Rochester, NY Real Estate News

By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
I would like to thank all my friends, clients, and co-workers for making 2008 a year to remember.  I hope you all have a peaceful and healthy holiday season.  Best wishes for the new year!
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
When I was in my early 20's, I started a small business, and in December I sent out Christmas cards to everyone on my list.  I later found out that many of them were Jewish.  Boy was I embarrassed.  I never paid any attention to what religion someone may folllow.  I just liked people, and wanted to wish them the best. We are busy getting ready for Christmas.  I often wonder if others laugh at us for spending so much time and money at the malls at this time of year.  We have had a weekend of alot of snow, and I believe that has slowed things down, which I think is a good thing.  Everything has become too commercial.  We always celebrate on Christmas Eve, not Christmas day like so many others.  That tradition started with my grandmother who came here from Poland.  What are you getting rea...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
I just discovered today that one of my rental listings on Craigslist was used as part of a scam! After doing my research, I discovered that the scam has been around for almost a year and has been working its way across the country. According to an article from a Seattle news station back in March 2008, the common thread through these scams is that the alleged homeowner is "out of state" and "needs someone to either rent or take care of the house immediately." They are also typically posted with a significantly lower rent. In my case, the rent was listed as $200 less per month. Upon being contacted at the provided e-mail address, the scammer said he was currently in Africa and would not be available to meet in person. He then went on to ask for the prospect's information. So, with scams ...
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
They warned us it was coming.  Many people went to the stores and stocked up on food.  Those who waited until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts might need to wait a little longer.  Then it began.  The snow started in the morning, and kept right on falling all day long.  Schools closed early.  Evening events were canceled.  The plow crews had a tough time keeping up.  I went and checked on one of my vacant listings, and decided to wait to check on a different one.  I was concerned about going over the icy 104 bridge.  It's hard to serve clients from a ditch.  I knew the crews would work all night to get them cleared.  I figured I'd wait till morning.  This weather is not new to us.  It doesn't bring our city to a complete halt.  We are prepared.  We got about 12 inches.  We've had m...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
Looking out the window this morning, I feel like I'm living in a snow globe. The snowflakes have been drifting to the ground constantly for several hours now. Every once in a while, a gust of wind makes them dance in circles. It's beautiful to watch. The roads, on the other hand, don't look so beautiful. I'm working from home this morning, and in my neighborhood the roads are covered with a pretty hefty layer of slushy snow. I'm thankful that I don't have to go out in it yet. For those of you who do, drive carefully!   And now, to switch topics from Winter Wonderlands to Spring Smorgasbords. I'm guessing I caught your attention with that title. You're probably thinking, "What is she talking about?" What I'm referring to is that the spring market in Rochester is setting up to be a smorga...
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
Yesterday I received an agent of the year award at our company Awards Gala.  This is not my first award, but it was special.  I would like to thank the people of Active Rain for helping me achieve this award.  I was a lurker for a long time, and did not write blogs for awhile.  I still struggle sometimes to write them.  I have learned so much, and gained so much knowledge from the people here.  Many agents in my area don't know, or understand the benefits of Active Rain.  As I sat in this room, with the top producers of an invitation only event, I thought about all the people who helped me get to where I am today.  I was lucky to have a very supportive broker, and a very encouraging trainer.  I was also lucky in that I had a mother with many years of experience in real estate.  I have a...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
This is the second of a series of posts aimed at educating first-time homebuyers in the Rochester area about the home buying process. I've worked with many first-time buyers who are interested in becoming homeowners but have no clue where to begin. This series will explain the steps to homeownership, as well as giving first-time buyers tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible! If you missed it, take a look at my post on the first step of the home buying process, Establishing Financing. Step 2: Find the Right Home The first step in finding the home of your dreams is to decide on your desired location and the characteristics you want in your home. You'll want to focus on features such as: Style of the house (ranch, colonial, etc.) Number of bedrooms and baths Garage? Attached o...
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
I was reading another forum today and a real estate agent posting the question:  Buyers-where are you searching online? There were a good amount of answers.  Most buyers said they do their searches on realtor.com, trulia.com, zillow.com, or craigslist.com.  I was happy to hear that, as I advertise all my listings on those sites, as well as many others.  Some preferred specific local sites fed by their MLS.  It is interesting to note that their least favorite site is one that they have to register on to view properties.  I have to admit I hate that too, and have not added that on my website.  I figure if someone has questions they will contact me, and they do. One poster said they loved ziprealty.com and thought it was the best.  I had not heard of that one, so I went to check it out.  T...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
When is the national housing market supposed to turn around? That depends on who you ask! I pay close attention to what economists are saying about the economy in general and the housing market in particular, and it's obvious no one really knows for sure how things are going to play out. Some noted economists say housing will pick up in the coming year, while others are more skeptical. They do all agree on one fact: there is a ton of pent up demand in the housing market, and eventually, those buyers and sellers that have been waiting at the sidelines have to start moving again! From my viewpoint, the influx of business I've been experiencing lately bodes well for the Rochester market! This is traditionally a slow time of year, with both buyers and sellers concentrating on the holidays a...
