Thinking it might be of interest to Woodstock Times readers, I spoke recently with a number of my fellow Real Estate brokers in the Saugerties area to find out what they think about the Saugerties Real Estate market right now and to get their feelings about the economic prospects for Saugerties.
Elda Zulick, who has been in the Real Estate business in Saugerties since 1973, is very positive on Saugerties. She opened Grist Mill Real Estate in 1975, and has seen a number of economic cycles come and go. There have been really very good periods in Saugerties and also some very slow times Elda pointed out. She has seen periods of high interest rates and reasonable ones, relatively low unemployment and the unemployment catastrophe brought on by IBM's departure. She feels sad that due to recent slow times in Saugerties owners anticipating putting their homes on the market for sale may find their homes don't appraise for what they have invested in them. This has really resulted in a market that is very much in favor of the buyer. Buyers are now able to do significantly better in terms of price and value than they might have in the recent past. As homes in the Saugerties area have become more affordable more people in the area have been able to buy who might not have been able too so long ago. Elda sees more single people buying homes now especially as compared to when she opened her business. And Elda credits a number of recent developments and anticipation of others in Saugerties as cause for real enthusiasm and excitement for the future of Saugerties. The new tennis camp at the old Sachs lodge, the anticipated medical facility on West Bridge St., the senior citizen residence anticipated for East Bridge St. in the Village, and the possibility of the talked about upscale shopping center, Catskill Commons, materializing are some of what Elda sees as boding well for the future of Saugerties. Elda has noticed greater interest recently in activities of the Saugerties Historical Society, too, and sees more pride and stability in the area than ever before.
Despite some improvement in the Real Estate Market this Summer and some signs that the local economy is beginning to pick up, Joan Feldman, owner of Field Court Realty with 2 locations in Saugerties, sees property owners competing very hard for buyers, and some distress selling. She is noticing foreclosures do to conditions in the job market and more people looking for rentals than purchases because of job market insecurities. The trauma center anticipated for the a part of the IBM facility and Fleet bank bringing some of it's operations here has helped the Saugerties economy. Joan is hoping to see more of this kind of growth.
Fran Heinlein, owner of Hilltop Realty, says, "Saugerties is a good Real Estate buy" and that "Saugerties is a perfect place to raise a family." It offers a wide range of benefits from a ballet center with 4 studios to wonderful and extensive sports facilities. Real Estate here is a terrific bargain offering low prices and good value compared to other areas according to Fran. And although she says one can buy a lot of house for the money in Saugerties and economic conditions are stable, major employers are necessary here for there to be a bright future for Saugerties.
Jack Bartells, of Dutch Valley Realty, in business now for only a year and a half, says the company was established because of the very positive potential they see for growth in the Saugerties/Kingston area. Jack's gut feeling is that the future for Saugerties and the whole Hudson Valley looks very bright. He feels the tremendous investment of capital in the Mall area of the town of Ulster, and increasing investment on the part of people from New York City in this area are very positive signs. Jack feels the Festival really "put Saugerties on the map" and that "we are just around the corner" from tremendous economic activity.
Steve Hubbard owns and operates Steve Hubbard Real Estate Services.