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April
25

Day Trip to Skaneateles, NY - CB Prime Properties

Tucked away at the top of one of New York's Finger Lakes, you'll find the quaint, scenic village of Skaneateles. Located just 30 minutes from Syracuse homes for sale, Skaneateles is a historic community with local businesses that have been around for more than a century and natural beauty waiting for you around every corner. Our real estate agents have some tips on local attractions that you won't want to miss when you spend the day in Skaneateles.

  • Lockwood Lavender Farm – 1682 W. Lake Rd., Skaneateles, NY 13152
    Set on 120 acres overlooking Skaneateles Lake, Lockwood Lavender Farm has been owned by the same family for more than 150 years and has long been a favorite attraction near Skaneateles homes for sale. The farm is open to visitors from late spring through summer, but the best time to visit is during harvest season in July for some truly Instagram-worthy photo ops in the lavender fields.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
7

Moving to Albany - CB Prime Properties

Over the last couple of years, Albany has become a more popular place than ever for people searching for a beautiful, affordable home in a vibrant community with plenty to do both indoors and outside. In fact, Albany was recently ranked as one of the 10 trendiest cities with affordable homes by Realtor.com, and it's no surprise that New York's capital city ranks so well on the list. Our real estate agents have all of the details on why so many people are moving to Albany and why you'll love living there, too.

An Affordable Place to Own a Home

One of the first things you'll notice when you shop for Albany homes for sale is just how affordable properties are compared to so many other cities. The median listing price for Albany is $319,900, according to Realtor.com, which is less than half of what you might pay for a similar home in the NYC metro area. These are beautiful, modern homes—they're just a lot more affordable than similar properties that you'll find in other cities. While affordable real estate is a major attraction, people who move here quickly find many more reasons to love Albany.

Click Here to Read More...

December
27

Winter Carnivals and Events - Adirondack Region - CB Prime Properties

In the Adirondacks, every season is special in its own way. But the mountains really come alive in winter. It's one of our real estate agents' favorite times of year, as the whole region transforms into a winter sports haven and becomes a wonderland of twinkling holiday lights. 

This is also the season that welcomes some of the year's most enjoyable carnivals and events. Be sure to check out these amazing winter carnivals in the Adirondacks this season!

Click Here to Read More...

August
24

You don't need a real estate license to find your dream home, but it does help to become familiar with the real estate jargon you might encounter during the process. When searching for a home or applying for a mortgage, you may hear your real estate agent or lender use any of the terms or acronyms below.

Keep this four-part guide handy — you'll be fluent in the language of home buying before you know it.

When you're searching for a home

  • Approved for short sale: A term that indicates that a homeowner's bank has approved a reduced listing price on a home, and the home is ready for resale.
  • Buyers market: Market conditions that exist when homes for sale outnumber buyers. Homes sit on the market a long time, and prices drop.
  • Comparative market analysis (CMA): An in-depth analysis, prepared by a real estate agent, that determines the estimated value of a home based on recently sold homes of similar condition, size, features and age that are located in the same area.
  • Comps: Or comparable sales, are homes in a given area that have sold within the past six months that a real estate agent uses to determine a home's value.
  • Days on market (DOM): The number of days a property listing is considered active.
  • Listing price: The price of a home, as set by the seller.
  • Multiple listing service (MLS): A database where real estate agents list properties for sale.
  • Sellers market: Market conditions that exist when buyers outnumber homes for sale. Bidding wars are common.
  • Short sale: The sale of a home by an owner who owes more on the home than it's worth. The owner's bank must approve a lower listing price before the home can be sold.

