Archived News

April is Fair Housing Month

 

Submitted by: The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

April is Fair Housing Month

 

April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

 

What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity Housing

 

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.

 

The Law

 

Civil Rights Act of 1866: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

 

Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

 

Americans with Disabilities Act: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

 

Equal Credit Opportunity Act: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.

 

State and Local Laws: State and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.

 

Responsibilities

 

The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

 

For the Home Seller: As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

 

For the Home Seeker: You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin

 

This includes the right to expect:

 

·        Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination

 

·        Equal professional service

 

·        Ehe opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices

 

·        No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing

 

·        No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing

 

·        Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities

 

·        Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling

 

·        To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights.

 

For the Real Estate Professional: Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

 

The REALTOR® Fair Housing Program

 

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR® identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.

 

The Code of Ethics: Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that, "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

 

A REALTOR® pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.

 

If You Suspect Discrimination

 

Call the Local Board of REALTORS®: Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.

 

Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by by contacting them at  http://www.hud.gov.

 

 

 

 

For more information, visit our website at www.cortlandmls.com or check out this link to the National Association of Realtors® http://www.realtor.org/programs/fair-housing-program/what-everyone-should-know-about-equal-opportunity-housing

 

 

When Moving into a New Home, First Things First

 

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

 

When Moving into a New Home, First Things First

 

April 2018

 

 

You have just completed the biggest financial transaction of your life and can now call yourself a homeowner. With the help of a RealtorÒ, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, you purchased your first home, signed all the necessary paperwork and are about to walk up to your front door, keys in hand. 

 

 

As you walk through your brand new house, you are probably thinking, now what? This is a common question new homeowners ask themselves when the time comes to settle into a new home. With all the excitement and work involved in finding a first home, first-time buyers may not have a transition plan or a checklist for the first few days in their new house.

 

 

“Some checklist items are as simple as steam cleaning the carpet while others involve familiarizing yourself with your home’s circuit breakers and water valves. Having a game plan for your new home will give you peace of mind and allow you to settle in quickly and stress free,” said Tim Alger, CCBR President.

 

 

Below are important items to focus on during the transition into your new home.

 

 

Change the locks. You never know who else has keys to your home, so it is a good idea to change the locks on all doors. This will help you sleep at night knowing that you are the only person who has access to your home. You can install new deadbolts yourself for less or call a locksmith to ensure proper installation.

 

 

Set-up service. This may not sound like a top priority, but it is important to contact local utilities and service providers, like trash pick-up to set-up a new account and avoid disruption. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the pick-up schedule for trash and recyclables to avoid garbage stacking up during the first week in your new home.

 

 

Know the circuit breaker. It is a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. You will need two people for this exercise: one person monitoring the power as it goes on and off and the other tripping the fuse in order to test the breakers.

 

 

Buy the right tools. It is likely you own the basic tools, such as a drill, screwdriver, hammer, level and tape measure. Yet, homeownership may require a few new ones you might not have needed before, such as a pry bar for removing nails, trim or tiles and a ratchet set for adjusting nuts and bolts in hard to reach places. When hanging pictures or shelving on the walls, be sure to have a stud sensor handy to detect studs, cables and ducts.

 

 

“When you are a new to homeownership, the list of responsibilities can feel overwhelming at first, but with the help of a RealtorÒ, you can be sure to transition into a new home in a smooth and hassle-free fashion,” said Alger.

 

 

If you are interested in selling or buying a home, visit our website www.cortlandmls.com.

 

 

Staging Your Home


Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate


Staging Your Home Can Capture Buyers Imagination and Corner the Market


March 2018



Viewing a house for sale requires buyers to visualize the property as a future place to call home. Would-be buyers often have to rely on their imagination for how they want to design the property as homeowners and what that man cave set-up in the basement could look like.


Staging your home before you put it on the market is a great way to impress potential buyers or create a living space homeowners may prefer. Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, according to the National Association of Realtors®2017 Profile of Home Staging.


“Buyers want to be able to picture the home’s interior designs in the easiest way possible. Staging your home with even the smallest touches like new bathroom towels, drapes over the windows or flowers on a coffee table will liven up your listing and make a big difference to the buyer,” said Tim Alger, Cortland County Board of Realtors® President.


Staging your home can also put you ahead of the competition, no small feat in an unpredictable and high-cost housing market. “Over 60 percent of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. With so many factors that play in to what sells a home and what buyers are willing to pay, staging your home is an advantage that can mean selling faster or at a higher price,”  said Alger.


Here are some simple staging tips that will help you spruce up your listing and stay ahead of the market:


  • Declutter living spaces. It is a good idea to clear all unnecessary objects throughout the house, such as magazines on the coffee table and bathroom items on the sink. In addition, take down magnets and pictures from the refrigerator and remove clothes you do not wear from closets to show a cleaner, more spacious area.

  • Refresh your walls. Remove and rearrange artwork or photos and then patch and paint interior walls in order to give buyers a better visual of each room. “A new coat of paint can brighten up rooms and give the interior a facelift. Something as simple as refreshing walls can affect a buyer’s perception of the home’s value and potentially raise the price,” said Alger.

  • Personalize spare rooms. Buyers will have different needs depending on family size, and it is wise to stage a spare bedroom based on your target buyers. “If you are putting a condo on the market, you might want to stage the spare bedroom as office space for young and single professionals. Make sure the room is comfortable, has overhead lighting, plenty of room for a desk and an area for filing cabinets,” said Alger.


By simply following a few staging guidelines, you can increase your home’s value and help it sell more quickly. A Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, can provide more information on staging your home and share advice about buying or selling a home in 2018.


For more articles, local listings, Realtors® or to check out the market report for our area, please visit www.cortlandmls.com.










Awards Luncheon 2018

 

The Cortland County Board of REALTORS® held their annual Awards brunch this past Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at The Sherman House on Main Street in Homer. As always, they put out a tasty spread of food and beverages for all in attendance. This event always draws a large group of Realtors®, board members, affiliates and community members from all around the area.

 

 

The purpose of this event every year is to recognize a few outstanding individuals:

 

 

Neb Hage was recognized for an incredible 45 years of service and success with Hage Real Estate.

 

 

Sean Mack of Hage Real Estate was recognized with the 2017 Realtor® Community Service Award. “Sean constantly gives back to the community. He has previously been a youth athletics coach and served on the YMCA board of directors, he volunteers at Homer Center for the Arts events, he sits on the committee for the YMCA Bon Ton Roulet and also spends time volunteering at events. He is the current president of Cortland Loaves and Fishes board of directors and has been for many years. He is tireless in his efforts, planning fundraisers, promoting them and working at them... Sean is a hero.”

 

 

Jason McRae of Townline Motors/Stupid Choppers was recognized as the 2017 Community Hero. The CCBR Community Hero Award was developed to honor persons who are making significant contributions thought their time, actions, talents, and dedication to the Cortland Community… “Jason is a person who is always asked to give his time and talent throughout the year to help with different benefits. Whether it be a local charity, a family or individual down on their luck, in poor health or just in need, Jason is the go to guy.” McRae has been known over the years for his successful events and benefits. “Most recently Jason spearheaded an effort that brought supplies to the families devastated by the hurricane in Houston. His three-day effort amounted to not just one truck full of supplies, but two trucks full of supplies… he’s the guy who takes action and gets it done. ”

 

 

The 2017 President’s Award was selected by Jamie Yaman, 2017 CCBR President, and given to Steve Cinquanti. Jamie noted that Steve has focused mostly on commercial real estate over the last ten years and recognized his hard work and success. Steve has also been a part of several CCBR Committees and was a great help during Jamie’s Presidency. “Over the last 20-25 years he has been a mentor and a friend.”

 

 

The 2017 Realtor of the Year award recognized an incredibly involved individual within the community and our board. This member has been very active on multiple board committees, involved with United Way of Cortland County, Bridges for Kids, NYSAR, NAR Southern Tier, Cortland Cultural Council, he founded the Community Outreach Committee, was the 2017 RPAC event auctioneer, loves to travel and was our 2017 board President. Congrats to Jamie Yaman for being recognized as the 2017 Realtor of the Year!!

 

 

Thank you and Congratulations to all five men!

 

 

In Addition, we recognize our Years of Service and Million Dollar Circle Members:

 

 

2017 YEARS OF SERVICE AWARDS

 

 

5 YEARS

 

 

Ryan Kolas

 

Brian Jackson

 

RJ Calale

 

Peter Martino

 

 

10 YEARS

 

Lanny Peck

 

Mark Skodzinsky

 

 

15 YEARS

 

Ingrid Dunham

 

Susan Hunt

 

Jeannine Kozlowski

 

Phil Henry

 

 

45 YEARS

 

Neb Hage

 

 

2017 MILLION DOLLAR RECIPIENTS

 

 

1ST TIME (BLUE/SILVER)

 

ADELE FETTERLY                       Heritage Realty of CNY

 

KARINA MURPHY                       Yaman Real Estate

 

JIMMIE HINKLE                            NY Land Quest

 

STEVE CINQUANTI                      Yaman Real Estate

 

MICHELLE REYNOLDS               Heritage Realty of CNY

 

 

2-4 YEARS

 

PAM CULLIP (3)                           Yaman Real Estate

 

GIRARD KELLY (2)                     NY Land Quest

 

MICHAEL DUNN (2)                    NY Land Quest

 

MARIE FERRO (3)                       Hage Real Estate

 

KRISTOPHER BUCHAN (3)     Tompkins Cortland Real Estate

 

MATTHEW KLINK (3)               NY Land Quest

 

KATHIE WILCOX (4)                  Yaman Real Estate

 

TRACY KOENIG (4)                     Yaman Real Estate

 

 

 

5 YEARS

 

BRIAN JACKSON (5)                   NY Land Quest

 

MARK SKODZINSKY (5)           Warren Real Estate

 

 

6-9 YEARS

 

PETER MARTINO (6)                 NY Land Quest

 

JEFF GUIDA (6)                             Seven Valley Realty

 

JOANNE SWEENEY (6)               Heritage Realty of CNY

 

TERRY HOWELL (7)                   Yaman Real Estate

 

DANA DECKER (9)                      Heritage Realty of CNY

 

CARL SNYDER (9)                        NY Land Quest

 

 

11-14 YEARS (SILVER)

 

JAMIE YAMAN (11)                     Yaman Real Estate

 

SHURYL MENAPACE (11)        Howard Hanna

 

CONNIE MACK (12)                    Yaman Real Estate

 

CORRIE OUSTAD (12)               Heritage Realty of CNY

 

 

 

16+ YEARS

 

SALLY KURTZ (27)                     Heritage Realty of CNY

 

DIANN POTTER (27)                  Heritage Realty of CNY

 

NICKI WYNN (18)                        Yaman Real Estate

 

SUSAN BRIGGS (21)                   Heritage Realty of CNY

 

AMY COBB (25)                            Howard Hanna

 

JERRY HARTNETT (28)            Hage Real Estate

 

JOAN PLEW (29)                          Yaman Real Estate

 

BILL WHITE (27)                         Yaman Real Estate

 

SEAN MACK (16)                         Hage Real Estate

 

TIM ALGER (16)                           Yaman Real Estate

 

JASON HAGE (16)                        Hage Real Estate

 

 

 

 

Realtors® Offer 2018 Housing Market Landscape

 

Realtors® Offer 2018 Housing Market Landscape

 

January 2018

 

 

The start of the new year is a time when many people reflect on their goals and pledge personal resolutions for the next 365 days. Whether optimistic about or hoping for changes in the year to come, switching over the calendar also allows an opportunity to reassess one’s housing situation.

