Home Sweet Home
Just weeks after my husband and I bought our 1902 Victorian in Beacon in 2005, we started hearing that the real estate market in Dutchess County was on the decline. Of course, we had been hearing about the so-called real estate bubble for a mighty long time. But to us — first-time home buyers — it seemed that the market had continued to climb and climb and that if we didn’t act immediately, we would soon be priced out of any reasonable home in the Hudson Valley. What a difference three years make! While it is not completely clear if the top of the market actually occurred in 2005 or early 2006, what is 100 percent certain is that there has been a market “correction.” Or as some people like to say, the bubble has burst.
Whatever terminology you choose to use, there are many very nervous folks in our neck of the woods, and all around the country, for that matter. But the news is not all bad. In most counties in our region, median house prices are down only minimally, if at all. Yes, it is a tough market, especially if you want to sell your house. But don’t fear. Turn to our special real estate package (beginning on page 30) to see which way housing prices have been heading in your county. Then, check out our features on how to sell your house in these tricky times, ways to avoid mortgage woes, and what your money will buy now — whether you have $300,000, $500,000, or $1 million to spend.
Naturally, no matter what your house is worth, you’ve still got to decorate it. The spring issue of Hudson Valley Home is enclosed (beginning on page 65). It’s packed with gorgeous homes and great information — but to me, the most interesting story is about wallpaper (page h8). I always swore I would never, ever wallpaper any room in my house. It wasn’t just that I’ve gone years and years without seeing a wallpaper design that I like. It’s also the idea of putting it up. All that paste and big, flopping sheets of paper seem better-suited to an episode of I Love Lucy than anything that should happen in my house. But the new fresh designs, with their big, bold patterns, have me re-thinking the look of my well-worn walls.
And finally, in this issue we debut our new monthly department, Going Green (page 28). The modern environmental movement has seeped into every area of our lives — and we’ll showcase a wide variety of people, companies, restaurants, and organizations that are doing their part to bring eco-friendly, sustainable living to our region. If you know of any great programs or individuals who are Going Green, feel free to E-mail me. Because, after all, we all want to keep our beautiful Valley as green as possible.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief