October 14th, 2011
Home Is Where There’s Furniture… And Lamps... And A Rug: Furniture Drive Coming To Armonk This Saturday 10/15 9am-3pm
OK< we all know it’s where the heart is, too; it’s just darn hard for the heart to be happy if there is no place to sit, put your clothes away, do homework, or have a family meal.
If you have unwanted furniture that’s clogging up your home, let me tell you how you can make a meaningful difference in the life of a neighbor this weekend.
As part of the Town of North Castle’s (a.k.a. Armonk) Zero Waste Day, Furniture Sharehouse will be behind Town Hall from 9am to 3pm, accepting your donations of clean, basic, average-size usable furniture, as well as working kitchen appliances, lamps, mirrors, and rugs.
Furniture Sharehouse is Westchester County’s non-profit furniture bank. All-volunteer, it’s the Robin Hood of average, basic, clean unwanted furniture (and some furnishings). Nothing is sold, and it’s not open to the public. Furniture is collected, then re-distributed free of charge ty appointment, to clients of almost 40 social service agencies in Westchester. This video, filmed in 2008 as part of a pitch to PBS captures the entire experience; the updated numbers of families furnished is hovering around 1500.
While the basics like kitchen/dining tables and chairs, dressers, as well as upholstered sofas and mattress/boxspring sets are always the most in demand, there are limitations on size, and the types of things that can be accepted, so before you load up the SUV< please check out these guidelines:
Donors will not only be reclaiming some real estate in their home, they will be keeping things out of the waste stream, and helping all our tax dollars go further, both from reduced debris removal costs, as well as supporting services that support the less fortunate. Lastly, as a 501c organization, receipts for tax purposes are given,.
If you can’t make the drive, have too much to bring, or will have a donation to make at another time-pick ups are available. just follow the above link to the website for more information.
Stop by the drive and say hello if you’re in the area, but remember Furniture Sharehouse is open year-round, so even if you’re drawing blanks on how to help with this drive-telling your friends, and remembering it exists is a wonderful contribution in itself.
And REALTORS: if you would like more information on how Furniture Sharehouse can be a helpful resource for your office/your clients who are moving-please be in touch with me directly.
March 3rd, 2011
In most any room, walls- all vertical surfaces, including windows-make up the largest surface area, followed by floors. Depending on the quality of the product and wear it’s received, 8 to 10 years is an expected life span for most broadloom.
WHYOHWHYOHWHY do sellers wring their hands, whine and gnash their teeth when the Realtor and Stager suggest replacing carpet from the last millenium?
Here are ten reasons there is no reason to keep old carpet:
-Old carpet-and old padding-retains odors and allergens from stains long dried, pets long gone, and former smokers.
-It can be so reasonable. Many carpet stores now stock rolls of nice, neutral carpet for just this purpose. This means qui
ck delivery and a better price.
-Old padding breaks down after a while, especially in high traffic spots-which makes that part of carpet wear faster.
-New padding of the the highest quality is a mere pittance (about $3.50 a square yard in our area). It is so luxurious, and provides sound-deadening benefits to the rest of the house.
-Buyers will often over-estimate what it will take to replace icked-out old carpet, which sets the stage to arm-wrestle about an allowance…just what you’re looking for.
-It is the quickest and easiest way to deal with flooring issues-no dust/fumes/drying time…you will also know for sure what condition the wood floors are in.
-The crud that blows out of HVAC vents just does not clean up, no matter what anyone tells you. Really. Trust me.
-If you are decluttering and moving furniture around, traffic patterns, stains and fading become more apparent with less to look at.
-Even if it’s in good shape, outdated colors or styles suggest to buyers that other things in the house are outdated as well…perhaps they need to look harder??
-In New York State, it’s allowed as a cost of selling the home, taken as a deduction against the profit when the house sells.
An 11 x 15 room will need about 20 square yards of carpet, even at a padded/measured/installed reasonable to generous price of $35.00 a yard, it’s less than $750.00 ..one fifth…of one percent…of the price of a $400K house. What part of that does not sound like a great idea??