 

 

This time of year has potential buyers and sellers reflecting on last year’s housing market data and examining the outlook for the next 12 months to better prepare themselves for entering the market and buying or selling a home.

 

 

Home sales and prices both increased in 2017. In 2018, existing-home sales are projected to be unchanged from 2017, at about 5.5 million sales, after rising the past three years, and the median home price will edge up only about 2 percent. One of the biggest challenges in 2018 will continue to be the low levels of homes available for sale.

 

 

The National Association of Realtor’s® Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey tracks topical real estate trends and renters and homeowners’ views and aspirations regarding homeownership. Released in December, the quarterly survey showed that at the end of 2017 a smaller share of homeowners believed that now is a good time to buy or sell a home, even with strong job creation and faster economic growth in the last months of 2017.

 

 

“Since rising to 62 percent in the third quarter of last year, optimism that now is a good time to buy slipped to 60 percent, from 57 percent a year ago,” said Tim Alger, CCBR President.

 

 

The report also found that 76 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to list their home for sale, which is down from last quarter (80 percent) but up from a year ago (67 percent).

 

 

This data should help potential buyers and sellers better understand the market environment and know what to expect in 2018. “The takeaways from this survey should help buyers and sellers who are heading into the market, and working with a real estate professional they can apply the lessons learned from the past year and expectations for the year ahead to achieve their home buying and selling goals,” said Alger.

 

 

Visit www.cortlandmls.com  to find a local Realtor®, local up to date listings, market reports or for information and advice about buying or selling a home in 2018.

 

 

 

 

Selling Your Home During the Winter

 

The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

 

Selling Your Home During the Winter

 

November 2017

 

 

Selling your home during the winter months can be a daunting task. The holiday season is already a hectic time of year and selling a house can be stressful. However, there are distinct advantages to selling your home at this time of year.

 

 

“The housing inventory is always lower in the winter months, meaning fewer listings and less competition,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President. “By just taking a few simple steps to prepare and stage your home, you can sell your home sooner rather than later.”

 

 

Here is some advice from the Cortland County Board of Realtors® to make sure your house is sold at the best price and with the least amount of stress this winter:

 

 

Keep your home warm. It may seem obvious, but make sure that the moment potential buyers walk into your home they can warm up from the chilly outdoors. “This will help would-be homebuyers imagine themselves coming in from the cold into their new house,” said Yaman. “You’ll also want to find any drafts in your house and seal them up. They’ll be very noticeable in your otherwise warm and toasty home.”

 

 

Holiday Plans. Make sure that you plan any trips out of town or holiday parties well ahead of time. Timing is extremely important when selling a home, so you want to make sure that offers aren’t coming in when you’re out of town or that potential buyers show up during your annual family holiday dinner.

 


Decorate for the season. Keep your seasonal decorations conservative, but a light and bright or beautifully decorated home with well-placed greenery can give prospective buyers a picture of how their own decorations could fit in the home. “Just make sure that you remove any holiday decorations as soon as the holidays are over,” said Yaman. “Do not be the house with lights still up in February.”

 

 

Manage Your Curb Appeal. Many houses look their best during the warmer months, but a home with simple seasonal decorations, bright lights or greenery is still warm and inviting and appealing to would-be buyers. You should make sure that your driveway and sidewalks are always swept or shoveled and clear off any decks or patios. Also, remove any potentially dangerous dangling icicles or built up snow from your roof.

 

 

Hire a Realtor®. Finally, the Cortland County Board of Realtors® reminds sellers that all real estate is local, so it’s important to work with a Realtor® who is familiar with your neighborhood and community. Realtors® know what buyers in your area are looking for and can create a marketing strategy that will help you achieve the best results.

 

 

Visit our site: www.cortlandmls.com for full local market reports, local current listings and to find a Local Realtor®.

 

 

Confidence in Commercial Market Continues; Realtors® See Challenges in Financing

Submitted By: Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Confidence in Commercial Market Continues; Realtors® See Challenges in Financing                   

June 2017

Realtors® specializing in commercial real estate should have confidence that growth in the market will continue, although one hurdle that continues to affect the market is the lack of available financing to small commercial real estate investors, due in large part to regulatory uncertainty.

Unemployment has declined to 4.4 percent and consumer confidence is at its highest point in 15 years. “A rising interest rate environment is likely to halt commercial price growth or even cause a minor decline, an outlook supported by the growing economy and the over 2 million jobs gained in the past year,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.

Global commercial investments have also slowed, which in the first quarter of 2017 decreased nearly 20 percent year-over-year; however, certain U.S. markets are seeing good global cash flow with $76 billion flowing to the U.S. “International buyers are likely to play a greater role in the U.S. market this year. During the past five years, a near majority of Realtors® experienced an increase in the number of international clients; we expect international buying activity to grow in 2017, which will have an overall positive impact on the commercial market’s ongoing recovery,” said Yaman.

One major obstacle that continues to affect the market is the lack of available financing to small commercial real estate investors. “Realtors® are seeing evidence of markets being impacted by regulators’ increased scrutiny of banks’ balance sheet allocations to commercial real estate loans,” said Yaman.  “Considering that 64 percent of Realtor® clients get their financing from banks, this is likely to impact transaction flow as lending conditions tightened in 37 percent of Realtors®’ markets, a four percent increase from last year.”

According to the National Association of Realtors®’s Commercial Real Estate 2016 Lending Survey, Realtors® reported a significant drawback when it came to financing for buyers of properties under $2 million, which makes up 83 percent of Realtors®’ clients in the commercial sector. These small businesses are typically financed by private investors or local and regional banks. Thirty-five percent of commercial members reported they had commercial transactions fail in the past year due to a lack of financing.

The Cortland County Board of Realtors® said regulatory uncertainty of financial institutions are accounting for the lack of capital in commercial lending for smaller properties. CCBR along with NAR believe in protecting and enhancing the flow of capital to commercial real estate.

