Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Things have improved, somewhat. Since Thanksgiving 2008, I've been busy. I showed property the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (two different clients) and even to three different clients this week and just about every day in between. My phone is ringing like crazy. Buy I'm not selling property. People are skittish! Buyers are not writing and when they do, the offers are so low that the sellers aren't biting. And sellers are wanting more for their property than they will probably get. It is tough to make a living in real estate these days.
The other striking thing about 2008, was how difficult it was to work with the banks. My first canceled contract came the first week of January in which the bank simply changed its mind about giving a mortgage for a two family property because it was in a neighborhood zoned low-density residential. It was sad as the family had everything packed and were ready to move when the bank backed out. Some of the other frustrations came from banks requiring two appraisals on properties owned less than 6 months and a few incidences of the appraiser acting more like an inspector. Some of the bank changes are good. An individual should have a job and a history of paying their bills on time before a bank loans them a ton of money. That only makes sense.
There was, fortunately, more to 2008 than our financial crisis. I got to work with lots of wonderful people. I got to help young couples like Megan & Ev, Marci & Paul and Lynn & Jason purchase their first homes. I helped several families transition from a long time residence to something new. And I worked with numerous investors that decided they liked the return on real estate much better than the stock market. I guess more than anything, I feel like I made lots of new friends this year as I assisted them with their real estate business. It's not been an easy year, but very rewarding, if not financial.
I'm headed to North Carolina for a little R&R with my husband, Jim, but best wishes to you and yours for the New Year. Please don't hesitate to call if I can assist with your 2009 real estate needs.
Monday, December 22, 2008
The furthermost entry received was from Wanakena, NY in the Adirondacks. Patty and Roy reported that they simply decorate their fence and the local deer pose as ornaments!
Monday, December 01, 2008
The holiday season can be a great time to buy a house if you are willing to squeeze house shopping into your busy schedule. Just last year, I negotiated nearly $50,000 off the asking price of a waterfront property during Thanksgiving weekend and for another client submitted an aggressive purchase offer on Christmas Eve for an East Ave condo that was accepted without a counter. In both of these instances, the properties had been on the market for a while and the sellers had moved on to new homes and not interested in maintaining the property over the cold winter months. Not all sellers are that eager to sell but there are good deals to be had over the holidays.
If you are interested in buying or selling real estate during the holiday season, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Lots to be thankful for this year! I love my career in real estate and the many families I get to work with when they are buying and selling houses. And I am very thankful of my husband, for his love and his support of my career. Without him, I couldn't do what I do in real estate. As a cancer survivor, I am very thankful for my current good health. I'm thankful for Mayor Duffy and all his efforts to make Rochester an even better place. And I'm so very thankful of digital cameras so that I can take as many photos as it takes to occasionally get a good one.
And you? What are you thankful for this year?
Have a safe and fun holiday.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Anyway, I'm serious. My Twitter handle is MaryShelsby. Real creative, huh? Look me up. Follow me. Better yet, lead me because I don't know what the heck I'm doing!
Got to run. Doing an open house in Webster today. Stop by if you get chance. I'll be at 1175 Channing Woods Dr. Here is a list of all the opens in Webster today: Webster Open Houses 11/23/08
Stay Warm!!! It feels like February out there!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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 single family homes put on the market since November 1. Of those listings, 31 have gone pending in the first 17 days of the month and two new builds have have already closed. In addition, 2 of the properties have been withdrawn from the market. That means there are 806 fresh listings out there and one of them could be just perfect for you!
Friday, November 07, 2008
The M & T First Home Club is a savings plan in which participants must make a monthly deposit into a M & T savings account and the bank will match those funds $4 for every dollar deposited up to $7500! The program is a 10 month to 24 month program and participants must also participate in HUD approved homeownership education program. Many of the education programs also provide credit counseling and so this could be a good option for a potential homeowner that needs some time to clean up their credit report. There are income requirements to participate in the program. For this program, a first time home buyers is defined as someone who has not owned a home for the past three years.
If you know someone that might be interested in this program, have them call me. My cell phone is the best way to reach me: 414-5513
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
But sometimes things don't work out to be happy ever after, especially in today's economic climate. I just noticed a listing for a house I just sold a couple of years ago. It sold for $127,500 but is now being offered at $114,000 subject to short sale (the bank agreeing to a shortage.) This is sad for those buyers but could be a good opportunity for the new buyer. If you are interested in a large split level on a very quiet cul de sac in West Irondequoit, check this out and give me a call Rochesters Best Homes.com.
Hopefully the new lending guidelines will keep history from repeating itself.
