Herkimer Soars As Americans Migrate From Coasts

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer’s soaring into a brave new world, as people migrating from our coasts to climate and pandemic safety zones such as upstate New York move here, contending briskly for homes. A house in our cute conveniently located village seems to sell every 90 seconds, even as prices continue ever upward. The sharp-eyed will have spotted license plates from as far away as Alaska and Washington state, California and Texas, with the Carolinas and Florida well-represented. 

There are a phenomenal number of people scoping out our once forgotten area. Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Mohawk Valley, centered on Herkimer, have had over 4 million views. In the last 30 days, The Herkimer Post has enjoyed almost 15,000 page views, 90% of them from new visitors. We have a well-earned reputation for telling it as it is. And you do want to know how it is there before you commit to someplace new. (“We Publish What They Won’t” proclaims our masthead. We are not “The Herkimer Happy Hour.”)

Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21
Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21

When the eviction moratorium ends, we’ll probably see more houses for sale here as nonpaying tenants are moved on and battered owners decide to wash their hands of what was once a safe, reliable investment. Even then there won’t be enough housing stock to meet the press of the demand.

Historically in boom times, undeveloped land is the next to go. Given the rapid growth of chip manufacturing in Upstate, notably Cree in Utica, this region may become the new Silicon Valley. Hopefully, New York will impose strict controls on growth. I hope we won’t see our magnificent countryside crammed with houses and choked by traffic. 

 

Fast 3D-Printed Housing in New York State: A Simple Solution for a Complex Time

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Linda Kaidan

PERI, a German technology company, has been the first to create a 3D printed multistory building that is fully German certified. The BOD2 3D printer can construct a 3 story building of 10,000 square feet.

With construction supplies in short demand, it’s a relief to see the debut of a new construction methodology that can decrease construction prices by 50% or more. 3D printing robots have become more functional than ever, and now can be used to create buildings of up to 3 stories. This multi-story functionality is especially important, as it can reduce urban sprawl.  We need never again create another San Fernando Valley of congestion, unbreathable air, and unaffordable homes.

Upstate New York has experienced a massive shortage of housing in the last year. Few homes are available for sale. Housing unavailability is also driven by many who see central and northern NY as an ideal location for remote work and home offices at a more reasonable price than their current homes in more urban areas. Statistics published by the New York State Association of Realtors for the 12 month period ending January 2021 indicate that sales increased by 16.7% and inventory dropped by 26.7%.

Constructiondive.com reports significant increases in basic building material costs over the past year, much of it the result of Covid-19 disruption:

Material % change Jan. 2020
to Jan. 2021
Iron and steel 15.6%
Steel mill products 7.4%
Softwood lumber 73%

SOURCE: Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of BLS data

3D Printing to the Rescue!

3D printed homes are constructed from concrete paste, typically mixed from local materials. Floors and walls, both interior and exterior, are extrusion printed by giant robots which are programmed to manufacture predesigned and tested structures on site. This construction can often be completed in a matter of days and includes whimsical curves that are far more enchanting than right angles and parallel planes. Home construction robots can cost $250,000 and up, but careful research and selection of a manufacturer will help to quickly build cost-efficient, high-quality housing. We certainly hope to see some local 3D printed housing soon spring up here in Upstate New York.

Recent 3D print housing projects in the US include gorgeous $10k Austin TX homeless housing and a home in Millbrook, NY listed for sale on Trulia for $300,000. Don’t be shy! Buy a nice abandoned farm and turn it into an attractive, affordable 3D printed home community. Help house our future😊

Marcy’s Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage

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Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage
Marcy magnet for home sales in central NY

by Linda Kaidan

As New York’s population decline continues Marcy’s Cree nanotechnology manufacturer draws real-estate buyers to our neighborhoods. Data from realtor.com shows that on 6/17/20 only 3 homes of any kind were available for sale in Marcy.

Proximity to Marcy is a strong indicator of reduced number of homes for sale.

