Real Estate Planning? Fiona Dogan is Here to Help

With the spring market getting underway just as the number of coronavirus cases rises in the region and around the world, many people are wondering if they should put real estate decisions on hold. A shaky economy and volatile stock market aren’t easing concerns.

Some may have to move for a new job or because they need more space for a growing family — or less space if they are becoming empty nesters. Others may want to escape apartment living during this period of “social distancing.” Yet, there are other good reasons to move forward and make a real estate decision:

Right now, buying a home is more affordable than ever. Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, hovering in the 2.5% to 3% range. Interest rates, also at historic lows, may eliminate a future refinancing. And sellers in Westchester County may have a slight edge, with a lower inventory contributing to higher demand. This may explain why here at William Pitt Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s, we are seeing significant activity amongst buyers and sellers.

Because of the challenging times, we are adapting our practices, including reducing or eliminating open houses in favor of individual appointments and virtual walk-throughs of our listings. Ensuring the health and safety of our families, co-workers, and clients is paramount.

Preparing for your next move

I’m here to help! Here’s how:

Home value estimates:  By providing you with a rough estimate of the value of your home, we can help you prepare to buy what you can afford or sell by determining the list price.

Virtual walk-throughs: With social distancing in full-swing, some home sellers are reluctant to open their doors to the general public for an open house. I’d be happy to take you through a listing by appointment, or set up a time when I can show you a home via FaceTime or Skype.

Preparation and planning for buyers, sellers, and renters: There’s a lot to be done before you start your real estate journey. Should you stage your home before selling? What are your parameters for a new home? What are the ideal terms for your rental arrangement? I have extensive experience in these areas, and more, and can be of help.

Along with the rest of the world, I’m staying on top of a rapidly changing situation and its impact on the real estate industry. Most important, I am focused on providing the best service possible. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns, at any time. I would love to hear from you.

Life in Rye: 26 Things You Should Know, from A – Z

Welcome to Rye!

Congratulations on one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. As a Rye resident, you have access to top notch schools, great food, waterfront recreation, arts and culture, and a warm and welcoming community.

As you settle into your new hometown, you may have many questions about where to go, how to get around, and what to do in your new hometown.

I’ve called Rye home for over 25 years and feel uniquely qualified to offer some tips on this very special place to live. My children attended Rye public schools and I’ve been a very active member of the community (details here!)

I’m happy to offer a list of extensive resources for you to find answers to some of those questions! You’ll find links to important government, education, recreation, and community resources here.

Fiona Dogan’s ABCs of what every Rye Newcomer Needs to Know

For a more personal look at what I love about Rye, here’s a list from A to Z for you to discover what makes Rye such a special place:

A is for Arcade Books, Rye’s only independent bookstore. In operation for over 30 years, it’s a local favorite. A is also for the Rye Arts Center, a terrific community resource for art classes and so much more.

B is for the beaches! Rye Town Park has 34 acres of beach and swimming areas (also known as Rye Beach and Oakland Beach) and Rye Playland Beach is backed by the boardwalk and amusement park. Plenty of space for frolicking and fun in the sun and sand.

C is for the croissants and other delectable offerings at Patisserie Salzburg, a European-style café in Rye. 

D is for our lively downtown Purchase Street, lined with upscale shops for and restaurants. It’s also the site of many wonderful events put on by our active Chamber of Commerce, including the annual Sidewalk Sale and Mistletoe Magic.

E is for the Expat Connection, a terrific resource for the community of expatriates from other countries who now live in Rye.

F is for Frankie and Johnnie’s, Rye’s fabled steakhouse that is just a short walk from the Metro North train—perfect for dinner and drinks on the way home!

G is for the city-owned Rye Golf Club, home to a challenging 18-hole course with spectacular views of the Long Island Sound and an Olympic sized swimming pool.

H is for the hometown feeling you have when you live in this tight-knit community that is so warm and welcoming.

I is for indoor ice skating at the Playland Ice Casino, which offers a nice schedule of public skating time.  

J is for the Jay Heritage Center, the historic landmark home of American Founding Father, John Jay. An active museum, educational programs and historical tours are all offered here.  

K is for kid-friendly! There’s no community more suited to family-life than Rye! With top-notch schools, kid-friendly restaurants, waterfront fun, easy hiking, and a walkable downtown. Life’s a beach!

L is for Longford’s Ice Cream, simply the best! Small batch, premium ice cream for the past 26 years in downtown Rye.

M is for the 5.5 miles of pristine Long Island Sound shoreline you have access to, now that you live in Rye!

N is for Rye’s Nature Center, a wildlife preserve offering hiking, recreation, and educational programs and special events throughout the year.  And the Rye Newcomers Club — and excellent resource!

O is for oyster bar, as in Ruby’s Oyster Bar, a Rye mainstay serving up delicious steak, seafood and so much more in a chic and comfy setting.  

P is for Rye Playland, the historic art deco amusement park home to Westchester’s famous Dragon Coaster. Hours of entertainment!

Q is for all of your real estate questions I’m happy to answer! Just email me at

R is for our fabulous recreation department, which hosts several community events throughout the year including summer concert series, magic shows, Shakespeare in the Park, October Fall Festial, and much more.

S is for schools — Rye is home to two top-ranked public school districts, Rye Neck and Rye City school districts.  

T is for our beautiful 62-acre Rye Town Park with verdant spaces for relaxing and shoreline for swimming and historically significant buildings and structures.

U is for the dozens of upscale shops on Purchase Street which offer everything from clothing and home décor to wine, fresh produce and prepared food.

V is for very close to New York City! Whether you’re doing the daily commute or just popping into the city for dinner and a show, you’ll appreciate the quick trip in and back.

W is for the Wainwright House, a beautiful mansion that houses health, wellness, spiritual, and ecological centers. A great place to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit!

X is for the eXcellent opportunities to volunteer in and around Rye. From getting involved in your children’s schools to joining a community organization such as the philanthropic Woman’s Club of Rye, there are several ways to give back to your new community.

Y is for the Rye YMCA, an important community organization offering exercise, swim, and sport programs, in addition to arts and community health programs. They host birthday parties, too!

Z is for Zoltar, the fortune-telling machine on the Rye Playland Beach Boardwalk where the 1988 fantasy comedy “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, was filmed.

Top 10 Reasons to be Thankful for Living in Rye

Beautiful beaches, quaint shops, gourmet dining, and top-notch schools—there’s no shortage of reasons to love living in Rye, New York! As the holidays approach, and we take time to be thankful for what matters most, this special community I call home is one of those things for which I am most grateful.

In the spirit of the season, I’ve narrowed my list (a challenge!) to just ten things that make Rye an idyllic place to live:

  1. The Beaches: Soft sand and gentle waters characterize our 34 beautiful acres of public beaches, known to locals as Rye Beach and Oakland Beach. Amenities include restaurants, a summer concert and entertainment series, and year-round scenic views.
  2. Rye Playland: Anyone who has seen Tom Hanks star in the movie Big is aware of our iconic amusement park, which opened in 1928. The centerpiece attraction is the Dragon Coaster, one of America’s few remaining wooden roller coasters—which also had a star turn in Big and in Fatal Attraction. A visit to Playland is always filled with old-fashioned fun.
  3. Lifestyle options: People looking to live in Rye have an array of home styles to choose from, making it easy to find one that is a good fit. From sprawling coastal estates and traditional center hall colonials, to split-level and ranch-style homes, the real estate market offers something for everyone.
  4. Top-notch schools: From private options like Rye Country Day, School of the Holy Child and Resurrection School, to our award-winning public schools in Rye and Rye Neck, which consistently rank among the best in New York State and across the nation, the educational institutions in Rye are simply stellar.
  5. Community involvement: If you’re looking to make new friends, donate time to a worthy cause, or spend time on activities you enjoy, there’s undoubtedly a community organization aligned with your interests. The Rye Arts Center, Newcomers Club, Women’s Club, Expat Connection, and Garden Club are just some of the many organizations that contribute to our vibrant civic community.
  6. Gourmet Dining: Rye has it all, including an elegant French eatery, upscale steak house, low-key bar and grill-style establishments, vegetarian dining, and beachy waterfront restaurants with views of the Long Island Sound.
  7. Shopping! Rye is a shopper’s paradise, with retailers offering fashion choices for the whole family (including the dog), home goods, and specialty stores such as Blue Tulip Chocolates, Parker’s, and Arcade Booksellers, all nestled in our quaint downtown shopping district made for strolling and browsing.
  8. Recreation: Rye is rich with recreation options! Our town park boasts a nature preserve, duck pond, and beachfront. The Rye Nature Center provides public environmental programs and includes a 2.5-mile trail system. Residents can take advantage of the Marshlands Conservancy and Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary. There’s also a municipally-owned boat basin and public 18-hole golf course.
  9. Proximity to New York City: The greatest city in the world is just 36 minutes away by train! Commuting to jobs in Manhattan is a breeze. Locals who work in Westchester can hop on Metro North after work, have dinner, and catch a Broadway show, or visit one of the city’s world-class cultural institutions. 
  1. The People: As a resident and local Realtor who has lived in Rye for 19 years, I can tell you there’s just something special about the people in Rye. It’s a safe, warm, and inviting community where your neighbors become your friends. People look out for you. Rye is a city with a small-town feel. I’d be happy to show you around!

Give Back to Your Local Community This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season! Now is a wonderful time to get involved in your local community by volunteering your time or donating to local charities. Below are just several of the deserving nonprofits in Rye and surrounding communities that offer wonderful opportunities to “give where you live.” A special thank you to Volunteer New York!, which has a great online database of volunteer opportunities.


Caritas of Port Chester

For Volunteer New York! volunteer link, click here.

Personal shoppers wanted! Caritas of Port Chester provides food, clothing, counseling, and education for local residents in need. Twice a week Caritas rolls out the racks and stocks the shelves with a healthy variety of groceries, produce, meats, eggs and fish. Our volunteers assist in setting up the pantry before escorting our clients down the aisles. Clients get to choose from a selection of grains, vegetables, dairy, proteins, fruits, soups, and miscellaneous items. It’s fun. It’s personal. And it is immensely rewarding for all. Why not give it a try?


The New Jewish Home/Sarah Neuman Center, Mamaroneck

For Volunteer New York! volunteer link, click here.

Calling all pet owners! This senior care center needs gentle and well-behaved animals of any kind (and their owners) to visit with residents. Pets and their owners are scheduled for an hour to an hour-and-a-half visit on any day of the week. The residents enjoy visiting and playing with the pet, often reminiscing about having a dog or cat of their own.


Family Services of Westchester, Port Chester

For Volunteer New York! volunteer link, click here.

Volunteers are needed to sort and package children’s clothing for The Sharing Shelf, a program of Westchester Family Services (FSW) that collects new and gently used children’s clothing for ages 0-17 and distributes it through social service agencies, teachers, and others to children in need at no cost. FSW is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Westchester County with a broad range of social and mental health services.


Volunteers at the Carver Center.

Carver Center, Port Chester

The Carver Center, which has been serving the Port Chester community’s children and families since 1943, is looking for donations to its food pantry, including rice, beans, pasta, tomato sauces, tuna, canned or frozen vegetables, cereal, milk, peanut and almond butter, cooking oil, and packages of cheese (yellow American). More information is available by clicking here. The center is also looking for volunteers to help work in their food pantry, assist with after school programs, and serve breakfast to seniors. For more details about volunteering, click here.



The Rye YMCA needs help with its children’s clothing drive this holiday season. They are asking people to bring new or gently used, seasonal (fall/winter) clothing for babies, children and teens (to age 17) to the Rye Y lobby between Monday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 9. If you would like to help with the clothing drive or join the Rye Y’s Togetherhood Committee for a Day of Service for The Sharing Shelf, a program of Family Services of Westchester, on Dec. 10, click here for details and to register.


Happy holidays to all, and remember, it is wonderful to be able to give as well as to get!


Photo: Volunteers helping out this holiday season at The Sharing Shelf, a program of Family Services of Westchester.


Fiona Dogan is a Licensed Realtor® in the Rye office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Westchester Five Star Real Estate Agent, Platinum Award winner, and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For more information, please contact Fiona Dogan at: or visit her website at



Let Fiona help you sell or find your dream home. Contact Fiona at 914-414-5147 or email her directly.