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
 We all know times are tough, but would you live with your ex?  Recently I read an article about a couple who divorced in January.  Due to economic times they are still living together.  They had put their home on the market for nine months but it didn't sell.  There's a good possibility that we will hear more about couples like this.  It makes you wonder.  This couple does not have children together. At what point do finances become more important than moving forward in life? Financial stress causes many divorces.  I'm wondering if due to the economy, financial stress will now do the opposite and keep couples together. Would you do this to avoid foreclosure or worse, bankruptcy?  Or is your private space more important?  You can read the full article here: Staying Together    
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
If you're like me, you have a special place in your heart for Frank Capra's holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life. You can probably quote lines like, "Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings." Maybe you even sing along with Buffalo Gals. But what do you know about the real Bedford Falls? You may not realize it, but it's widely believed that Frank Capra modeled his village of Bedford Falls after the Rochester area's very own Seneca Falls. Frank Capra is believed to have passed through Seneca Falls on his way to visit relatives in Auburn in 1945, just a year before It's a Wonderful Life came out. The movie makes reference to Buffalo, Rochester, and other upstate New York locations, but the similarities don't end there! Like Bedford Falls, Seneca Falls is located on a canal and has...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
This is the first of a series of posts aimed at educating first-time homebuyers in the Rochester area about the home buying process. I've worked with many first-time buyers who are interested in becoming homeowners but have no clue where to begin. This series will explain the steps to homeownership, as well as giving first-time buyers tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible!   Step 1: Establish Financing It's important to speak with a mortgage professional before you begin seriously looking at homes. They will look at a number of factors and issue you a pre-approval letter. Some of the factors lenders take into account include... Employment: Salaried vs. commissioned, self-employed, or temporary Credit: How do you rate?  What is your credit history and score? Finances: How m...
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In every city across the country, that are stats showing a direct correlation between % of homes owned, and % of the population affected by things such as crime, poverty, sub-par education, unemployment, sub-par health, high vacancy rates, etc.Obviously, there is no simple way to solve these problems that are affecting so many inner-city neighborhoods, as there is clearly multiple factors causing the problem.However, when my home city in Upstate NY recently published it's City-Wide Housing study, it became very clear to me that in neighborhoods where the majority of homes are owned by out-of-state investors, crime and sub-par living standards run rampant.Note:  a good tool I like to use to see these types of stats nation-wide is www.bestplaces.netAfter speaking to our city council-membe...
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
The government enacted a benefit to help you make your first home purchase. The incentive gives first time home buyers a federal income tax credit up to $7,500.   The tax credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home up to $7,500. This is part of the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008″.  It is a temporary, federal tax credit to provide incentive for first-time home buyers to purchase a home.  This tax credit is for first-time homebuyers who purchase a principal resident on or after April 8, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. To be eligible, you can not have owned a primary home for the past three years, but may have owned a home prior to that. To qualify for a full tax credit of $7,500 (or 10% of the cost of the home), someone filing their taxes as single, or head of house...
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
We have had a beautiful fall season here in Rochester.  Last Friday it was in the 60's.  Today is very cold, and snow is staying on the ground.  If you haven't already, you may want to put a blanket, bottled water, a shovel, and a flashlight in the car.  I learned that the hard way when I was younger.  I got stuck in a snow bank at night.  You just never know what could happen, and it's good to be prepared.  Stay safe.
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By Mary Shelsby
(ReMax Realty Group)
Some of my least favorite words in Rochester are "Lake Affect!" Well, we've had some lake affect over the past few days which left a nice blanket on Nathaniel Rochester. Photo taken at the Sculpture "Reflecting," located at South Avenue and Alexandria Streets, in the South Wedge.   For more information about Nathaniel Rochester and his interesting life, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Rochester Rochester's real estate market has slowed down pretty dramatically. I'm still looking for my first November sale, and so if you know someone looking to buy or sell real estate let me know. I've had plenty of idle time on my hands to dream up interesting thank you gifts for your referrals. :-)Home are still selling in Rochester. I did a quick check of the MLS, and there has been 841...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
This week, I'm combining my (late) market report with some other statistics about area home sales I thought my readers might find interesting. First, the Western Wayne County market snapshot for today:   Macedon Walworth Palmyra Active 49 63 36 Average List Price $173,954 $183,807 $124,942          Pending 8 15 10 Average List Price $139,250 $153,473 $101,450 Now for the real news. Are the number of home sales down in the Rochester area? Yes, no doubt. The Greater Rochester Association of Realtors recently announced that single-family home sales are down 15.8% compared to one year ago. But, there's a bright side to our local market, and it's arguably more important than the number of homes currently selling. The average sale price of homes in the Greater Rochester area remained the same...
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By Kristen Wahl, CBR
(Re/Max Plus)
About a year ago, RealtyUSA launched a new website. It has tons of user-friendly features, like a virtual map search, information about all the regions we serve, school and community reports, and much more. It appears the site is going over very well with consumers! Hitwise, a company that measures the number of "hits" or visits various websites receive, recently published their rankings for real estate websites. For the first time, RealtyUSA's site is in the top 100! When you consider that we serve only New York State and Naples, Florida and were competing with national franchises, I'd say that's spectacular! Kudos to the RealtyUSA web gurus! And no, that cutie pictured above is not a member of the tech department... too bad!!
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By Kristal Perrone, Associate Broker
(Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division)
How To Prepare Your House To Sell                                   Recently I wrote a blog on 10 Questions To Ask Your Listing Agent                         The next step is to get the house ready to put on the market.  You don't want to just list it right?  You want to sell it.  Here are some helpful hints:   1. Disassociate Yourself From The Home. Your home probably has a lot of great memories, and you are emotionally attached to it, but it's now time to look at it as a product to market.  Pretend that you're a buyer looking at it.  Would you like what you see?  Does it look clean and bright, and well maintained?   2.  De-Personalize Pack up pictures of your family, so the new buyers can envision themselves living there.  It's best not to let the buyers get distracted by wondering ab...
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