Using realtor.com’s filter of all housing types including mobile, multi-family and single-family homes while excluding homes under contract, I collected statistics of homes for sale in 10 nearby communities. US census data provides population data.  The distance of each location to Marcy is derived from Google maps. I  also created an availability statistic which is a function of population and available homes for sale.

Distance to Marcy in miles Towns
1-10 Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Rome, Utica, New Hartford
11-20 Herkimer
21-30 Little Falls, German Flats

The highest availability of homes for sale was found in Little Falls with one home for every 95 people.

In contrast, the lowest availability was found in Utica with one home available for every 905 people.

Lower availability of homes for sale suggests that we construct new affordable housing.

As internet purchasing outstrips brick and mortar retail establishments, outdated and defunct structures become available for re-purposing as residential communities. An example of  an outstanding makeover target is the abandoned Kmart located at 200 Washington St, Herkimer. This property has over 6.7 acres of sub-dividable land and is assessed at $2 million.  In convenient walking distance to numerous amenities, it also offers  relaxing views of the beautiful Mohawk Valley hills.

A close example of such an affordable housing construction project currently underway is the Snohomish County Washington site, formerly a Kmart.  Four hundred much needed residential units will replace the unused commercial area. Building energy efficient smaller homes with multi use and shared community spaces will positively impact our quality of life.

Affordable owner-occupied homes and improved public transportation will create a stronger community and a healthy local economy.

It’s clear that Marcy’s new nanotechnology industry drives Central NY housing shortage. But we can use this to our advantage by creatively creating affordable and accessible  housing alternatives. 

 

Walmart’s Elegant Upholstery Solution: Drab Holiday Upholstery Begone!

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Walmart’s Elegant Upholstery SolutionTransform your drab, worn and stained kitchen/dining  upholstery with Walmart’s elegant upholstery solution.

Dilapidated dining chairs look worse than ever on the holidays especially when guests are coming. Walmart can offer you an inexpensive and amazing solution with a little DIY magic of your own. Cover a stool or chair in 4 easy steps for under $4 in less than 1 hour.

Our once expensive bar stools were old and stained! With a guest arriving in a matter of days Walmart offered a quick solution that looks great the first time you try it!

Gathering Materials: Fabric and protective material

Step #1 I looked in the Walmart craft section for vinyl fabric. I discovered a bolt of dark brown vinyl 56” wide selling for $6.97 a yard. One yard is enough fabric to cover 2 bar stools with round seats 18” in diameter. I have 3 stools, so I bought 2 yards which leaves extra in case of mistakes!

Step #2 I used Walmart’s 5.5” x 8.5” stick-on soft plastic sheets to cover staples. A huge pack of 50 costs only $5. These are also in the crafts department and are amazingly easy to work with.

Your Tools: Just heavy-duty stapler and scissors

Step #3 The only tools you’ll need are a heavy-duty staple gun and reasonably OK scissors. Walmart sells the Arrow electric staple gun for $27.84. That’s the one I have and it’s great for permanent or semi-permanent projects. Just make sure that all sharp edges are covered.

The Process: Cutting, Stapling, Covering

Step #4 Measure your target seat. Add enough to cover the length, width and edge leaving enough extra to pull underneath and staple.

When you are done stapling, cover the tops of each staple for a finished look.

It took me about 1 hour to reupholster the first stool.I think it will be much quicker to do the next 2.

If you are interested in some quick and inexpensive design advice, add copy, or Airbnb.com & other photo prep contact me at NYURhome@gmail.com. You can see some projects I’ve done at NYURhome.com.

Happy Holidays 😊

Linda Kaidan

Expert Google Guides Photographer Putting Central NY on the map with 875,000+ photo views

Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees in Central NY: An Urgent Priority

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NYC2050 underwater? Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees
What should we do to save NYC residents from near term coastal disaster?

By Linda Kaidan

Why Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees? Everywhere we’re finally acknowledging the immediacy of coastal climate change devastation. Now is the time to replace traditional spending behaviors with healthy behaviors that can save millions of people and millions of dollars. 

