How to Better Newburgh

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Topic: How to Better Newburgh

General Newburgh Discussion August 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm

How to Better Newburgh

Hi all.

My family has owned a weekend home in the hudson valley for about 80 years. I’ve always been fascinated by Newburgh and its history, and am sure it is going to be a thriving, vibrant neighborhood once again – and soon!

My brother and I are interested in possibly investing in real estate. Today we went to visit Newburgh and were disheartened to find that most of it is still incredibly depressed. We were charmed by the homes on Grand St and Montgomery St, and were initially thinking of investing in a multi-family home around there.

But my question is – as an investor who is very much interested in revitalizing the city, what is the best way to help the community get on its feet again? Where would be the best place to buy property? Would restoring something in a very depressed area be better than owning a building on Grand St? Would commercial property be a better idea?

Let me know what you think. I feel like people probably have studied these things for years, but I’d really like to know how to help. Thanks a lot!

5 Replies Add Reply


These kinds of questions come up a lot. Hopefully, you’ll get a variety of answers. But my most simplistic answer is: move to Newburgh, don’t just invest. The renter to homeowner ratio is flipped in Newburgh being 30/70, when in most economically healthy communities it is 70/30. The 70% of the renters mostly live in buildings owners by “investors”, people hoping that they can rehab a property, find the perfect tenants, and visit once in a while to make repairs. Talk to any landlord, the reality is that it is very hard to find the kind of tenants you are probably looking for. Resident homeowners take better care of the properties and are more invested in the community. This is part of the reason certain blocks of Grand and Montgomery are more charming than others- they are cared for by their owners that live there, or live somewhere else in the city of Newburgh. If you are planning to live in the residence you want to rehab, stay close to blocks where other owners live in their homes already. Talk to any of them, chances are they’d prefer a resident owner neighbor than a house being chopped up and rented out.

In short, Newburgh needs more homeowners and it needs more businesses starting/relocating in the city.

Hope this helps!

I agree with Cher! The tenants out-number the homeowners in Newburgh. A lot of the foreclosures that you see are giving incentives, or “first looks” to owner-occupants. First look, means that the bank will entertain offers from owner-occupants first. Usually it’ll be the first 30 days of the listing going on the market.
I work with a lot of investors from the city and there is a lot of interest with investing in Newburgh. Many are most interested in buying a few multi family units (preferably side by side), renovating, and renting them out for the time being. They are banking on the long term appreciation.

I hope that helps!

Cecilly Bumatay
Keller Williams Realty

Tiptoeing around this obviously ignorant request will do nothing to move this city forward. I am so sick and tired of people thinking they can come here- as arms length investors no less- “who is very much interested in revitalizing the city” while saying such things as “were disheartened to find that most of it is still incredibly depressed. We were charmed by the homes on Grand St and Montgomery St, and were initially thinking of investing in a multi-family home around there.” If you’re so charmed by Grand Street and Montgomery Street there are plenty of gentrified communities that will suit you much better than Newburgh. The pathetic inability to do some basic research while looking for a quick buck in a depressed city is one of the major factors that has us in this mess in the first place. As Cher rightfully infers, unless you are coming here to invest in the community- not just a building- you are going to become part of the problem- soon!

Not to come down on you too hard because I assume you have good intentions, but as other have said, rehabbing a rundown building will do more for you (if everything goes right) than it will for the city.

In other words, if you want to invest to make money, go for it, that’s your choice (but please don’t be a scummy landlord, we’ve got plenty of those). But rehabbing rundown or abandoned buildings isn’t a terribly effective or efficient way to “help” the city.

Yes, the more properties on the tax roll the better. But that’s a small piece of the puzzle as far as Newburgh becoming a great city for all of its residents, no matter one’s economic class or background.

Newburgh needs affordable housing, not necessarily renovated units that are going to rent for $1,200-1,800 a month or whatever.

I’m a latecomer to this conversation, but I’m concerned about the City of Newburgh. My husband grew up here and we would love to be part of the revitalization if it didn’t mean the kind of gentrification we have seen elsewhere. We need some realistic solutions that would benefit everyone. The people who have already opened businesses and good restaurants are an essential part of the revitalization we want to see. But without more local residents being able to support them, how does it improve the city as a whole? The current direction, converting more and more buildings into single family homes, will obviously mean fewer affordable homes for average income people. Going that route offers many exciting opportunities for some of us, at least short term. But how will it prevent current residents from having to move elsewhere, or Newburgh from becoming just another town where the average person (most of us) would not be able to afford to live? Are there any models of thoughtfully planned, mixed income cities or neighborhoods we could emulate? Maybe if the remaining buildings had to be sold specifically to house both landlord and tenant it would mean a more integrated community, a larger middle class and a wider tax base. It would support additional businesses like grocery stores, which would improve quality of life and provide local jobs… Is this too far fetched? Unless people were to suddenly become more idealistic, how could we even begin to accomplish this on a large scale without some kind of plan or regulation? We need some vision and leadership.

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