Viewpoints

Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Fear and Blame in the Real Estate Culture

July 14, 2021

I had a chance meeting at lunch with a Mother and Daughter real estate team in Briarcliff Manor—Mary Jane Florent and Nancy Beard. Mary Jane was talking about the good old days of real estate. “It was just fun! People trusted each other and everyone got along. Now real estate is fear and blame.” That…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Change is Coming and with it Opportunity

July 13, 2021

With the Putnam County real estate market Booming for the past 15 months, I am excited for what I predict the impact will be. With new inventory down nearly 15% year-to-date over last year, sales volume up 31% and the average sales price grew by more than 18% to a whopping $483,201 up from $409,017.…

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Richard Haggerty

Gateway Perspectives: Perseverance Pays Off

July 11, 2021

Approximately 30 years ago, when I was the Director of Member Services and Professional Standards Administrator for the then Westchester County Board of Realtors, I vividly remember walking over to the Westchester County Legislative offices where the Board of Legislators was conducting a public hearing on co-op transparency legislation, which would require co-op boards to…

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Michael Oates

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Connect New York State’s Two Power Grids to Drive Economic Development in NYC and Statewide

June 23, 2021

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) faces a major decision that could greatly impact all of New York’s economic recovery from COVID. Several energy and transmission developers are competing for a NYSERDA energy program with varying amounts of in-state investment. The choice is clear: Go big and choose New York jobs.…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Section 8 or No Section 8 is Not the Question

June 16, 2021

On April 12, 2019 the Lawful Source of Income Non-Discrimination Act of 2019 was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Although that has been more than two years ago, it seems quite apparent that many in our industry have yet to wrap their minds around what it really means. Just the other day sitting…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Ann Garti: A 40-Year Tutorial in Leadership

June 16, 2021

To say that June 30, 2021 is going to be a bittersweet day for not just me, but for all of the members of HGAR, is an understatement, as that is the day that Ann Garti formally retires from HGAR. Ann’s career spans 40 years of service for the Realtor organization, and during that time…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: June Legislative Update

June 1, 2021

The Westchester County co-op transparency bill has finally had a public hearing. The number of speakers who came out in support of the bill outnumbered the naysayers by a 3 to 1 margin. The arguments against the bill were ones we had heard many times before and easily disputed. Opponents said that the bill, if…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Beware of the Endless Roller Coaster

May 19, 2021

As a kid I was not a big fan of roller coasters. They were scary and unpredictable, so they had no allure for me. As an adult I started to appreciate them a little more. The drama of the slow ascent that gradually reaches the peak and starts the downward plunge with increasing speed usually…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Lions, Tigers and Bears

May 12, 2021

“So how is the market?” I actually don’t quite know how to answer that question anymore. I am wondering if you feel the same way? The competitive offer situations, the New York flight, 30-minute wait times to get into open houses, what is the world coming too! What I also find emerging is the intensity…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: May Legislative Update

May 11, 2021

At the federal level Realtors have won a huge victory. The CDC moratorium on evictions, which has caused people to avoid paying rent, has been struck down. The decision does not affect the moratorium in New York State. This will still go through the appeals process, but for now it is the beginning of a…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Deciphering the Region’s First Quarter Real Estate Stats: ‘Wild’

April 29, 2021

According to the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors First Quarter 2021 Market Report, “Residential home sales in the lower Hudson Valley for the first quarter of 2021 were staggering, even to anyone regularly monitoring sales activity. The residential market is normally cyclical with seasonal low sales in the first quarter as sellers begin to prepare…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

President's Corner: The Spring is Not Just About Showers and Flowers

April 14, 2021

April showers bring May flowers is a nursery rhyme many of us may know from our youth. But the month of April means even more than that for those of us in the real estate industry. For one, it means being in the throes of the spring market. This season is an intense one! Highest…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: April Legislative Update

April 12, 2021

It is April, which means it is the state budget deadline. The budget was already a few days late when it was passed by the state legislature on April 7th. Items that HGAR was opposing appear to have been taken out of the budget. Essentially, real estate did not take a hit in the budget.…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: A Year Like No Other

March 15, 2021

I’ve been listening to a lot of reflections about our lives one year ago this March and what has transpired since. It was a year ago this very week that the HGAR staff went virtual and I left my office in White Plains thinking life would likely return to normal in a month or two.…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Who is Covering your Six?

March 15, 2021

The best edge-of-your-seat thrillers have that moment when the main character walks into a situation that, as the observer, you clearly see they are stepping into danger. If you are like me, I am yelling at the screen, “You nut job, you are about to get killed! Can’t you see that!” You know what I…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Responding to Differing Opinions

March 12, 2021

How does a small business in a small community handle Cancel Culture? As someone who expresses opinions freely on social and traditional media, I come face-to-face with these concerns as do many community leaders. Here’s a personal story that seems pertinent. The last week in August 2020, I tested positive for COVID-19 and spent two…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: American Rescue Plan Package Passes Congress

March 11, 2021

The American Rescue Plan, as it is known, has passed Congress. It is a necessary package with lots of provisions. The price tag is $1.9 trillion. The plan includes money for state and local governments, along with money for the MTA ($6.5 billion). The money for New York State and local government ($23.8 billion) is…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Cuomo Targeting Enhanced STAR Deduction

March 3, 2021

The Enhanced STAR program for seniors (65+) is under attack again in the governor’s proposed budget. This could negatively impact seniors who qualify for the program. In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal he would move new homeowners aged 65 and over to a tax credit check instead of an upfront savings on their tax bill. This…

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Chris O'Callaghan

GUEST VIEWPOINT: What We Can Learn from Westchester’s Evolving Office Market

March 3, 2021

Famed American Bandstand host Dick Clark once clarified his multi-decade influence over the music industry. “I don’t set trends,” he offered, “I just find out what they are and exploit them.” Much the same can be said of Westchester County, where the area’s changing real estate landscape is more a reflection of emerging national and…

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