Speaking of lending, big news today is that rates have dropped significantly. There are many good programs out there, especially for first time homebuyers including the $7,500 tax credit. If you know anyone on the fence about buying, have them call me today. 585-414-5513
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I've found a web site that takes personality, race and even Saturday Night Live out of the mix and instead focuses on the issues. You answer 12 questions on the issues and the site determines how the candidates stack up on the issues that are most important to you. Check it out. And even if you don't, please go vote today. Select a Candidate Quiz
Monday, November 03, 2008
So how does Rochester stack up with the rest of the country in foreclosures. I found a cool map on the internet that paints a pretty vivid photo: Foreclosure Map According to this map, New York state is in the orange, or a foreclosure rate of 1 in 1,200 homes. That's not too horribly bad compared to states like California, Nevada, Missouri and Florida with rates of 1 in 150! Unfortunately, Monroe County doesn't fair as well as the state. Currently, 1 in 600 homes are in some state of foreclosure with some of the large pockets in Rochester's 18th and 19th Wards with rates at the 1 in 150.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Maybe you got an e-mail from me asking you to vote for my photos. Maybe I tried to bribe you with coffee and asked you to vote for my photos. Or maybe it was the tears as I pleaded with you to vote for my photos. Whatever it was, it worked because not only is one of my photos included in the Capture Rochester Book but it also won a People's Choice Award for being one of the top 25 photos in the book. I'm so excited!!
The book is beautiful and probably 95% of the photography is better than mine so it's pretty shocking to get the award. The whole concept of the book is pretty amazing. They asked the general public to submit photos and 1,166 people submitted nearly 25,000 photos. Then they asked the public to vote "yay" or "nay" for the photo and the received more than 1.5 million votes! Isn't that incredible. Any way, if you'd like to order a copy, go to http://www.capturerochester.com/
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I've got clients, mostly buyers, but they just are not finding anything to buy. It seems that with all the doom and gloom in the news, sellers are not selling unless they absolutely have to. Latest stats out show that the number of local listings is down by more than 10 percent.
Good houses are still selling quickly. In at least 4 occasions during the past six weeks, I've had buyers not quick enough on the draw. One agent told me yesterday that she wrote five offers in October but four of them didn't come together, some due to mulitple offers. So if you are thinking about selling in this market, it is esential that you de-clutter, clean and be up to date on all maintence. Then price it right and it will sell! (If you are thinking of selling, call me and ask about my staging offer.)
Banks are giving mortgages but you've got to have decent credit. I've had a couple of buyers with scores below 500 wanting owner financing. Guess what? Owners check credit as well. Now, more than ever before, Americans should pay their bills on time and make strides to get out of debt. Ever hear of a Budget? It's time to adopt one and stick to it.
I will get back to blogging, I promise! I appreciate the e-mails asking if I'm okay. And I guess there has been one very nice side to the current real estate market, I've been able to spend more time with my husband and enjoying photography and other hobbies! Have a fun and safe Holloween!
Monday, October 06, 2008
Conventional financing is still available with a 5% down payment. Rates are based on credit scores with buyers having a score of 740 or better earning the best rates.
Please, please, please if you know someone thinking about purchasing real estate, encourage them to call a bank or mortgage broker and not believe everything they hear at the gym or golf course. There is a ton of bad information out there!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Well, I'm feeling like I'm 16 again. I didn't sell a single house in September and I've spent many hours fretting, waiting for the phone to ring. I only wish I still looked like I was 16!
I don't think I'm alone in this real estate market. This morning, the MLS reports over 400 expired listings in the Rochester market. I don't normally count the number of expired, but there were too many not to notice today.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
By the way, we went out to dinner last night and the place was packed. In fact, as we were leaving there was a line of people out the door and along the front of the building.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The slide show below is a work in progress. Check back often as I will update the slides as I complete the trail.
These changes in regulations were necessary because of problems in other parts of the country. Homeowners were vacating their existing principle residence and purchasing new residences to either take advantage of home buying opportunities due to stagnant markets or to relocate closer to work due to the rise price of gas. Fortunately (or unfortunately if you are a bargain hunter), Rochester's property values has held steady and it is consider one of the easiest cities for commuting. Nevertheless, these changes are nation wide and Rochester homebuyers will need to abide by them.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
What is nice about this particular client is that he knows that rental properties do not take care of themselves. When he purchases property, he budgets for both improvements and repairs and he collects his rents in person so that the maintenance stays top-of-mind. On his days off, he cleaning gutters, making roof repairs, painting trip or doing landscaping. As a result, not only is he collecting good rents but his properties are appreciating at above average rates.