When you're applying for a mortgage

  • Back-end ratio: One of two debt-to-income ratios that a lender analyzes to determine a borrower's eligibility for a home loan. The ratio compares the borrower's monthly debt payments to gross income.
  • Depository institutions: Banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. These institutions underwrite as well as set home loan pricing in-house.
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): A ratio that compares a home buyer's expenses to gross income.
  • Housing ratio: One of two debt-to-income ratios that a lender analyzes to determine a borrower's eligibility for a home loan. The ratio compares total housing cost (principal, homeowners insurance, taxes and private mortgage insurance) to gross income.
  • Loan estimate: A three-page document sent to an applicant three days after they apply for a home loan. The document includes loan terms, monthly payment and closing costs.
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): The amount of the loan divided by the price of the house. Lenders reward lower LTV ratios.
  • Origination fee: A fee, charged by a broker or lender, to initiate and complete the home loan application process.
  • Pre-approval: A thorough assessment of a borrower's income, assets and other data to determine a loan amount they would qualify for. A real estate agent will request a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter before showing a buyer a home.
  • Pre-qualification: A basic assessment of income, assets and credit score to determine what, if any, loan programs a borrower might qualify for. A real estate agent will request a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter before showing a buyer a home.
  • Underwriting: A process a lender follows to assess a home loan applicant's income, assets and credit, and the risk involved in offering the applicant a mortgage.

When you're shopping for a mortgage

  • Conventional loan: A home loan not guaranteed by a government agency, such as the FHA or the VA.
  • Down payment: A certain portion of the home's purchase price that a buyer must pay. A minimum requirement is often dictated by the loan type.
  • Fannie Mae: A government-sponsored enterprise chartered in 1938 to help ensure a reliable and affordable supply of mortgage funds throughout the country.
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA): A government agency created by the National Housing Act of 1934 that insures loans made by private lenders.
  • FHA 203(k): A rehabilitation loan backed by the federal government that permits homebuyers to finance money into a mortgage to repair, improve or upgrade a home.
  • Foreclosure: A property repossessed by a bank when the owner fails to make mortgage payments.
  • Freddie Mac: A government agency chartered by Congress in 1970 to provide a constant source of mortgage funding for the nation's housing markets.
  • Mortgage broker: A licensed professional who works on behalf of the buyer to secure financing through a bank or other lending institution.
  • Mortgage interest rate: The price of borrowing money. The base rate is set by the Federal Reserve and then customized per borrower, based on credit score, down payment, property type and points the buyer pays to lower the rate.
  • Piggyback loan: A combination of loans bundled to avoid private mortgage insurance. One loan covers 80% of the home's value, another loan covers 10% to 15% of the home's value, and the buyer contributes the remainder.
  • Principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance (PITI): The components of a monthly mortgage payment.
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI): A fee charged to borrowers who make a down payment that is less than 20% of the home's value. The fee, 0.3% to 1.5% of the yearly loan amount, can be canceled in certain circumstances when the borrower reaches 20% equity.
  • Points: Prepaid interest owed at closing, with one point representing 1% of the loan. Paying points, which are tax deductible, will lower the monthly mortgage payment.

When you've chosen a home

  • American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI): A not-for-profit professional association that sets and promotes standards for property inspections. Look for this accreditation or something similar when shopping for a home inspector.
  • Cash-value policy: A homeowners insurance policy that pays the replacement cost of a home, minus depreciation, should damage occur.
  • Closing costs: Fees associated with the purchase of a home that are due at the end of the sales transaction. Fees may include the appraisal, the home inspection, a title search, a pest inspection and more. Buyers should budget for an amount that is 1% to 3% of the home's purchase price.
  • Contingencies: Conditions written into a home purchase contract that protect the buyer should issue arise with financing, the home inspection, etc.
  • Earnest money: A security deposit made by the buyer to assure the seller of his or her intent to purchase.
  • Escrow account: An account required by a lender and funded by a buyer's mortgage payment to pay the buyer's homeowners insurance and property taxes.
  • Escrow state: A state in which an escrow agent is responsible for closing.
  • Home inspection: A non-destructive visual look at the systems in a building. Inspection occurs when the home is under contract or in escrow.
  • Homeowners insurance: A policy that protects the structure of the home, its contents, injury to others and living expenses should damage occur.
  • In escrow: A period of time (30 days or longer) after a buyer has made an offer on a home and a seller has accepted. During this time, the home is inspected and appraised, and the title searched for liens, etc.
  • Title insurance: Insurance that protects the buyer and lender should an individual or entity step forward with a claim that was attached to the property before the seller transferred legal ownership of the property or "title" to the buyer.
  • Transfer taxes: Fees imposed by the state, county or municipality on transfer of title.
  • Under contract: A period of time (30 days or longer) after a buyer has made an offer on a home and a seller has accepted. During this time, the home is inspected and appraised, and the title is searched for liens, etc.
  • Walkthrough: A buyer's final inspection of a home before closing.