“Realtors® build communities, and those who own or invest in commercial real estate spaces help strengthen those communities and support millions of jobs nationwide. It’s imperative that we continue to advocate for enhancing the flow of capital to commercial real estate,” said Yaman.

For more articles, a local market report, current listings or to find a local REALTOR®- be sure to visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com

Homeownership Good Investment

 

Submitted by: The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

 

Majority of Americans See Homeownership as Good Investment; Affordability Woes Remain

 

August 2017

 

 

Eighty-four percent of Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, the highest number in 10 years. Yet six in 10 said that they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. This is according to NAR’s 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas.

 

 

“This survey makes it clear that most American’s still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home. Yet, Americans consider the lack of affordability as a big obstacle to ownership,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.

 

 

Concerns over housing affordability show clear demographic divides, especially among unmarried and non-white Americans. More than 50 percent of unmarried and non-white Americans view the lack of available affordable housing as a big problem, compared to only four in ten of married and white Americans.

 

 

Nationally, 44 percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or big problem. In the top 25 densest markets, more than half see the lack of affordable housing as a big problem, an increase of 11 percentage points since 2015. Cortland County Board of Realtors ® states that lower income Americans, renters and young women most acutely feel the housing pinch. There is also greater concern about affordable housing among the working class (65 percent) than for public servants such as teachers, firefighters or police (55 percent).

 

The survey found that over half of respondents strongly agree that homeownership helps build safe and secure neighborhoods and provides a stable and safe environment for children and family members.

 

 

“There are many benefits of homeownership, and they resonate more strongly as age increases. Over half of Americans between the age of 50 and 64 believe that home ownership is associated with a stable home environment, which also leads to greater educational success for children,” said Yaman. “It’s important that younger Americans also have access to affordable and sustainable homeownership.”

 

 

Please visit our website: www.Cortlandmls.com  to find a local Realtor®, check out the local listings, or to see the full Market Report.

 

CCBR’s week of Giving Back

 

Submitted by: the Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

CCBR’s week of Giving Back

 

On July 27th we held another successful Golf Tournament at the beautiful Walden Oaks Country Club. We lucked out with a sunny day, had a lot of laughs and delicious food.

 

This year with our 50/50 raffle and Putting Contest, we were able to raise over $700 for Cortland CAPCO's SNACKPACKS FOR KIDS program to help supply nutritional food to children in need over weekends, breaks and summer vacations.

 

In addition, our golf outing was held to benefit Warriors of the Cross, which provides Veterans in the local area with the help they need. We were able to bring in $880 toward this program.

 

A special THANK YOU to everyone in attendance, Jerry Hartnett and the Golf Committee for putting this event together, Walden Oaks for hosting our tournament and to all of our AFFILIATE MEMBERS: without you, your support and contributions, this event may not have been possible, THANK YOU!!!

 

 

August 2nd marked another success for our annual CCBR Realtor Community Outreach Day. 21 Realtor/Affiliate Members and 20 children from the Bridges for Kids Cortland YWCA Program came together at Beaudry Park in Cortland for a day of games, crafts, sun, laughs, and food.

 

"Bridges for Kids connects adults who want to provide positive experiences to children from stressful home environments. Trained volunteers become mentors to children. The resulting relationships give children opportunities for activities that will result in increased self-esteem and a greater feeling of worth. The Bridges for Kids program began in January of 1980 as the Coalition for Children. It now provides children, ages 5 to 12, with positive adult role models."- Cortland YWCA Website

 

We had a beautiful day and such a wonderful time with these children from our community. Thank you to all who were involved to make this day happen!

 

If you are interested in volunteering, please stop by the YWCA, call 753-9651, or email Sara Earl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

For more articles, to find a local Realtor®, check out up to date listings or to view our local Market Report, please visit www.cortlandmls.com

 

Get Ahead of the Summer Selling Market

 

The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Get Ahead of the Summer Selling Market

 

July 2017

 

 

The dog days of summer are often a time for relaxation by the pool or a family trip to your favorite vacation spot. At the same time, many Americans take advantage of the warmer months to put their house on the market.

 

 

According to the National Association of Realtors®, one third of homes are sold during the summer months. “Spring is known by many to be the hottest season to sell a home as the winter doldrums are ending and people are getting their homes and yards in selling shape. Yet in summer, the frenzy of the spring buying season has often concluded, which means fewer houses are competing for buyers,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.

 

 

Here are a few tips from the Cortland County Board of Realtors® to help you get your house sold before the leaves start to turn.

 

 

    • Keep your house cool. Keep potential buyers comfortable as they tour your house by keeping the air conditioning at a reasonable temperature. This will help them imagine escaping the summer heat in their new home.

 

 

    • Landscape! Your front yard is the first thing potential buyers will notice when they pull into the driveway. So make sure your yard and flowerbeds are well landscaped and maintained. Your home’s curb appeal is the first chance to impress potential buyers, so be sure to remove any debris from the lawn, clean your deck or porch, and repaint any areas that are in need of repair.

 

 

    • Mark your calendar. Plan around your summer vacations and list your home accordingly. Timing is everything when it comes to selling a home, so make sure that when offers start coming in that you are not out of town.

 

 

    • Work with a Realtor®. Finally, CCBR reminds sellers that it’s important to work with a Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtor®, who is familiar with your community. These professionals know the pricing strategies and buyer preferences that will help bring better results.

 

 

Keeping these tips in mind will help you increase your chances of quickly finding the right buyer for your home this summer.

 

 

For full local market reports, see local listings or to find a REALTOR®- please visit www.cortlandmls.com .

 

 

 

 

Fresh Tips for the Spring Real Estate Market

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Fresh Tips for the Spring Real Estate Market

May 2017

Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a house, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. That’s great news for anyone hoping to sell their home this spring.

