Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Cooking on a Budget – The Great Depression Way

On Good Morning America, a 93 year old great grandmother showed how she saves money by cooking the great depression way.  She learned how to cook on a budget through her mother during the Great Depression and now has her own site – “Depression Cooking with Clara” <CLICK> . 

Also, check out Clara’s Blog <CLICK>

Here is Clara’s Pasta with Peas Recipe and a tale of living through the Great Depression.

 

I love the way Clara’s kitchen looks like a grandma’s kitchen – everything from her pots, utensils and where the olive oil is kept gives her stories and cooking history.

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February 28, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Good Morning America, Recipes, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Search for HOMES like an agent – Free LISTING BOOK in NY

Would you like to search for Homes in the Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess county areas in New York  just like I do?  With listings that are updated every 30 minutes on the Multiple Listing Service, you will see what I do through LISTING BOOK.

listingbook_adclip_dreamhome_boxed

The Westchester/Putnam MLS has been working side by side with Listing Book for 2 years and the phenomenon has arrived!

Click Here for a link to your *****FREE***** Listing Book account!

Please keep in mind that if your no longer want your Listing Book account, you will always have the option to opt out.

The Dream to Homeownership is just a click away…

porch-douggarner08

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Dutchess County, Listing Book, NY, Putnam County, Sellers, Uncategorized, Westchester County | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Realtor Open House Day – Carmel

This week for Realtor Open House Day, we viewed a piece of history!  Originally built in 1760 and added onto throughout the 1800’s, this home in Carmel, NY has approximately 5,700 square feet, 4 fireplaces, ornate moldings and wide plank floors

Please call for more info – cell: 203-648-2619

Here is a sneak peek –

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phone-pics-093

If these walls could talk…

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Carmel, Historical Homes, Realtor Open House, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Flickr Foto Fun Friday Post – Dogs!

It’s FRIDAY – Yahoo!!  I love – LOVE Flickr.com – There are a ton of awesome photographers– both amature and professional – with photos that make me smile – make me drool and make me wish I was there.

doggie-randy-son-of-robert1                         Randy son of Robert – Flickr.com                             “Ready for my close-up!”

For this Friday’s Flickr Foto Fun Friday Post, I have chosen to share some Flickr photos of… DOGS

snug-david                                       David – Flickr.com                                                  “I’m scared!”

doggy-formalfallacy-dublin-victor                        Formalfallacy Dublin Victor –Flickr.com                        “Gone with the Wind”

 sleeping-dog-mr_sellars                                        Mr_SellarsFlickr.com                     “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”

 too-cute-mrmark-semicolon-on-both-sides                                    mr.MarkFlickr.com                          “The sun feels sooo good!”

 This post is dedicated to the very brave Chihuahua who followed and growled at me the entire time I showed his home.

hey-waz-up-tanakawho                                     tanakawhoFlickr.com                 “You lookin at me… Grrrr!”

Check out Flickr.com and see why I love this site – and take some of your own pics and add them to your own account – it’s FREE!!

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Flickr Foto Fun Friday Post, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Cell Phone Pic – Brewster, NY

Today, my cell phone candid pic is of the snow coming down in Brewster, NY.

While out, big fluffy snowflakes came down…

phone-pics-099Route 22 – Brewster, NY

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Brewster, Cell Phone Pics, Snow, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home – Song by Sheryl Crow

Sharing a video with you – “HOME”  – by Sheryl Crow

 

I first heard this song while watching the movie – “Enough” with Jennifer Lopez.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Favorite Music & Songs, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life as a Realtor – Showing Homes in Dover, Wingdale & Pawling, NY

Oh… what a day this past Sunday.  I was happy that all 3 homes my clients were interested in viewing were all fully available.  I always try to confirm with the listing agent or listing office each of the homes status.  Although it may show “available” on the MLS – Multiple Listing Service – many times, I’ll be told the home has an accepted offer, inspections done and many times – contracts have been signed!   There are many reasons why a listing agent will not change the status from available to accepted offer and then pending.  One reason is… they hope for back up offers.    This is good for the seller – not so good for buyers – especially if I only find this out AFTER viewing the home that now my buyer has some interest in.

all-by-myself-paulio-geordio                                                               Paulio  Geordio – Flickr.com

The first home was in Dover, NY –  WAY off Route 22.  I was on unpaved roads, going up a mountain with twists, turns and lots of mud!  All this to find out that the road leading to the home was closed!  A huge “ROAD CLOSED” sign was up … BUMMER!  – onto the next.

driving-in-mud-nataliemaynor                                                          NatalieMaynor – Flickr.com

Our 2nd home was in Wingdale, NY – a bit further south of Route 22.  This home had peeked interest in my buyer from the first time I e-mailed it to her a few months back – but it had an accepted offer and we were never able to view – until now.  Apparently, the deal fell through.  We turned onto the road of the home and noticed there were mobile homes on both sides of the entire road.  Nice neighborhood, but the home we were viewing was a cape and it stood out like a sore thumb – but there was still some interest.  I rang the bell, as always, then proceeded to retrieve the key from the lockbox.  When I went to open the door, I heard barking… then growling – a low, angry growl.  Now what do I do!!  There is a loose dog.  Thankfully, he was a chihuahua who continued to growl at me the entire time we viewed his“casa”.

                                                               tanakawho – Flickr.comhey-tanakawho

Onto the 3rd, and last home which was also off of Route 22 in the town of Pawling, NY.  This appointment took me 2 days to confirm – the owners and I kept going back and forth until finally all was good to go.  I pull up to the home and realize – I’m late!  Due to all the twits, turns and mountain climbing to get to the first home and fearing for my life in the second home.  Oh well, I will apologize if the owners are home, I thought.  I read my notes – “Lockbox on Back Door“.  So, I walked up to the deck… no lockbox, but there was a note to remove our shoes – so I knew we were at the correct door – but where was the lockbox?  Finally, it was found on the basement door – ???  and we were able to view the home.  Awesome!  Lots of space – first floor – finished lower level – AND an apartment above the garage as well as privacy!!  My buyers expressed interest and I promised to contact the listing agent on my way out.  Which I did…. only to hear, “Diana, forget about this home, it is going to auction on Tuesday.”  GULP!  I felt terrible for the homeowners who were losing their home due to foreclosure AND I felt terrible for my buyers.

a-dream-clairity-with-stars-on-both-ends                                                                   *clairity* – Flickr.com

Just another day in my “Life as a Realtor“… and I love it!

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Life as a Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home for Dinner

dinner-table-rene-ehrhardt                                                         Rene Ehrhardt – Flickr.com

Having dinner at home will save you money – is healthier than dinning out – and is a great for family together time

Some of my clients have mentioned that during their dinner time, they spend much of it going over homes they’ve viewed with me and discussing other potential listings I’ve sent them on-line. 

green-house-woodleywonderworks                                                 WoodleyWonderWorksFlickr.com

Buying a homecan be stressful, but it is also an exciting time. I am happy that many of my clients are sharing their dinner time with me!

Here are some HEALTHYAFFORDABLE and DELICIOUS recipes from FoodNetwork.com <CLICK>.

veggies-jslander                                                       jslander – Flickr.com

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Recipes, The Food Network, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

LOVE is in the Air… Happy Valentine’s Day!

valentines-day-cards-claudia-addad                                                           Claudia Addad – Flickr.com

February is the month of LOVE – and every year, on February 14th, people express their love to one another with flowers, gifts, cards and my favorite – chocolate!

chocolate-hearts-auntie-k                                                                    Auntie K – Flickr.com

RED – The color red symbolizes “LOVE” – Experts believe that around the 1800’s, Red Roses have conveyed the message, “I Love You”.

red-roses

Remember – Valentine’s Day is for your “Sweethearts” and for ALL those you care about.  So be sure to be in touch, a phone call  an e-mail – or meet up with them and give a hug!

hearts

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Fun Post, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flickr Foto Fun Friday Post – Hearts

This Flickr Foto Fun Friday Post is full of HEARTS!  Amor is in the air!

playdoh-heart-the-pink-princess                                         Playdoh Heart by: The Pink Princess – Flickr.com

string-of-hearts-aussiegall                                                      String of Hearts by: Aussiegall – Flickr.com

strawberry-jam-heart-clarameetsworld                                           Strawberry Jam Heart by: clarameetsworld – Flickr.com

berry-heart-pink-sherbet-photography                                               Berry Heart by: Pink Sherbet Photography – Flickr.com

heart-candy-john-morgan                                               Heart Candy by: John Morgan – Flickr.com

heart-sprinkles-lin-pernille                                             Heart Sprikles by: Lin Pernille – Flickr.com

Hope these photos inspire you to “HEART” someone!

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Flickr Foto Fun Friday Post, Fun Post, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buying a Home in New Fairfield, CT

If your looking to buy a home in New Fairfield, CT – WONDERFUL!  My family and I moved here from Harrison, NY about 4-1/2 years ago and we LOVE it! 

picture-351Ball Pond – Scenery during my daily commute

New Fairfield borders Brewster, NY – making an easy commute to work for both myself to Century 21 V.J.F. Realty which is located right in Brewster – and my husband who commutes via I-684 to NYC.

picture-339Candlewood Lake

Why New Fairfield, CT

  • Accessibility to I-84 and I-684since we do have to work!
  • Great Schoolsmoved here with 5 kids and schools were very important to me.  Don’t have school age kids?  Please keep in mind that purchasing a home which a good school system is great for resale purposes!
  • Low Taxeswe have a comfortably spacious home on 2.1 acres – and pay less taxes than some homes that are 1/4 the size in my neighboring towns of NY.
  • Lot’s of choices for shopping in neighboring Danbury, CT including the Danbury Fair Mall With a large family, I spend lots of $$ in groceries, clothing and other necessities – having choices and paying low taxes on items that are taxable is great! 
  • Candlewood Lake – BEAUTIFUL!!!  60 + miles of shoreline – motorboats are allowed and if you don’t own one, no problem since you can always rent one!
  • Fresh air and scenic viewsYou can go hiking in Pootatuck State Forest or visit the state park of Squantz Pond – or just open your window and BREATHE!
  • Great for a first time home buyer and/or luxury buyerThere are 2 bedroom homes in the $200,000 price range, perfect for a first time home buyer – or large homes, some in private Candlewood Lake communities, for up to a few mil for the luxury buyer.
  • Lots of Wildlife – all I have to do is sit on my deck which faces the woods in my back yard.  There we will see families of deer, foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes – and many have seen bobcat and bear – these last 2, I honestly hope to NEVER see!

