Welcome to the Bradley and Bradley Real Estate Blog!

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community activities, home buying and selling tips and tricks, design and style suggestions, and construction ideas!  

At Bradley and Bradley Real Estate we care about our local community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out to us at 315-794-5101. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 5, 2019

"Interior Design Tips on a Budget"

You’ve purchased the perfect house, in your dream neighborhood, that checks all the boxes on your “must have” list. The only issue is that the previous owner had a VERY different panache and taste in terms of décor. Turning your new home into your dream home may take a little work and elbow grease in order to upgrade and refresh to match your style.

Sound familiar?

The good news is, not all interior design projects have to break your bank. With a small budget, and a little imagination, you can easily create chic and elegant spaces throughout your entire home.

Interior Design on a Budget

 

Paint

Nothing brightens up a room or transforms a space quite like a coat of paint. Whether you choose a crisp and clean white or neutral shade to revive the walls, or select a darker and dramatic hue to add an air of sophistication and flair, paint can be one of the easiest and most budget friendly ways to spruce up the overall look and feel of a room.

Paint selections don’t have to be exceptionally pricy. Home Depot and Lowe’s carry a plethora of brands and colors, all within varying budget ranges. Work with one of the paint experts in the department for the best brand and quality to match your budget.

 

Window Treatments

A quick and easy way to bring some elegance into your new home it to add window treatments to each room. Adding curtains, blinds or shades to your windows will immediately transform the room, and many think window treatments make homes appear more expensive and classier. Search your local home goods stores for curtains that match your taste. If you can’t seem to find the perfect pattern, visit your local craft store and select a fabric there. Often times you can pay a small fee for custom sewn curtains, as long as you provide them with the proper measurements. Craft stores are notorious for offering discounts, specials, and coupons, so check online before you visit.

Once you have selected your curtains, be sure to hang them as close to the ceiling as you can. This is an interior design trick that will draw all eyes up, and project the illusion of fullness, which can even make the room or space appear larger and more expansive.

 

Crown Molding

With the addition of crown molding, prepare to turn an average space into a showstopper. The act of detailing the walls and ceiling will result in a refined and polished look. Crown molding is relatively inexpensive, and will instantly add a lush richness to the room. When selecting the crown molding, opt for a wider and thicker trim, as this will make a more significant impact on the overall design

 

Create Your own Art

Have you ever heard of a tryiptych? Three is now the magic number when it comes to interior decorating. A triptych is a trio of paneled art and instantly makes a statement once hung on the walls. This type of wall art is extremely popular, but can certainly be a splurge on the wallet. Our budget friendly tip- create your own! Head on over to Google, download free art from the website of your choice, print the image extra large at Staples, Kinkos, or a local office supply store, then cut the image into three panels and purchase affordable frames to hang in!

 

Light Fixtures

One simple way to add personality, character and style to any room in your new home is to incorporate new light fixtures with some pizazz. Finding a unique light fixture, chandelier or ceiling fan is a great way to add a designer look and feel to your space. No need to purchase expensive light fixtures either- visit your local flea markets, antique shops or thrift stores for some beautiful pieces at an economical cost.

Lighting can immediately make any room look and feel chic and classy, and can create a buzz amongst guests who stop by to visit. Adding table or floor lamps can create a warm and inviting ambiance in your rooms as well.

Hang a Gallery of Personal Photos

Look through all your photos and select some of your favorite memories. Choose a theme- wedding photos, kid’s first birthday photos, shots from your vacation to Ireland- and purchase frames in varying sizes, yet all in the same color palette. If you got married outdoors, maybe white picture frames with a rustic feel are the right choice for you. Hang your photos in a tight grid, or in a long line. A geometric type of arrangement is very aesthetically pleasing on the walls of your new home.

 

Throw Pillows

Looking for a low-cost, fabulous accessory for your sofa, bed, oversized chair, loveseat or bench? Throw pillows of any shape and size bring immediate elegance to any piece of furniture. Look for sales on throw pillows at stores like TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and Target to name a few. Have a collection of throw pillows already, but they no longer match your new design or theme? Purchase new pillow covers from Amazon, and just like that, you’ve got a new set of pillows! Throw pillows are one of the easiest ways to create a luxurious look and feel in your new space.

 

Rug Layering

Rug layering is one of the hottest new interior design trends. Begin with your largest rug, and place it an angle in the room, then place a second rug partially on top, and angle it to match the first rug. You can mismatch colors and patterns to match your own personal taste. Rugs are one of the best ways to create an illusion in a home, as they immediately make a space and floor look larger. Have a smaller room or space in your new home that you are looking to transform? Grab a few rugs varying in size, and begin layering away!

 

 

These are a few of our interior design tips that will give your new home some charm and character, without breaking the bank! Happy designing! 

