the local shops, and enjoying a hot Chai at a local Cafe.  You always will feel welcome, not only during the Holidays, but anytime!  If you’re not currently living in Warwick and have never been here before, take some time off and visit.  You won’t be disappointed!  December 9, 15, & 16 (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) are dates to enjoy a free horse and buggy ride through downtown Warwick.  Catch the buggy in front of Railroad Green on Railroad Avenue. 

     As busy as one gets during the Season of giving, let us not forget those less fortunate.  Those that have suffered losses from Hurricane Sandy, those that have lost jobs and are struggling to put food on their family’s table, those that have suffered loss to War.  Remember that donations to the local food pantry are needed, not only during the Holiday Season, but all year through. 

     To all my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, customers, and clients – Happy Holidays to all!

Christmas in Warwick

Railroad Green, Warwick, NY

Summer is in full swing!  Kids are still home from school, weather is steamy, vacations (or staycations) are still being planned!  If you were one of the many families that chose to take an early vacation and are now wondering what to do for the remainder of your summer time, no worries…there’s plenty to do right in your own home town.  Be sure to check out your town’s Chamber of Commerce website for events and things to do.  Since Warwick, NY, is my home town, I can tell you that there’s still so much to see and do in the next few weeks.  Farmer’s markets, Music in the Courtyard, Music on the Green, Sidewalk sales, Ladies Night Out, Warwick Jazz Festival, visits to the wineries, and the list goes on.  For more ideas and information you can visit the Town of Warwick, Warwick Jazz Festival, the Village of Greenwood Lake, the Hudson Valley.  Visit Warwick’s Drive-In movie theatre! Don’t forget about Sugar Loaf’s On The Lawn Concerts  and Sugar Loaf’s shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Before we know it, the kids will be getting back on the school buses or you’ll be filling your cars with their belongings to drop them off at college.  Make the most of the remainder of your summer time with them.  Make this the summer they’ll remember!  Stay local, shop local, eat local!  You won’t be disappointed!

Spring is most definitely in the air, and honestly I cannot wait.  As beautiful as snow can       be,  I’ve had my fill this winter!!  Bye bye to the long, dark days and the bitter cold…hello to green grass, colorful flora and fauna, gardening, and warm, sunny breezes!  I am so ready!  And to get the season started, my favorite Village is sponsoring some fun events.  The third annual Winter Dining in Warwick is being held February 22nd through March 8th.  Sample the best of the scenic Warwick Valley’s many restaurants, all offering special discounted winter dining menus.  Then, chase those winter blues away and visit us when the Downtown Warwick merchants host the second annual Winter Blues Weekend.  The “Blues” in the title refers not only to getting rid of any seasonal depression at this time of year but also to the music visitors will enjoy throughout the weekend.  Other merchants and restaurants will also offer special events, entertainment and more “Blues” music.  There will be sales and promotional events;  for example, visitors are invited to celebrate National Nutrition Month with sponsor Warwick ShopRite’s Retail Dietician Melanie Dwornik. And there’s a blue pottery sale at The Eclectic Eye.  Next door, everyone is encouraged to sample blueberry and chicken Cordon Bleu crepes at La Petite Cuisine or a special blue martini at Grappa Ristorante Forever Jewelers will feature a blue topaz sale and you may beat the winter bulge and win a pair of Spanx at Style Counsel or visit “Blue,” next door and win a pair of NYDJ Jeans. Peck’s Wines and Spirits is also offering “Winter Blues,” wine tasting.  (just to name a few).  Get ready for a fun-filled weekend.  If you’re visiting from out to the area, take advantage and stay at one of our many comfortable B & B’s.

Of course, you will fall in love with Warwick and the surrounding areas.  If you are in the need of a Realtor, I’d be happy to help and answer any questions you might have.

Be sure to visit Warwick, NY, and take advantage of the fun!!

Does it make sense to buy a home?  Recent studies have concluded that 87% of homeowners and 64% of renters believed that “owning a home provides a healthy and stable environment for raising a family”, and also showed that the main reason people gave for buying a home is that “it is a good place to raise children and provide a good education”.  An overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home. A full 93% of owners surveyed would buy again and studies show that 95% see homeownership as a “positive experience” for them and their families.  Still many purchasers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for home prices to hit bottom. They want to guarantee that they are purchasing at the best possible price. Prices still have some room to fall in most markets. However, waiting may not be a good financial decision.  The buyer should not be concerned about housing prices.  They should be concerned about cost. The cost of a house is made up of the price AND THE INTEREST RATE they will be paying.  Even if prices fall another 10% this year, the cost of a home will increase if interest rates go up more than 1%. Buyers should not worry where prices are going. They should be concerned where costs will be later in the year.

So, I guess  my question is, “What are you waiting for”?  Interest rates are still low, home prices are very reasonable, and you have lots to choose from.  (to name just a few).  If you’ve even toyed with the idea of owning a home but are afraid of not being able to afford it or afraid of the process, it’s worth looking into.  Who knows, you may be surprised.  Of course, as your local Realtor, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.  Don’t wait; Spring is right around the corner.  This is usually the time for new inventory to hit the market – you don’t want to be left out!