March 2018: Spring into Action!
Although it’s hard to believe, spring is just around the corner. Soon the city will be laced with green (and not just for St. Patrick’s Day!) and people will emerge from their winter cocoons and fill the parks and outdoor cafes. Spring is also a great time for parties (read below) and of course, the busy season in real estate. Read on for tips and tricks to make this spring work for you.
The Story: The Housewarming Party
The Jump Off
You’ve moved into your new home and now it’s time to welcome friends and family over to catch up on life, share real estate war stories and have some fun! And yet, the idea of planning and hosting a party seems too overwhelming after the exertion of a big move. The question is, how to throw a successful party that doesn’t leave you frazzled and sweaty in the kitchen?
The key to any successful party is getting organized. Your goal, of course, is to spend some quality time with friends, enjoy yourself and make your guests feel comfortable. So keep it simple but elegant. Greeting your guests at the door with your signature drink (perhaps an easy Mimosa for the grown-ups and lemonade for the kids) instantly helps your guests settle in and gives you a few minutes one-on-one with each person. To make it easier for guests to mingle, ditch fork-and-knife food in favor of bite-sized versions of your favorite dishes that can be laid out or passed around to keep the party moving. Get one step ahead by keeping your home stocked with some beautiful platters and wood or marble cheese boards, cocktail napkins, anything mini (cups, bowls, white plates) and fancy food and cocktail picks (you can get simple bamboo ones or go crazy on Etsy) so you can throw together a classy party at a moment’s notice and with minimal effort.
The Wrap Up
The idea is to get a basic routine down that you can repeat in the future with slight variations. Most guests won’t remember that you served the same canapés at your last party — if they do, they probably liked them!
The Conversation Cheat Sheet
What to say to your friend who’s looking to trade in her corner cafe and subway commute for a corner lot and a big backyard…
Maybe take the suburbs out for a test drive? This is an interesting new trend, and might be a great way to seal the deal — that is, if your seller is game. For someone considering a move to Westchester, Long Island or New Jersey, there are plenty of services designed to match you with the right town but it’s even better to pay a visit to your friends who have paved the way to suburbia and see how their lives have changed. If you do make the decision to move, let us connect you with our local experts that will help you make a sound decision. And in case you have your sites set on someplace even further afield, check out this list of the best small cities to live in. (From personal vacation experience, I can vouch that #2 and #3 on the list are pretty great, but price-wise you might as well stay in NYC!)
It’s my party and I’ll cook if I want to…
When it comes to springtime — or anytime — entertaining, easy yet elegant is our motto. We’re not trying to channel our inner sous chef, we just want to have a lovely time with friends. You can even enlist Alexa to help you out in the kitchen as cooking becomes more and more high-tech. Something else we’re seeing in kitchens? Two-toned cabinets are going strong and can make a nice statement.
If you’re ready for March to go out like a lamb…
As the cold winter months melt away (we promise they are!) it’s the perfect time to enjoy the beauty that Mother Earth has to offer. Take a springtime stroll through one of the many fabulous NYC Parks and check out all the budding trees and emerging greenery. If you’re ready for some full-on blooms, check out The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, running through April 22 or get a free floral experience right in Midtown at the Macy’s Flower Show running March 25 through April 8. And for those of you more interested in big screens than big blooms, don’t forget the Tribeca Film Festival is next month!
The Gabriele Moment
Here’s what I’ve been up to these past few weeks as I walk, bike and race between the bridges and the parks.
Welcoming Jadan into our home
We are excited to announce that Jadan, our Golden Retriever puppy, has joined our family! She is so sweet and playful and has already brought so much joy to our world. Jadan explores our home with an adorable curiosity and has figured out where we hide our shoes and exactly how to wrap us around her four little paws. We couldn’t be happier!
They Said It
“Being new to the real estate market we needed somebody we could trust — we were lucky to have Gabriele since she’s extremely responsible, honest and efficient. She got things done for us we thought could not be done. Still the process of buying an apartment should not hinge on luck — we needed a professional who would go an extra mile and Gabriele did that for us.” ~ E.F., buyer
In Case You Missed It
Condos With Extras on the Side | The Washington Post
NYC’s 25 most expensive homes for sale | Curbed New York
Are brokerages finally coming around to the chief creative officer role? | The Real Deal
Each month, in this new section of our newsletter, you’ll find stories to inspire you. We’ve reached out to our clients, colleagues and friends to ask them to answer the question of what home means to them. Is it the struggle to save up for the dream of home ownership? The quest to find your place in a new community? Or simply finding a place where you’re free to be you? Read on. Reach out. Connect.
Horsehair and Pine: A Home Renovation Story
By Guest Contributor Paul Schwartz
Like any stereotypical native New Yorker who grew up in an apartment building, I met another native New Yorker who grew up in an apartment building and we set our sights on finding our own space — in, presumably, an apartment building. Instead, we wound up in a 1920 row house, complete with the original horsehair insulation and not an instruction manual in sight.
Suddenly, home as I knew it had a bit more uncharted territory than expected. While I found this daunting, it was also an opportunity to start tinkering, experimenting and making the place into our own. In this process, I developed a passion for carpentry and carved out a small space in the basement to practice. In laying out a small urban workshop, I needed to be careful to keep the space flexible and be mindful of selecting only the most vital tools. Of course, working in and on an old house has proved to be challenging as I’ve had to unravel the layers of almost ten decades of home improvements. Trying to find the original floors took us back through 1990’s tile, to 1970’s vinyl, to 1960’s vinyl to 1940’s linoleum to finally find the original pine (thankfully in good condition and just in need of refinishing).
While these challenges are not unique, they were intimidating to a couple of apartment dwellers. But it was refreshing to step out of our comfort zone. Now, when the demands of my day require me to be constantly connected and juggle many issues, it is nice to be able to go home to a place we have been able to make our own and escape, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Paul Schwartz is a lifelong Brooklynite, father, and structural engineer.
We love hearing from our nuclear families, downtown hipsters, animal-friendly citizens, and our eco-conscious dwellers. All the movers, shakers and transplants. The Gabriele Sewtz Team aims to reinvent what it takes to make the real estate journey effortless. And in doing so, aligns with the Compass vision of helping others find their place in this world. It can be a scary place sometimes, but we’ve got your back. If you agree, would you take a minute to help us out with a referral?