 

Posted in Selling A Home
Sept. 5, 2019

"6 Reasons to Get a Home Inspection"

 

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and should not be taken lightly. A home will serve as the cornerstone of memories and significance for those buying or living in the residence.  

One of the most common practices and contract contingencies in the home buying process is the home inspection. Home inspections are highly recommended, and there are many benefits on selecting to have one performed.

 

Most realtors will always advise their buyers to hire a home inspector, as one of the largest overall benefits is avoiding any unfortunate surprises for the home buyers. Your realtor will be able to recommend a credible inspector to do the job. Qualified home inspectors have the knowledge, training, and experience to identify any concerns or issues in the home, and can assist home buyers in making decisions based on their finds.

 

The Benefits of Home Inspections

1.      Uncover Any Major or Underlying Issues

Your new home may look perfect on the surface. Home inspectors can identify any major defects, safety concerns, and potential threats the home may have, then offer suggestions on how to move forward in fixing them. The inspector will recognize any code violations on the property, and will look for signs of physical, electrical, or structural issues that home buyers would not see in plain view. Common issues such as improper electrical wiring, worn roofing, inoperable windows, and plumbing deficiencies can be an easy fix once they are brought to the seller’s attention. Potential structural issues can include significant cracks in the ceiling or foundation walls, or out of level door frames. Structural issues can be extremely expensive to fix, and by performing a home inspection, buyers can avoid these types of costs.

2.      Forecast Future Expenses

Home inspections can save the home buyer money, as the inspection might uncover costly repairs they may have had to pay for in the future. Home inspections can also point out potential future issues- such as needing a new roof in 6-7 years for example. This allows the home buyers to begin budgeting for these necessary costs, so nothing comes as a shock in a few years. They can also help determine where expenses for replacement or upgrades may arise in the future such as:

  • Appliances
  • Windows
  • Roofing
  • Air Conditioning
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating Systems

3.      Home Inspections are Worth the Cost

Most home inspections will range between $300-$600 depending on the size of the home.  Compared to the overall cost of the home, the inspection is a small cost, and well worth it- even if you feel extremely comfortable with the home you’re purchasing. Unfortunately, buyer’s who decide to wave the inspection often regret it, and wish they had spent a few hundred dollars to perform the inspection.

The amount of money an inspection can potentially save a home buyer, by pointing out issues or repairs, will pay for the inspection itself multiple times over. Buyers will save money overall if the inspector identifies leaks in the basement, safety hazards, or an oven at the end of its life expectancy. The inspection will cover any defects found, and potentially save the buyer these expenses.

4.      Sellers Can Fix Issues to Pass Home Inspections

Often times, once home inspectors identify issues or concerns with the property, negotiations can be made that result in the seller paying to solve the issues so that the purchase of their home is successful, and the buyer does not cancel their contract. Most homeowners take the necessary steps to make sure their home is safe and will pass inspection. Sellers also understand that home inspections are thorough, and they are looking to bring problems to the surface. Typically, a seller will ensure their home is in excellent condition.  

5.      Buyers Feel Confident About Their Purchase

Once a home successfully passes inspection, buyers can feel confident, satisfied and certain about their purchase, and avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse.  Home inspections are invaluable to homebuyers. Purchasing a home is an immense decision for any person so it is important to have it evaluated first.

6.      Peace of Mind

The main reason for performing a home inspection is to make sure the residence is safe to live in. By waiving a home inspection, a home buyer is creating unnecessary stress and anxiety through the home buying process. Home inspections are relatively inexpensive and will address any concerns that need to be taken care of before the closing and move in date. Achieving peace of mind, and knowing your new home is safe and secure, is well worth it!

 

Conducting a home inspection is highly recommended, for the multiple reasons listed above. Review the report with your home inspector and realtor and address any concerns you may have. You’ll be happy you chose to do so!

Posted in Purchasing a Home
July 29, 2019

“The Benefits of Working with a Local Real Estate Agent”

Purchasing or selling a home can be a daunting and overwhelming undertaking, especially without any guidance or assistance from an expert. Working with a knowledgeable, local real estate agent throughout the home buying or selling process is extremely beneficial.

Having the right realtor by your side can make or break your home buying or selling experience. No one knows the local area and local market like a well-known and established local realtor. They will serve as your guide and expert along this journey and save you an enormous amount of time and stress throughout the home buying or selling process.

According to Forbes, 87% of home buyers bought their home using a real estate agent, and 88% of those same buyers would use their agent again or recommend them to someone else.

How do you find the perfect realtor?

Don’t know any local realtors in the area you are interested in, or in your current local area? Start by asking family, friends, or co-workers who they worked with when purchasing or selling their home. The National Association of Realtors shares that 71% of first-time home buyers found their real estate agent through means of a personal referral.

What if you are relocating to a new area, and don’t have any family, friends, or co-workers in that area or neighborhood? Research realtors on social media platforms to get a feel for the agents available to you. Check out agency Facebook pages and scroll through posts to see how they interact with customers and read reviews clients have left. Social media can be your best avenue to use for research!