“Seasonal patterns can differ somewhat depending on climate and where you are in the country, but generally speaking, spring is the busiest season for home buying and selling,” said Jamie Yaman, Cortland County Board of Realtors® President.  “The weather is pleasant, days are longer and curb appeal is at its peak, making it an ideal home shopping season.”

However, one disadvantage for sellers in some markets is housing inventory: it tends to skyrocket in the spring. So how can you make your home stand out amongst all the others? Here are some tips from The Cortland County Board of Realtors® to help you sell your home for the best price this season:

Clean, clean and clean some more. It may be cliché, but make sure that your home is ‘spring clean’ throughout the entire selling process. “When potential home buyers walk inside, they should see a well-organized, sparklingly clean house,” said Yaman. “If you can do nothing else, keep floors and windows scrubbed clean, take out trash and recycling frequently, and keep any clutter stored and out of the way.”

Bring fresh flowers indoors. Springtime brings fresh flowers which, when brought inside, can be used as low-cost decor and fragrance.  “Many people prefer natural to artificial scents, making this a perfect staging technique for open houses,” said Yaman. “Just be aware that some buyers may have allergies, so avoid flowers with high pollen counts like daisies, chrysanthemums or sunflowers.”

Improve your curb appeal. How your home looks when buyers walk up to it can be just as important as how it looks when they walk into it. “It is important to make sure that your home’s exterior is kept clean and well maintained throughout the season,” said Yaman. “At the very least, keep the grass trimmed by mowing regularly, make sure your shrubs and flower beds are well-tended and scrub or paint over any stains or chipped paint on your home’s exterior.

Let the light in. Take advantage of the longer, warmer days by opening up your windows and brightening up your home. “Keep your blinds open and your curtains pulled back to let in as much natural light as possible,” said Yaman. “If a room doesn’t receive much sunlight, a well-placed mirror can help capture and reflect light from other rooms to brighten a space.” 

By following a few tips and making a couple of simple improvements, you can make your home more appealing to buyers and hopefully help sell it quickly this spring.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home this spring, visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com for Realtors® in our local area and to view new listings.

Open House Weekend

Submitted by: Cortland County Board of REALTORS®

 

REALTOR® Nationwide Open House Weekend Offers Buyers a Snapshot of Local Housing Market

April 2017

 

With signs of the housing market recovering and favorable affordability conditions, this year’s spring buying season has the potential to be a busy one. Buyers in the Cortland area will have the opportunity to jump start the buying season on April 29th and 30th as Realtors® hold open houses all weekend long as part of the Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend.   

During that weekend Realtors® across the country will hold thousands of open houses from coast to coast, bringing attention to the many benefits of homeownership, as well as providing an opportunity for them to connect with consumers in the local community about housing issues that matter most to them. Realtors® will also be available to answer questions and provide insight on the local housing market and the home buying process.

“Forty-five percent of recent buyers used open houses as a way to find their dream home,” said Jamie Yaman, 2017 CCBR President, “Realtor® Nationwide Open House is a great chance for buyers to do just that, as well as get an idea of what they can afford in the local market. It’s also a good time for sellers to market their home and attract potential buyers.”

Open houses have traditionally been a helpful tool for buyers, however the National Association of Realtors®2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that some buyers prefer them more than others. For instance, repeat buyers are more likely to use open houses than first-time buyers, as are buyers who were not born in the U.S. or whose primary language is not English. NAR also reports that older buyers rely more on open houses than younger buyers, and buyers with higher incomes are more likely to visit open houses.

“Realtors® visit hundreds of homes with buyers each year, and have a unique understanding of what buyers want and can get for the price in our local market,” said Yaman, “Realtors® understand that home is where we make memories, build our futures and feel comfortable and secure. It’s an investment in your future and we are here to help you achieve those dreams.”

The Cortland County Board of Realtors® says open houses can also give buyers a clear idea of what features are important to them in a home. According to NAR data the typical recently-purchased home was 1,860 square feet and was built in 1996. The typical buyer purchased a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, while slightly half of the homes purchased were on a single level. When it comes to home features, buyers prefer central air conditioning the most, while walk-in closets were second. The two most common rooms buyers were willing to spend more for were a laundry room and a den/home office. 

“Buyers who are willing and able to take on the responsibilities of homeownership can begin their home search process by attending Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend and learn more about homeownership and local housing issues,” said Yaman.

Go to www.cortlandmls.com for more details and be sure to check out the Real Estate Guide in the Cortland Standard for the list of Open Houses.   

APRIL- Fair Housing Month

Submitted by: The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

April is Fair Housing Month

April 2017 marks the 49th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.

The Law

Civil Rights Act of 1866: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Americans with Disabilities Act: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.

State and Local Laws: State and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.

Responsibilities

The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

For the Home Seller: As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

For the Home Seeker: You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin

This includes the right to expect:

  • Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
  • Equal professional service
  • Ehe opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
  • No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing
  • No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing
  • Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
  • Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
  • To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights.

For the Real Estate Professional: Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

The REALTOR® Fair Housing Program

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR® identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics: Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that, "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

A REALTOR® pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.

If You Suspect Discrimination

Call the Local Board of REALTORS®: Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.

Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by by contacting them at  http://www.hud.gov.

 

For more information, visit our website at www.cortlandmls.com or check out this link to the National Association of Realtors® http://www.realtor.org/programs/fair-housing-program/what-everyone-should-know-about-equal-opportunity-housing

The Myth of the Mortgage Down Payment

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

The Myth of the Mortgage Down Payment

February 2017

Did you know that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for three straight years?

If you answered no to this question, you are likely not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors® Aspiring Home Buyer Profile, 87 percent of non-homeowners indicated that a mortgage down payment of 10 percent or more is necessary.

The Aspiring Home Buyer Profile also finds that eight out of 10 non-owners indicated that owning a home is part of their American Dream. Yet, the confusion about down payment requirements is keeping aspiring home buyers from breaking in to the real estate market.