When you own a home

  • Equity: A percentage of the home's value owned by the homeowner.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA): The governing body of a housing development, condo or townhome complex that sets rules and regulations. They charge dues used to maintain common areas.
  • Property tax exemption: A reduction in taxes based on specific criteria, such as installation of a renewable energy system or rehabilitation of a historic home.
  • Tax lien: The government's legal claim against property when the homeowner neglects or fails to pay a tax debt.

Find out what else you can do to prepare for buying a home here.


About the author

August
9

Disc Golf Courses - Capital Region, NY - CB Prime Properties

Disc golf is such a fun, inviting summer activity. It requires less skill than golf and is approachable to family members of all ages. Once you figure out how to throw a disc, you're set! The Albany area has really embraced disc golf over the past few years. In fact, there are a few awesome disc golf courses our real estate agents recommend.

  • Central Park Disc Golf Course: 500 Iroquois Path, Schenectady, NY 12309
    If you're looking at Schenectady homes for sale, then the Central Park Disc Golf Course is just minutes away. The City of Schenectady owns this course, and its varied scenery makes for a fun afternoon. It's a full, 18-hole course with several holes in wooded areas, others near a creek, and still others on green fairways.

    The Central Park Disc Golf Course was upgraded to DisCatcher baskets in 2011. It's open to the public seven days a week, except for on Thursdays after 5:00 pm when league play is taking place.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
8

Central New York: Women In Business 

Real Estate and Women: A Perfect Pairing

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that no one will ever forget – and for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, that's not just because of the pandemic. Last year, we grew by double digits, expanded into new markets, and helped more than 6500 individuals find a place to call home. At the core of our surging success is our local leadership teams, which are made up of 22 individuals, 18 of whom are women.

As a top 2% Coldwell Banker affiliate, we are especially proud this year to celebrate Coldwell Banker's recent honor of the Women's Choice Award. The Women's Choice Award is the only award that recognizes and identifies brands that women recommend.

At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry." – Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Not only is Coldwell Banker recommended as a brand to work with, but as real estate leaders in customer experience and quality, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is an incredible place to work for.

Want to BE PART OF THE COLDWELL BANKER BRAND? Contact one of our local branch offices today!

March
8

Capital Region Women In Business 

Real Estate and Women: A Perfect Pairing

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that no one will ever forget – and for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, that's not just because of the pandemic. Last year, we grew by double digits, expanded into new markets, and helped more than 6500 individuals find a place to call home. At the core of our surging success is our local leadership teams, which are made up of 22 individuals, 18 of whom are women.

As a top 2% Coldwell Banker affiliate, we are especially proud this year to celebrate Coldwell Banker's recent honor of the Women's Choice Award. The Women's Choice Award is the only award that recognizes and identifies brands that women recommend.

At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry." – Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Not only is Coldwell Banker recommended as a brand to work with, but as real estate leaders in customer experience and quality, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is an incredible place to work for.

Want to BE PART OF THE COLDWELL BANKER BRAND? Contact one of our local branch offices today!

November
9

Coffee Shops Around Catskill Region - CB Prime Properties

The Catskill Region is famous for its wild mountain scenery, and we think those mountains look their best first thing in the morning as the fog is lifting, with a hot cup of coffee in your hand. It's perfect. 

National Espresso Day is coming right up on November 23. In honor of the occasion, our real estate agents are delighted to share some of their favorite coffee shops in the Catskills. 