Once you have settled on a few potential agents, don’t be afraid to interview them. Ask them questions. Request to see a presentation of how they propose to list and sell your home, or why you should allow them to be your buyer’s agent. A good realtor will be able to sell their services and instill confidence in your decision to use them.

You should think of your local real estate agent as a partner, since you and your realtor will work as a team. Communicate to them what you are looking for in a home- your desired price range, neighborhood, school district, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and ideal square footage. Does a two-stall garage top the list as a “must-have” for you? How about a swimming pool? Whatever the list of your desired features is, be sure your realtor is on the same page as you are when they are searching for the right properties for you.

 

Top 3 Advantages of Working with a Local Realtor

1.      Knowledge of the Local Area: An experienced, local agent will know the area inside and out- the best neighborhoods, school districts, and local amenities. They will also be familiar with the average market price for both buying and selling,  the current trends of the area. Ask your realtor about building a listing cart that caters to your interests and “must-have” features.

 

Local realtors know the market, and they often know about homes that are not yet listed on the market and having an insider’s tip can be beneficial once you’ve established your list of non-negotiables. A local expert will have a sense of how the market has evolved over time; in addition to accessing, sharing, and interpreting local market data. A great agent is one who will take the time to teach a client about the local area they are interested in.

 

2.      Availability: If you are buying a home, a local real estate agent can physically meet you to show you homes and can schedule the showings for you. If you are selling your home, your realtor can stage your home according to the latest market and industry trends, and host open houses. Working with a real estate agent in person is MUCH easier than attempting to communicate all the necessary details via phone or email.

 

Local realtors will also keep you in the loop during the entire selling or buying process until your transaction is complete. They will attend the home inspection, the walk-through, and the closing to guarantee no issues arise, and no confusion occurs.

 

Your local real estate agent will ensure that your entire purchasing or selling transaction move more efficiently. The legality of home buying or selling is an ordeal within itself. Not only will your realtor guide you through each step of the process, but they will also explain and break down the requirements and terms of the contract, negotiations, home inspections, closing costs, and other necessary paperwork.

 

 

3.      An Amazing Network of Other Local Experts: Local real estate agents are surrounded by a circle of local experts and influencers. At Bradley and Bradley Real Estate, our team works with the highest quality of local industry experts to make sure you have access to local home inspectors, contractors, interior designers, service providers, property managers, lending professionals, title and escrow companies, painters, gardeners, plumbers, electricians home warranty companies and more to provide you with the best service possible!

 

We would love to accompany you on the incredible and exciting journey of buying or selling a home! Reach out via call or text to Susie Bradley at 315-795-5101, or Will Bradley at 315-794-5103. We can’t wait to meet you!

Posted in Purchasing a Home
July 29, 2019

“Energy Efficient Ways to Cool Your Home”

Summer is in FULL swing, and regardless of which part of the country you are lucky enough to live in, one thing is for certain: it’s HOT!!!!

Keeping your home cool in the middle of this heat wave doesn’t have to mean resorting to purchasing an expensive air conditioning unit, installing central air, driving up the cost of your monthly electric bill, or using more energy than normal.

The National Association of Realtor’s reported that up to 40% of a household’s annual energy use can go into cooling your home.

Luckily, there are a multitude of ways to keep your home cool in an environmentally friendly, and affordable type of way. Leveraging small swaps, or simple tips add up and make a difference. It’s time to save money AND save energy at the same time!

 

 

9 Simple Energy Efficient Tips to Keep Your Home Cool:

1.      Keep your windows open in the evening: When the temperature drops at night, take advantage of the cooler dip in the air. Opening windows during the night hours will ventilate your home by letting the hot air escape, and allowing the cool breeze in.

 

2.      Close your blinds: While this might seem simple, it can make a tremendous impact on the overall temperature of your home. Up to 30% of unwanted heat comes into your home through windows, so by closing your blinds, lowering the shades, and keeping your shut closed during the hours of peak sunlight can lower the temperature in your house by up to 20 degrees!

 

 

3.      Grill instead of bake: Cooking with the oven is one of the biggest culprits of unnecessary heat in your home. When it’s 90 degrees outside, the LAST thing you want to do is turn the oven up to 350 degrees to add to the sauna! Take advantage of the patio furniture and nice weather and grill up some burgers instead!

 

4.      Cool down with a diffuser: Mix cold water with a few drops of essential oils into your aromatherapy diffuser. This will actually cool down the room and purify the air at the same time.

 

 

5.      Shut the doors in any unused rooms: Don’t allow the cool air to permeate into rooms you are not using during the hottest parts of the day. Close off your guest room, bathroom, and laundry room if you don’t spend much time in them during the day.

