Home Buying in Port Chester>Question Details

Md, Home Buyer in Mamaroneck, NY

Waterfront development in Port Chester

Asked by Md, Mamaroneck, NY Thu Jun 14, 2007

Any scoop on how this is working now that the plans are being executed. The movie theater seems dead except on peak Saturday nights. What about the big condo developments, how are these selling? I'm interested in moving to the area, and the more affordable prices seem attractive, but not sure if the gentrification "graft" is going to pan out.

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I'm puzzled as to how people think this question hints at steering. He asks if the new developments and downtown redevelopment will "pan out" and lead to gentrification. Where does he hint at asking about demographics or ethnicity?

To answer the gentrification-graft part of his question: It is far from clear whether the new developments (commercial or residential) will foster a larger rebound in the village. The big-box stores downtown are an isolated island unto themselves, with fake windows along main street and almost no street-level entrances. I live within walking distance of it, and it's disheartening how pedestrians have to enter the dark bowels of the parking garage just to enter the supermarket. The streetscape is grim and the design has done little to help other businesses in the area. It's designed so you drive in, see your movie, eat at Panera or shop at the supermarket and then drive back out without ever having to risk walking along Main Street or encountering the rest of the village. "The Waterfront" turns its back on the rest of the village. The waterfront promenade is a poorly constructed, ill-maintained disgrace with subsiding walkways, broken railings and the occasional sterno bum sleeping on a bench. Ebb Tide (yummy seafood) is the only reason to go the the waterfront.

The downtown area shows some signs of renewal, but also has significant challenges along Main Street, Broad Street and the areas hidden behind Costco. The area between Midland Avenue and Grace Church Street has some seedy housing and has been the site of a distressing number of muggings in the past year. It's also where the toddlers who didn't speak were rescued by the police after they wandered off from their illegal-alien mother. Sufice it to say the housing projects are the best part fo that neighborhood (which, of course, ain't meant as a compliment).

Port Chester is a hodge podge of ethnicities, races, incomes and housing types. The village has always been a rather blue-collar melting pot. It now has a huge Hispanic population, a large share of which is illegal aliens and day laborers who congregate on the streets every morning. If you walk along Main Street or Westchester Avenue during the evening you won't hear much English. These people and their offspring are presenting an increasing burden on our school system and taxpayers. They also seem to make up a disproportionate amount of our police blotter (the hit-and-run killer who fled the country comes to mind, as does the pervert who abused his nephew).

Hopefully Port Chester will continue to slowly improve, and our home prices have held up pretty well. But is it a good time to buy? Probably only if you don't plan to move for at least five years, given the current economic conditions.

I don't have a real estate license, so I can speak the truth without fear of losing my license.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Ruthmarie,

Now that is exactly what I expected from the typical PC agent who automatically jumps to conclusions about LAWS and Objectives. Stated simply, Agents cannot "steer" clients, but they can use their understanding of what the client wants rather than wasting their time on visits to locations that are not of interest. I laugh when I hear comments like "get a grip", rather than a more rational and and thoughtful comment like, "this area may not be for you". The LAW was drafted by vote seeking government autocrats who all live in heterogeneous areas and couldn't care less about lower cost areas or laws that prevent thoughtful people from openly discussing issues. It's called sensorship, not progressive support of hard working middle to lower class neighborhoods. Yes, stay within the LAW, no matter how ill conceived it is, but be open minded to the needs of your clients. Otherwise, why use a real estate agent in the first place? The web is a wonderful resource and if the information you are getting is limited and misdirected, then I'll work with someone who isn't so hostile in return.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
Hello,

I am also a local real estate agent situated in White Plains. Port Chester is undergoing considerable development at this time and as it happens, I took a customer to Wellington Greene a few days ago. As stated by a previous poster, there are certain issues that by law weI can not address. Having said that, I will state that there are certain risks that can not be poo-pooed when it comes to new construction. Many buyers overlook those risks because they are wowed by the shiny new nature of the construction and it is indeed hard not to be taken in and carried away by the thrill of owning something that requires no work. You just move in. No muss, no fuss. You are wise to be cautious about any new construction. There is a chance with any new construction that they will have trouble selling all the units. If too many complexes go up at the same time, there is the potential for a glut.

My suggestion is that you find an agent that will do some of the leg work for you and can guide you through the maze. Going to these complexes directly puts you in the hands of agents who are agents for the seller and represent the seller alone. They will indeed try to "close the deal" because that is their job and indeed their obligation to the seller. This isn't dishonest. They can not represent the buyer AND the seller. So you are working with a seller's agent.

You can contact me if you are looking for a buyers agent.
Email RGHicks02@aol.com
Cell Phone: 914-374-5529
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2007
Lorne,
Bigotry is just ugly. We would never work together because that's what you are. Bigots don't like the law because it protects minorities against their prejudice.
Politically incorrect enough for you? Hope so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Hire a "Buyer's Agent" to help you out with your home search... it does not cost you anything since your "Buyer's Agent' will get reimbursed by the seller... BUT he or she works only for YOU and represents YOUR interests ONLY and not the sellers... that is the law... in contrast a "Seller's Agent" is only looking out for his client... as it should be...

