Dianne has worked as a Houlihan Lawrence agent for nearly 10 years and has devoted her profession to families looking to sell their homes or relocate to Dutchess County. She was recently recognized by Hudson Valley Magazine as one of the publication’s 2012 5 Star Professionals and is among the Mid-Hudson MLS‘s top one percent of agents from 2008-2011. “She is an outstanding agent and a pleasure to have on our East Fishkill team,” says branch manager Barbara Dudley.
The Women’s Council of Realtors is a nationwide community of 14,000 real estate professionals in 300 chapters. Congratulations to Dianne for representing Houlihan Lawrence among the best and brightest agents in the country!
Each night, millions of people gather around the television to watch a sporting event, awards show, crime scene drama or their favorite sitcom. Be it with a group of friends, family members or a significant other, we’re always blown away by the brilliant images we see moving across the screen with clear precision and incredible detail – which is exactly what we took into account when building our new website.
Introducing fullscreen, high-definition photos on the new Houlihan Lawrence website. Visit any of our Houlihan Lawrence listings and click the View Larger Photo button beneath the picture box and your page will transform into a marquee of fullscreen photos, detailing the aesthetic beauty and architectural elegance of any home.
Check out the short video below for a guided tour of our newest feature. We couldn’t do the photos justice by posting them to our blog, so make sure to visit www.houlihanlawrence.com to see for yourself.
Most homebuyers have enough on their plates – jobs, families, kids, weekend trips – without having to worry about the process of searching for a house. We took this into account when we conceived one of the most unique features about our new website: Keyword Search.
Before, users could type in a select MLS number to find a specific house or input elements like location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, price range, etc. We’ve taken it a step further by implementing Keyword Search so users have the option of searching for specific features they’d like to see in a home. It could be by address, or by whether a house has a breakfast bar. By searching for such features like paveddriveway, personal gym, spiral staircase, home theater, etc., you’re opening up the possibility of finding your dream home that much quicker.
Heading into our 125th anniversary coming up next year, we at Houlihan Lawrence wanted something big to celebrate. 125 years of being the area’s leading independent brokerage, 125 years of being family-owned and -operated, 125 years of caring about and providing a service to those who are about to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives. And now, 125 years later, we get the chance to celebrate the newest addition to our family – a website that puts the user experience first and foremost with each and every click.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be using our blog and social media channels to help users get a better gist of our new website. Though it’s main goal is to help buyers and sellers with the process of buying or selling their homes, we’ve added a few key features that will make the process that much easier. Those features include:
Keyword Search: Specific keywords like “breakfast bar” and “water slide” to match users with desired features.
Market Report Videos: Videos that show AND tell users about market conditions on a monthly basis.
HD Full Screen Photos: Beautiful photos that can be expanded to fullscreen.
Community Conversations: A platform where users can talk about and find more information about a community.
VIP Membership: An inside look into recent transactions and sales in the area.
Above we’ve provided you with a small snapshot of what we see as the next step in real estate technology. To see the full picture, visit www.houlihanlawrence.com. It’s as simple as that.
For real estate agents, the need to be in two places at once is all too familiar. Lou Pollak, a Larchmont agent, found herself in a situation which required a buyer, who had just made an offer on one of her New Rochelle properties, to be present for an inspection just days after he returned to his current home in England.
“He said he couldn’t come back for a while, and I told him that it is customary to set up inspections within a few days of the acceptable offer,” Lou says. “As I’m talking with him on the phone a light went off in my head and I asked ‘why don’t we Skype the inspection?’”
Three days later Lou made an appointment with Inspect America, introducing her client and inspector using the Skype app on her iPad. Having never used Skype before, Lou was a bit nervous, but says the process was exciting and easy.
“It was truly amazing—I was like a little kid with a new toy,” Lou says. “I suggested we inspect for 30 minutes and then Skype with our findings. Then I would point the camera to the electrical panel, sump pump, pool equipment and the engineer would discuss what he found. We continued to do this for about four hours until the entire inspection was complete.”
Lou’s use of Skype wasn’t just quick thinking and a step in the technological direction; it proved that international buyers are no longer restricted by distance and can be active participants in the home buying process without being physically present. More importantly, Lou matched a family with a house they will soon call home.
“I am happy to report that the house is in contract and we are due to close in mid-November,” Lou says.
The Houlihan Lawrence Gallery of Homes Summer 2012 Edition has just been published. This edition features over 100 pages of Homes for Sale in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. You can pick up a copy of at any of our 24 offices or from street boxes in select New York City neighborhoods. To view the digital version, just click on the cover below.