 

6.      Choose the correct fan rotation: Fans need to be adjusted seasonally. In the hotter summer months, be sure to set your fan to rotate counterclockwise. This allows for a higher speed, and the airflow will create a stronger breeze that filters throughout the rooms of your home.

 

 

7.      Repaint your roof: Painting your roof a lighter color, such as taupe, tan, or light grey, will assist in deflecting the direct sunlight, keeping your home cooler overall.

 

8.      Replace your incandescent lightbulbs: Believe it or not, incandescent bulbs were reported to waste nearly 90% of their energy in the summer, so replacing the bulbs with a more environmentally friendly choice will make a difference in cooling down your house, and in your monthly electric bill!

 

 

9.      Be strategic with landscaping: Plant trees, flower bushes, or tall shrubs near windows to provide shade during the warmer parts of the day and shield your home from the sun’s powerful rays.

 

None of these simple swaps will break the bank, and they will certainly help keep your home cool!

Posted in Purchasing a Home
July 8, 2019

“Top 8 Tips for Selling Your Home”

You’ve made the decision that it’s time to move. Now what are the next steps to successfully selling your home?

1.    Choose the correct price.

No seller wants to leave money on the table. Determining the value of your property is the first step to making sure its properly priced. Not entirely sure what your home is worth? Click here for a FREE home valuation tool and receive an instant quote! Have several conversations with your listing agent around pricing. Agents have access to online tools, market reports, and statistics of other homes that have sold in your area, and their local knowledge and expertise is vital in setting the right price of your home.

 

2.    Work with the RIGHT local real estate agent.

Research real estate agencies and speak to a few local real estate agents before deciding who is best to represent your home. Having the right agent can make or break your selling experience. Work with an agent who is tech savvy and can provide a powerful online marketing strategy to sell your home.

Be sure to ask what the listing agent’s strategy is, and check to see if they have successfully sold other homes in your local area before. 

 

3.    Declutter!

A cluttered house does not show well to interested buyers. The tidier you can make your home before listing it on the market- the better! Anything that is NOT essential to your everyday use should be stored or packed away. Presenting a clean, clutter-free home looks better to interested buyers, and showcases the home in a premier way.

 

4.    Put personalized items away.

You want to create and present a space that appeals to every type of buyer. Taking you and your family “out of your house” will allow prospective buyers to imagine and envision themselves living in the house and making it their own. Baby pictures, for example, could potentially send a message that the home is only for families, or people with kids. For empty nesters, or people without children, this could send a message that the house is not for them.

 

5.    Revitalize the Outside

The exterior of your home is the first impression a buyer will get of your home- whether it be on social media, your website, or in person driving by. Spruce up the landscaping by weeding, mowing, trimming hedges, adding mulch and planting or displaying bright, cheerful looking flowers near the entryway.

Paint shutters, pressure wash your siding, bricks, walkway and driveway so that everything sparkles. Place a birdfeeder on the lawn, or a rocking chair on your front porch. Create a warm and welcoming vibe that feels like “home.”

 

6.    Proper Staging

If your home is empty when it’s on the market, you’ll need to work with your listing agent to properly stage your home. When prospective buyers walk through, you’ll want to highlight your home’s strengths and soften its flaws. A fresh coat of paint, for example, can do wonders for featuring your home.

           Staging Tips:

  • Choose neutral colors for walls, decor, and furniture.
  • Let there be light! Natural light is one of the biggest selling features of home!
  • Leave just enough furniture in each room to make it look functional and roomy, yet not cluttered.
  • Deep clean everything!

7.    WOW factor photography

Most real estate teams will have a photographer and videographer on staff, or leverage contractors. Photos will be the first virtual “introduction” many buyers get to your home. Allowing your home to dazzle in each photo will generate interest. With 95% of consumers using online research above all else, its vital to have your home sparkle on social media, your website, and other search engines like Zillow.

Taking photos yourself? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Take photos that utilize as much light as possible.
  • Take high-resolution images—a camera will typically take higher resolution photos than your phone.
  • Edit the photos. Brighten them up and crop them so every room is straight and beautifully centered.
  • Take horizontal photos. They look better in online listings.

8.    Spread the Word

Don’t be shy! Tell family, friends, and neighbors you are selling your home. Use your social media platforms to spread the word and get the news out! Your real estate agent will also have a marketing strategy, but the more communication, the better!

 

Our Selling Strategy

We'd love to accompany you on this journey. What to Expect from Bradley and Bradley Real Estate during the Selling Process:

·       Honesty: we know that selling your home can be an emotional experience and you as a seller deserve honesty.

·       Full-Time Efforts: we provide a full-time realtor and then some! We are a team behind selling your home.

·       Current Coverage: since our photos, videos, and marketing are all done in-house, we will continuously update your home to potential buyers.

·       Industry Experience: our team knows the real estate market and homes. We know how much a new kitchen costs and are up to date on the current trends and styles.

·       Frequent Communication: buying a home can be stressful and you want a realtor who is with you for every step. We provide feedback on every showing and keep in constant contact with you.

