Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Malka Neuman has been a florist for many years, but now she’s growing a new business. With the urging of her husband, a real estate professional, she has started Malkita’s Homes, a collection of gorgeous properties in sought-after destinations for short-term vacation rentals. Her first property, Malkita’s Mountain View Villa in Woodbury, New York, is now taking reservations.

“I really fell in love with the house as soon as I got there,” said Neuman. “As we’re getting near the house there are beautiful trees and then there’s a breathtaking mountain. The house is at the foothills of Schunemunk State Park. It’s a breathtaking view.”

Neuman almost turned down the opportunity to see the property. She had planned a day trip with a realtor who was going to show her five homes. At the last minute, the realtor said those homes couldn’t be shown, but another one had just come on the market and it sounded perfect. It was. “I thought I might as well see the house and that turned out to be the house I chose,” said Neuman.

The fully renovated modern home can accommodate a group of families or friends, with five bedrooms that can sleep 12 people. It has been meticulously decorated and filled with all the amenities you could want for a stellar vacation. From the comfy living-room couch, you have a panoramic view of the mountains. The house has a theater room and a game room, a big plus for teens. The master bedroom has a spa-like bathroom with shower, tub and sauna. Four more bedrooms plus a full bath and half bath give everyone enough room to be comfortable. The large outdoor area has a fireplace with seating, hot tub and a long dining table. The property has direct access to hiking trails on the mountain.

Neuman had kosher guests in mind when she gutted and installed the brand-new kitchen with a spacious island. She built a locked kosher pantry and generates a new code for each arriving group of guests. Inside is a warming tray, hot-water urn, cholent pot, Shabbat candles, a Havdalah set and complete milchig and fleishig sets of dishes, pots and pans and cutlery. She even has new grates and tongs for the outdoor grill. In the future, if there is enough interest, Neuman plans to create a separate completely kosher kitchen.

The villa is located 10 minutes from Kiryas Joel in Monroe, with kosher supermarkets and takeout food nearby. It’s a short drive to Woodbury Common, the Storm King Arts Center, Legoland Theme Park and Sand Beach at Earl Reservoir.

What’s next for Malkita Homes? A three-bedroom, two-bath home on a beautiful beach in Mexico, 10 minutes from the Chabad house, will be ready around the end of August. After that, Neuman said she is researching and going with the flow. Like Malkita’s Mountain View Villa, she’ll know the right property when she sees it. Neuman has lived around the world and has a discerning eye for the right place. She was born in the Congo, and moved to Belgium and Israel before coming to the U.S. She met her husband while she was a student at Stern College. When they were ready to leave the city, they looked at several communities and picked Teaneck, where they still live, now with their four boys.

Neuman travels frequently with her husband and has enjoyed staying in houses she found through Airbnb. “When a host knows how to welcome you, it makes the experience more pleasant,” she said. Short-term vacation rentals have become even more popular since the pandemic began. People find it more comfortable to be in their own space where they have control over their environment.

Malkita’s Mountain View Villa can be rented directly from www.malkitahomes.com, on Airbnb, Booking and Vrbo. Follow Malkita Homes on Instagram for updates.

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