So go ahead and interview a few agents and pick the one you feel will represent you best... Please feel free to call me if you have further questions...

Sincerely,
Phyllis Lerner
Associate Broker
Legends Realty Group
914-438-7556
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
I am about to close in Wellington Greene. talked to a couple of folks living there and they seemed pretty happy with their choice. Works for me as well. Even though I make fairly decent money, am priced out of most of Westchester and this only adds 10 minutes more to my commute from Larchmont (renting) into the city. Property taxes are high for sure. Just seems like anything that is really nice in westchester comes with a fat price tag. I'm hoping PC will be in that position maybe 4-5 years out. If not, I'll still have a very nice house that is close to the train station, which is mostly what matters to me as I spend most of my time in the city.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
Lorne,
You obviously know nothing about the LAWS that govern the conduct of real estate agents. BY LAW - I can not STEER a client towards or away from a given location. That is called STEERING and any agent who answers a question like that could face a steep fine or risk losing their license. If asked whether I would move my family to Port Chester or any other location I would have to say that BY LAW I can not answer that question.

The laws on steering date back to the 1960s- and 70s when it was commonplace to "steer" certain ethnic groups towards certain parts of town. African Americans found themselves unable to get access to homes in "white" areas even if they could afford the price. Another practice - of sending out mailings suggesting that values are decreasing because certain "undesirables" were moving into the area - in order to drum up business were also addressed by these regulations.

Get a grip and stop being so hostile. We must work within the constraints of the LAW - and if you think we don't get "caught" think again. Testers are regularly sent out to check to see if agents are in compliance.

In general, I have issues with new construction, which is why I answered the question the way I did. Sometimes its worth it, but often its not. When too much is built too quickly, values either remain flat or decrease and in the meantime the buyer paid a premium for all the eye candy an lush finishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
As I'm NOT a real estate professional, I can answer you'r "graft" question honestly and thoughtfully instead of hiding behind the typical PC comments that you might find from agents like Robin Lynch who believe that questions regarding demographics and related issues that governments and other agencies respond to openly under the guise of public discourse, are better not discussed because of a flawed law. Bottom line is that Port Chester is not there yet. Pockets of "new" are being built up, but don't expect a conversion to Greenwich any time in the next 30 years. The core remains hodge podge and seedy. You can tell by the driving patterns, parking patterns, the way people don't give a damn about how they walk in the middle of the street, hang out, the disrepair of smaller homes up the hill, the area around the Pathmark, etc... If you like mixing, then go for it, but don't expect the value to go up any time soon, except for speculators. And no robin, this doesn't make me a racist, it simply makes me "aware" that when buying a home you are buying into a school system (Port Chester is well behind the Westchester average), a neighborhood, a culture, an ambiance, etc... For ME, Port Chester doesn't cut it. Ask agents like Robin if she would move her family there?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 14, 2008
The area is going through this right now that some people still do not know. Buy quick before prices go up. There are a few hug developments coming into the area as well as famous new eatery's that are still to come. Alot of bigger plans not in place yet. I would say within 3 years prices will really take a big jump. Take advantage of lower pricing, low interest rates. You are not speculating when it comes to buying in Port Chester New York. Great Buy!

Mike Luchen
REMAX Power Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2007
I moved to the area 4 yrs ago to a co-op and I love it. Why not look into one of the co-ops. Most have pools and are affordable. I also work in the area and I can shop in town for anything that I need. I am very happy living here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2007
I was in Port Chester last Saturday night to dine at the Restaurant Q. My family and I had a great meal and plan on going back. I usually shop at the strip mall that houses A.I Friedman, so going further down the street, it's amazing what is happening to that area. I'm going to have to try all the new shops and restaurants. I'm a Realtor on the Hudson River side of Westchester. I can be reached at 914-591-5600ext.12. I'm with Hudson Shores Realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 21, 2007
Federal and State laws prevent any real estate professional from answering your question. Fair Housing Laws prohibit real estate agents from "steering" clients into or out of neighborhoods. These laws protect consumers from prejudice based upon ethnicity, religion, family status, or anything other than the consumers ability to afford a particular property. These laws truly are for the common good.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 15, 2007
My question is: How is Port Chester doing since the development has been up and running for a while now? The area has the massive, hulking "The Waterfront" of big box shops, just down the road from humble, early-mid 20th century store fronts. Natually, realtors press to close a sale with me, but as the (three!) condo developments in P.C. are a new kind of housing for the area, are buyers of them going to be stuck when they wish to sell in 2-3 years, as there will be a continual glut of the same-type of inventory, going forward?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 15, 2007
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