·       Marketing Presence: our team will create a custom marketing plan for your home and area and leverages digital and social platforms to spread the message, in addition to creative write-ups, open houses, and promotions. 

·       Staging: we will stage and design your home to create the perfect ambiance and environment that buyers are looking for. Our team is knowledgeable and savvy on current designs, styles and trends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Selling A Home
July 8, 2019

Area Spotlight: Greig, NY

The town of Greig is a hidden gem of the Adirondacks and offers activities for all to enjoy. Located just 20 minutes from Boonville, 15 minutes from Lowville, Greig, NY is full of Nature’s splendors and provides an array of possibilities to embark on in all four seasons!

During the warmer weather, venture on horseback to the Otter Creek Horse Trail System; or pack a picnic lunch and head to Brantingham Lake for a fun filled day in the sun! With plenty of hiking trails and canoe waterways to choose from, get ready to experience some of the most breathtaking views in Adirondack State Park. Pack a picnic lunch and your sunscreen and breathe in the beautiful scenery all around you.

Pile in the car with friends and family, pack the popcorn and drinks, and make the short drive to Valley Brook drive-in movie theater. You have the option to sit in your car to watch the movie or set up shop on the lawn in camping chairs. Valley Brook offers movie selections that everyone will love.

Spend a day at the Autumn Ridge Goat Farm, which makes chevre and feta goat cheese in a variety of delicious and unique flavors. Watch some adorable goats scamper in the fields and visit their quaint stores that sells homemade goat milk soaps in scents like black raspberry vanilla, cucumber melon, lemon and fir tree, among others. Soap gift baskets with candles, other homemade craft items, as well as farm fresh brown eggs are also available. Support the local surrounding communities and local farmers, as the store also carries Markham’s Maple Shanty maple syrup, Naturally Yours honey and creamed honey, Pineview Farm beef sticks, Garden Thyme Herb Shop teas and catnip, and Carma Crazy Crafts burp clothes.

If you’re ready to embark on a day trip, located in Tupper Lake roughly an hour and ½ away, is The Wild Center- one of the best family activities in the Adirondacks. Offering interactive exhibits both inside and outside, The Wild Center is a must visit attraction in the region. Watch the otters swim, learn about what makes the Adirondack landscape so unique, trek through the enchanted iForest, and get a bird's eye view from the crow's nest on the Wild Walk.

If you’re ready for excitement, head over to the High Voltage Hills MX racetrack. High Voltage Hills is a family owned and operated track that is part of AMA and C.N.Y.M.R.A District 3. High Voltage Hills MX made a name for itself due to the Loamy sand-soil conditions, high speed, and the natural flowing jumps and hills. 

As the winter months arrive, suit up in your snowmobile gear and embark on the Brantingham Trail all the way to Tug Hill or pack your skis or snowboard and drive to Snow Ridge Ski Resort. Snow Ridge on average receives MORE snow than any other ski mountain on the East Coast!

One of our current featured listings is a DREAM home located in Greig, NY. This spotlight home is everything you are looking for and MORE!

Your new home, new adventures, and new memories await! Whether you are an avid outdoor adventurer looking to enjoy activities all four seasons have to offer, or just looking to get away, decompress and relax, this is the dream property for you! These 1,768 square ft. 3 bedroom/1.5 bath farmhouse set on 6.10 picturesque acres, is the essence of possibilities!

This charismatic home, all recently renovated and updated, is filled with modern charm with a rustic, Adirondack flair- and is the perfect place to get away or reside year-round. With its cozy and welcoming vibe, renovated barns, and rolling pastures, this home is ideal for stabling horses, raising cattle, or housing your ATV and snowmobile. The secondary outer building, complete with wood stove, has been transformed into a “man-cave” type of bungalow, where you can put your feet up and gaze out at Nature, or watch the ducks on the pond after a long day.

Beautiful craftsmanship exudes from the interior as soon as you set foot through the front door, with pine walls, intricate woodwork, elaborate ceiling beams, and a remarkable handcrafted bar. Enjoy an abundance of natural sunlight, and spectacular panoramic views of the wilderness and wildlife from each room.

The spacious and open kitchen was recently remodeled and is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or entertain your guests. The stunning counter tops, attractive wooden cabinets, and striking pine peninsula all add to the country vibe of your new home. On a chilly winter afternoon, the heated flooring and exquisite stone fireplace in the kitchen/family room areas will warm you up in no time, as you gaze out at the hillside and woodlands, all gleaming with sparkling snow.

All three bedrooms are warm and inviting, offering abundant views of your property, and more lavish woodworking. Watch the sunrise from your bedroom window, as the room fills with gorgeous tones of gold and amber and prepare to meet your day.   

 

Call today to arrange you private showing!

