Archive for Westchester NY Real Estate Blog – Page 2

SOWE 2014 Grand Tasting Village in Scarsdale

Through food and wine sampling, the SOWE Food & Wine Festival brings the community together to generate awareness and raise fund to fight hunger, obesity, and malnutrition. Beginning Friday, September 19, 2014 in White Plains, a remarkable kitchen stadium sets the tone for the SOWE Best Chef Battle. Saturday, September 20, 2014, Mamaroneck hosts the Grand Culinary Village.

Sunday, September 21, 2014, Scarsdale hosts the Wilson & Son’s Grand Tasting Village. This Grand even includes Mrs. Green’s Healthy Eating Pavilion, Kids Zone, and

Live Music. The Grand Tasting Village is an event that has to be seen and experienced to be believed. For the ultimate culinary indulgence, The Grand Tasting Village at SOWE 2014 Food & Wine Festival is the place to be. From over 300 wines from top-notch producers around the world, over 100 restaurants, craft beers, top celebrity chefs, your day will be spent tasting, smelling, eating, drinking, learning, and watching.

The Kids Zone is the perfect setting for the kiddies to gather to experience the Grand Tasting Village. Learn how to use clean, natural foods at Mrs. Green’s Healthy Eating Pavilion. You can bet there will be plenty of action when foodies from all over gather for SOWE 2014. The music, kids’ activities, demonstrations, book signings, along with the company of friends old and new are to be enjoyed in this atmosphere of fun and excitement. Come and mingle, mix, taste, and sip with the best this country has to offer. Previous years have proven that the food and fun is unforgettable. Help yourself to an ocean of eats, drinks, celebrity chefs, and the signature dishes of your favorite restaurants.

Prudential Centennial Realty is a proud sponsor of The Grand Tasting Village at SOWE 2014 Food & Wine Festival. We are proud to serve the communities of Westchester County and invite you to bring your family to this outstanding event and support the cause to generate awareness of the fight to end hunger, obesity, and malnutrition. We promise you will go away feeling like you can’t wait for next year! Check out  Southern Westchester Food & Wine Event for tickets & further details.

If you would like more information on life in Westchester, please contact us 7 days a week. At Prudential Centennial Realty, we’re here to help you with all of your Westchester real estate needs.

Back to School To Dos…in Westchester

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Back to School To Dos…in Westchester

As the warm days of summer wind to a close, the cool, crisp days of fall and back-to-school activities are here. Getting the new school year off on the right foot can help your child’s attitude, confidence, and performance. Here are a few suggestions to help the transition to school:

  • Fall Starts

·          Schedule doctor, dental, and vision checkups.

·          Keep the material sent by the school in an accessible place. The packets include information about your child’s teacher, room assignment, school supply requirements, activity sign-ups, calendar dates, transportation information, health and emergency contact forms, and volunteer needs.

·          Make a note of important dates such as back-to-school-nights.

·          Make copies of your child’s health and emergency information.

·          Re-establish mealtime and bedtime routines.

·          Turn off the TV and encourage your child to work on puzzles, flash cards, color, or read as early morning activities.

·          Visit your child’s school with him. Meet her teacher, locate the classroom, locker, lunchroom, and restrooms.

·          Confirm the school dress guidelines and shop for clothes accordingly.

·          Designate a homework spot.

·          Select a spot for backpacks and lunch boxes to lessen the last minute morning rush.

  • And…

·          If possible, postpone business trips, meetings, and extra projects so you can help your child get used to the school routine.

·          Make lunches the night before to reduce morning confusion.

·          Set alarm clocks to help your child get used to the idea of waking early.

·          Make sure there is plenty of time in the morning for breakfast.

·          Talk over what the after school routine will be once school starts.

·          Let the teacher know you are interested in feedback on how your child is doing in school.

·          Find out who in the school and district can be a resource for you and your child.

There are 48 public school districts in Westchester County and each of them live up to the high standards of New York State. Several have been commended by the NYS Department of Education as schools of excellence and there are many extracurricular and enrichment programs.

If you are considering a move to any of our communities, contact us at Prudential Centennial Realty, so we can help you get off on the right foot.

Will cold weather in Larchmont mean frozen pipes at your home?

Yes, it’s winter in Westchester, NY.  Yes, it’s cold (but beautiful!), but that doesn’t mean you have to worry about frozen pipes!  Learning what to do if this happens to you, and how you can avoid it can be key to keeping your showers hot this winter.

Prudential Centennial Realty has put together some information to keep your house – and water – running smoothly.

First, what are some common reasons for frozen pipes?