For example, we might ask, can we put part of NY’s $90.2 billion FY 2020 budget to better use as an investment in new permanent housing for 1 million coastal residents migrating to inland homes in Central NY?

New Housing for 1+ Million People

NYC Climate Change Migration Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees

$60 billion will create infrastructure and homes for 1 million people in Central NY (CNY). The existing  Utica/Rome SMSA  population is roughly 350000.  With CNY quadrupling in size, exciting opportunities will exist for workers, learners and investors.

Central NY is experiencing significant growth in Health and High-Tech Sectors. For example, Cree is investing in a $1 Billion semiconductor chip processing plant in Utica. In Syracuse, Microsoft is participating in “Smart Cities”. New residents will have good opportunities for jobs, education and growing services. Ongoing expansion in medical sectors is taking place in both these cities.

Horrible facts mean let’s act quickly for a healthy future

Central NY has elevations well above the maximum predicted sea level rise. These range from 400 ft to 800 ft above sea level. New York State has the resources and wisdom to prepare for inevitable devastation by directing investments to critical targets that will promote security and prosperity. Rerouting coastal investment to optimal inland locations is key to our success!

 

 

News of world’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York causes boom in local real estate contracts

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By Linda Kaidan

World’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York has an instant effect on our economy

Marcy is located near Utica, in Oneida County New York, just west of Herkimer. It is the future northern US site for Cree Inc, which will manufacture silicon carbide wafers used in electric vehicles and 5G technology. Close upon Cree’s announcement of their new facility in Marcy, in a matter of days the region experienced a boom in real estate contracts.

I was alerted to this when I noticed my Google maps photo views suddenly rise by 60,000 in a single day to over 600,000. As a Google Guide who focuses on Central New York, I was astounded by this dramatic increase and wanted to understand why. Guessing it was related to this momentous commitment to Mohawk Valley industrial development, I investigated the real estate statistics. I used realtor.com’s listings for Oneida County, which will be home to this world class manufacturing facility, and those of surrounding counties.  Using realtor.com’s filter tool, I compared total listings with listings not under contract.

Strong percent of real estates listings under contract of 25% to over 40%

Onondaga and Oneida counties, home respectively to Syracuse and Utica, have the highest volume of real estate contracts (see red counties on map), with over 45% of all listings under contract. Surrounding counties of Madison, Oswego, Herkimer, Cortland and Lewis (yellow counties), have 25% to 40% of their listings under contract.

The risk of coastal living diminishes when new jobs and homes are created in Central NY.

We can look forward to high quality jobs and an abundance of opportunities for contractors as a result of world’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York. Creating jobs and incentives to live in central NY is a healthy way to counter the risks of coastal living.

Walmart’s Thrilling Decorating Adventure: cost is negligible

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Some people spend huge sums of money decorating but you don’t need to. Walmart’s Thrilling Decorating Adventure means you have access to powerful inexpensive materials enabling you to create individualist looks on any budget.

Walmart’s Thrilling Decorating Adventure
plastic adhesive panels for quick coordinated window dressing

fun flexible and effective decorating tools

Take Walmart’s Thrilling Decorating Adventure and create innovative, personalized and coordinated designs. Walmart now sells some amazing and inexpensive decorating tools that are fun, flexible and effective to use. For example, 4’ x 1’ framed door mirrors at $5, 5” x 9” colored adhesive multi-pack panels at $5 and a line of inexpensive photo frames including 8” x 10” for $2 and 9” x 12” for $3 can transform even the gloomiest room in your home.

questions anyone? design replaces door knob
quick door redesign by Linda Kaidan

Spongy colorful stick on adhesive panels add drama

Stick-on adhesive panels are made from some sort of spongy plastic and are easy to cut with ordinary scissors. I used them to cover door holes that remained after I removed the nobs. The black and green designs go well with traditional black handles.

colorful plastic adhesive panels add to Walmart’s Thrilling Decorating Adventure
Make quick colorful designs. Stick to walls.

