Do-Over In Hurleyville
Business Pivots with COVID
by Denise Sullivan
HURLEYVILLE, January 2022– Everyone deserves a do-over, a fresh start, and a place of their own. A hopeful mantra at the beginning of a new year, this phrase is especially true for the many new neighbors that have relocated to Hurleyville and to Sullivan County in the past two years.
Jacquie Leventoff and Charlie Mangini of Do-Over Real Estate Solutions in Hurleyville say that even vacant properties and houses in major disrepair deserve do-overs. And those may be among the few available options right now in the hyperactive local real estate market.
But Do-Over, a new residential redevelopment company with an office on Main Street in Hurleyville, offers a variety of real estate solutions, many aimed at homeowners who may be stuck with over-leveraged or structurally unsound properties. They have created a business model to buy houses, work with a network of contractors to spruce them up and do repairs, and then sell to what seems like a never-ending throng of buyers.
For Ms. Leventoff, a Fallsburg native, Hurleyville seemed like a logical location for Do-Over Real Estate Solutions when it was established in 2020. A licensed Realtor, she has always encouraged people to live in or visit the Catskills, even though she finds more people are looking for homes than the market has to offer. So, renovating vacant properties and offering them to buyers would help with the local tax base, and bring new neighbors into communities. More customers for local businesses and more community volunteers could support Hurleyville and the surrounding towns.
Mr. Mangini, who went through his own personal career do-over, got the business name from a line in the movie City Slickers, starring Billy Crystal.
When his friend Phil is complaining that his life is over, Crystal’s character, Mitch Robbins, says to him, “You remember when we were kids, and we were playing ball, and we hit the ball over the fence out of bounds, and we yelled, DO OVER? Your life is a do-over. You’ve got a clean slate.”
COVID restrictions and a lack of inventory soon prompted the business to pivot, like so many others. In keeping with the do-over spirit, they purchased a former bungalow colony behind their office on Hope Street in Hurleyville, and began renovating what have turned out to be beautiful Airbnb rentals.
Formerly owned by the Multari-Ginsberg family, the group of small houses needed only minor improvements, so the Hope Street compound was the perfect property to convert to vacation rentals. Ms. Leventoff envisions a little agri-hood, where renters can step outside and pick fruit or vegetables from a garden. A large family could rent all the houses for a reunion or a wedding, and enjoy a healthy outdoor experience that includes nearby rail trails to walk.
It was the old casino, a one–level building on the property, that prompted them to think about visitors who might need special accommodations. They began to research and plan for a universally accessible cottage for visiting families with children at The Center for Discovery or one of the other nearby residential care agencies. The couple found that this option does not exist in any other local vacation rental, and they’re hoping for a special designation for the home when it’s finished.
Designed to be an accessible home–like setting for a family to enjoy together, this Hurleyville do-over is thoughtful and smart.
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!