Water pipes will usually be more susceptible to freezing when the outdoor air temperature is below freezing for more than a few days. Special attention should be given when the outdoor air temperature does not rise above zero degrees during the daytime hours. Some reasons include:

  1. Unheated basement where the water meter and pipes are located.
  2. Uninsulated pipes which are against outside walls.
  3. Open windows near water meter or pipes.
  4. Openings or cracks which allow cold outside air near the water meter or pipes.
  5. Water meter or pipes enclosed or boxed in against outside wall.

How do I know if my pipes are frozen?

Generally, when a pipe which feeds a certain fixture such as a shower, sink or toilet freezes, you will no longer be able to get water through that fixture. This would be the case if the pipe is frozen solid.

Why do frozen water pipes break?

When water freezes within a pipe, the volume of the water expands. Meaning, the same amount of water takes up more space as a solid than as a liquid. This causes the pipes to expand and possibly break at a weak point. You might not notice immediately though. The pipes may thaw from the inside out with the pipe actually breaking only when full water pressure is restored.

Do only pipes inside the house freeze?

No. Not only is your inside plumbing susceptible to freezing, but your water service could also be subject to freezing. This is caused by frost in the ground encasing your service in ice, thereby freezing your service. This is especially typical of shallow (less than three feet deep) services.

What is a water service?

A water service is a pipe which begins with a connection to the water main in the City right-of-way. This pipe was designed solely for the purpose of delivering fresh water to your home plumbing fixtures (i.e. sinks, toilets, showers, etc.) This line has valves on it to allow your water to be turned on or off.

Where are my shutoff valves?

Normally, there are actually two major shutoff valves in line with your service. The first valve, called a corporation stop, is generally located at the water main and is buried under the street. The other major valve is located next to the water meter. Other valves may be near plumbing appliances such as sinks and toilets.

What part of my service is my property and my responsibility?

The resident’s responsibility for maintenance begins immediately after the meter box, and from there, up through the entire home. However, the water meter itself is the property of the servicing agent, in many cases the city. More importantly, the valve adjacent to the meter is the responsibility of the resident.

Should I maintain my main shutoff valve?

Keeping your main valve in good working condition will assure you that you will be able to turn your water off in the event of an emergency, in case one of your water pipes break, for example. Older style gate valves should be turned periodically due to possible corrosion build-up. Newer Teflon coated ball valves should stay in working order without any regular turning.

What should I do if my pipes freeze?

If your pipes freeze, there are some procedures that you can follow to thaw them. The quicker that the problem is recognized, the better chance that damage will be minimized. Some techniques for thawing frozen pipes include:

  1. If possible, expose a boxed-in area to the inside heat. An example includes opening some ceiling tiles if your home has a drop ceiling.
  2. Use a heat gun. However, be extremely careful as the heat from the heat gun will ignite any wood or paper they contact.
  3. DO NOT use torches to thaw pipes!
  4. Rubbing the pipes with warm damp rags may slowly thaw the line.
  5. If you do not have water for an extended period of time then turn off the gas to your hot water heater.

How can I prevent my pipes from freezing?

There are many ways to help prevent your water pipes from freezing in extreme weather. Some suggestions include:

  1. Keep the pipes exposed to outside walls heated.
  2. Provide ventilation to pipes allowing warmer air to circulate around them.
  3. Insulate your pipes.
  4. Caulk and seal any openings near your water pipes.
  5. Keep some tap water running. (Moving water is more difficult to freeze; however, this will affect your bill.)
  6. In severe cases, it is best to turn your main valve off and drain your system by turning your faucets on. This way, there will be no water in your pipes to freeze. Even if your pipes have not frozen in the past, severe cold can cause electricity blackouts and thereby disable your furnace. Your home can then become closer to the outdoor temperature very quickly. Draining your system will assure that your pipes do not freeze. This is normally done if no one will be home for an extended period in extreme weather.

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Take Preventative Action

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Future Protection

  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
  • Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • For more information, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional.

Westchester County, NY has so many beautiful historic homes that add charm and uniqueness to our communities!  And, though older homes can be more difficult to prevent freezing pipes – between the area and its wonderful surroundings, Mt. Vernon is well worth it!

Looking for a unique home to call your own?  Visit one of the many open houses Prudential Centennial has to show you online and in person.  Contact us to learn more today!

How many times per day should you scroll through your emails? How many emails should you have in your inbox? How many times a day should you check your email? Zero, zero, and three. Surprised? Read on to learn how to tame and completely clear out your inbox.

Most people begin their workday by sorting through emails. An hour and half later, they are still trying to get to the end of their inboxes. By reading, replying to, or working on your emails while going through them, instead of making decisions and categorizing them, getting ahead is not an option.