I also took some of my favorite colors from a hand made salvation army curtain to create a fun window header design which adds warmth and drama.

Mirror at the foot of stairs
Black framed mirror sends battle scarred wall to background.

Light weight wall or door mirrors hide flaws

One of the two mirrors that I purchased hangs in a small hallway at the foot of the stairs. The other is on the bathroom door. They are mounted with small clipboards making the total cost of each about $8. Both mirrors have black frames in stark contrast to white walls. Ancient flaws fade into the background when contrasted with bold bright colors.

Alexandra Kaidan-Berry digital art

Personalize your environment with framed prints

Mpix.com offers digital prints for about $3 each so you can have your own gallery of professional looking framed prints for just $5 each. Here is an original digital art print by Alexandra Kaidan-Berry which looks great in our emerging living area!

A simple recipe for success is color + contrast + light

Your theme can be based on a print, artwork or design you’ve seen somewhere. Follow your heart to a magical adventure of creative splendor! Walmart’s thrilling decorating adventure can be yours today.

AMAZON tiny homes sellout!

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Tiny home/cabin for under $8000 including delivery sells out on Amazon

by Linda Kaidan

Affordable housing shortage drives soaring tiny home sales

“Over Half of Urban Renter Households Experience Some Form of Housing Insecurity.” It’s possible that Amazon’s May 2019 sellout of the DIY Allwood Garden House may be a result of this perilous state of US housing deficits.

Amazon’s new low-cost tiny home immediate sellout

This May Amazon posted a $7,250 DIY guest cabin/home that most anyone can  build in 8 hours. All available supplies were immediately sold out. When 2 people share such a space each would have a one time rent just under $303 a month for the first year and no rent thereafter.  Though initial reviews indicated that purchasers were critical of the product, they illustrated the strength of demand.

Great lack of affordable housing likely factor

The amazing popularity indicates the desire many people have to own their own home in a time when housing is not affordable for 50% of the population. Such a tiny property can lead to economic freedom from the rent treadmill. It also ensures housing security in a time when so many are homeless.

New off the shelf market will spark business opportunities

Food for thought about the living small market in general ties into real estate, cooperative housing and products supporting multi-use spaces in home construction and renovation. People need affordable homes. When they live tiny, they pay less for housing and use less energy.

Rewards for homeowners, investors and affordable housing seekers

If you are a homeowner think about adding this inexpensive space to your backyard for guests or as a workshop. If you are an investor, think about how you can make it easy for individuals to finance tiny home living.

Amazon shows us that it’s possible to live better for less and that profitable home products can fuel an industry that has great positive impact on how we live. It’s important to think of the tiny home as a place to begin. It’s a springboard for new ideas and learning from experience.

Think about how you can participate in this new housing trend that contributes to affordable living, green energy and many new related industries.

Herkimer Police Crackdown Continues

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The ongoing Herkimer Police crackdown continues, with the arrest yesterday of an apparent drug gang member in front of landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. The arrest, by Herkimer and state police, occurred at the start of Pleasant Avenue’s annual Spring Gang Swarming, a Herkimer tradition usually not challenged by police. This year was different, with an arrest that ended the festivities before they grew. Last year’s Spring Gang Swarm was sponsored by the Joyce Barton gang, its centerpiece the beating of herkimerpost.com’s editor by Herkimer street thug Shianne Hill. 

Police interrupt start of Herkimer's Spring Gang Swarming
4.7.19 Herkimer Police interrupt beginning of village’s Annual Spring Gang Swarming, this year hosted at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue by remains of the Stanley Sykes gang.

Herkimer Police Highly Proactive

Herkimer and New York state are aggressively challenging Herkimer gangs’ sense of ownership of village neighborhoods, this amid booming area real estate sales. As we long predicted, people are relocating to climate change  safe Upstate New York.  It’s a truism that as real estate values increase, crime decreases.
This gang appears to be the remaining dregs of the Stanley Sykes Gang, which trafficked children out of Jay Smith’s properties at 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue.

