Blog…What’s Brewing

And the Five Star Real Estate Award goes to…

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | May 28, 2024 |
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Elisa Bruno-Midili of the Ronald Midili Home Team at McGrath Realty Inc, has been selected as a 2024 Five Star Real Estate  Award winner for the 13th consecutive year! Five Star Real Estate Agents are selected based on consumer evaluations, production and business information. Only outstanding professionals who provide quality service and care are chosen to receive this award. 

“I am honored to receive this award, it’s a testament to the consistently excellent client experiences we provide,” said Elisa. The team and I are intentionally focused on the client’s needs, wants and desires. Real estate is complicated and confusing and we provide a stress free experience because we educate and advocate for our clients. There is nothing better than great client service and making a real estate dream come true!” 

Elisa Bruno-Midili was first licensed in 1987 and continues to serve sellers, buyers and investors in and around the Hudson Valley and Connecticut. The Ronald Midili Home Team is a newly formed collaboration between Ronald Midili and Elisa Bruno-Midili, a husband wife team. Contact Elisa via call/text 914-912-1355 (m).

Peaceful and Relaxing Getaway!

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | May 17, 2024 |
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Tucked away in the Hudson Valley is Mohegan Woodlands a summer community of cottages. The minute you step onto this 8+ acre compound you can feel a sense of community and belonging. The 29 strategically placed cottages were constructed in the 1940’s to attract city dwellers to the northern suburbs.  
Mohegan Lake, in the 1920s, was a resort destination with several luxury spot along the banks of the lake. Families came here in the following decades to create memories. Today Mohegan Woodlands offers the same respite from hectic city life. Many of the cottages are heirlooms passed down for 3 generations. A sense of happiness and calm is included with the sale. And it’s worry free because there is a maintenance provider on site year-round. 

The community has an inground pool, tennis, basketball, playground, handball, open fields, and social hall. Located in the town of Yorktown within the Hudson Valley and nearby fine dining, farms, hiking, historic sites, shopping and the Hudson River. Peace and serenity surround you as you unwind and relax. Buy now and be ready to enjoy this summer!

Summer occupancy only April to October. Under 1 hour from NYC, and 90 minutes from Brooklyn! So close yet worlds away!

Cottage 16 $125,000 – 3 bedroom original charm
Cottage 22 $150,000 – 3 bedroom with some updates

Break Biases Together

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | February 29, 2024 |
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This song was born from a course that I took called Bias and The Brain. I prompted Chat GPT with all the terms and language to use and asked for it in rap style. Let’s break biases together.


Yo, let me lay it down, check the facts, let’s rap, ‘Bout the biases we got, they ain’t no mishap. Explicit, implicit, we got both in the mix, Let me break it down for y’all, gettin’ it fixed.

Explicit bias, it’s straight-up in your face, No hiding, no disguise, it’s out of place. When you discriminate, based on race or creed, That’s the prejudice talkin’, that’s the seed.

Racism, ageism, all forms of hate, Name bias, conformity, don’t underestimate. When you judge someone just ’cause they ain’t like you, That’s discrimination, yo, that ain’t true.

Bias in the air, bias everywhere, Explicit, implicit, it’s time we’re aware. From racism to height, and everything in between, Let’s break these biases, let’s intervene.

Implicit bias, it’s sneaky, it’s sly, Creepin’ in the shadows, can’t deny. Attribution, confirmation, they lead us astray, Makin’ snap judgments, day by day.

Affinity bias, stickin’ with your crowd, Availability bias, makin’ judgments too loud. Beauty bias, height bias, it’s all around, Anchor bias, nonverbal, let’s break it down.

Authority bias, followin’ the lead, Overconfidence bias, plantin’ a seed. Halo effect, Horns effect, they shape our view, But we gotta see beyond, we gotta renew.

Bias in the air, bias everywhere, Explicit, implicit, it’s time we’re aware. From racism to height, and everything in between, Let’s break these biases, let’s intervene.

It’s time to break the cycle, time to see clear, Let’s combat these biases, let’s end the fear. It starts with awareness, it starts with you and me, Let’s build a world where all can be free.

