Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let's Have Some Fun! Contest Time....Send me your photos.

Maybe it's your mantel. Or perhaps you have a knack at stringing garland along your staircase. Is your tree too pretty for words? Does your yard cause traffic jams? Maybe I'm just nosy but I'm just dieing to know how you decorate for the holidays. So I'm asking all readers of my blog, even first-time readers, to send me your digital picture of your holiday d├ęcor (inside or out) before December 17th at midnight and you will be entered into a random drawing for a $50.00 gift certificate to your favorite Monroe County restaurant. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Everyone is eligible except my competitors, i.e., Real estate agents and employees of real estate offices.

By submitting a photo, you do give me permission to publish the shot here on the my blog. Hopefully the photos will help generate some decorating ideas for those like me that are challenged by such artistic endeavors. So let’s show the world just how nicely Rochesterarians know how to deck the halls for the holidays! Entries should be submitted by e-mail to but please put "Deck the Halls Contest" in the subject line.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Let's Say Thanks" In support of our troops

I found a wonderful web site and since it is Thanksgiving week, it is an especially good time to visit it. It is designed to allow the public to send postcards to the troops overseas. The post cards were designed by school children across the country and they are adorable. You choose a design, then choose a message or write one of your own, then hit the send button. Xerox then takes care of printing the card and delivering it to our troops from all military branches on active duty around the globe. The site also will allow you to download one of the postcards so you can mail it yourself to s specific person. Check it out at: And a super thanks to Emily Carpenter for pointing out this site!

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

What's all the Twitter About Twitter?

Do you twitter? I'm trying! I just signed up this morning and so looking for twitter pointers. Right now I've got one follower. It's Barack Obama! I guess things have slowed way down since the elections because I got a notice that he was following me about 30 minutes after I signed up to twitter. How's that for big brother watching over your shoulder!

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

A Winter Blanket

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:

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Difficult Economic Times

Usually, I can hardly wait to check my e-mail. You might say I'm an e-mail-holic! But it seems that in the past few weeks, I've found more bad news e-mails than good news e-mail. And pretty much all of the bad news has to do with employment, or more accurately, lack of it. All the scary news on television starts to hit home when you hear from a recent client that they no longer have a job or from another that is concerned about the stability of the company he works for. One client I'm very worried about. She is a CPA with excellent experience in the non-profit sector...if you know of an employment opportunity, please let me know so that I might pass the job lead on to her.

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

M&T Bank Offers Up to $7500 for First Time Home Buyers!

Usually, the first home is the most difficult to buy. In most cases, you must still pay rent while trying to pull together the funds needed for closing costs and down payment. Well, M & T Bank has a very nice program to help low and moderate income buyers save for a down payment.

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

When Things Don't Work Out

One of the very best things about being a real estate agent, is turning over the keys to excited buyers at closing. There is always such optimism about the new beginning.

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

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

Please Vote!

To watch the media today, it's easy to conclude that the next president has already been chosen. But in the last few weeks I've asked hundreds of individuals if they knew who they were voting for and many, perhaps even most, were still undecided.

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

Rochester Foreclosures

Last week I showed two properties back-to-back that were listed as potential short sales (the bank agreeing to taking less than owed, i.e., shortage) but when I arrived both had bright "Winterized" caution stickers and duct-taped toilets that indicate foreclosure. So I was surprised when I got an e-mail stating that in the state of New York, foreclosures are down 10 percent in the third quarter that just ended September 30th.

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.

The bottom line is we have a serious situation with foreclosures. In fact, the state of New York has enacted a law that requires lenders to wait 90 days before starting foreclosure proceedings.
There are organizations that can help if you are facing a possible foreclosure. The most important advice is talk to your Bank! Avoiding the situation will only make matters worse. Do not just desert your property. If you remain there and maintain it, the bank is more likely to work with you. And call for help. The Housing Council provides FREE foreclosure prevention counseling simply by calling 585-546-3700 Ext. 3015.
And if you are interested in purchasing foreclosures, take a peek at my post from last December: Buying Foreclosures Yes, there are some good deals out there but you need to keep a few precautions in mind when shopping for foreclosures.
I'm a optimist by nature. We are in a difficult economic climate right now but it is temporary. Soon real estate will be fun again.