Posted in Purchasing a Home
June 11, 2019

“Summer Events and Activities in Oneida County”

The Mohawk Valley is a beautiful area to live in, with so many activities that appeal to all ages and interests, in all four seasons!

Summer in Central New York is an especially wonderful time of year, due to the sunshine and wide array of events and activities to choose from!

With the “official” start of summer (June 21st) just around the corner, Farmers Market Season is underway! It’s time to taste real flavors! The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Enjoy the season, support family farmers, and protect the environment.

The Allman Betts Band will perform at The Stanley Theater in Utica on Saturday, June 15th at 7:30p.m. as a part of their 2019 tour. After a successful year touring as The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duane Betts, the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts are joining forces to form The Allman Betts Band. They are releasing a new Allman Betts Band album and their worldwide tour will feature new music, songs from their solo projects and classic Allman Brothers and Gregg Allman tunes in honor of the 50th Anniversary of The Allman Brothers Band.

 

History lovers will get their fix at Fort Stanwix National Monument, a fort reconstructed from the French and Indian War. Tour the grounds, hide in a bunker & learn about “the fort that never surrendered.”

 

Allow your creativity to flourish at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. Munson Williams is great for all ages. Interactive activities for children, a permanent collection & rotating exhibits range from Monet to Matisse to century old wedding gowns!

Visit the wonderous  Stanley Theater. Get ready to witness the best Broadway shows in Utica! The Stanley Theater hosts Broadway shows and other unique events year-round in downtown Utica. Check out the gorgeous Meyda Tiffany chandelier while you’re there.

2nd Annual Utica Summer Fest:  The event will be held primarily in the area of the Utica State Office Building on June 13th and 14th. The 2019 Utica Summer Fest will feature a streamlined event with focus on entertainment from national headliner, Motown Artists, Rare Earth, all food “Utica”, and a surprising selection of tasty brews.

Jam rock band moe., whose members all have roots in Upstate New York are returning to our local area for moe.down 17, which will take place at the Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin, over the weekend of July 4th-6th.

Glimmerglass Opera House is a professional non-profit summer opera company dedicated to producing new productions each season. The Glimmerglass Festival’s summer-long celebration of the arts features a full schedule of performances, events and discussions to round out your visit, whether you’re here for the day, weekend or summer. Throughout the Festival, there are opportunities to mix and mingle with friends, artists and fellow arts enthusiasts. The Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind summer destination.

Any Wrestling fans out there? The WWE Live Summerslam Heatwave Tour will be at the Adirondack Bank Center/Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, July 6th.

Utica Stampede: The Rodeo is coming to the Adirondack Bank Center/Utica Memorial Auditorium! The stampede spans two days and will feature eight different events, including bull riding, team roping and steer wrestling. The event is July 11th and 12th.

Take a tour of the local Saranac Brewery! Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic Saranac Brewery. Get a history lesson, learn how the beer is made & sample beers in the tavern after. Don’t miss Saranac Thursday concerts every Thursday throughout the summer!

Who doesn’t love a nice train ride? Take a ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Beer and wine tasting trains & other themed rides will bring you into the Adirondacks to see the beautiful views & relax.

Get ready for more live music! On Friday August 2nd, American rock band, The Flaming Lips will play at the Saranac Brewery!

New York’s Largest Antiques and Collectibles Show will take place this year in Madison-Bouckville, showcasing over 150 dealers during Antique Week, from August 12th-18th.  This exciting annual show offers FREE admission, and FUN for all!

These are just a list of our favorites! This area has SO much to offer. If you’re considering relocating to the Mohawk Valley, we’d love to work with you and show you around!

Posted in Local Activities
June 11, 2019

“How to Flip a Home”

Looking for a way to make some cash?

Do you enjoy “Do it Yourself” projects, have an eye for design, and a knack for building things?

Or maybe you enjoy taking risks?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then flipping a house might be the experience for you!

“What is House Flipping”, you may wonder?

Purchasing a home for the purpose of “flipping”, or “house flipping”, involves an investor/investors who buy a new home with the intention of fixing it cosmetically with the purpose of making a profit. Typically, house flipping is done as rapidly as possible, with the goal of reselling the home quickly, for a much higher price than originally purchased for.

ATTOM Data Solutions shares that the average profit made from flipping homes in 2018 was $65,520. If you are willing to put the work in, there is certainly money to be made!

 

Tips for Flipping a Home

1.      Find the perfect location! Do some research on the local neighborhood, crime rate, school districts, and top selling features that consumers and home buyers are currently drawn to. Flipping a home that offers trendy and modern amenities and features typically equate to a faster selling property!

 

2.      Before purchasing a home to flip, be sure you properly evaluate the amount of work that will go into selling the home for a higher value. Often times investors can drastically underestimate the amount of time that will need to be spent repairing and renovating the home.

 

3.      Be sure to estimate both the amount of manual and physical labor needed for the renovations, in addition to finances and resources. Create a budget for all areas of repairs and stick to it! Any time you go over the allotted budget, you are taking profitable dollars out of your own pocket!