All to often, landlords believe their biggest chore is to go to the bank and cash rent checks. It is refreshing to work with a landlord that understands the responsibility (and rewards) of taking care of their property.
Monday, September 08, 2008
If you are currently under contract for the purchase of a property, call your lender tomorrow morning to see if you qualify for a rate reduction. These better deals are reserved for buyers with the best credit scores, generally 700 or better. And if you are in the process of shopping for property, consider getting re-qualified as a lower interest rate may qualify you for a larger loan amount.
Is this the end of the downturn of the local real estate market? I doubt it, but it sure can't hurt!
Friday, September 05, 2008
She was such a focus of our daily routine, that her passing has left a huge void. The grieving process is particularly painful right now. And so if I'm slow to return your call or respond to your e-mail, please understand I'm not myself right now.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
This property features 3 bedrooms on the first floor and one (possible two) in the walk-out lower level. Two full baths!
The kitchen is super nice with lots of counter space and storage. New stainless appliances are included.
If the house wasn't nice enough, this place as a great yard! The .79 acre lot features a very private back yard with a deck that offers views to die for. For more information and photos, go to www.RochestersBestHomes.com/820635
Come on by Sunday, August 24, 2008 between the hours of 1 and 3 pm. Here is a list of other open houses in Livingston County tomorrow: Customer Full Report Open House Report
(The link(s) sent with this email will expire in 30 days on 9/22/2008. )
And if I can be of assistance with any of your real estate needs, don't hesitate to reach me on my cell phone at 585-414-5513.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
If you are near Highland Park this summer, you may want to check out the sunflower patch that was planted near the corner of Goodman St and Highland Park. It's a great spot for a walk or a picnic or to take some photos. Speaking of photos, here are a few of my favorite:
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I had an appointment to show a property at 8:30 last night in the Ellwanger Berry/Highland Park neighborhood and when I arrived, there were people lined up on the street to get in. It wasn't too big of a surprise since the last three properties I tried to show in this neighborhood sold before I could get in.
In a similar fashion, I put a "for rent" sign up on my South Wedge property Saturday and it took exactly 12 minutes before someone knocked on the door to see it. My phone has been ringing off the hook ever since and I have appointment to show it to 8 different tenants and I have one offer on the table to buy it.
I've written three purchase offers this week and it is only Wednesday at 8:15 am. At the moment, we are not having a housing slump in Rochester!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Fortunately, real estate is local and the Rochester market is not all doom and gloom. I did about a million in sales in June and the only reason July is off to a slow start is that I've been on vacation.
I'm not the only one effected by the daily news. When I'm out and about talking to people, they often start the conversation with a sigh, shake their head and ask in a hushed tone, "How's the market?" Perhaps the number one question I'm asked these days is how long does it take to sell a house in Rochester these days.
Of course, there is no definitive answer to that question. There are parts of our area that are still getting multiple offers first week on the market. It's not happening much, but it does still happen. And there are other areas that are not even getting showings, much less offers. But just as a glimpse of our market, I did a quick analysis of yesterday's pending transactions.
Yesterday was a typical Tuesday in the summer of 2008. All total, there were 52 single family homes that went pending. Approximately 20% of the homes were located in the city of Rochester which supports my theory about the price of gas driving people to move closer to where they work.
Two of the houses that went pending were sold their first day on the market and two additional properties sold in 7 days or less. The average number of days on the market was 51. The longest time on the market was 166 days for a $200,000 property in West Irondequoit.
The average asking price for the single family homes that went pending yesterday was $153,142 with six of the homes with asking prices of $300,000 or more. There were five city properties listed for less than $20,000 as well as one mobile home in Wayne County.
There! I feel better and hope you do as well. I think I will keep away from CNN and instead stay tuned to the MLS. And if you'd like specific information about our real estate market, don't hesitate to call.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Case in point, is the fair market value of real estate. A lot of what Realtors do is recommend prices for property, both to buyers and sellers. These profession opinions are based on going in and out of a lot of property and knowing what factors such as location, features and condition will play on market value.
You can also find suggested prices for property on the Internet, sometimes referred to as a zestiment. Watch out for these estimates, whether you are buying or selling real estate. These prices are determined strictly by manipulating data. No one visits the property or drives by.
Last year, I sold a home in Avon, NY for $129,900. This was after it was on the market for many months, with a lot of advertising, six open houses and probably 30 showings. While it was a very nice house with a great open floor plan, the house needed some updating and sprucing up. With the amount of exposure and the number of people that looked at it, there is no doubt in my mind that the market value for this home is $129,900.