Police arrest Herkimer gang member on at 332 Pleasant Avenue
4.7.19 Herkimer gang member arrested in front of Herkimer Post cameras. Herkimer and NY State Police officers participated. Gang members number about 11, with more in the process of joining them for the annual Herkimer Spring Gang Swarming. Then the police arrived.

Police activity along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue has recently been constant and vigorous. A few days ago, Joyce Barton gang member, Joyce’s daughter Kylee Figueroa , was arrested at 333 Pleasant Avenue. Earlier on the day of this arrest at 332, multiple state and Herkimer police units responded to an incident at the King Street end of Pleasant Avenue, a few doors down from PK’s Pub. The house they entered remains cordoned off as a crime scene, with Herkimer police continuing to guard the property. Perhaps sometime the local press will tear itself away from its usual gripping coverage of 4H and village trustee meetings to tell us what happened.
332 Pleasant Avenue was reoccupied as a gang property in January, with intermittent drug trafficking activity occurring since. Additional gang members appear to have moved in there recently, or else are visiting so often and for so long as to be indistinguishable from residents. Herkimerpost.com hasn’t reported their activities: they haven’t bothered us and aren’t trafficking children, and we’re very busy with a major project. Federal law enforcement surveillance drones are a regular presence over the parking lot serving 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue, making any coverage of trafficking we’d provide redundant. But any arrest here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is always welcome news that we’re happy to share. Here’s the video of the arrest. The timeline follows below.

 

Timeline of Herkimer Arrest of 4/7/19

0.01 Gang congregates at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue, spilling out onto the sidewalk. Opposite, standing next to parked car: Shianne Hill, Joyce Barton gang thug, serving 1-year probation for unprovoked beating of her 63 year-old neighbor. Hill has been placed under a restraining order.
0.17 Herkimer police arrive
0.27 Gang member (woman in red top) hands off her daughter to fellow gang member from 334 Pleasant Avenue. Child taken to Jay Smith’s 334 neighboring Pleasant Avenue. Red Top’s a well-known and highly visible drug trafficker.
0.43 Arrest made
1:29 Closeup of arrest
1:48 State police arrive from crime scene at house at King Street end of Pleasant Avenue
4:24 Herkimer officer appears to offer protesting gang member (Black guy, red shirt) a ride in a police car.

Earn and Learn: Start your prolific kitchen window microgreen garden with $5

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Earn and Learn
Earn and Learn Start your indoor kitchen window microgreen garden for under $5

Micro-greens are nutritious and delicious.

You can grow 40 plants under your kitchen window using recycled containers year-round. The great thing about micro-greens is that when you cut off the tops for sandwich or salad and they will keep on growing.

Earn and Learn
150 mixed lettuce and 150 hot micro-green seeds for $5 at Walmart

My garden shelf is actually a small, 20 inch x 20 inch table well gnawed by a wayward dog.

I bought it at the Ilion Salvation Army for $4. My table top holds a rusted baking dish, Walmart donut container, Aldi’s juice bottle (with top sliced off) and a fried chicken container. The top has built in drainage holes and the bottom catches the runoff water.

When you share you can pay as little as $2.50 for a 50 plant garden.

Walmart is selling a variety of micro green seeds in packs of 150 for $2.46. A 12-quart bag of organic seed starting mix is $4.67. 1 pack of soil and 1 pack of seeds are enough for 4 tabletop gardens. If 3 people share, they can each have their own garden of 50 plants for only $2.50. Remember that if you have SNAP, you can use your food card to pay for the seeds 😊.

Indoor garden growing is fun for the whole family and an opportunity to learn firsthand how to be a gardener.

You can earn great nutrition and learn how to have your own independent food source. You might want to maintain a log of what you planted and when. The details you record can include things like plant height before and after harvest, amount of water and quality of taste. Many people who start indoor gardening go on to learn hydroponics and aquaponics. Your indoor window garden may become your own business not someday but in the near future.

Earn and learn is a great strategy for everyone.