Thursday, May 18, 2017

Joy Brown and the Morrison Gallery makes it on Broadway

"Recliner with Head in Hands" will go on display at Mitchel Square Park, at the intersection of 168th Street and Broadway.
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Broadway Mall Association
UPPER WEST SIDE — At 1,200 pounds and 10 feet in length, her arrival would be virtually impossible to miss — if it weren't happening under the cloak of darkness.
"Recliner with Head in Hands" is one of nine bronze sculptures by artist Joy Brown touching down in the green malls along Broadway between 72nd Street to 168th St. Monday night, according to the Broadway Mall Association, the park beautification and maintenance nonprofit organizing the installation.
The larger-than-life abstract nudes, which were cast in Shanghai, are being brought to the city via flatbed truck to be hoisted mechanically into place starting around 10 p.m. at 72nd Street, Broadway Mall Association board member Deborah Foord said. Brown herself will be there to supervise.
"It’s quite a production," said Foord, who is chairwoman of the organization's public art committee. "It’s exciting to see."
The exhibition will mark the first time the sculptures are displayed in the U.S., according to the Connecticut-based Morrison Gallery, which helped organize the show.
Brown's work, which draws inspiration from her childhood in Japan and apprenticeship in traditional Japanese ceramics, "convey[s] the heavy gravity of stone," the gallery said.
"The expressions and gestures transcend that weight, suggesting warmth and lightness of being. Simplicity of the forms and the earth-toned patina evoke a feeling of stillness and peace."
Community Board 7 parks and environment committee member Ken Coughlin had a simpler assessment at a CB7 meeting earlier this month: “They’re very large and they’re very cute," he said.
The show officially opens May 17 in celebration of BMA's 30th anniversary and continues through November 2017.

Hollowood of the Housatonic

For many of us, the Berkshire International Film Festival is the signifier that the summer season is about to begin. The tourists flock here, the second homeowners make it a point to be in town (or country), and even if we don't plan to attend any of BIFF's social events, we will certainly hear about them. It's like having our own little Hollywood for one long weekend...and then we still have the rest of the summer to enjoy. It all starts June 1.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kent chosen as one of the 20 best small towns in the US!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Trump Budget Cuts HUD Funding 13.2 Percent

Trump Budget Cuts HUD Funding 13.2 Percent
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The Trump Administration on Thursday released a budget outline for the 2018 fiscal year, proposing $6.2 billion in cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or a 13.2 percent reduction. Funding for the agency would total $40.7 billion, with $35 billion allocated to rental assistance programs, $130 million to lead-based paint mitigation in low-income housing, and $4.5 million to low-income housing assistance.
“This budget reflects the President’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while supporting critical functions that provide rental assistance to low-income and vulnerable households and help work-eligible families achieve self-sufficiency,” the outline states. “The budget also recognizes a greater role for state and local governments and the private sector to address community and economic development needs.”
The budget eliminates funding for Community Development Block Grants, a long-running program providing resources to communities in need of aid in areas such as affordable housing, disaster recovery and foreclosure rehabilitation. The elimination of the program would save $3 billion.
“The program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results,” the outline states. “The Budget devolves community and economic development activities to the state and local level, and redirects federal resources to other activities.”
The budget also eliminates funding for the Choice Neighborhoods program, which replaces distressed public housing with mixed-income housing, among other initiatives; the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which assists communities with affordable housing development; and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), which awards grants to nonprofits for low-income housing development. The elimination of the programs would save $1.1 billion.
“State and local governments are better positioned to serve their communities based on local needs and priorities,” the outline states.
The budget, in addition, eliminates funding for Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing, saving $35 billion.
The outline briefly addresses insurance premiums for Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages, stating it “supports homeownership through provision of Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance programs.” The Trump Administration suspended a reduction to premiums issued in January.
HUD elaborated on that provision, stating “The spending plan supports the longstanding homeownership mission of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to provide mortgage insurance credit to qualified households. A more detailed program-by-program budget proposal will be announced in May.”
“If enacted, Trump’s proposed budget would result in the most severe cut to HUD since President Reagan dramatically reduced funding in the early 1980s,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), in a statement.
“These budget cuts would have a devastating impact on millions of the lowest income people across the country,” Yentel said. “More than 200,000 seniors, families, and people with disabilities will be at immediate risk of evictions and homelessness, and local communities will be starved of the funding they need to build and repair affordable homes and revitalize distressed communities.”
The budget, if approved, would take effect October 1.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Market Update

The numbers are in and 2016 was clearly a pivotal year in real estate.  Nationally real estate sales transactions were up 12% over 2015 figures.  Litchfield County overall saw just over 8% increase. Locally we have seen a similar bump resulting in the volume of sale increase around 14%! In summation, real estate in Sharon is on a steady upswing as the market recognizes good values.

The positive economic confluence of lower unemployment, strong trends in the financial markets and tightening interest rates have bolstered consumer confidence. This confidence mixed with the reduction of available homes to buy has solidified real estate values and will predictably push value higher.  This is already happening.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cornwall Castle

Cornwall Castle now offered with 545 acres for $5,950,000!!

545 acres outlined in red.  More that 10 square miles of openspace in green abd blue

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How fast can you make a profit with Airbnb?