Today, many people are caught up in an endless loop of processing and producing. They never empty their inbox because they are working on emails instead of making decisions about what to do with them. Processing is deciding, categorizing, prioritizing, and sorting. Producing is getting work done and creating output.

Everything on your computer should either be an action item or a support (save) item. Keep action items, those tasks to do now or in the future in your email program. Keep support items, reference information that needs no action taken in Window Explorer or your shared drive.

There are four places or options for the email in your electronic inbox: Forward, Action, Delete, and Support.

  • First – Click the Forward icon and send the email on its way.
  • Second – Drag email to an action folder such as Read, Reply, Call, Pay, etc. Set up these folders in the left window of your computer.
  • Third – Hit the delete key.
  • Fourth – Drag an email to one of twelve or fewer support category folders broken down by subject in Window Explorer. Once there, save it.

The only emails you want in your email program are the ones that need action. When you organize your inbox this way, your action emails aren’t floating around with your support emails.

So, no more endless scrolling. Decide what needs to be done with each email and drag them to one of your four places and watch your life become easier.

At Prudential Centennial Realty you be assured your emails won’t be ignored. You can contact any of our experienced management team 7 days a week. If you are thinking about making your move to Hartsdale, let us help make your move easier.

Creating a place where your dog can romp happily in the backyard takes a little planning, but pet-friendly amenities can add to the charm of your yard. If your Eastchester backyard is home to your favorite four-legged friend, here are a few ideas to keep them and you happy this summer.

Fresh water is essential, so why not add a splash fountain or stream to your landscape. No dry water bowls to worry about, just lots and lots of cool, clear water.

A small pond is another option, especially if your dog loves water. Just be sure she can easily get in and out with a gently sloping side or shallow steps.

Dogs need boundaries. A fully fenced backyard or a dog run within a larger area are good options to keep your pooch safe and happy.

Use fencing materials that match your landscaping style. Picket fences, post and wire, or wooden slats are all attractive alternatives to chain-link. Make sure it is sturdy enough to keep your dog in while keeping other dogs out.

Dogs need shelter and shade and a place to get out of the elements. Large trees provide shade, but if trees aren’t available, tarps and shade cloths that stretch over a designated area work well.

Dog houses come in all shapes and sizes to match any landscape décor. Check out your local pet store or online catalog to find one that suits your taste.

While they are beautiful to look at, some plants are toxic to dogs if ingested. Cocoa mulch smells great, but if your dog eats it, it can cause the same toxic reactions as chocolate. Before choosing which plants and mulch to use, check with your vet or the ASPCA for a list of plants and organic material that might irritate or even kill your precious pooch.

Be sure to keep baits for snails, rats, and other garden pests in areas your dog can’t access.

Provide a place to play. When your dog can exercise and play, he won’t get bored, and he will be less likely to look for trouble.

If you are looking for a great place in Eastchester for your family and your four-legged friend, contact us at Prudential Centennial. Our friendly, experienced management staff is pet friendly and understands the special needs that come with our canine family members. Contact us today.

If you’re like most parents, it has probably been a long time since you enjoyed a meal with tablecloths, wait staff, crystal clear goblets, and utensils made of something other than plastic. Maybe your last meal out with your kids was at that place in the mall where the floor was sticky from spilled soda, or where you wished you had earplugs to drown out the endless beeps of the video arcade, or where you tried your best to sprint to the counter to pick up your order before hearing, “Number 42, your order is ready . . . number 42, pleeeease!” one more time.

But having young children doesn’t mean you can never again enjoy a family meal at a nice dining establishment. With proper expectations and preparations, your next meal out with your little ones can be a nourishing experience.

While it is true some restaurants don’t allow children below a certain age, many restaurants are actually quite kid-friendly. If there is any question, call ahead.

Understand that your child probably won’t sit perfectly still and be quiet as a mouse, but mice are never welcome guests at a restaurant anyway. Talk to them before venturing out so they can learn the proper way to behave in a restaurant.

Be sure to choose restaurants that are appropriate for family dining and try to go early. Moderately priced ethnic restaurants, casual but elegant dining, trendy university hangouts are all good choices. Lunch is a nice time to dine.

Feed your little one a light snack before you go to so she isn’t dying of hunger while you wait. If you choose a place that serves bread or chips, ask the waiter to bring them as soon as possible.

Ordering side dishes for your toddler will make him feel special and might get him to try something he has never eaten before.

Enjoying a meal out on the town with your kids can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience. Relax and have fun. Westchester County has many family-friendly restaurant cuisines to choose from.

