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How Has Irene Affected the Catskills Real Estate Market?

This Stamford Victorian was reduced to $149,000 post-Irene, but not because of the storm

I posed this question to a couple of real estate brokers from Delaware County, folks located in or near hard-hit Margaretville. And, you know, what are they gonna say? The market is dead, come on up and take your pick? No, of course not. One broker sent via email a completely pollyanna response (she’s never been more optimistic about the Catskills real estate market), and the other was more forthright on the phone about at least the temporary effect of Tropical Storm Irene in upstate New York: interest has slowed. But…

John Tufillaro at Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties told me that, indeed, he’s had fewer calls in the aftermath of Irene, and business is definitely down in what has historically been their busiest time of year, just before leaf-peeping season. Still…the calls are coming, folks are inquiring. While a few properties saw price reductions just after Irene, Tufillaro says they’re not storm-related. “[The owners] could just be motivated to sell now, ready to move on with their lives,” he says. Business will probably be slow for a while. Tufillaro admits that some towns — Roxbury, Middletown — aren’t looking their best. They’ve been flooded, some buildings are collapsed or condemned, streets are roped off. “People aren’t getting a clear sense of the communities right now,” he says, although they are getting a clear sense of how folks are coming together to help those communities.

And I hate to sound like a real estate predator here, but I do think this makes it an extra good time to check out Catskills real estate for sale. Already, the market was soft; now it’s at a (temporary) standstill. Even properties that were unaffected by Irene will still cause a little hesitation among some buyers, which means those of you who are more intrepid should probably get your rears in gear. After all, roads and homes may be damaged, but the stuff that matters is still there. As Tufillaro says, “The advantages of coming up here are the clean water, the clean air and the natural beauty…and they’re still gonna be coming up for that.”

Photos of Windham, Post Irene

Here are a few shots along Main Street in Windham. The ski town has been hard hit by Hurricane Irene, but recovery efforts are in full swing and the streets are packed with volunteers and workers and businesses are aiming to re-open as soon as possible. Beloved Italian deli Todaro’s, not pictured here, says next weekend is the goal—-though they also mentioned they’d happily take elbow grease from any comers.

A volunteer relief station, with food and water, is set up in front of the library.

Where to Get Help and Give Help in Windham and Surrounding Area

Main Street, Windham, Volunteer efforts post Hurricane Irene

Hello from Tannersville! I’ve been listening to WRIP-FM pretty obsessively, and it’s been a great source of community information about Hurricane Irene relief in Greene County. They’ve been giving out key numbers all day, many of which can be found on their website. Here’s a quick round-up of their info for getting and giving help if you live in or near Windham.

If you’re in the Windham area and need food, medicine, or water delivered (or know someone who does), call the Windham Emergency Command Center: 518-734-4938. They have real, live people answering the phones! If you’re able to drive and need food, water, or company, you can head to Main Street in Windham and stop in front of the library. They’re set up on the lawn serving hot food and giving free water to all comers. If, like me, you’re still out of electricity, this is a great option for dinner. They’re serving spaghetti for dinner tonight and could also use extra hands. Just show up and they’ll put you to work!

If you’re a mountain resident and want to help deliver food, medicine and water to folks in need, call the command center volunteer hotline at 518-610-0380. Leave a message with your phone number, and they’ll get back to you to tell you what they need. Note that many mountain roads are open to residents only, so you’ll need to show proof of residency if you plan to help out with deliveries.

Albergo Allegria on Route 296 is organizing a clothing drive. They’re accepting donations tomorrow afternoon, Sept 1st, and will be distributing them on Friday, Sept 2nd. They’re looking for volunteers to help sort the donations. Call Iris Kaplan at 518-947-4995 if you’d like to help out. The Albergo Allegria is also offering free hot showers for folks still without running water. No need to call ahead. Just show up with your favorite bath gel.

Finally, note that Tannersville is up and running—-and they have electricity! I’m writing this from Maggie’s Krooked Cafe, where you can use wireless, charge up, etc—-and where they put whipped cream on your iced coffee just to be nice.

Fingers crossed that the rest of the mountain will get electricity by the weekend, as promised!

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