December 6th, 2010
The words ‘Bush Tax Cuts Extended’, are flooding the airwaves, but the details are still murky, and the debate continues-will it even pass the House? No one knows yet what will actually become law on January 1st, but is there anything a taxpayer can do besides wait?
“Yes” is the short answer, but don’t delay. Carmine Filippone is a CPA and a partner in Rudinger, Heller & Filippone LLP, located in White Plains. As a specialist in individual taxes and the tax needs of family run business’ he explains:
The Bush Tax cuts went into effect in 2001, and made significant changes in several areas of the US Tax Code, which affected the majority of the population.
For 2010, the Long Term Capitol Gain rate most people will pay is 15%, but if the extension is blocked, those rates could go up to 20%.
If you have stock or any other capital assets that have appreciated in value, it could be beneficial for you to sell it by the end of the year, to lock in that lower rate; but the time to start the conversationwith a tax professional about your individual circumstances is n-o-w.
Individuals might also want to consider pre-paying their state taxes. By paying your state income taxes before the end of the year, you would be eligible for a deduction in the current year. This is a tax-saving strategy that’s been around for a while, but it might not be for everyone, but it might be worth revisiting this with your tax-planning professional.
Some business owners, and those that are self-employed have some perks coming their way also.
Are you a business owner who made any improvements to your restaurant building, the interior of you retail store, or to your leased/non-residential building in 2010? Or are you planning any of these for 2011? OR perhaps you have one of these as a listing-a buyer could have a whole year to update his new property….
Welcome news, for the first time ever, up to $250K of qualified improvements to these types of buildings can now be immediately deducted (under Section 179) for 2010 and 2011.
Carmine concludes: If you are self-employed, your health insurance premiums can be deducted as a business expense that reduces your self-employment tax liability. This change applies only to 2010 and was included as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Tax laws change frequently and are complicated; tax planning strategies are going to be different for everyone. While you can still improve your circumstances for 2010, consulting a tax professional on a regular basis saves you time, money and stress-what a great way to start the New Year!!
October 2nd, 2010
Have been a furniture and furnishings gal from way back: At age 9, I persuaded my parents to paint the stairway and upstairs hall ceiling yellow and orange (hey, it was the late 60′s) I also moved my bedroom furniture around A LOT.
Went to a school known for fashion, but took every Interior Decorating elective I could. At 21, on a dare, I interviewed for, then accepted a position as a Decorator at Ethan Allen. I discovered dealing with furniture, furnishings, people and their homes was both fun, and surprisingly profound.
About 3-1/2 years ago I read an article in the local paper about an organization called Furniture Sharehouse. It was a furniture bank that collected unwanted furniture in good condition, and redistributed it free, to clients of various Westchester agencies.
The plan had been to profile their Grand Opening, but that April 2007 weekend, a nor’easter slammed the East coast, dumping almost 8 inches of rain in Westchester, flooding much of the Sound Shore area. So instead, the story told of how 65 families who had lost everything were furnished out of a tent in Harbor Island Park by this Furniture Sharehouse organization.
Kept that article for 2 reasons: first as a referral for clients who wanted a good home for their unwanted or unneeded furniture; second, because I thought…’one day, I might want to be a part of that’. Guess what? http://www.vimeo.com/9747580
In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed what he called his Hierarchy of Needs. Simply stated, an individual could grow, evolve, and deal with larger, more challenging issues only once their more basic needs were met. Don’t want to get all preachy here, but if you’ve read this far, maybe even watched the video, you get it.
Home is where we all start from. Help someone get their space together, you make an immediate and concrete difference in their life, it’s that simple.
Furniture Sharehouse is a year round operation, and is fast closing in on their 1000th Westchester family served. Later this month (10/22) is their inaugural fundraiser, to be held at the Larchmont Yacht Club; Saturday 10/23 is the next furniture drive, held in Armonk as part of their town-wide Zero Waste Day.
The web site has all the details, www.furnituresharehouse.org and your donations of furniture (including pick ups), time, talents, supplies or funds can all be processed thru the site. Remember-we all can do something, ‘just’ spreading the word among your friends, neighbors, family, colleagues and clients is huge.