If you’re in the mood for seafood, stop by Eastchester Fish Gourmet. Yearning for Mexican cuisine? Hartsdale’s Vega Mexican Cuisine is the place for you. In Larchmont, Encore Bistro’s menu of appetizing French entrées is a food lover’s delight. Have a yen for Japanese food? Encore Abis Japanese Restaurant in Mamaroneck is the place you want to be. New Rochelle offers a taste of India at Coromandel Cuisine of India. For a taste of Americana, DNA Smokehouse in Scarsdale serves up delectable American Barbecue. If your looking for a Sunday activity plus #outdoordining check out Chat in Scarsdale or Larchmont.  If it’s Sunday morning in Scarsdale and you’ve just enjoyed a bike ride on the Bronx River Parkway or a #Soulcycle ride, stroll over to Parkway Café for some delicious eggs and smoothies!

If you are looking to locate here in Westchester County, contact our friendly and professional staff at Prudential Centennial. We are available 7 days a week and would love to help you find the place that is just right for your home owner’s palate.

The clients came to their interior designer with a common dilemma. They needed space for the children to play, but didn’t want to give up their guest room or add another room to the house. They were stumped.

Their designer came up with a solution often used in small urban apartments, a Murphy bed. It takes up less space than a futon or sofa sleeper and uses standard mattresses so guests, including Grandpa and Grandma have a more comfortable place to sleep. With a Murphy bed, there is no need to compromise on the quality of the mattress.

The Murphy bed which tucks into cabinetry when not in use is making a comeback and enjoying new-found popularity. It is a space-saver in many types of homes, not just studio apartments. And empty-nesters as well as Baby Boomers and other homeowners are incorporating them into rooms to add extra space.

Maybe you would like to turn a bedroom in your Mamaronek home into a hobby room, home office, or exercise studio but still need a place for your grown children or other guests to sleep when they visit. A Murphy bed may just be the answer.

Unlike conventional beds, Murphy beds can be designed to complement any décor. They can be designed vertically or horizontally, and can be incorporated into cabinetry for offices or craft rooms. Some manufacturers design beds that are hidden in a faux wall rather than a traditional cabinet. Resource Furniture in New York sells a wall bed that flips down over the top of a couch attached to a faux wall.

The mattress is generally encased in a frame that pulls out from a cabinet or wall. Today’s improved mechanisms for lowering and raising the bed makes the process an easy job for one person.

Whatever the need is for extra space in your beautiful Mamaronek home, a Murphy bed may very well be one of the best investments you can make. Space, affordability, a comfortable place for guests to sleep – what more could you ask for?

But if you find that your home is still a little too crowded and would like to make a change, let our experienced and friendly management staff here at Prudential Centennial Realty help you find the perfect place to call home. You can contact us 7 days a week.

Layered window treatments are all the rage this season, so let your creativity run wild as you try on a new look in your New Rochelle home. Layers craft feeling, create a mood, and showcase your unmistakable taste.

The base layer is the key to choosing your look, and your lifestyle is the foundation of your layering success. Consider light, energy efficiency, privacy, and your overall view of the great outdoors.

Blinds and shutters offer the most options for light control with slats or louvers that allow in just the right amount of light. Blackout shades are a good option for the bedroom, while cellular honeycomb shade designs insulate your windows from heat and cold to lower your energy bills all year long

Don’t worry about hard and fast rules in choosing style. The most important thing to consider is the mood you want to create in your room. Fun family rooms feel fresh and inviting with a splash of pattern and color. Windows in a country kitchen come alive with unbleached muslin, brushed denim, or lacey fabrics. To create a bedroom retreat, consider rich texture and warmth with neutral shades.

The top layer of your window treatment is where you can play with your creativity. Heavy velvet or silk adds deep color and textural drama. The billowy feel of linen fabric adds an element of breezy sophistication. Cotton imparts a crisp, neat ambience.

To achieve a serene setting, select tones that coordinate with wall color. Vibrant colors and patterns create a bold drama with a clean custom feel.

Windows are a major part of your room’s character and style. Don’t be afraid to play with fabrics, patterns, shutters, blinds, and designs. There is really no right or wrong way to dress your windows; it depends on the spirit you wish for your room to exude. If you aren’t confident in your decorating prowess, don’t hesitate to let a decorator help you find your style. With a little assistance and creativity, you can turn a boring window into something that makes your room come alive.

And if you are in the market for a new home, New Rochelle is a great place to live. Contact us today here at Prudential Centennial Realty. Together we can help you find the perfect home with windows that are just right for you and your family.

