Friday, November 25, 2016

Seven Free (and Cool) Things to Do in Rochester

It's the time of the year to count blessings and give thanks.  I have a great family, wonderful friends, awesome clients, good health and much, much more to be thankful for.  I'm also thankful for my adoptive hometown, Rochester, NY, and all that it offers.  Following are a few of my favorite things to do within city limits that are perfectly free.  Free is good, right?

1.   Warner Castle & Sunken Garden.  It's pretty cool that Rochester has a  replica Scottish Castle right off Mt. Hope Avenue, that is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 till 4, free of charge.  But even cooler, is the sunken garden located behind the castle that is available to view 7 days a week.   Somewhat of a hidden gem, it is not unusual to find yourself all alone in the garden.  (5 Castle Park, Rochester, NY  14620)

2.  Gardens at the George Eastman Museum.  While there is an admission fee to tour the museum that was the home of George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, much of the grounds and gardens are open to the public and they are gorgeous.   (900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY  14607)

3.  Turning Point Park.  While Rochester has many awesome parks, one of my favorites is Turning Point, mostly because it is so easy to forget that you are right smack in the middle of the city while you are there.  Located in the Charlotte neighborhood, it features 275 wooded acres along the Genesee River.  The boardwalk extends over the River and provides a great hiking and biking trail.  (260 Boxard Street, Rochester, NY  14612)

4.  Mount Hope Cemetery.  Yes, people are buried there but Mt Hope is so much more than a cemetery.  It features 196 acres of glacial hills and valleys, decorated with beautiful monuments and mausoleums.  It is thought of more as a peaceful park and it is not unusual to see people walking, bird-watching, biking or running along the trails.  Occasionally, there are even organized runs through the cemetery.   The cemetery is open 7 days a week, 7:30 am to sunset and visitors are asked to be respectful of services or individuals visiting loved ones.  (1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY  14620)

5.   Maplewood Rose Garden.  The rose garden features more than 3,000 rose bushes, and it is purely heaven to visit in the summer.  There are other flowers that bloom outside of the rose season, but nothing beats the blooming rose garden.  (Lake Avenue & Driving Park Avenue, Rochester, NY  14613)

6.  Charlotte Pier.  A perfect spot to catch a sunrise or sunset over Lake Ontario, the
Charlotte Pier is also great for a walk on a warm summer day.  In winter, it is often encased in ice and while beautiful, very dangerous to walk.  The pier is also popular for fisherman.  It is located in Ontario Beach Park, which has sandy beaches, beautiful gazebos and plenty of picnic tables.  (4650 Lake Ave, Rochester, NY  14612.)

7.  High Falls District.  Of course, the waterfall of High Falls is the main attraction but there is so much more to see in this historic part of the city.  The Pont De Rennes walking bridge provides gorgeous views of the falls.  The Center at High Falls is an interactive museum and welcome center that is open free of charge, June through August 11 am to 4 except Tuesdays and weekends in the spring and fall.  There are also factory ruins and remains from Rochester's milling past.  The area is lush with park benches and even picnic tables.  (60 Browns Race, Rochester, NY  14614.)

Did I forget to mention your favorite free thing to do in Rochester?  If so, please don't hesitate to share within a comment.  Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

One Nation Under God

There have been so many surprises over the past few months in relation to the national election. Surprises about missing e-mails and missing tax returns.  Surprises about locker room talk and board room speeches.  But more surprising than the sparring between the two candidates, is the anger and divide among the citizens of this great country.  So much name-calling and spreading of untrue stories to shame the opposing candidate.  Such hatred makes me so sad.

But perhaps the greatest surprise to me is the number of people that said they were not going to vote.  They didn't like either candidate and therefore either were not going to polls or just not going to pull a lever in the presidential race.  Or they were going to write in "Mickey Mouse" or some other ridiculous candidates That too made me very sad.

I set my alarm for 5 a.m. this morning and I was the first in line when the polls opened in my neighborhood.  Then I did something I really don't enjoy doing.  I took a selfie of myself with  my "I Voted" sticker and posted it for the world to see.  And I urged people to go vote.  Damn-it, too many young Americans have laid their lives on the line to preserve our democracy for grown Americans not to take this privilege and responsibility very seriously.  As I write this, there are still two hour before the polls close and if you've not voted, please do it and do it seriously.

All the surprises today were not bad surprises.  I also wandered over to Mt Hope Cemetery where Susan B. Anthony  is buried.  Me and thousands of others.  What a heart-warming experience as many women and a few men stood in line for up to two hours to put their "I voted" sticker on SBA's tombstone.  Thank you Susan for fighting for our right to vote and today we had the opportunity to vote for a woman as the President of the United States of America.  I never thought this would happen in my lifetime.

God bless America and help us heal.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Market Report - Honeoye Falls - Autumn 2016

When I relocated to the Rochester area in 1988, my drive to Rochester took me through the Village of Honeoye Falls.  It was love at first site.  I ended of living there for 15 years and while I currently live in the city of Rochester, Honeoye Falls holds a special spot in my heart.  And, as a result, I watch the real estate market there closer than most areas.  Here is a brief summary of the current market.

When I look at the Honeoye Falls Market, I consider the entire Honeoye Falls-Lima School District, which includes Lima, bits of W. Bloomfield and parts of Mendon.  Currently there are 50 single family home listings in the district, which is the lowest number of listings since January 2012.  They range in price from a $38,000 mobile home in Lima to a stunning 8000 square foot home on 10 acres for $1.2 million ( Homes in this area do tend to be larger in size and the current homes on the market reflect that with an average size of 2,996 square footage. The average list price of the current inventory is $395,650 and on average, sellers are asking $125.96 per square foot.

Currently there are 29 properties under contract awaiting a close date.  On average, these properties were on the market for 52 days.  The quickest sale was in 3 days while the longest sale was 128 days. Typically, less expensive properties sell quicker, and the current pending listings seem to illustrate that.  The average list price of the properties pending was $231,002 and the average price per square foot was $104.09.  The most expensive property that is sale pending was listed at $449,900.

The true strength of the market can be seen by what has sold.  In the past 365 days, there have been 164 properties sold and closed.  The average time on market was 44 days with some properties selling in the first day.  The longest time on market was 516 days and that was for a million dollar property.  On average, buyers spent $109.54 per square foot with the most expensive rate was $217.05 per sq foot.

Again, this is just a glimpse into the local market.  It does not take into consideration the size of the lot, condition of the property or where in the school district the property was located.  If you would like more specific information about the Honeoye Falls market, please don't hesitate to give me a call.