Want to know what the zestimate is? $147,500!!! Don't believe me? Follow this link: See home details page The site even acknowledges that the house recently sold for $129,900 but they still estimate its value at $147,500.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Maybe because it is tougher and tougher to pay for a tank of gas, but these luxury homes sure seem to offer nice incentives to stay home. Several of the homes featured home theaters and at least two of the model homes offered screened in porches with gas fireplaces. All of them were professionally decorated and pleasant to look at.
Homearama 2008 continues until June 29 and so if you are thinking of building a home or even just decorating a home, I'd suggest you attend. Tickets are $9.00 ($8.00 in advance) and the hours are 2 to 8 during the week, Saturdays 10 till 8 and Sundays noon till 6. It's located at Magnolia Manor in Perinton.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I hope you will stop by to see me Sunday, June 15, between 1 and 3 for an open house at 3 Langston Point, in Pittsford (take Stone Rd to Tumbleweed, then left on Cobblefield to Langston Pt.) It's a 1996 built colonial with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a list price of $249,000. The yard is simply awesome! For inside photos and details, go to www.RochestersBestHomes.com/813862 . Some other open houses in are are are included in this link: Open House Report
Have a great Father's Day! If you're not able to spend it with your Dad, borrow someone elses father and let them know they are appreciated!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"The house didn't appear to be distressed. In fact, looking at the old listing it looked quite nice. Were we that wrong," the assessor asked?
My professional opinion is that the house should have sold for $129,000 but the sellers were convinced that the house was worth more based on the assessment. By the time the asking price was reduced to $129,000 the house had been on the market so long that the public was convinced that there was something wrong with it. After all, nothing depreciates a house faster than a for sale sign!
The assessor was quite distraught! The owners had never called to question the assessment. When I shared with her the flaws of the property, she agreed that it should have been assessed for less.
This is a sad story. The sellers lost a lot of money on this property. I spent hundreds of dollars advertising the property, conducted 7 open houses and more than 30 showings. The sellers was frustrated and angry at me for not selling it and listed it with another agent. It still took several months and numerous price drops to get the job done. I guess the only winner is the new buyer that got a heck of a deal on an 1800 sq foot ranch.
The moral of the story is it is okay to protest your assessment. And if you are going to put your house on the market, price it right in the very beginning.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
View all properties that match your search criteria here
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I referred them to a blog that clients of mine did several years ago whereby they documented each step of their journey to buy their first home. It's very entertaining yet educational. Of course, because it is in blog format, the end of the story is on top. To follow their story, you must start at the end of the blog, which is their first post. To check it out, go to http://prinzihouse.blogspot.com/.
In much less detail, the basic steps for buying a home follow:
1. Get pre-qualified for financing. I can recommend someone that will review your credit and income to advise what type of financing (FHA, Conventional and/or SONYMA) is best for you as well as how much you can/should spend for a home.
2. Meet with a realtor to go over the process, paperwork and to discuss what are priorities are for a home.
3. Look for property on the internet, do drive-bys and schedule appointments through your realtor.
4. Find the house of your dreams and submit a purchase offer.
5. Once the offer is accepted, you usually have a week or so to complete inspections and shop for a mortgage.
6. Closing is generally 45 to 60 days after the offer is accepted.
7. Live happy ever after.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We arrived, had a light supper and then were quickly broken into groups. As a group, we had six minutes to throw out our most creative ideas about improving Rochester on a given topic. We then changed topics and had six more minutes to brainstorm. Some of the topics covered included housing, public safety and our youth. The ideas were flying fast and furious so that our scribe had to work fast to keep up!
The next step was to prioritize to the ideas. Each participant was give five sticker dots and we were invited to view all the lists that all the groups put together and pick the five ideas that were most important to us. Wow! Tough job. The first thing I realized was that many of my neighbors are a lot smarter and more creative thinker than I.
Mayor Duffy dropped by to observe the process and gave us a few words of encouragement. It was nice to meet him in person and I was surprised to see how tall he is!
One of the most impressive aspects of the evening was the number of young people in attendance. There was a good mix of high school students, college students and young professionals. Even more impressive was how active they were in the process. The young people made a statement that they strongly desired a youth center in the neighborhood and then during the voting process, they actively lobbied us old folks to vote for a youth center. It was exciting to think that we were likely working with future leaders of our city.
Yesterday afternoon I was super tired and strongly considered not going to the brainstorm meeting. I left last night very energized and optimistic about our future.