“If you’re planning on building a home in a time when others are leery, you are probably making the smartest decision of your life. Mortgage rates are at an historic low, and there has never been a better time to invest in your future. The stock market is fluctuating, and if you’ve decided you might as well build your vacation or retirement home now, while the rates are low, you have made a sound financial investment. Real estate traditionally rebounds faster than other investments and offers at least a ten percent return. Now is the time to get started on the rest of your life.”
We asked Rich Kuplen, project leader of a new development on Tanzman Lakes, about these statements. He is betting on smart young professionals seizing the opportunity. The Legends on Tanzman Lake, a small, gated community in Parksville, NY. is located in Sullivan County, only two hours from the George Washington Bridge, but it’s a world away from the fast-paced and noisy city life. Located in the Catskills, it is the ideal location for a weekend home and a splendid locale for retirement property. To maintain the aesthetics of the property, there are no power lines, with all of the utility lines hidden underground. The Legends had over thirty sites of 3-5 acres available and more than one half of them are sold. Secluded, with a small lake, the site offers a peaceful retreat and privacy.
We asked Rich who was buying the property and the answer was a little surprising. One would expect the answer to be retired people, but it isn’t. “Young professional people are who I am dealing with. Most of the buyers seem to be in the mid-thirties to the mid-forties,” Kuplen stated. He credited the nearness to the city and the site planning and preparation work that he had implemented. The home-sites come complete with finished driveways and high-speed internet access. The road is completed; the home owners will have a small maintenance fee for yearly upkeep of the road and common areas, but it’s ready to go and that’s a good selling point.
Beaver Mountain Log & Cedar Homes has been designated as the log home producer of choice for The Legends, so we asked why he had made that choice. Mr. Kuplen said that he was already familiar with the quality of the homes offered by Beaver Mountain, and he was also familiar with their accomplishments. He stated that you can choose any company that you want, but he has worked with Beaver Mountain and their reputation speaks for itself.
According to Mr. Kuplen, he chose Beaver Mountain for the following reasons:
• Beaver Mountain has been in business for more than 26 years; they are not going away.
• What you order is what you get. Unlike other manufacturers, the packages from Beaver Mountain are complete.
• They are located in Hancock, NY, half an hour from the property site, so if there is a problem, they can get a replacement piece out to us the same day.
• They work with reputable people. “Arrowbrook Construction has put up three Beaver Mountain Homes at the Legends, and Jim and Scott Stevenson have been the contractors on all three projects and the feedback has been completely positive. If it were up to me, I would have them build every home on the property. They have been fantastic!”
Jim and Scott Stevenson of Arrowbrook Construction are pleased with Rich Kuplen’s endorsement, but they are quick to point out that they have been fortunate to partner with Beaver Mountain in building three homes at Tanzman Lake. Scott pointed out that they had actually constructed similar designs to the three models that Beaver Mountain has available for tours at their main office in Hancock. “It seems like a happy coincidence that the first three we put up are modified versions of the models on display in Hancock.” Arrowbrook has plans to construct two more homes at Tanzman Lake this spring and summer. With half of the available sites already purchased, Arrowbrook hopes that other buyers will opt for a Beaver Mountain Custom Log Home. Scott explained the reasons to work with Beaver Mountain are immediately obvious to a contractor.
• A home by Beaver Mountain is a quicker build than other log homes. As a result, interior walls and framework are not exposed to the elements as long, providing less opportunity for damage.
• The quick response to a question or a replacement piece is fantastic.
• The packages are complete. “I love the tongue and groove fit on the logs and half-log siding. There are no rows of nails to mar the looks,” Scott commented.
They will build other homes as well. They suggest that you do your research and make close comparisons so you know what you are getting and can make the right choice for you.
Jim Stevenson has put up over fifty Beaver Mountain Custom Log Homes, including his own. He is proud of the rapport that he establishes with his customers and asserts he can call any one of those homeowners to this day and ask to walk someone through their home, and they are happy to oblige him. He feels that this is the acid test for any contractor. Arrowbrook has a crew of eight that includes Jim and his son, Scott, and they can finish your home to your satisfaction. If ‘the devil is truly in the details’, then Arrowbrook is a buyer’s dream because the Arrowbrook Construction team is out to please the customer and takes satisfaction in doing things right. They know the best people in the business, from excavation through to the final touches, and they can make your dream home come to life before your eyes.
Jim enjoys watching the homeowners as construction gets to a point where they can wander over a floor and say, “This will be the master bath.” People love the building process and are excited as they begin to see the home take on substance from one visit to the next. It pleases Jim to see them smile, and when he goes home every evening, he likes glancing back to see his day’s handiwork.
On a recent visit to Tanzman Lake, Scott and Jim took us to see three of the new homes. It was a pleasure to see the completed homes nestled in the woods or peeking through the trees as we drove along the winding road that is part of the charm of the community. We liked all of the homes, but one of the woman on the tour walked into the custom Cedar Ridge, which happened to be the smallest, said, “This is it.” It matched her mind’s eye vision of what she wanted her home to be. Lots of glass and an open look made her feel like she was outdoors. The spiral staircase gave the home an upbeat touch that added fun.
The home is similar in design to the Cedar Ridge and has a geo-thermal heating system to warm it in the winter and cool it in the summer. We are all becoming conscious of our carbon footprint, so there were a lot of questions that had to do with energy, heating and fuel costs.
The customized Grandview impressed us as we walked a cat walk that took us over the great room below. The cathedral ceiling was spectacular. Jim explained that this home had two heating systems; the main floor had radiant heat under the floors to warm the entire room. Upstairs a second system could be turned on to bring extra heat to the bedrooms, if needed. The secondary system also provided air conditioning. To complete the energy efficiency, the owners had installed a tankless hot water heater. The large fireplace was being worked on by masons as we wandered through the home. It was apparent that the kitchen was going to be the core of the home as a six burner stove stood ready to be ignited. The granite counters invited you to lean and chat with the cook. The kitchen opened to a large dining area and the plate glass in front of the dining area added to the feeling that there was plenty of room for all. You came away with a feeling that good food and good company were going to be the order of the day. It’s being furnished with an eclectic mix that reflects the owner’s taste for good period pieces.
The modified Classic Lodge was the home that was totally finished and occupied on week-ends by its owners. Because there is internet access, the owners can work from home and often spend three day week-ends at the tastefully decorated week-end haven. They had installed a traditional baseboard heating system. The use of color on interior walls and occasional rugs give the home a modern/country look that is in keeping with the home and the surroundings. The motif is thoughtfully chosen throughout the home and it all blends together to welcome a visitor. A couple of stylized deer set the tone and everything seems to spin from the deer to the wood to the color. It is eye pleasing, yet unobtrusive. They had also incorporated some wrought iron accents in railings to give a different texture to the home. Small nooks had a warm rug and a cozy chair and appeared to invite you to curl up and read.
It was an eye opener for anyone who thinks that all logs home are pretty much the same. It was also an education to see all of the possibilities that a basic design could yield and another reminder that we put our individual stamp on our home.
Arrowbrook Construction has been asked to build a couple of Beaver Mountain Custom Homes at Elko Lake, another small community, not too far from Tanzman Lake. They expect to be putting up quite a few Beaver Mountain Homes in the near future. We hope we will be allowed to get a peek at the new homes as they are finished. It is always fun to see a design come to life.
The Legends at Tanzman Lake: www.TanzmanLake.com 631-872-6692
Arrowbrook Construction: www.ArrowbrookConstruction.com 607-498-5693