So, listen up, y’all, this ain’t just a rhyme, It’s a call to action, it’s our time to shine. Let’s dismantle biases, let’s make a stand, ‘Cause together, united, we can change this land.


Elisa Bruno-Midili is a local guide, resource, small business advocate and great real estate agent. A Westchester resident for about 45 years she grew up in the Bronx in the 60s and attended school in the 70s. Elisa always considered herself an artist expressing herself through design, photography, graphics and now as a curator of content.  

Housing Affordability Solutions

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | February 29, 2024 |
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The #1 homebuyer obstacle is affordability followed by discrimination, mortgage access and agent performance according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) latest consumer survey. Measures are being taken to reduce these barriers by NAR so that the economy can thrive. 

Affordability in the housing market is of great concern. Rising rates, low inventory and inflation on the rise!
In this time of uncertainty there is a great new tool from our local MLS called the Downpayment Resource. You will find down payment help here. You do not need 20% down to purchase a home!

You don’t need 20% down.

A 20% down payment on a home is great, but it’s not a requirement. Many mortgages require no more than 3% to 5% of the purchase price as a down payment. Plus, there are loans and grants that may help cover these costs. Search for down payment assistance in your area, and let’s discuss your results!

4 Common Down Payment Program Myths Debunked – Down Payment Resource

5 Ways You Can Benefit From Down Payment Programs

  • Helps you to purchase a home sooner.
  • Helps offset FHA premiums and mortgage insurance.
  • Helps community service employees live close to their job.
  • Gives you an important cash cushion.
  • provides valuable homeownership education.

If you like what you are reading in this blog please contact Elisa, Associate Broker, The Ronald Midili Home Team at McGrath Realty Inc, a 35+ year residential expert. We specialize in a delivering an educational and stress-free real estate experience.

This was originally published May 2022.

914-912-1355 call/text or

Elisa Bruno-Midili is a local guide, Realtor and small business advocate. A Westchester resident for about 45 years she grew up in the Bronx in the 60s and attended school in the 70s. Elisa always considered herself an artist expressing herself through design, photography, graphics and now as a curator of content.

Good News! We are a team!

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | February 27, 2024 |
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Introducing the Ronald Midili Home Team at McGrath Realty Inc, a newly formed collaboration between Ronald Midili and Elisa Bruno-Midili, a husband wife team.

Ronald Midili is a lead buyer’s agent in NY & CT. He is also a lead listing agent in CT. Ron is masterful at procuring the perfect property for his buyer clients and the best price for his seller clients. He has received multiple 5 star client reviews for his impeccable service and attention to his client’s needs.

Elisa Bruno-Midili, a 35+ year veteran of real estate is an industry insider and collaborative connecter for clients, consumers and small businesses. In order to better serve a greater number of sellers more effectively, efficiently and with more care Elisa is now and integral part of the Ronald Midili Home Team assisting homeowners who wish to downsize or relocate. She will focus on getting seller clients the most for their properties with captivating content across many digital channels.

“Our mission is to help you to understand the real estate process and all things involved with it. We educate to help you gain clarity about your goals and dreams whether selling, buying or investing. We are intentional about our actions and are committed to timely communication. We offer guidance and resources for your most valuable asset. Our ‘ Make Me Move‘ program begins now. It is an empowering tool for sellers to make an informed decision.”

The Team offers valuation, marketing and consultation services throughout the Hudson Valley and places referrals nationwide.

Ronald and Elisa welcome your questions and look forward to speaking with you about your real estate needs, wants and desires.

The Housing Market: Correction or Crash???

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | August 24, 2022 |
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What will it be? Is a crash imminent or a correction coming?

The real estate market is cyclical and it will always be that way. Over time prices rise, fall and correct to satisfy demand and other economic factors like inflation. This year is no different, inventory remains low, buyer demand high and prices…

“Existing homes sales fall sharply in the Hudson Valley in 2nd Quarter.” (From a Real Estate In-Depth article by John Jordan)

The need to hire a real estate professional is more important now than ever. A shifting market calls for new tactics and strategy for clients to protect their largest asset. Housing is a basic need and guidance is essential.