“Being unable to afford to buy was the number one reason non-owners cite as to why they don’t own. Unrealistic expectations about down payments have kept creditworthy borrowers with manageable levels of debt from exploring the prospects of buying a home,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.

Every prospective buyer is different, but consumers should talk to lenders about their qualifications before throwing in the towel on their homeownership dreams.

“Those interested in buying their first home in 2017 should gather their financial paperwork, sit down with a lender to discuss their qualifications, and talk to family and friends for recommendations about a Realtor® who can help them get started on their home search,” said Yaman.

For those renters out there who are ready to join the majority who buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment, follow these tips to help get you get started:

  1. Review your financial situation and personal savings to determine how much you can comfortably use for a down payment.

  2. Visit a few lenders and seek a mortgage preapproval to determine how much money you are actually qualified to borrow.

  3. Find a Realtor® and discuss your budget and needs. This will help a Realtor® hone in your search and only show you available homes in your price range. 

  4. Rely on professional help from the experts. This includes a Realtor® and your lender. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also has a state-by-state resource guide of homeownership and home buying assistance programs in your state.

    Buying a home can sometimes be a challenging process, but with a little work and a Realtor® - a member of the National Association of Realtors®  -  at your side, 2017 may be a good time to start looking.

    To connect with a local Realtor®, see our local Market Reports and up to date listings, please visit: www.cortlandmls.com.

Tax Breaks You Can Only Claim as a Homeowner

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Tax Breaks You Can Only Claim as a Homeowner

March 2017

There are many benefits associated with homeownership. The American Dream offers financial gain and stability and many social benefits. A real estate agent will tell you that one of the biggest benefits associated with homeownership can be found when filing your taxes, and depending on your situation, there may be thousands of dollars coming back your way.

“Homeownership is an investment in your future,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.  “It is where we make memories and feel comfortable and secure, it strengthens communities, and it offers homeowners financial security. Tax breaks are just one of many benefits of being a homeowner, and even those who have owned a home for years may be unaware of all of the opportunities for savings.”

As the deadline to file taxes approaches, the Cortland County Board of Realtors® wants to remind homeowners of the many tax benefits, savings and deductions they can take advantage of simply by owning a home.

The mortgage interest deduction. This may be the most notable and advantageous tax benefit that homeowners enjoy. The mortgage interest deduction allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage debt of up to $1 million on a primary residence and one additional residence. This deduction is especially helpful in the early years of a mortgage when the monthly payment goes largely toward interest.

Property taxes. It is widely known that being a homeowner means paying taxes on your property to local government, whether it is the city, county or state.

What you might not know is that these taxes are entirely deductible from your federal income tax, which is more great tax news for homeowners.

Mortgage insurance premium deduction. Homeowners with incomes of no more than $100,000 can deduct their mortgage insurance premiums if they were required to obtain insurance as a condition of receiving financing for the home. With the current obstacles that prospective homebuyers face, such as student loan debt, the deduction is a benefit that can save homeowners a great deal of money.

“If you are on the fence about buying a home, taking advantage of these tax benefits can help put your dream home within reach. By working with a Realtor® - a member of the National Association of Realtors® -  you can better understand the homebuying process and the many benefits that come with owning a home,” said Yaman.

Buying a home can sometimes be a challenging process, but with a little work and a Realtor® at your side, 2017 may be a good time to start looking.

For a local Market Report, to check out local listings or to find a local Realtor®- please visit www.cortlandmls.com

January Awards Luncheon

On January 25, 2017, the Cortland County Board of REALTORS® held their annual REALTOR® Awards Luncheon at The Sherman House on Main Street in Homer NY. The awards presented were Realtor® of the Year, President’s Award, Community Hero Award and the Community Service Award. In addition, certificates were given to our local REALTOR® members who have achieved a million dollars in sales through our MLS system and Years of Service was recognized for those who have served the Real Estate Industry within our local area.

The REALTOR® of the year award was created to recognize an outstanding active member of the Cortland County Board of Realtors®. This recipient must be a member in good standing with CCBR and meet specified accomplishments in local board activity, state association activity, national activity, community service, business accomplishments and must have Realtor® spirit. This year, the award was presented to Jason Hage.

The purpose of the President’s Award is to recognize a CCBR Realtor® who serves on committees, demonstrates strong professional ethics, has a cooperative spirit and willingness to participate in CCBR events such as education, membership meetings and community service events. This person puts forth strong effort in helping the CCBR President as needed. This year, the award was presented to Marie Ferro.

The CCBR Community Hero Award was developed to honor a non-Realtor who is making significant contributions through their time, actions, talents and dedication to the Cortland Community outside of any volunteer work done for their employer. This individual is admired for courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities. The person nominated constantly shows, models, and demonstrates qualities of compassion and service. This year, Dianne Higgins was honored as a Cortland Community Hero.

The CCBR Community Service Award is designed to recognize a REALTOR® who has made exceptional contributions to improving the quality of life in their community. This award shows the community the positive difference REALTORS® make and inspire others to do the same. Whether this individual is coaching, sitting on the United Way board of directors or serving another term on the Cortland Regional Medical Center board of trustees, this individual stays involved in his community. This year, the award was presented for the second year in a row to Tim Alger, Associate Broker with Yaman Real Estate.

Four recipients were recognized for reaching Million Dollar Circle for 15 Years and becoming Lifetime Members of the Award: Tim Alger, Yaman Real Estate, Jason Hage, Hage Real Estate, Robert Palmer, United Country Palmer and Sean Mack, Hage Real Estate.

This past year we lost one of our founding members of our board. James Yaman, Yaman Real Estate was here when we began. Jim put in 70 Years of Service in the Real Estate Industry and was a member of our board the whole time. Jamie, Jim’s grandson was given a 70 year service award in his honor.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!