Much like a professional artist, an affective real estate agent must paint a lifelike portrait in order to match buyers with their ideal vision of a home. This sense of creativity and artistic care is equally important for sellers, as agents have taken on a more proactive approach in prepping and staging homes with the advent of virtual tours, websites like Trulia and Zillow, and the Internet in general.
A 22-year Cold Spring resident who’s been with Houlihan Lawrence for the past 18 years, Lesli Uribe has been able to marry her success as a realtor with her life as a professional artist, creating a unique experience for both the buyers and sellers she works with.
“By visualizing what a buyer has described as their picture-perfect home, I can quickly match their wishes to reality,” Lesli says. “Sellers also benefit from this creativity—now it is crucial to stage and prep a house inside and out since first impressions are made while buyers surf the web in their pajamas.”
Now in her 30th year as a visual artist Lesli is honoring the crossroads of her art and real estate career transforming Houlihan Lawrence’s office on Main Street in Cold Spring into a gallery, which features her latest series “Communicate.” Both art and real estate enthusiasts celebrated Lesli’s artwork during the collection’s opening reception at Houlihan Lawrence’s Cold Spring office this past May, illustrating the connection between those who appreciate beautiful art and elegant homes.
“It’s great how Houlihan Lawrence believes in supporting other passions that their extended family believes in, like the arts, cancer research foundations, and more,” Lesli says.
Port Chester is a sought-after destination for foodies in and around Westchester County. New restaurants and specialty purveyors line the village, keeping adventuresome palates satisfied and coming back for more:
Owners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich helped put Port Chester on the culinary map when they revived 100-year old into a modern day trattoria experience. Most recently, the team opened Tarry Market, offering great Italian wines, fabulous prepared foods and mouth watering gelato to their wide and loyal following.
Bartaco is located on the Byram River and its waterfront location makes for a festive and feisty atmosphere. The bar sizzles with large crowds who imbibe on exotic sounding cocktails such as Rosita, Bartaco Margarita and Smoky Cholula. Tacos filled with duck, lamb, chicken and spicy chorizo are signature dishes that give even more heat to an already hot restaurant.
Q Restaurant and Bar offer slow and low cooked foods and meat from the midwest. St. Louis-Style Ribs, Texas Beef Brisket, and Pulled Pork make this finger lickin’ good restaurant a one of a kind experience. No need to travel for the real thing when authentic BBQ and house smoked meats is just a quick walk from Metro-North.
Arrosto’s menu features grilled meats and seafood, along with fresh, house-made pastas, Neapolitan wood fired pizzas, and homemade desserts. Chef Polistina’s grandmother coined the phrase Be Social. Eat Well and two generations later, her words and sentiment are embodied into the Arrosto menu and dining experience. So bring your friends, enjoy the company and eat well at Arrosto.
Kneaded Bread is the penultimate for carb-lovers. Homemade breads from buttery brioche to crusty French bread make the mouth water just from the smell – everything is made on the premises. The menu also includes muffins and scone, soups, salads and sandwiches, and the very best layer cake with butter cream icing.
Our company’s website, www.houlihanlawrence.com, was reviewed to ensure exacting standards were met in six key areas, ranging from design and content to human interactivity to search engine optimization. The WQC was introduced in 2009 to recognize and encourage superior websites among Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s 550 member firms. Houlihan Lawrence was also recognized for this award in 2010.
“With so many people going online to obtain information on homes, communities and everything relating to home buying and selling, it is vital for a real estate firm to have a current, easy-to-use and relevant website,” notes Pam O’Connor, president/CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. “By earning the Website Quality Certification, Houlihan Lawrence has demonstrated that it offers fundamental online resources to home buyers and sellers, which are further supported by the expertise only a dedicated real estate professional can provide.”
The red carpet won’t be the only place to witness high-style at the Academy Awards this Sunday if you are lucky enough to watch the show in one of these fantastic home theaters. A must-have feature in many of our luxury properties for sale, home theaters have become increasingly popular thanks to the combination of excellent sound systems, superb video quality and super-comfortable cinema-style seating that deliver a true movie theater experience. For those lucky few, there’s even a popcorn machine included, as well.
Take a look at a few of our favorite theaters that give home movies a whole new meaning.
The theater at Mount Holly in Bedford seats 18 and has a kitchen, powder room and its own private entrance.
An entire wing has been dedicated to recreation at Devonshire in Bedford Corners where the combination media and billiards room is simply spectacular.
Finished in old barnwood, the theater at Sky Blue Farm in Millbrook is housed in a handsome carriage house and features a wet bar and theater-style snack bar.