  • Airbnb can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to make money back on a rental.
  • Local regulations can play a big role in whether or not buying to run an Airbnb is worth your time.
In the past few years, some real estate investors have picked up property with the idea of making a tidy profit on Airbnb. But is becoming a professional vacation rental investor really all it’s cracked up to be?
The answer is mostly “yes.”
New research from Nested, a London-based online estate agent, breaks down the length of time it takes to recover property investment via traditional rental vs. Airbnb, and the results show that using Airbnb can cut down the amount of time it takes to make back your investment (depending on local regulations, of course).
Nested looked at all closed property sales in 75 cities over the past six months and current market listings for all locations researched, calculating exactly how long it would take you, in months, to recoup the property value of an average three-bedroom property based on average rental and Airbnb costs.
The complete ROI (return on investment) index from Nested can be accessed here.

How the U.S. measures up

Six American cities appear in the index, with the research showing that a three-bedroom property in Washington, D.C., would take 219 months to recoup value via traditional rental methods, and 64 months via Airbnb.
This was the fastest ROI via Airbnb in the U.S., followed by:
  • Los Angeles (122 months via Airbnb versus 278 traditional)
  • Chicago (126 months versus 173 traditional)
  • Miami (137 months versus 312 months traditional)
  • New York City (181 months versus 317 traditional)
  • San Francisco (204 months, without regulations)
San Francisco calculates to have the longest ROI term, and the time span would be even longer when taking the city’s regulations into account.
Current San Francisco regulations limit rentals where the host is not present in the unit to a maximum of 90 days per year.
When these terms are applied, property in the city would take 816 months to recoup value via Airbnb, 554 months longer than a traditional rental.
Internationally the picture is even brighter for vacation rentals, especially where prices are low.
Properties in Durban, South Africa take just 18 months on average using an Airbnb rental (the average cost to buy there is $94,343).
Athens, Greece is the fastest European city without regulations to recuperate property value via Airbnb at 42 months.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, properties in Beijing, China take 670 months via rental and 714 months via Airbnb (the average cost is $1,344,934).
Lagos, Nigeria is the fastest city worldwide to recover property prices via traditional renting at 132 months (instead of 22 months for Airbnb).
The price of the property makes a big difference, as does the average rental price.
Cairo, Egypt, has the most affordable average cost of a three-bedroom property at $60,293, while Hong Kong has the most expensive average cost at $2,404,789.
Of all cities surveyed, the rent for a three-bedroom property is also the most affordable in Cairo, Egypt, at a monthly average of $387. The rent for a three-bedroom property is the most expensive in San Francisco, at a monthly average of $5,437.
The ROI index doesn’t seem take into account the added time or money that might be involved in making a home Airbnb-ready, including furnishings, photography, cleaning and increased maintenance.

Bad news for renters, good news for owners?

While this news is great for investors who want to Airbnb, it does shed light on why cities may need to enact regulations in order to make sure that long-term renters are protected.
Matt Robinson, CEO of Nested, said: “The rise of Airbnb is making it harder for renters to find properties as more landlords are preferring to rent to short-term renters who pay a premium, but this is a great opportunity for those who have managed to fight their way onto the property ladder to make the most out of their property.”
Nested is a London startup that aims to assist house sellers by selling their property within 90 days guaranteed, based on their valuation of the home. It charges a standard fee on all transactions of 1.8 percent (1.5 percent + value-added tax, or VAT) plus 20 percent of any amount above the guaranteed price (including VAT). They also can advance money to the seller ahead of the 90-day guaranteed sale at a rate of 1.5 percent.

Is Airbnb contributing to the West Coast inventory crunch?

In a similar project, Estately recently crunched the numbers on whether or not a high number of Airbnb units might account for some of the lack of inventory in West Coast cities.
In San Francisco, the ratio of units on Airbnb to units for sale is 17.3 to 1. The data also show that a buyer may make a lot more from a homestay in a tight real estate market than in a less competitive one, causing more people to trying buy homes in these competitive markets with the intent of turning them into Airbnb units.
Aiding this, Estately even offers a potential monthly Airbnb income estimate on listings.
For both buyers and renters in cities with a large influx of tourists and people seeking temporary housing, Airbnb continues to be a disrupting influence, adding strain to markets already struggling with affordability.

Just listed! Charming Country Cottage on 12.74 private acres with tumbling brook


Monday, January 30, 2017

Friday, May 29, 2015

Annie Bananie Ice Cream & Backcountry Outfitters Featured in Unlocking Litchfield!

 Bain agent Dave Fairty & his business partner Anne McAndrew co-owners of Backcountry Outfitters & Annie Bananie Ice Cream in Kent, are featured in the newest installment of Unlocking Litchfield!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Congratulations to Our Agents New & Seasoned!

2015 Litchfield Board Of Realtors 35th year anniversary of
Bain Real Estate veteran
Marilyn DeVos

 2015 Litchfield Board of Realtors pinning induction of
Jennifer Luning, Michele Pastre and Dave Fairty three intelligent and dedicated real estate agents at
Bain Real Estate.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bain Real Estate has been selected five years in a row for the 2015 Best of Kent Awards for Real Estate Brokers & Agents and now qualifies for the Kent Business Hall of Fame

KENT March 4, 2015 -- Bain Real Estate has been selected for the 2015 Best of Kent Award in the Real Estate Brokers & Agents category by the Kent Award Program.
Each year, the Kent Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Kent area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Kent Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Kent Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Kent Award Program
The Kent Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Kent area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Kent Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.