Madelyn Ricciardi is upbeat about one sector of the housing market that doesn't get much press. "The condo market is really very strong right now," she says.
Ricciardi, an agent with Houlihan Lawrence for more than 28 years, recently sold her Chappaqua family home, where she raised five children, and downsized to a condominium in Heritage Hills, Somers. She couldn't be more delighted.
There are many good reasons condos are a good alternative to single family homes, says Ricciardi. They can be affordable for first-time home buyers and are great for anyone looking to downsize to a smaller residence. Condos often provide community activities and amenities, such as recreation and fitness facilities - and there is the added convenience of never having to shovel snow or cut the lawn.
Ricciardi's many years experience in the local real estate market and the fact that she has recently gone through the transition herself make her a great one-stop resource for homeowners considering a move to a condo.
The Heritage Hills condominium community where Ricciardi lives rambles over 1,000-plus acres of expertly landscaped property. She says the condos have lovely views of rolling terrain, ponds and woodlands. Residents can enjoy privacy and serenity as well as the types of amenities normally found at an upscale country club.
In addition to a full fitness center, owners and renters have their pick of five swimming pools, seven tennis courts and three bocce courts. Gardeners can tend to a plot in the community garden while golfers can join a nine- or 18-hole course for an additional fee.
Ricciardi says the diverse community ranges from young families, whose children go to the excellent local schools, to retirees who spend the winters in warmer climes but want a home base in Westchester to be closer to the grandchildren during the summer months. Many working professionals, like herself, make their home here too, including commuters who travel to the city from Goldens Bridge train station.
Units range in size from 900 square feet with one bedroom to 2,000+ square feet with three bedrooms. Features include fireplaces and private patios or decks, and many models have an attached garage. Another strong selling point, Ricciardi says, is that property taxes are reasonable, a rarity in New York State.
"I've been in the business for 30 years and I know all the condos in the area," says Ricciardi. She's delighted with her move and knows that she's made a good investment. "I'm not worried about resale. Heritage Hills is always in demand."