Tuesday, March 25, 2008

City Living Sundays

With gas prices hitting outrageous numbers, it seems more and more people are considering the convenience and economic feasibility of moving to the City of Rochester. If you fall in that category, I suggest you check out City Living Sundays during the next three weekends.

Each weekend will focus on a different section of the city. The festivities start each Saturday at 2 pm with a FREE Landmark Society Bus Tour of the featured neighborhood. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 585-546-7029 Ext. 10. Each tour starts at the Home Room at the Landmark Society of WNY, 133 S. Fitzhugh St.

Then on each Sunday there is a wide variety of educational programs on how to by a house and apply for financing. In addition, there will be city school and neighborhood information as well as a large number of houses currently on the market will be open for viewing. OF SPECIAL NOTE, FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS MAY QUALIFY FOR UP TO $3000 IN CLOSING COST GRANTS on homes that are open during these special weekends! City Living Sundays activies will run from noon till 4 pm each Sunday.

The South region of Rochester will be featured during the first week. The bus tour will be held Saturday, March 29th and the educational programs will be held the 30th at Wilson Foundation Academy, located at 200 Genesee St. (I'm scheduled to work this event, so if you attend, please look me up!) For a list of this weeks open houses, click here: Open House Report and to see photos and other details, go to http://www.rochestersbesthomes.com/ .

The Northeast region of the city will be the focus on April 6 with festivities being held at East High School, 1801 E. Main St. On April 13, the Northwest area will be highlighted with programs being held at Aquinas Institute, located at 1127 Dewey Ave.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Should I Refinance?

This is a question I get a lot, especially lately with rates as low as they are right now. Today, we will take look at what it takes to wisely move forward on refinancing your home. There are many things to consider before you incur the cost of a new first mortgage. Cost is a good place to start this discussion. A lot of people don't realize that there are closing costs (bank fees, see previous blog) associated with a refinance. Most of the time these closing costs are rolled into the new loan amount, and the fact that you will skip a mortgage payment makes it a little easier to swallow.

The rule of thumb on rate reduction to justify those closing costs, is about 1.250% when staying within the same term. On a loan amount of $100,000, that's a savings of about $80 a month. The savings associated with that rate drop will still take about one and a half years to recoup the cost of the refinance. If you are looking to shorten the term, for example, going from a 30 year to a 15 year, then the rate reduction is not as critical. Those that have the ability to reduce their terms are the big winners with savings of potentially 10s of thousands of dollars.

What are your plans as to how long you plan on staying in the home? If your thinking of selling and buying something new, refinancing might not be of any benefit to. In essence, rolling in your closing costs will eat up some of your equity, which could hurt you if your selling in the recent future.

If you are considering refinancing, I highly suggest you speak with a mortgage professional that you trust. You want to make sure that refinancing is right for you. Any questions on this topic, please feel free to contact me directly at 585-427-9200 x138.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Think Spring

Ahhh, it's warmer today than it been in a while. The snow and ice are melting. I've seen robins and heard geese flying overhead. Oh, I long for spring!

And so I spent the last hour or so going through some of my flower photos from Highland Park and decided to share them. Maybe if we all start thinking real hard about spring, it will come sooner than expected. Be sure to make a point of visiting Highland Park this spring and keep in mind that some of the best shows are the weeks before the lilacs bloom. I hope you enjoy the slide show.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Temptation

It's bound to happen. I spend many of my days dashing in and out of homes, most staged to make a visitor fall in love, so it should come as no surprise that from time to time I get urge to move. Well it happened again. But when I mentioned it to my husband, he gave me one of those stern looks and said it's to close to golf season to even kid about moving.

I didn't have the nerve to tell him I wasn't kidding, so instead I spent my weekend implementing my marketing plan for my newest client. This 4 bedroom, 2 bath home is located in the Ellwanger-Barry neighborhood (a couple of blocks from Highland Hospital). I'm not disclosing the address yet, but I will tell you that it has been nicely maintained, has a one car garage and the back yard has been professionally landscaped. It will go on the market this Thursday morning with an asking price of $164,900.

The market is unusually slow for March and so I've planned an extensive campaign to try to maximize exposure. This house will be featured on the Rochester Real Estate Show next Sunday morning on channel 13, as well as Saturday's real estate section of the Democrat and Chronicle. I'll be putting the finishing touches on a virtual tour in the morning and a direct mail piece will go out on Tuesday. Wish me luck in getting this sold quickly and at a good price! And if you want to be the first to see it, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Greetings From Vegas

The 2008 ReMax International Convention is in Las Vegas this week and I decided to attend. It's been a long, long time since I've visited sin city. Not much has really changed. It's a bit flashier and I'm truly on sensory overload and this city has gotten really expensive. Our $200 a night room is nice but they want an additional $12.99 a day for Internet and $25 a day for a pass to the workout room. There is no coffee pot in the room nor free coffee in the lobby. Maybe this is what everybody was referring to when they said I would leave the convention really inspired to do more real estate!

I'm learning a lot. Not just when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. I've attended lots of conventions in my lifetime, all for other industries, but I was very impressed with the ReMax Opening Session. We were not allowed to photograph any of it, but the stage was impressive. There were many inspirational speeches from the ReMax Royalty, an unveiling of 2008 TV commercials and excellent entertainment, including singers and dancers. It was a fabulous 3 and a half hour program.
The rest of the week is filled with educational classes. I'll be learning how to better price property, how to use the latest technology and lots of other things to make me a better agent. This afternoon I will have my picture taken with the ReMax Founders with my 2007 Award. In the ReMax World, it's a piddly little award, but to me it's a big deal and I'm honored that the founders will give their time to have a picture taken with me.
And we're enjoying the weather. Another sunny day in the desert while Rochester is once again digging out from ice and snow. Be safe readers! We'll be home on Friday.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

How Did You Spend Your Extra Day?

I worked! Several meetings, showed a piece of property for the third time and just kind of scrambled to try to accomplish a few things before I turned over another page on the calendar.

My neighbors, however, were much smarter than me. Heck, with 366 days on the calendar this year they used the extra day to have some fun.

We woke up this morning to find a huge igloo across the street. If you are in the vicinity of Highland Ave between Mt Hope and South Ave, check it out!