Monthly Archives: September 2015

Job market in Westchester

It is a solid year of improvement for Westchester’s unemployment rate, and the future looks rosy at 4.6%. According to the New York State Department of Labor, Westchester has the third lowest rate in the Hudson Valley area and eighth overall in the New York State. Rates are calculated using procedures set by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This marks as a significant improvement from 2014’s grim score of 6.6% as of July. At that time, national unemployment was at 6.1%.

The decrease in unemployment bodes well for the market. This year, jobs are expected to spike; even the post-summer employment rate trend is expected to remain robust.

Businesses are hiring

GioHomes - Westchester Job MarketIndustries such as retail, services, and health care are among the top sectors in the industry that are on a hiring spree.

Other sectors actively hiring include business services and accounting, according to 2014 figures.

White Plains continues to post the highest number of employment opportunities. Trailing behind are Yonkers and Tarrytown.

Rates rise and plunge

Despite the optimism engendered by the low rate of unemployment, the job market in Westchester still needs to improve to make sure unemployment numbers continue to decline.

From May to June, there has been little improvement – mirroring the trend statewide.

In April, Westchester’s unemployment rate dipped to a low 4.4% but returned to the “normal”4.6%a month later, where it has remained stagnant until June.

Bucking the trend of higher unemployment

Statewide, however, Westchester is bucking the trend of higher unemployment rates compared to its neighbors.

Already, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. intends to help smaller entrepreneurs in the area with a $50,000 grant coming from the New York State Electric and Gas Corp.

This is to further stimulate the local business in the area and meet their growing market’s needs.


Top travel essentials when exploring Westchester County

To explore all 431 square miles of Westchester County, you need to pack the following:

1. A pair of comfortable and sturdy shoes

You’ll do a lot of walking in Westchester County, so a nice pair of shoes that will keep your feet comfortable is a must. Do take into account the activities you have lined up. Are you going to an outdoor arts and music festival? If so, wear a pair of Wellingtons or any other footwear that you don’t mind getting grungy.

2. Your gadgets and devices

Capture moments. Whether through your phone, your tablet, your point-and-shoot, an all-terrain GoPro, or a DSLR is completely up to you. Documenting the experience is just as fun as living it, so pack your preferred gadgets.

3. Your chargers

With all those battery-sucking devices, remember to bring with you chargers and other gadgetry lifelines like power banks, extra memory cards, and so on, Make sure your phone or tablet doesn’t die on youor that you run out of space on your DSLR halfway through the tour.

4. A travel first-aid kit

While Westchester County is far from remote or treacherous, a first- aid kit is always useful. Get one of those easily stashable, compact kits.You’ll never know what little mishaps may happen. If you’re outdoorsy, a first-aid kit is even more of a necessity if you plan on biking, hiking, and or running through Westchester County’s choice trails and outdoor recreation spots.

5. Bring Ziploc bags

Ziploc or resealable plastic bags are especially handy for treks, whether in the country or in more urban environs. These bags keep sandwiches fresh, protect your gadgets from getting wet, and are great for sealing in smelly socks or sweat-stained tees. What other ways have you used resalable bags while on a trip?


Featured Property: 32 Elvis Blvd, Chester NY (Open House on Sunday, Sept 27th)

Located in the beautiful Town of Chester, this one-of-a-kind Colonial home offers residents a harmonious mix of privacy, convenience, and relaxation.

It’s roomy in this lovely home, which features:

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 1 partial and 2 full bathrooms
  • Over 2,300 square feet of living space


The residence is currently available for $385,000.



Open House on Sunday, Sep 27, 2015 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

A beautifully manicured lawn and wrap-around front porch provides a warm welcome after a long day at work. Gorgeous interiors flow throughout this lovely home, with hardwood floors, wall-to-wall carpets, and bright and airy living spaces.

The home’s well-designed eat-in kitchen comes with high-quality stainless steel appliances, custom wood cabinetry, and solid surface countertops. The kitchen opens up to a large family room and a formal dining room, which are perfect for entertaining guests, hosting a dinner party, or spending quality time with your family.

The cozy master suite offers the perfect environment to get a good night’s rest, and is equipped with a gorgeous master bath complete with a tub and a shower enclosure.

The home comes with an unfinished basement that boasts 660 square feet of space, excellent for storage purposes. For homeowners who don’t really require that much extra space, the basement can also be turned into a home theater, a game room, reading room, or whatever else the owners have in mind.

Those who love spending time outdoors are sure to be delighted with the home’s many great outdoor features. The expansive backyard comes with an open-air patio area which is ideal for barbeques, get-togethers, and other occasions. There’s an above-ground pool with a sun deck, perfect for a cool, relaxing dip during the summer. For families with children, the backyard has more than enough space for a playground area.

If you’d like to learn more about this fantastic property, call GioHomes today at 914-946-1067, or send us an email at



How to avoid legal hassles when buying and selling a home

Buying or selling a home is clearly a milestone.

For one that’s buying a house, it can signify a step toward stability.

For one that’s selling, it closes a chapter in one’s life.

iStock_000018801085_Small (1)Either way, a real estate transaction marks both a beginning and an end. Because acquiring and letting go can be a trying and emotional time, it can be easy to overlook the practicalities of such transactions.

That is why it is important to seek professional help when you’re about to close the sale on your home or if you intend to sell it.
Real estate professionals will know how to avoid legal hassles arising from property transactions – sparing you bother and grief.

How a real estate agent can help you

Though researching on your ownis helpful, a qualified and expert real estate agent can take care of the following correctly and efficiently:

  • Help you with the paperwork on such things as disclosures and other liability issues
  • Oversee home inspections
  • Assist you in mortgage selections
  • Help secure the right buyer for your property

How a lawyer can help you

Getting the help of a lawyer familiar with local real estate laws is also a step in the right direction. For buyers and sellers, know that your lawyer can assist you in the following ways:

  • Meeting and dealing with the property broker
  • Managing tax consequencesand related issues
  • Looking for financing
  • Insuring the property title
  • Checking the property’s zoning and survey
  • Reviewing the property’s disclosure
  • Preparing the seller’s contract
  • Reviewing the title report ordered by the buyer
  • Preparing the closing documents which includes the deed and the transfer tax returns
  • Calculating the closing costs.
  • Representing you in closin

Getting a professional Realtor to help you takes the fuss out of buying or selling a home—and assures you that no legal trouble related to your transaction will hound you in the future.


Golfing in and around Westchester County

Golf enthusiasts won’t have a hard time searching for a place to practice their swings and their putts, thanks to plenty of public and private golf facilities in and around Westchester County.

Saxon Woods Golf Course

Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale

Open since 1931, this public golf facility is home to an 18-hole, 6,293-yard course for a par of 72. Golfing season is all year round, inviting enthusiasts to check out its fun course designed by Joe Williams and Tom Winton. A golf academy is situated within the grounds for beginners or those who seek to improve their skill level and tee shots.

Hudson Hills Golf Course

Croton Dam Road, Ossining

Dubbed as one of the best facilities in Westchester County, Hudson Hills offers golf lovers a challenging course and scenic views. The 7,000-yard, par-71, 18-hole championship golf course designed by Mark A. Mungeam offers an exceptional golf experience.

GolfPelham Bay and Split Rock Golf Course

Shore Road, Bronx

Going to Pelham Bay and Split Rock will require you to take a trip south of Westchester County, but it’s worth your while. Located in Pelham Bay Park, this is the only 36-hole golf facility in the Big Apple. Beginners and advanced players are welcome to try out the Pelham course, with its expansive fairways and links-style layout. The John Van Kleek-designed Split Rock course, on the other hand, is more challenging and, at the same time, rewarding.

Dunwoodie Golf Course

Wasylenko Ln, Yonkers

Located at the top of Dunwoodie Heights in Yonkers, this golf course is best known for its steep and dramatic topography. Adding to the challenge is the mix of wide landscapes and narrow fairways in this 18-hole golf course. Dunwoodie will definitely test an individual’s skills.

Sprain Lake Golf Course

Grassy Sprain Road, Yonkers

Sprain Lake’s 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Winton features challenging holes and a rolling terrain sure to excite skilled golfers. To add more thrills, areas requiring difficult shots and water hazards dot the course. Sprain Lake Golf Course is perfect for those who prefer a linear, back-and-forth style of play.


Dining out in Westchester County

Foodies and drink connoisseurs, listen up! We’ve compiled the best dining establishments in Westchester County. Check out the list below.

Aquario Restaurant

East Lake St., West Harrison

The authentic flavors of Brazilian and Portuguese dishes are captured in Aquario, located in East Lake Street, West Harrison. Whether you crave seafood, poultry, or the tenderest of steak cuts, Aquario knows how to deliver. Check out their superb wine selection as well.

La Panetière

Photo courtesy of La Panetiere website.

Milton Road, Rye

Transport yourself to Southern France as you step inside La Panetière, named Best French Restaurant in 2011 by Westchester Magazine. Quintessential French favorites include pot-au-feu or stew, foie gras confit, and baked escargot. All are made using only the freshest ingredients. Oenophiles will find something to accompany their meal with from La Panetière’s impressive wine cellar.

Alba’s Ristorante

North Main St., Port Chester

Fans of Northern Italian cooking will love Alba’s, where the food is as authentic as the land that inspired it. Named after Italy’s white truffle region, the ristorante is a family-run business that treats its food and wine collection with the respect it deserves.

Underhills Crossing

Pondfield Road, Bronxville

Photo courtesy of Underhills Crossing Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Underhills Crossing Facebook page.

Featuring American nouvelle cuisine with French elements, Underhills Crossing is beloved by patrons for its unique flair and SoHo vibe. Whether you drop by Underhills for lunch or dinner, this handsome establishment will not disappoint with its well-chosen seafood menu.


Rectory St., Port Chester

With renowned chef and cookbook author Rafael Palomina at its helm, Sonora serves the best Nuevo Latino food in Port Chester. Make sure to reserve yourself a table as people flock to the restaurant for its lobster and mango ceviche, seafood paella, and dulce de leche cheesecake.

Mulino’s of Westchester

Court St., White Plains

A White Plains institution, Mulino’s traditional Italian fare and elegantlydecorated interiors continue to attract food and wine lovers from all over the country. Delicious, authentic food, a great ambiance, and an attentive waitstaff make the overall dining experience at Mulino’s truly one for the books.

X20 Xaviars on the Hudson

Water Grant St, Yonkers

Craving all-time American favorites infused with international flavors? Head over to X20 Xaviars, where the food is as great as its location. Situated on a Victorian pier on the Hudson River, X20 Xaviars offers diners a sophisticated and memorable dining experience.


Fun-filled events in Westchester County

Residents of Westchester County can look forward to a calendar filled with unforgettable local events perfect for visitors of all ages. This vibrant community makes every event an opportunity to add to the town’s collective memory and becomes a way for locals to meet their new neighbors.

In addition to the events mentioned on this page, the following are also worth checking out:

SOWE Music Festival

Image courtesy of SOWE website.

Image courtesy of SOWE website.

The Southern Westchester Music Festival, more popularly known as the SOWE Music Festival is a celebration filled with food, entertainment, family activities, and of course, music.

The festival features multiple stages where some of the country’s top artists perform, along with an endless flow of delicious food and drinks.

This year’s music festival takes place on Saturday, September 19th, at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck, NY. Among this year’s performers are the legendary David Johansen, Grammy winning songwriter Marc Cohn, as well as a good mix of up-and-coming performers, veteran musicians, an international act from Iceland, among many others.

Jazz Fest

Organized by ArtsWestchester and the City of White Plains, the Jazz Fest is a four-day music festival culminating in an outdoor Jazz & Food Festival on Mamaroneck Avenue. Visitors can head to one of the many stages or live music venues to watch some of their favorite jazz artists perform.

This year’s Jazz Fest takes place on September 24-27, 2015.

Image courtesy of


Held in Sleepy Hollow’s Philipsburg Manor in Historic Hudson Valley, CORNucopia is a fun, corn-themed festival great for people of all ages.

Visitors will find no shortage of corn treats and goodies at the festival, which include everything from corn chili, sweet corn ice cream, cornbread, corn salsa and chips, and even corn whiskey.

Kids can navigate their way through the “Maize Maze” and partake in a corn-husking contest or lend a hand in creating a giant corn mural.


Living in Hawthorne, NY

Part of the town of Mount Pleasant, Hawthorne is at the heart of popular Westchester County, being actually very near its geographic center. This hamlet, with a population of around 5,000, is mostly made up of private homes and a few small businesses along Elwood Avenue. It’s ideally located for the commute into the city; the train from Hawthorne Station to Grand Central takes just around 40 minutes. The railroad came to this spot in 1847, and the area was first divided into lots to be developed as a suburb in the late 1880’s.

Living in Hawthorne

Hawthorne is an increasingly popular choice for young families, thanks to a well-regarded school district that boasts a 92% graduation rate. It offers a challenging curriculum at its 4 local schools, and excels in services to students with special needs. Local parks and the town of Mount Pleasant offer a great range of organized sports, camps, and activities to enrich the leisure time of the youngest residents, and the many outdoor activities available here are fun ways to spend time with the family.