home-020Birds in my side yard

In the center of town you’ll find everything from Shaw’s Supermarket or for fresh meats and an awesome Deli, there is the New Fairfield Food Market. For a bite to eat there is Bruno’s Pizza, Biscotti’s, Portofino’s the local diner,  Chinese take out and other eateries. There is also Gas stations and repair shops, Physicians and Dentists, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, Hair and Nail salons, our local Hardware store, Banks, Dry Cleaners, Video store – and of course our New Fairfield Post Office, Town Hall and Library.  A small town life with all life’s necessities!

I plan on living here until I’m old and gray… sadly, both have already started!

picture-495Stream after a rain storm in my Backyard 

picture-0081Squantz Pond – State Park in New Fairfield, CT

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

February 10, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Candlewood Lake, New Fairfield, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Stimulus Bill to Create a Tax Credit for a Home Purchase!

us-capitol-clearly-ambiguous                                                                  Clearly Ambiguous – Flickr.com

Great news for those looking to purchase a home…  a tax credit of $8,000 has been approved! 

                                      <<Click Here to view the Consumer Chart>>

100-dollar-bills-amagill                                                                          Amagill – Flickr.com

Eliminating the repayment provision and increasing the limit from $7,500 to $8,000 – along with extending the time line from January 1, 2009 to December 1, 2009.
realtor

white-picket-fence-mannequin

                                                                        Mannequin – Flickr.com

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Credit, Economy, First Time Home Buyers, Money, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Sane While Being a Realtor

To keep myself sane in this crazy housing market and the collision of the economy, unemployment and credit crisis – I stay hopefull by listening to my favorite tunes, watch some tear-jerking, tummy-tickling and jaw-dropping movies – along with others that are inspiring“Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith is awesome!  I also remember each and everyday that I need to push myself for my family – my husband who works 7 days a week outdoors in this bitter cold and my 5 children. 

My faith and being well aware that so many people are in such difficult situations is also a tremendous part of getting through touch times.  I read yesterday about an agent, who’s being a friend, while helping to sell the homes of clients– one with an inoperable tumor in her head – and another who’s husband beat and left her with 3 young children, 2 with severe autism.  Reading this made me sad, but I am glad those sellers have a good agent.  Also after reading this article, it made me realize how fortunate I am – even with my home sales being down, my husband having to switch companies risking his hours being cut, a fire in our house and bills that are causing nightmares!

nightmare

Listening to my mother’s stories of growing up in Portugal brings a smile to my face – everytime.  But there are also many stories of  heartache.  In the small village where both of my parents grew up in – Vila Rinho da Raia in Chaves, Portugal – bordering Spain.  Of all the homes in that village, not one went untouched with sadness.  Either with severe illness and/or poverty and many times, the death of a child.  I’ve asked myself,  How did they get through those difficult times?  What support did they have? … 

My paternal grandmother lost not one, but a few children at childbirth, her 4 year old daughter was kidnapped, found and died of unknown causes a few days later, her husband – my grandfather – passed away, leaving her to raise all 7 children on her own.  But yet, she continued to live…

My Grandparents and my father 1925

 

home

Today, we just reached 3 million people who have lost their jobs.  If you know someone who has – stay in touch with thema phone call, get together for a cup of coffee, help them write their resume or look through the want ads.  Being a supportive friend goes a long way.

friendly-hug-mysza831                                                                            mysza831 – Flickr.com

An article for inspiration and advice:

“Worry never robs tomorrow of it’s sorrow, but only saps today of it’s strength.” – A.J. Cronin

February 3, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Inspiration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Promises More Low Cost Mortgages

I received some positive news today via e-mail.  An article written in “Daily Real Estate News” through Realtor.org

obama

Obama Promises More Low-Cost Mortgages…

President Barack Obama promised Saturday to reduce mortgage costs as a key part of his plan to improve the economy.

Analysts applauded the move, saying that making low-cost mortgages widely available could stabilize housing markets and jump start new home construction.

Beyond that, observers say aid for the troubled housing market will help blunt the anger many Americans feel over the financial bailout as the executives of firms that received billions take bonuses while average people lose their homes.

Source: Reuters News, Mark Felsenthal (01/31/2009)

Any positive news makes me happy for both my buyers and sellers.  My buyerswill be able to possibly take advantage of these historically low interest rates and sellers may see more activity and possibly a SOLD sign in front of their home!

keys-neoliminal                                                                              neoliminal – Flickr.com

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Economy, Mortgage, President Obama, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment