Navigate Historic Home Renovation With Dwellstead on Saturday, June 30


    Becoming a homeowner of a distressed property can be a daunting process. When you want to live in Brooklyn, it seems almost impossible. You may be wondering: What’s a 203k loan? How can I take advantage of historic tax credits? What grants are available for buying and fixing a home?

    Get answers to these questions and more, plus discover the homeowner opportunities 60 miles north of Manhattan in the historic city of Newburgh at a brunch workshop with Dwellstead on Saturday, June 30.

    As prices soar in Brooklyn, buyers have to expand their searches for homes while trying not to compromise on the amenities of urban living. The principals at Dwellstead have experienced the process and want to share their passion for renovating distressed properties by offering their services to help others do the same. Going through its own renaissance, the city of Newburgh is one of the largest historic districts in New York State. Opportunities abound to restore everything from a basic brick row house to majestic mansions — all within commuting distance to New York City.

    Dwellstead has found a balance between historic preservation and 21st-century green energy-saving practices. Often, the renovations we see today eliminate the historic integrity of homes, such as removing century-old windows in favor of newer more “energy efficient” ones. New building materials aren’t always better. Old buildings were built to last, and with proper maintenance and planning, they can last centuries more. Whether you are looking to reduce maintenance costs, or need design services, Dwellstead can help you navigate the unique challenges of dealing with an older distressed home.

    Elizabeth Vega-Lebron restoring the original windows of her home

    Elizabeth Vega-Lebron restoring the original windows of her home

    Tracking the owner of a building you wish to purchase can be a discouraging process. Properties are usually privately owned, city owned, bank owned, or the owner is unidentifiable. When others give you the runaround, Dwellstead will do the running around for you. They will help you identify a property to purchase in the right neighborhood that aligns with your goals. If the property you are interested in is not on the market, they will save you the headache of finding the owner. Whether you are interested in a live/work space or a single-family home, they can help direct you with their knowledge of Newburgh’s real estate market and industry contacts.

    They realize the thought of working on an older distressed home might be intimidating. People start projects but don’t finish them because they are overwhelmed. Dwellstead offers services to keep your project on track by creating a realistic budget and work plan. They will help connect you with contractors and make your home as energy efficient as you desire. And when you start to lose steam, feeling like there is no end in sight, they will have the stamina to keep you going to get through the red tape.

    Michael Lebron in his NoHo loft apartment as he began to convert it from industrial space

    At the workshop, you will learn from principals Michael Lebron and Elizabeth Vega-Lebron. They will discuss their past projects renovating buildings inside and outside of the city of Newburgh. They are currently working on their own personal residence, a 2,600-square-foot 1865 townhouse. It is a gut renovation in the center of the city with 19th-century elegance and 21st-century performance. Together with their Harvard graduate architect, Curtis B. Wayne, they are designing a home that will be energy efficient with high thermal protection and an on-demand supply of conditioned fresh air — and extremely quiet. Their subcontractors are saying they’ve never renovated a building this way, nor this thoroughly.

    A renovated kitchen

    The kitchen of an 1875 farmhouse the couple restored. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) adapted its window policy to accommodate their preservation efforts

    Michael Lebron is a Cooper Union graduate with homesteading experience in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He converted more than a dozen commercial factory spaces into artists’ work/live lofts in Manhattan. Elizabeth Vega-Lebron has a passion for preservation and renovation of old homes and understands the role that affordable and healthy housing has on our health and well-being. A ​NYS ​licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams​ Realty​,​ she believes in Dwellstead’s goal to provide training and job opportunities in green construction in Newburgh.​

    Dwellstead is passionate about sustainable urban communities. Newburgh is a walkable city with arts, culture and, most of all, human connections. They don’t feel like they are giving up anything to live outside of New York, and they get to enjoy much closer proximity to the country. Vega-Lebron hails the same yellow cabs she did in Manhattan, but Newburgh affords her the chance to have a garden, take care of a home, and be part of a community.

    Join Dwellstead’s Vega-Lebron ​and Lebron at their June 30th workshop in Newburgh​ where they will help you realize your vision of renovating a historic and distressed building and turning it into a beautiful and affordable green home.


    The event will take place at Grit Works at 115 Broadway in Newburgh, N.Y., on Saturday, June 30, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Brunch will be served. Sponsors include William A. Smith & Son Insurance, Innerglass, and Superior Mortgage Company Inc.

    Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. All attendees will receive a Lowe’s $10 gift certificate.

    To see the day’s program and reserve your place, click here. To learn more about the speakers and Dwellstead’s vision, visit or ​call Vega-Lebron at 917-628-8835 or Lebron at ​917-743-7568.

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