Saturday, December 22, 2007

Real Estate and Christmas-time

Funny how you'd think that the end-of-year holiday season would settle home buyers down a bit. Not really. Right before I am scheduled to leave, I get a rush of activity from clients. Some are suddenly re-interested, others are are making more of an effort to see properties. I think that the holiday has two effects on people buying or selling; 1. They have a vacation and the last thing they want to do is be poked and prodded to buy property. Or, 2, they have a vacation and they finally have the time to be poked and prodded to purchase property.
It's comical.
I guess the Ithaca real estate market is like that. We don't conform to other "market norms". Just look at the article written in the NY Times last month regarding Ithaca's standing as having the lowest sub-prime mortgage foreclosure rate in the country.

I have attached a link to a great resource for you as you consider
whether/how/when, etc. to remodel your home.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Get away from the City & Into the Country

I love this place on Campbell Hill Rd in Owego NY. It is secluded, rustic, and luxurious. My Ideal!
Here is a video montage of the property.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Google Sketchup

How awesome is google sketchup. I love it. There is soooooo much you can do with it - it seems. I could spend hours there.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pricing House renovations

I have been toying with the idea of renovating a house. I am completely enthralled by the idea. It is sexy, exciting and I love the idea that I create all the designs, plans etc.
However, to date, I have been a total puss and haven't pulled the trigger. It is scary as hell. What if I f-it up? it doesn't sell, whatever?!?!?

I have begun the process of pricing out what it could cost.

The house in question is a 1930's Palladian Style house that is very well kept and remains unsold in a very nice neighborhood. I am baffled that it is not sold yet. What could be wrong? It is crappy on the outside, vacant and dated on the inside and very, very spacious.

Is my thinking so far off on this?

It is an all brick house that is huge, burley, and imposing. Its character is undeniable.

I need to consider some more......................................

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yahoo Affect

You hear sometimes that real estate is "local", that each market has it own rules, in essence. I think that is true. However, many people read the latest real estate news article and think that it pertains to them.
I'm calling it the Yahoo affect.
It's when a potential customer reads an article online about the national real estate market, rate increases, fed comments, and a housing bubble and assume that it pertains to their area. This is not necessarily the case.

You rarely, if ever, come across an article talking about local market conditions. Not all markets had a meteoric rise in home prices. Many were steady and honest (for lack of a better way to put it) - like Ithaca.

The market I am in, Ithaca NY, is thriving. We have had steady growth and development, not the overheated market like say, Boston.

Its too bad. But this is the way the market works - i guess.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

5 Ways to Increase the Chance of your Home Selling

5 Ways To Sell Your House Faster

5. Clear the clutter out of your home. Your ceramic lion's head that you got from Tijuana while on a family vacation is roaring in the front entranceway. Prospective buyers don't want to see that

4. Hire a Full-Time Real Estate Agent to handle the sale of your home. When you use a full-time real estate professional ( I emphasize full-time) you increase your chances of selling your home at the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

3. Landscape. Spend a weekend or two to landscape and "pretty-up" your exterior. You'll get more for it.

2. Don't be home when the agent(s) come by to show your home to prospective buyers. You'll sell it faster.

1. If possible, Don't leave a home vacant. Stage it. Prospective buyers like having furniture in place when they visualize their own furniture placement.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Spring Real Estate Market

Below is an excerpt from our Office Manager at Audrey Edelman RealtyUSA, in an article written about the current status of Ithaca's spring market.

I feel this is really well written and accurate.


This is the time of year when everyone asks, “How’s the market?” The Ithaca market is strong and steady. Based on a comparison of the last 12 months to the previous 12 months, the median sales price has increased by 8.9%. Days on market for the two periods are almost equal, and the number of properties sold is within 1%. Keep in mind, the last two years have been strongest years in terms of number of sales and dollar volume that this area has ever experienced.

Breaking down the statistics further, some changes in the market do become evident. In a market area the size of Ithaca, it is difficult to draw conclusions based on individual monthly totals. These monthly totals typically do not give a true picture when compared to yearly totals. The “spring market” could peak in April one year or in May the next based on variables such as weather conditions and available housing inventory. This year’s market differs from recent years in the growing number of active listings at a given time.

As the number of listings increases, it becomes very important for properties to be positioned in the marketplace with competitive terms. The greatest flurry of showing activity usually occurs in the first few weeks after a property is listed. A property that is overpriced is likely to spend more time on the market, resulting in lost sales opportunities.

While inventory is increasing, there continues to be a steady growth in the median and average sales prices. This is a sign of a continuing strong market. While multiple offers may have diminished this spring from the past few years, they are still occurring, usually on properties in the “affordable” price ranges or on sought-after properties such as lake homes. Historically, low interest rates makes homes in all price ranges more obtainable.

This steady increase in sales prices is causing a shortage of affordable homes in and close to the City of Ithaca. Buyers, municipalities, non-profits, and real estate professionals are all concerned. A strong local economy, accolades given by national magazines, and the natural beauty of our community–all the positives that attract new residents to this area–also help fuel the lack of affordable housing. The demand remains strong. This was witnessed by the 300-plus participants in the recent Housing Fair sponsored by the Ithaca Board of Realtors and The Ithaca Journal. Not only was there interest from first-time buyers, but also seniors seeking programs to help maintain their current homes and a growing number of homeowners wishing to reduce their energy usage.

While affordable housing is becoming harder to find, the growth of new construction in the $350,000 to $650,000 price range continues at a moderate pace. Most of this new construction has been in the areas offering lots with municipal services in newer subdivisions in the Town of Ithaca and the Town of Lansing. As the existing subdivisions are built out, others are in the planning stages. There are condo/townhouse developments on paper that are designed to appeal to the needs of young professionals and empty nesters as well as a growing number of retirees. Ithaca has recently been cited as one of the best places to retire by two national magazines.

Jean McPheeters, Director of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, has stated that the Chamber receives many calls asking for information on “upscale condos with a lake view.” Several developments, with and without the view, are either ready to start construction or being planned. One in particular is offering “loft-style” living.

All in all, we have a vibrant community to call home and a varied housing market with steady appreciation, making real estate a solid investment choice.

This article was submitted by Richard Patterson, General Manager of Audrey Edelman & Associates RealtyUSA. Statistics are based on sales data of the Ithaca Board of Realtors, Inc.