 

4.      Research local codes, permits, and zoning regulations. These can be a nightmare if not handled correctly. Take a trip to your local municipality office and acquire all the necessary paperwork beforehand.

 

5.      In order to make the largest profit, attempt to purchase the home at the lowest price possible. Now is the time to try and bargain your way to getting your offer accepted!

 

6.      Once you officially own the home, ask friends, family and co-workers for recommendations on carpenters, painters, electricians, and any other businesses you plan to outsource work to. Obtain a few estimates and ask to see samples of portfolios or previous jobs.

 

7.      After the renovations are complete, work with an experienced local realtor to stage the home so that is shows beautifully. Designing the home with the top trends and styles will be beneficial in selling the home for the highest price.

 

8.      Set a fair, yet aggressive asking price for the flipped home once you are ready to list it on the market. After all- making a profit is the whole point!

 

By following these tips, your experience as a “house flipper” is bound to be a success! Good luck on the adventure!

Posted in Flipping a Home
June 11, 2019

“Top 7 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers”

Buying your first home is an immense and significant decision, and a very exciting experience!

Without the proper guidance, commencing the journey towards becoming a first-time home buyer can be stressful and overwhelming.

There are a few things to keep in mind along the way to prepare you for the process.

1.    Establish a Budget

Before you begin browsing for homes, it is imperative to determine what your price range is.

Owning a home is more expensive than renting, since as a homeowner, you will be responsible for any maintenance and upkeep costs of your property. The first step to creating a house budget is to clarify what you can afford.

To start this process, you can use an online mortgage calculator which will calculate the maximum monthly payment you can afford, based on the overall price of the home and factoring in a down payment over a 30-year-mortgage.

You may also want to speak to your local real estate agent and a few insurance companies to get an idea of property tax rates and homeowners insurance costs, since these factors vary.

2.     Create a List of Your Non-Negotiables

It can be challenging to find the “perfect” property that checks all your boxes. The best way to narrow down your non-negotiable features is to make a list. Consider your lifestyle. What is your ideal location? How many individuals will be living in the home with you, if any? Will pets be accompanying you? Do you need a yard? A garage? Central air conditioning?

There is a difference between your “must-haves” and your “nice-to-haves”. Make sure you determine them before you begin shopping for your first home.

We suggest visiting open houses in your areas of interest, and gauging options from there, so you have a sense of what exists in that local market.

3.     Work with an Experienced Local Realtor

Working with the right realtor can make or break your first home buying experience, or any for that matter. No one knows the local area and local market like a well-known and established local realtor. They will serve as your guide and expert along this journey and save an enormous amount of time throughout the home buying process.

Local realtors often know about homes that are not yet listed on the market, and having an insider’s tip can be beneficial once you’ve established your list of non-negotiables. Ask your realtor about building a listing cart that caters to your interests and “must-have” features.

Don’t know any local realtors in the area you are interested in? Start by asking family, friends, or co-workers who they worked with when purchasing or selling their home. The National Association of Realtors shares that 71% of first-time home buyers found their real estate agent through means of a personal referral.

What if you are relocating to a new area, and don’t have any family, friends, or co-workers in that area or neighborhood? Research realtors on social media platforms to get a feel for the agents available to you. Check out agency Facebook pages and scroll through posts to see how they interact with customers and read reviews clients have left. Social media can be your best avenue to use for research!

4.     Save for a Down Payment & Closing Costs

When purchasing your first home, it is important to save the proper amount for both a down payment, and for closing costs. Don’t forget to factor these into your budget when you are calculating your price range and the amount you can afford to spend on your home.

The suggested “rule of thumb” is to save 3% to 6% of the price of the home. Given that range, it's a wise idea to start with 2%-2.5% of the total cost of the home, in savings, to account for closing costs.

What are closing costs, you may wonder? These fees typically pay for important steps in the home-buying process, such as:

  • Appraisal
  • Home inspection
  • Credit report
  • Attorney
  • Homeowner’s insurance

5.     Pre-Qualify for a Home Loan

Once you have set money aside for a down payment and closing costs, it’s time to get pre-qualified for a home loan. Take the extra step in requesting a pre-approval letter from the bank, as this shows sellers and realtors that you are a serious buyer.

Getting pre-qualified for a home loan can certainly give first-time homebuyers a competitive edge in the market. In order to pre-qualify, your bank or lender will need to verify your financial information, so have things like proof of income, paystubs, and tax information handy.

Interested in learning more to begin this pre-qualification process? Check out the Best Mortgage rates of 2019 to help determine which makes sense for your own financial situation.

6.     Attend Open Houses

Once you’ve created your list of non-negotiables, and settled on a specific area, or neighborhood, attend a few open houses. Some of the homes may not be an ideal fit for what you are looking for, but open houses are a great way to learn more about the area, and the average price range of homes for sale.