 

 

Million Dollar Sales Awards:

1st time

Michael Dunn- NY Land Quest

Girard Kelly- NY Land Quest

2-4 years

Pam Cullip –Yaman Real Estate

Marie Ferro – Hage Real Estate

Kristopher Buchan- Tompkins Cortland Real Estate

Matthew Klink- NY Land Quest

Tracy Koenig- Yaman Real Estate

RJ Calale- Yaman Real Estate

Kathie Wilcox- Yaman Real Estate

Michael Gibbons- Hage Real Estate

Brian Jackson- NY Land Quest

Mindy Meyers- Heritage Realty of CNY

Mark Skodzinsky- Warren Real Estate

Linda Muirhead- Yaman Real Estate

5 years

Joanne Sweeney- Heritage Realty of CNY

Peter Martino- NY Land Quest

6-9 years

Terry Howell- Realty USA

Dana Decker- Heritage Realty of CNY

Carl Snyder- NY Land Quest

10 years

Jamie Yaman- Yaman Real Estate

Shuryl Menapace- Realty USA

11-14 years

Connic Mack- Yaman Real Estate

Corrie Oustad – Heritage Realty of CNY

15 years – Oliver Award- Life Time Members of Million Dollar Circle

Tim Alger – Yaman Real Estate

Jason Hage- Hage Real Estate

Sean Mack- Hage Real Estate

Bob Palmer – United Country Palmer Real Estae

16+ years

Nicki Wynn- Yaman Real Estate

Susan Briggs- Heritage Realty of CNY

Amy Cobb- Realty USA

Sally Kurtz- Heritage Realty of CNY

Diann Potter- Heritage Realty of CNY

Bill White – Yaman Real Estate

Jerry Hartnett- Hage Real Estate

Joan Plew- Yaman Real Estate

Years of Service (years served in the RE industry) are as follows:

 

5 Years

Matt Smith- Seven Valley Realty

10 years

Helen Ackerman- Hage Real Estate

Terry Howell- Realty USA

Cynthia Lohsen- United County Palmer

Shana Karn- Realty USA

Kathie Wilcox- Yaman Real Estate

15 years

Tim Alger- Yaman Real Estate

Jason Hage- Hage Real Estate

30 years

Jerry Hartnett- Hage Real Estate

Sandy Ludwig- Yaman Real Estate

Joan Plew- Yaman Real Estate

70 years

Jim Yaman- Yaman Real Estate

Hosting for the Holidays: Home Features for Entertaining

Hosting for the Holidays: Home Features for Entertaining

Do you dream of hosting the perfect family Thanksgiving celebration? Is it your fantasy to throw a New Year’s party that all of your friends remember? If you are currently house hunting, these are things you should let a Realtor® know.

“Realtors® work every day to help their clients find the ideal house that feels like home,” Jason Hage, CCBR President. “If to you, home is where you invite your friends and family to celebrate the holidays, then your Realtor® will help find you the perfect home in which to make those memories.”

But what exactly is the perfect home for hosting holiday parties? “You need to ask yourself ‘what kind of parties do I want to host?’ and ‘how do I plan on entertaining my guests?’” said Hage. “Once you have a vision, your Realtor® can help identify homes to help make it a reality.”

Here are a few things to consider when looking for your perfect holiday-hosting home.

Size of Parties: When you throw a party does your invitation list usually consist of three or four people or 10 or more people?  If your get-togethers tend to have guests numbering in the double digits, you will want to look for a home with larger living and dining rooms or outdoor space. Otherwise, be prepared to move some furniture around to make more space.

Open or Closed Kitchen: Do you like the idea of interacting with your guests while you prepare the party food, or do you prefer to keep the cooking behind closed doors? An open kitchen layout means your living room or dining room will flow directly into the kitchen, so you can still be a part of your party while you prep and cook.

If you tend to make a mess when you cook and would rather keep it hidden then a closed kitchen is for you.

Kitchen Island: If you enjoy making food preparation an aspect of the gathering, an island is a must-have for your dream party house. “An island is not only an excellent way to add more prep space to your kitchen,” said Hage. “It’s a place to sit and chat with your guests, decorate cookies or mix drinks.”

Dining Room: If you envision a sit-down dinner being the main draw of your holiday party then a formal dining room should be on your list of must-haves. “Consider how large a dining room and table you will need to seat your desired number of guests,” said Hage.  “It’s always a good idea to bring a measuring tape with you to a showing, that way you can know for sure the table that fits your guests will actually fit the room.” 

For additional articles, to view market reports for our local area, or to find a local Realtor®- please visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com

October is Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month: Here are some tips from the Cortland County Board of REALTORS® to keep your family and home safe.

Fires can strike anywhere at any time. Along with installing smoke detectors in your home, you should have a fire extinguisher in key areas such as the kitchen, bedrooms, workshop and garage. Walk your family through a fire drill so everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of fire. Make sure children know where the family will reunite if they have to leave the house in case of a fire.

The following simple precautions will help minimize the risk of a fire in your home:

  • The law requires that a property owner/landlord must provide working smoke detectors on each floor of a home. Be sure the detector is in good working condition and check the batteries regularly.
  • As of March 6, 2003 the law requires that a property owner/landlord must provide at least one working carbon monoxide detector. Be sure the detector is in good working condition and check the batteries regularly.
  • Assign a special closet for combustible materials and dangerous tools that you don’t want your children to touch. Put a good lock on the door and a heat detector inside to alert you to any fire danger.
  • Replace frayed electrical cords before they burn or cause a fire.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits with too many appliances. If your fuses are blowing or your circuit breakers are popping, hire an electrician to look at your system.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or carpets. The cords wear easily and may short out, causing a fire.
  • Nails or staples used to attach electrical cords to the walls or baseboards can damage the cords and cause fire or shock hazards. Tape cords to walls or floors instead of using nails or staples.
  • Keep combustibles away from the furnace, which can emit flames or sparks.
  • Apply fire stickers in the windows to alert firefighters to the presence of a child or an elderly or physically challenged person.
  • An electrical outlet or switch that is unusually warm or hot to the touch may indicate a potentially dangerous wiring condition. Unplug the cords and call an electrician.
  • Ceiling fixtures and recessed lights trap heat. Since overheating can lead to fire, don’t use a high-wattage bulb in such a fixture. If you don’t know the correct wattage, use a bulb of 60 or fewer watts.
  • Unplug your hair dryer or other small appliances in the bathroom when not in use.
  • Chargers, such as cell phone chargers, should not be left plugged in when not in use. These can become hot and start a fire.
  • An electric blanket should not be tucked in at the sides. It may overheat and start a fire.
  • Be sure to turn a heating pad off before you go to sleep. It can cause burns even at a relatively low setting.
  • The kitchen is one of the more dangerous rooms in the house. Open flames, sharp knives, hot pots and scalding liquids can cause serious injuries.
  • Look at your kitchen from the perspective of an accident waiting to happen. Are papers stacked too close to the range or cook top?
  • Keep the gas cook top away from open windows where wind could extinguish the cooking flames.
  • Keep the handles of pots and frying pans turned inward on the kitchen range so that they cannot be knocked over by accident.
  • To prevent grease fires, keep the stove clear of anything flammable, including potholders, napkins and towels.
  • Lighted candles should always be within sight. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Be sure to check the batteries in all of your smoke and CO detectors at least 2x per year.

***Tips came from: HowStuffWorks “Fire Safety: Tips and Guidelines” www.home.howstuffworks.com***

 

Don’t forget to visit: www.cortlandmls.com for market reports, other helpful articles,

local listings and REALTORS® in our area.

Moving with Kids: Families Rely on Realtors® September 2016

Moving with Kids: Families Rely on Realtors® September 2016

Most people can relate to the complications and complexities involved with moving.  Whether you’re relocating to a recently purchased apartment or a starter home, resettling takes time, effort and planning.

Moving with kids requires even more planning and research. Finding a home with the appropriate amount of space, in your preferred school district, and convenient to a job or school location are often priorities for buyers with families.

According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile on Home Buyers and Sellers, eight in 10 home buyers worked with an agent to purchase a home in 2015. Agent use is even higher among buyers ages 36 to 50 (87 percent) and 35 and younger (89 percent) - the demographics most likely to have school-aged children.

“Fifty-three percent of families with children under the age of 18 reported that the hardest task in the home search process was finding the right property in the right location,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President. “Families find themselves needing a real estate professional with a wealth of local market knowledge, hands on attention and a broad range of resources to help find the right home.”

Families with children under the age of 18 often times have a greater urgency to sell their home too. Twenty-four percent of sellers had to sell their home urgently while 46 percent had to sell their home in a somewhat urgent or reasonable timeframe. This is mainly due to a fast moving market and the fact that most families prefer to get settled in before the new school season starts.

In many cases, families are looking to move because their home is too small. Twenty-nine percent of families with children under the age of 18 cited upsizing as the main reason for selling. “Neighborhood choice is another factor: 50 percent of families cited the quality of the school district as a reason for buying their home, and 43 percent decided upon their home because of  its convenience to schools,” said Hage.

The type of home purchased by families tends to differ from those without kids at home as well. The typical home of families with children under the age of 18 is a 2,100-square-foot, 4 bedroom and 2 full bathroom detached single-family house.

In citing the characteristics of families with children who are buying or selling a home, it is no surprise that they find themselves in need of a real estate professional to help with the buying and selling process.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home, visit our website, www.cortlandmls.com to find a local RealtorÒ, a member of the National Association of Realtors®.

Where Do Buyers Want to Live?

Where Do Buyers Want to Live?

August 2016

When someone buys a home they aren’t just buying the house - they are buying a neighborhood as well. But what exactly are potential homebuyers looking for in a new community?

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2016 Home Buyers and Sellers Generation Trends report, how old buyers are impacts the type of neighborhood that they want to call home.

 

“The stage of life a person is in life heavily influences the type of location he or she wants to live in and what is considered important,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President.  “A young, childless couple is going to be looking in different neighborhoods compared to a family of four or a couple searching for their future retirement home.”

Here are the features each generation said they considered important when choosing a potential neighborhood:

 

Millennial home buyers (35 years and younger). “For younger buyers, being close to work is the most important factor when choosing a neighborhood to live in,” said Hage.  “Millennials want a short commute, even if it means living on a smaller lot.” The price of the homes is also important; specifically, millennials are looking for affordable homes. Fifty percent of millennials said that the overall affordability of homes was an important factor in choosing a neighborhood.”

Gen X home buyers (ages 36 to 50). When Gen-Xers look for a neighborhood, they are the most likely to concentrate on school districts. “When children are in the picture they tend to become the driving force behind major decisions,” said Hage.  “Thirty-four percent of Gen-Xers said that convenience to schools was the deciding factor when choosing a neighborhood.”

Young boomer home buyers (ages 51 to 60). Young boomers were the most likely to say that the look of a neighborhood was an important factor in deciding where to live. “These buyers aren’t looking for a starter home, they are looking for a dream home and with that comes a beautiful neighborhood,” said Hage.   Twenty-eight percent of young boomers said that neighborhood design was a significant factor in picking a place to live, more than any other generation.

Older boomer home buyers (ages 61 to 69). Twenty-four percent of older boomers say that they are looking for a neighborhood that is convenient to entertainment and leisure activities. “These buyers tend to be considering retirement and are looking for a neighborhood where they can see themselves spending their extra free time,” said Hage. “They want to move to a community with lots to do, and they do not want to have to go far to do it.”

Silent generation home buyers (ages 70 to 90). “Home buyers who are either near or in retirement care about being close to family,” said Hage.  Fifty percent of the Silent Generation who participated in the survey said that convenience to friends and family was the factor most likely to influence where they want to live.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home this summer, please visit our website, www.cortlandmls.com, to find a RealtorÒ, a member of the National Association of Realtors®.