White-collar occupations and high levels of education characterize the overall population of Hawthorne, and many here work in technology-related fields. A quieter lifestyle and relatively affordable housing draw people from the city looking for a convenient and comfortable hometown. Low crime and beautiful open spaces help to seal the deal, and provide a relaxing backdrop for leisure time. Hawthorne residents enjoy the services and convenience provided by the town of Mount Pleasant, as well as the option of visiting the city when the mood hits, to enjoy a visit to the museum or a performance by a favorite artist.

Hawthorne NY Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Much of the development in Hawthorne started in the 1950’s, and as a result most Hawthorne homes are Cape Cods, built around that time. Most are on quarter-acre lots, and Hawthorne’s population density is slightly higher than most of Westchester County. A few amenity-packed condominiums can be found, but the village is primarily comprised of single-family homes, and the median price for these sits at around $500,000. Prices tend to rise with increased lot size.

For more information on Hawthorne and its real estate, do not hesitate to contact our team at GioHomes today. We’re just a phone call away and look forward to introducing you to this exceptional area.


Living in Montrose: A Quite Hamlet in Westchester County

Montrose is a quiet little river hamlet in the northwestern part of Westchester County, and is a part of the Town of Cortlandt. This nature lover’s dream is ideal for families and those who appreciate rural areas and lots of wilderness. It is a great combination of safe and peaceful small-town atmosphere with quick access to New York City.

As with many of the towns that make up Westchester County, Montrose makes its park system a priority. The largest recreation area is George’s Island. It is a haven for birdwatchers each year because of the large population of bald eagles that claim this as their territory. It is an especially popular destination for birders during the annual Hudson River EagleFest.

Montrose’s Recreation, Schools and More

George’s Island is a great spot for kayaking and canoeing and there is a boat launch conveniently located in the park. Slightly smaller, is the 100-acre Montrose State Park. Many of the miles of trails here lead to views of the Hudson River.

Though there is minimal shopping within Montrose itself, the greater community provides a full range of retail and dining options. Close by Montrose is the Cortlandt Town Center, the area’s most popular local destination for shopping. However, Montrose shouldn’t be counted out for having good restaurants. There are ethnic options here, such as a Mexican-Italian fusion bistro and a very well- reviewed Indian restaurant that brings people from neighboring communities to Montrose for dinner.

Montrose is part of the nationally recognized Hendrick Hudson School District. There are three elementary schools in the district with the Frank G. Lindsey Elementary serving the children of Montrose. When students reach Grade Six, they begin at Blue Mountain Middle. By high school they attend desirable Hendrick Hudson High School.

Montrose NY Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Montrose is one of the more affordable sections of Westchester County. Here homebuyers will be able to choose from condominiums and single-family homes. There are many traditional Colonials and Federal-style homes. The median home price in Montrose is $350,000. A limited number of new homes are also in progress. Montrose is a destination for those who are looking for a peaceful and pastoral location to call home.

Thinking about a move to Montrose? Let our team of real estate experts introduce you to Westchester County and its various communities. We look forward to hearing from you and to helping you find your dream home. Connect today to get started!


Moving to Verplanck? Here’s What You Need to Know

Verplanck is a cozy riverfront community in upper Westchester County, one of the hamlets of Cortlandt. Once known as Verplanck’s Point, it juts out to the Hudson River and is home to just 300 households. Less than one square mile in size, this miniature Cape Cod is surrounded on three sides by water and artist-worthy scenery, yet it is within commuting distance to New York City. Many of the families who live in Verplanck have made this their home for generations.

Riverfront Properties in Verplanck

Each winter, the past comes alive in Verplanckas as the replica of Henry Hudson’s ship the Half Moon docks at King Marine. A crew of volunteers operates this floating museum, and welcomes visitors to its decks daily.

The beauty of the river and life on its banks draws people out of doors. Children can enjoy the playground at the recently renovated Old Pond Park, go fishing or crabbing, and then enjoy a picnic at the pavilion at the Steamboat Riverfront Park. While dining and shopping are limited in Verplanck, neighboring communities a short distance away pick up the slack. In Verplanck a popular stop for both dining and enjoying the local color is the Paradise Bar and Grille.

One of the many advantages to living in Verplanck is its educational system under the Hendrick Hudson School District. U.S. News and World Report ranked Hendrick Hudson High School 73rd out of 1,165 schools in New York State. Additionally, middle school students in the district have also been recognized for their academic excellence.

Verplanck NY Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Because of its geography, Verplanck has limited development potential, but the homes here are quite beautiful and many have spectacular river vistas.

When you’re ready to browse the available homes in Verplanck, use the website’s Search function. Should you have any questions or would like to schedule a private tour of this community, we are just a phone call or website inquiry away. Connect with our team today to learn more!