 

Many Americans agree that summer isn’t complete without hot dogs. In fact, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans will consume approximately 7 billion hot dogs according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

But when questioned about which toppings make the perfect dog, the discussion gets a little testy. Regional preferences range from plain to downright peculiar. Let’s look at six classic American favorites:

Chicago-style Hot Dog: In the windy city, an all-beef steamed or chargrilled hot dog is set on a steamed poppy seed bun topped with a of choice yellow mustard, chopped white onions, green relish, a dill pickle spear, sport peppers, and tomatoes. Sprinkled with a little celery salt, the Chicago dog is complete.

Coney Island Hot Dog: From Detroit, Michigan, this steamed or grilled hot dog is topped with an all-meat chili, yellow mustard, and chopped onions.

Sonoran Hot Dog: Although popular in the Southwest, this hot dog’s origins can be traced to Sonora, Mexico. Wrapped in bacon and griddled or deep-fried, then placed on an extra thick bun or bread, the condiments include chopped white onions, tomato sauce, pinto beans, jalapeños, and mayonnaise.

Slaw Hot Dog: This Southern favorite features a hot dog that is brought to just below boiling temperature in hot water, then steamed to perfection. Topped with all-meat chili sauce, chopped white onions, and coleslaw, this is bound to make your Southern friends smile.

Seattle Hot Dog: An all-beef hot dog that was first sold on the streets of Seattle after 3:00 am when the bars closed is topped with cream cheese and grilled white onions.

New York Hot Dog: Also known as the dirty water dog because the hot dogs are held in the same water they are boiled in as they are peddled by pushcart vendors in NYC. They are traditionally topped with brown mustard, sauerkraut, and red onion sauce.

Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy hot dogs, and whether you enjoy yours with catsup, mustard, and pickle relish, or some other more exotic topping, Larchmont is the perfect place to enjoy them. Check out Walter’s Hot Dog Stand.  A Westchester institution and nationally registered historical landmark, Walter’s has been serving their world-famous hot dog since 1919.

At Prudential Centennial Realty, we understand that just like hot dog lovers have differing opinions on what toppings make a perfect hot dog, home owners’ opinions differ on what makes the perfect home. Contact our friendly management staff today and let us help you find your perfect home!

Gardening in New Rochelle, NY

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Benefits of Foliar Fertilization

Westchester, NY residents truly benefit from the wonderful climate when it comes to home gardens.  And, though our soil is rich, there are many ways to bolster plant production.

Foliar fertilization is a technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves.  This type of feeding can truly complement soil fertilization; however, it is not considered a replacement to the traditional soil fertilization method.  Foliar feeding is done with fully water-soluble nutrient rich fertilizers that can help increase crop yield and plant quality.  Additionally, this method can also be more cost effective to famers and DIY gardeners alike!

Research has shown that the benefits of foliar feeding are quite clear.  It is because of its success that foliar feeding and fertilization has dramatically increased across the country.  If you are a farmer, or just love to garden as a hobby, you should know about the many important benefits of using foliar fertilization.

 
1. Strengthens plant protection in proper measurementsThe liquid nutrients provided by foliar fertilization when added to liquid chemicals applied for plant protection are known to protect the plant much quicker than chemical compounds alone.
2. Avoid malnutrition caused by poor weather and soil conditions Drought, floods, cold weather or unseasonable weather extremes, and other conditions can lead to a nutrient deficiency in the soil.  There is a clear advantage of foliar application of nutrients especially in the case of adverse soil conditions.  The foliar feeding process can help plants overcome soil limitations that prevent the efficient transfer of nutrients to the plant. As the uptake or absorption of nutrients through the foliage is considerably faster than through the root system, foliar sprays are the best way to cure dire nutrient deficiencies and save the plant.3.  Increased trace nutrient availability

Foliar fertilization provides faster uptake and much better utilization of trace nutrients than soil.  In soil, the trace nutrients often bind to elements in the soil making them unavailable to the plant for use.

4.      Faster, targeted plant recovery

When the plant is weakened by disease and injury, it is often followed closely by nutrient deficiency. Since vital nutrients applied using the foliar fertilization method can be used much more rapidly, the ability of the plant to repair itself is much greater.

5.      Provides vital nutrients at high demand stages of plant growth

It is well known that certain stages of plant growth are of greater importance when it comes to determining the plant’s final yield. Foliar feeding with completely water-soluble fertilizers at these critical stages can dramatically increase yield quantity as well as yield quality.

 

There are so many wonderful benefits to foliar fertilization and feeding your plants!  To improve your yield and the quality of your produce or flower garden give it a try!

Not enough room in your yard for a garden?  Contact us today – we’ll help you find the perfect place for your family.  Or, browse our comprehensive listings for New Rochelle or other Westchester, NY homes online!

 

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