Open houses are also an opportunity to meet local realtors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and socialize with the agent hosting the open house. Chances are, they will be knowledgeable about the local neighborhood, crime rates, and school district and activities in the area.

Typically, open houses are staged by the real estate agency as well. Walking through a multitude of open houses is a chance to become privy to currently trends, designs and styles. These can provide excellent tips and suggestions for decorating your new home!

7.     Request a Home Inspection

The best way to uncover any issues with your potential new home, is to get a home inspection.

Home inspectors will provide a professional report on the overall condition of your new property. The inspection on average lasts 3-4 hours, and the home inspector will bring a checklist of items to inspect, and a standardized format for providing you with the results. Your report will usually include extreme detail, and plenty of photos of both the inside and outside of your new home.

Interested in purchasing your first home? We would love to accompany you on this incredible and exciting journey! Reach out via call or text to Susie Bradley at 315-795-5101, or Will Bradley at 315-794-5103. We can’t wait to meet you!

Posted in Purchasing a Home
June 11, 2019

“The Importance of School Districts in the Home Buying Process”

Moving is always a monumental process!

When purchasing a new home, there are countless factors to consider before making the ultimate decision. Features such as square footage, layout, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, neighborhood, and condition are all important to contemplate as you weight options.

However, one if the most important aspects to take into consideration during the home buying process, regardless if you have school-age children or not, is school districts. The school district category can heavily influence and impact the overall value of your potential new home, and surrounding area.

 

Why Do School Districts Matter?

 

·        Location is already the “name of the game” when it comes to real estate, and a highly rated school district can equate to safer neighborhoods, ease of access to public transportation, a variety od restaurant and shopping options, close proximity to major highways and airports, and public amenities such as public parks and services.

 

·        While the real estate market can rise and fall, school districts serve as a cornerstone for home assessments and symbolize stability.

           Highly rated school districts can raise the overall value and price of a home, and houses that are located in a top school district typically sell quicker when they are listed on the market. Even for those homeowners not looking to move, a superior school district will build long-term equity for your home.

 

·        For homeowners or buyers that do in fact have school-age children, a first-class school district also means a great education for kids.

 

·        In a recent survey conducted by realtor.com, 1 out of 5 home buyers said they would pay 6 to 10 percent above their budget for the right school, and 2 out of 5 said they would give up a garage or a bedroom for a better school.

 

·        A 2018 study by the National Realtor’s Association found that home values inside top-rated school districts were 49 percent higher than the national median home price.

 

Deciding on buying a home should include an analysis of the school districts in the local county, even for buyers who don't intend to send children to those schools. Notable schools provide stability for a community, which is beneficial for the property values of all homeowners who lives nearby.

 

Top School Districts in Oneida County

 

Our local area has some of the best school districts in the state of New York. According to Niche, the highest rated school districts in Oneida County are:

 

1.      New Hartford Central School District:

·        Overall Grade: A+

·        Total Schools: 5

·        Students: 2,530

·       “Smaller school district with strong academic offerings. Most teachers are invested in student success.”

 

2.      Clinton Central School District:

·        Overall Grade: A

·        Total Schools: 3

·        Students: 1,260

·       “Overall, Clinton High School is a very good place to be. Everyone here is very welcoming and is a safe place to be.”

 

3.     Whitesboro Central School District:

·        Overall Grade: B+

·        Total Schools: 7

·        Students: 3,223

·       “At Whitesboro, teachers really care about your learning experience.”

 

4.      Sherrill City School District

·        Overall Grade: B+

·        Total Schools: 5

·        Students: 1,965

·       “Sherrill schools take pride in each and every student and are committed to their successes.”

 

5.      Camden Central School District

·        Overall Grade: B+

·        Total Schools: 5

·        Students: 2,196

·       “Camden is a beautiful community with great sports and academics.”

 

6.      New York Mills Union Free School District

·        Overall Grade: B+

·        Total Schools: 2

·        Students: 566

·       “New York Mills is a small school district, where teachers have the honor of giving students individualized attention.”

 

7.      Oriskany Central School District

·        Overall Grade: B

·        Total Schools: 2

·        Students: 598

·       “The school is a very small close-knit culture, and never misses an opportunity to cheer on student achievements.”

 

 

8.      Sauquoit Valley Central School District

·        Overall Grade: B

·        Total Schools: 3

·        Students: 1,024

·       “The school offers many AP courses and prepares students for life after high school.”

 

 

9.      Westmoreland Central School District

·        Overall Grade: B

·        Total Schools: 3

·        Students: 927

·       “Westmoreland has a truly amazing music and drama department.”

 

 

10.  Holland Patent Central School District

·        Overall Grade: B-

·        Total Schools: 4

·        Students: 1,425

·       “The teachers want to students to excel, The town is very homey and everyone in the community knows one another.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Purchasing a Home