Homeownership is the American dream, a shifting market shouldn’t derail that dream, it puts things into proper prospective. If you are just beginning your search or are in the beginning stage of selling, a conversation with a Realtor can save you time and money.

An industry insider knows the facts, studies the trends and interprets the data for you. Ready whenever you are!

Elisa Bruno-Midili is an industry expert with 35 years of real estate experience. She is a local guide, Realtor and small business advocate. A Westchester resident for about 45 years she grew up in the Bronx in the 60s and attended school in the 70s.

Contact: 914-912-1355 or

Earth Day: A Time to Invest In Our Planet!

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | April 22, 2022 |
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EARTH DAY 2022 – APRIL 22 The theme is Invest In Our Planet! It’s NOT just a day, it’s a movement. Find out more information here

The environment is a treasure and needs that delicate balance to be protected and preserved for a future of sustainable living. Many areas of the earth are in jeopardy. The work of is vast. Here are the areas of concern which are the focus:

  • Climate and environmental literacy
  • End plastic pollution
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Food and environment
  • Act on climate change

What is happening in your community to assist with the awareness to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYLE ?

🌎Creative use space is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Barbara Korein. The mission is to promote creative reuse, environmental awareness and community by providing affordable, reclaimed art materials.

🌎 Artist Natalya Khorover‘s mission is Art for Earth’s sake. She uses materials that many consider to be trash. This repurposing creates amazing canvases that are architectural, organic, purposeful and delightful to view. Her work can be found here

🌎 Sculptor Wilfredo Morel is a highly acclaimed Hudson Valley Region artist known for his utilization of recycled materials, related to the communities where materials are found. As such his work provides a powerful symbolic model for art as a focal point in urban renewal, emphasizing a revitalization of discarded and neglected resources.

🌎 Protecting our natural resources is essential. Riverkeeper protects and restores the Hudson River from source to sea and safeguards drinking water supplies, through advocacy rooted in community partnerships, science and law. SATURDAY MAY 7 Riverkeeper Sweep – 9am-12pm. Join in for a clean up by the river. Kayak Launch, Tarrytown, Lot G. Info:

🌎 Ossining is on board with the Annual Earth Day Festival on April 23rd, Westchester County’s largest community-run earth day festival.

🌎 Bedford 2030 envisions a carbon neutral world and aspires to a sustainable community that conserves natural resources for future generations. See more about their mission here

🌎 Towns in Westchester county participate in programs and initiatives as a commitment to environmental justice and sustainable practices.

🌎 Food scraps are one of the largest components of trash sent to landfills and incinerators. However, food scraps are not trash, they are a resource that can be turned into useful compost. Many town have this program, does yours? If so are you doing your part?

There are many resources to explore where we can be responsible and accountable for how we treat the earth and all its beauty!

Make every day Earth Day!

Elisa Bruno-Midili is a local guide, Realtor and small business advocate. A Westchester resident for about 45 years she grew up in the Bronx in the 60s and attended school in the 70s. Elisa always considered herself an artist expressing herself through design, photography, graphics and now as a curator of content.

Spring Into Action: What is Affecting the Housing Market Now?

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | April 18, 2022 |
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It’s mid-April, spring is finally here, and economic unrest is on the minds of many.

How do we spring into action when there are so many factors affecting the housing market and our lives in general? Let’s explore!

  • Baby Boomer Sellers – Those born between 1946 and 1964, live in 46 million owner-occupied homes with a total combined value of $13.5 trillion, according to research. These sellers are finding it challenging to make a decision to move. The question being “Where do I go?” This problem has contributed to the shortage of inventory. They are also competing with millennials who are purchasing a home for the first time. These homes are often smaller and less costly therefore desirable to both groups.
  • Millennial Buyers –  4.8 million millennials turned 30 in 2021 and the desire for homeownership is peaking for this group.
  • The Great Resignation – Many people are reconsidering their jobs with a fresh perspective and they are quitting due to the unsettling nature of the pandemic, Also called The Great Rethink causing the examination of a company’s culture and opportunities. This is reported by Harvard Business Review in a March 2022 article. A more purpose driven life and meaningful work is the catalyst.
  • The Great Reshuffle – This term is synonymous with the Great Resignation and describes workers being strategic about their careers/employment. Remote work, flexible work hours, 4 day work weeks and more freedom  are trends that will continue to disrupt the traditional idea of a job/career.  Employers are developing ways to incentivize their employees.
  • Inflation Mindset – Supply and demand issues persist, prices are increasing in almost every sector of the economy, and 8.5% inflation is the highest in 40 years!
  • Political Milestones – The first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson,  will serve on the nation’s highest court. Never in 233 years has this happened, this decision is immensely important to the advancement of women and people of color. Positive news helps with general morale.
  • War in Ukraine –  It is unsettling to think that a war of this nature is happening. Supply chains are disrupted which greatly affects the housing industry. Sadness and heartbreak for this nation brings concern about US involvement and what the future may bring.
  • Homebuyer Obstacles – Affordability is the #1 reason plaguing homebuyers followed by discrimination, mortgage access and agent performance according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) latest consumer survey. Measures are being taken to reduce these barriers by NAR so that the economy can thrive.

Real Estate is a very noisy environment and in order to cut through the fog, home sellers and buyers need a reliable advocate on their side. A trusted advisor to interpret data and explain the market and the process. Great resources are needed to advocate for clients.

Bottom line is that we have many options when it comes to our lifestyle and life/work balance. Sparking joy in your life is a priority! There is a surge in entrepreneurship with 5.4 million applications submitted in 2021, this trend will continue as people have the time and resources to reconsider their purposeful life.

If you are considering selling or buying in 2022 our team has the time to listen, the resources to share and the skills/talent to assist in the home selling or home buying process.

If you like what you are hearing in this blog please contact Elisa, Team Leader with The Café Residential Team at McGrath Realty Inc and 35 year residential expert. We specialize in a delivering an educational and stress-free real estate experience.

914-912-1355 call/text or

What a Buyer Should Expect from Their Realtor

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | March 16, 2022 |
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What should a buyer expect from their Realtor? A Realtor is hired to represent a buyer in the purchase of what very well could be the largest asset of their life, so what is expected?

Firstly, understand that the Realtor/buyer relationship is a partnership and there is a team necessary to complete the process. Buyer, agent, loan officer, financial advisor, attorney, title company, inspector, and brokerage support. When all parties to the transaction are in sync it creates a smooth, seamless experience.

Setting expectations – It starts with a dialogue that explains the market and buying environment. Right now it is a seller’s market so buckle up and be ready to listen to the strategy for this type of market. Inventory is at historic lows, rates may be rising, and pent up buyer demand looms.

Finding your property – Be enrolled in a portal and on the agent’s website to get notified of any new properties. Response time will be critical from scheduling a showing, to making an offer, to doing an inspection. A new property on the market means getting in to see it immediately and acting quickly.

What is needed – A current preapproval from a reputable lending institution. The choices are a retail bank, a mortgage bank and a mortgage broker. Ask your Realtor which is right for you. Please note that your financing options, downpayment amount are important factors. Is your team ready to perform? Have an inspector and attorney on standby.

How to win an offer in a multiple offer situation – Be prepared with your preapproval, proof of funds, inspector, and attorney. Be sure your Realtor composes the offer to purchase email to include the facts: you have an attorney and inspector on hand to perform quickly. Include any timing issues with closing and be as flexible as possible.  When involved in a multiple offer situation remain calm, remove your emotions as to not get disappointed if your offer is not accepted. Think of it as a business transaction although you are in love with the house! Put in your BEST offer, this could sometimes be 20% more than asking. Be sure to ask for comparable SOLD properties as well as PENDING properties to see how much the market has accelerated in the past 6 months. This will help to determine where to start. Some buyers are willing to overpay for a home that you do not think is worth it…it happens. If this is you, then the home has absolute value and overpaying should not be an issue. If you do not want to overpay in this highly competitive market, expand your search into an area with less buyer competition or seek other options. Offer to pay closing costs, for the seller to rent back with no charge, to pay moving costs. Contingencies are often waived such as inspections and appraisals. Discuss these points to see what your options are. Tactics may add value to your offer in addition to purchase price. Don’t give up!

Buying a home is an exciting time, enjoy the process, you WILL find the right home with a knowledgeable Realtor!

If you like what you are hearing in this blog please contact Elisa, Team Leader with The Café Residential Team at McGrath Realty Inc and 35 year residential expert. We specialize in a delivering an educational and stress-free real estate experience.

914-912-1355 call/text or

Guide to a Stress-Free Moving Experience: 10 Tips from a Real Estate Pro

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | February 14, 2022 |
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Guide to a Stress-Free Moving Experience: 10 Tips from a Real Estate Pro

Your home is your sanctuary, your abode, your domicile, the place you go to when you seek shelter, comfort and solitude. You may be thinking of selling because it’s too much maintenance, the taxes are too high, or your lifestyle has changed.

When getting ready, an important thing to realize is that the only good time to put your home on the market is when you are ready. The market has its seasonal cycles, holiday gyrations and Super Bowl Sunday myths but you are the only one who can make the mental and emotional decision to move. When you do, you are half way there. Mindset is the first and foremost thing that must change in order to be successful the rest of the way.

It’s also good to know where you will go! Have a destination in mind  and visualize the kind of lifestyle you desire. Where do you want  to go? What do you want to be near? What kind of weather is best for you?

When your decision to move is made consider the following tips:

  1. Do speak to an expert Realtor for market trends and values in your area to get an idea of what your options are for selling.  Your Realtor is your guide, a communication channel and a resource for all of your real estate needs, questions and problems.
  2. Do consult your financial planner, accountant and/or attorney to discuss the financial impact this decision will have for you. 
  3. Look around…are you surrounded by years of collections, furniture and your kids’ stuff?  Make 3 lists: 1. DONATE/GIVEAWAY 2. SELL 3. TRASH. Whatever is left, take it with you and since you have decided to move pack that extra stuff away and store discretely in the home or off-site. RESOURCE and
  4. Check with your city or town to be sure everything is legal:  additions, decks/patios, finished basements/attics, fireplaces/wood burning stoves, pools/hot tubs, oil tank removal paperwork. The building department should have the documents on file. Just because you bought it that way does not mean it won’t be a problem now. RESOURCE
  5. Check to be sure everything is up to code and safety standards: railings, deck and stairway spindles, smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors, electrical outlets, fireproof sheetrock over heating system, steel door in utility room, ventilation, electrical connections, mold in basements/attics, GFCI outlets, peeling paint, broken, windows, leaking roof.  A pre-inspection will uncover things that may need repair. 
  6. Replace loose deck boards, patio stones, walkway railings, pool fence enclosures, light bulbs, hardware, HVAC filters, broken screens, non-working appliances.
  7. De-clutter by packing items that you are not using: personal photos, holiday décor, extra knick-knacks, souvenirs, religious items. The goal is to make the place as inviting and neutral as possible with some flair.
  8. Contact a professional stager for advice about furniture placement, paint colors, wood flooring stain, carpeting, window treatments, lighting and accessory placement. Paint does wonders for any room! RESOURCE and
  9. You only have one chance to make a first impression, the curb appeal consists of landscaping, the front door and an overall feeling when a buyer drives up to the house. Put away hoses, garbage/recycling bins, toys, remove dead/artificial plants. Decorate seasonally and simply.
  10. Always speak with your Realtor before starting any project, an expert will know if your expense will be worth your time, money and energy.

BONUS RESOURCE: Are you a caregiver or do you know someone who is? This resource page has many options.

The intention is to create a near perfect condition situation to obtain the highest value producing stunning photos and video. The better it looks the more attractive it will be. The more attractive the more interest and that means possible multiple offers and more profit for you!  Your agent may be experienced in helping with the staging but if it needs a facelift for optimal value then a stager consult is an inexpensive and valuable resource.

These are some pre-listing preparation tips to encourage you to get started before you choose your moving timeline, logistics and ultimately the agent who will represent you.

If you like what you are hearing in this blog please contact Elisa, Team Leader with The Café Residential Team at McGrath Realty Inc and 35 year residential expert. We specialize in a delivering an educational and stress-free real estate experience.

914-912-1355 call/text or

“Should I sell in 2022?” 10 Things to Consider

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | January 21, 2022 |
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“Should I sell in 2022?” 10 Things to Consider

Is this a question you are asking right now? We get it a lot!

So is it a good time to sell? The short answer is, YES it is a good time if you are ready!

Interrupters in real estate are ongoing and ever since the pandemic we are on high alert for new trends. There are positives and negatives so a trusted advisor is best to answer any questions you may have.

The Café Residential Team insures a safe, stress-free, educational experience. We are available virtually and in-person. Safety is of utmost importance next to giving you sound advice and guidance.

Here are the 10 most important things to consider when thinking of selling:

  1. Make the decision that selling meets your needs for where you are in your life.
  2. Decide where you will go. We assist with options.
  3. Preparation is key to obtaining the best value. We assist with this process of what to do with your “stuff” and how to best prepare your home for optimal value.
  4. Do you want to know what needs to be done to get the most for your home? Small changes may have a big return.
  5. A robust market is expected, not as frantic as 2021. Will you benefit from selling this year?
  6. Buyer demand is high because inventory is low. Competitive pricing will bring more than one offer. We will explain how pricing and a multiple offer situations work.
  7. City dwellers and those living is densely populated areas are looking for more privacy and sanctuary. A yard is on the top of the list for buyers. Make whatever outdoor space you have appealing.
  8. Remote working is widely accepted as the new norm. Does your home have a space for a home office?
  9. Digital systems and tools are essential. Choose a Realtor with great presence and proven results.
  10. It’s a seller’s market right now in most areas and sellers are in control. Structure the sale of your home around your schedule.

The more you know about selling, the better off you will be when it comes time to hire a Realtor to represent you. There is a difference between an agent and an agent who is a Realtor. A Realtor is bound to a strict code of ethics pertaining to our duties to clients and customers. Code of Ethics

If you are planning to sell in 2022, we welcome your questions. We are a team with over 100 years of experience and look forward to serving you, your family and your friends with their real estate needs.

For a confidential appointment and consultation contact:

Elisa Bruno-Midili
914-912-1355 mobile
Team Leader/Associate Broker

The Café Residential Team
McGrath Realty Inc
295 E Main St
Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Café Realty Joins McGrath Realty Inc to Expand Service and Maximize Talent

By Elisa Bruno-Midili | August 9, 2021 |
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Cafe Realty teams up with the Hudson Valley’s most prominent commercial, land development and luxury brokerage, McGrath Realty Inc. After 8 years in business the community focused Cafe Realty will use their strengths, talents and skills to become the new face of McGrath Realty Inc’s residential services. Café Realty will take the new name The Café Residential Team with long time partners Carol Christiansen, Elisa Bruno-Midili and Walter Sadowski in leadership positions.   

“We were looking to expand yet stay local, independent and community-focused, this is the perfect opportunity to do so!” explains Elisa Bruno-Midili. “Our talents are complementary; our service will be unparalleled; we are better together.” “Both of our companies have passion and integrity for what we do” says Carol Christiansen. 

McGrath Realty Inc. is the Hudson Valley’s premier commercial brokerage firm and specializes in the sale and leasing of office, retail, commercial, industrial and land development properties. Café Realty is a local, independent, community-focused brokerage serving the residential market. The collaboration with McGrath creates a unique and complete full-service brokerage serving residential, commercial, land development, property management and the appraisal sectors of the market. The new office location will be in downtown Mount Kisco, a Westchester County hub for dining, shopping, culture and transportation. 

The Café Residential Team’s mission is clear and purposeful “In all we do we aim to create an educational and stress-free real estate experience. We do this by sharing our knowledge and expertise. We listen and empower our clients and agents to make informed real estate decisions.”