  • Bluestone Coffee Roasting Company - 138 Partition St., Saugerties, NY 12477
    Bluestone Coffee Roasting Company offers a tremendous variety of coffees roasted to perfection in-house, as well as some of the best lattes in the Catskills.  The shop also has a warm, welcoming ambiance that makes you want to sit and sip a while. The baristas at Bluestone can always be counted on to deliver a rich, smooth espresso or an expertly-crafted cup of coffee. A stone's throw from these Saugerties homes for sale, Bluestone Roasters also have a great outdoor patio and a menu of tasty baked goods and brunch staples.

    Click Here to Read More...

October
19

Scary Stories - Capital Region - CB Prime Properties

October is the ideal time to explore the settings of local ghost stories, and the Capital Region of NY has many spooky tales to discover. You can explore supposedly haunted places on your own or sign up for an organized tour to hear the stories of ghostly encounters.

Our real estate agents share these scary stories and ghostly tours around the Capital Region.

  1. The New York State Capitol Building – Albany, NY 12207
    The New York State Capitol Building, located near Albany homes for sale, looks like a gothic cathedral or castle, so it's not surprising that it's associated with many ghostly happenings. The capitol supposedly had a ghostly origin when a curse was put on the building by stone carvers. Legend has it that you can see a demon face across from room 174 and hear the jingling keys of a night watchman, who died in a fire in the building's library hallway in 1911. Capitol Hauntings Tours are held in October if you'd like to hear more tales and hope to spot a ghost.

    Click Here to Read More...

August
24

Spend the Day in Roscoe, NY - CB Prime Properties

With five of America's top trout streams along with several fish-rich lakes and reservoirs, Roscoe has earned the famous designation of "Trout Town, USA." But you don't have to enjoy fishing to find a number of entertaining things to do around town. Spend a day exploring these activities around Roscoe homes for sale.

  • Prohibition Distillery - 10 Union St., Roscoe, NY 12776
    The days of speakeasies are long gone, but Prohibition Distillery pays tribute to that notable period in our country's history. Images of poppies are seen throughout the distillery as a throwback to the popular Art Nouveau style and remembrance of soldiers lost during war. A Florian cross adorns each bottle to honor firefighters who once worked out of the building that now houses Prohibition Distillery. During summer, visit Bootlegger's Alley Bar for hand-shaken cocktails and snacks. The tasting room is open daily year-round from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. except Friday and Saturday, when hours are extended to 7 p.m.

    Click Here to Read More...

August
10

Picnic in the Park - Capital Region - CB Prime Properties

We've all had a lot of time at home the past few months, and there's no better place for a change of scenery than the local park. Why not pack a picnic basket and make an afternoon of it? Head to one of these Capital Region parks recommended by our real estate agents.

  1. Indian Meadows – Jason Morris Way, Glenville, NY 12302
    This playground features an enormous structure, making it perfect for outdoor adventurers! You'll find other equipment suitable for younger children not yet ready for heights. Indian Meadows also has a spacious outdoor fitness area adjacent to the playground. Feel free to bring your furry friend as long as you remember to keep Fido on a leash at all times.

    Click Here to Read More...

June
22

Ice Cream Shops - Capital Region, NY - CB Prime Properties

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! 

Nothing says summer fun like a sweet treat from a local ice cream shop. When it comes to choosing flavors, do you prefer the standard chocolate and vanilla, or are you more of an adventurous type? The debate rages on among many of our real estate agents!

Those who like to live life on the edge have discovered some great local vendors who carry creative ice cream flavors. National Creative Flavors Ice Cream Day is coming up soon, so now is a great time to start exploring some of these local favorites.

Click Here to Read More...

June
15

Fly Fishing - Catskill Region - CB Prime Properties

This month offers some of the greatest fishing opportunities of the year in the Catskills region. With dozens of clear mountain lakes and seemingly endless river and stream miles, the Catskills are a genuine paradise for New York fly fishermen. 

National Go Fishing Day is coming right up on June 18th, and New York's Free Fishing Weekend is just a week later on the 27th and 28th. The latter are some of the only dates of the year you can hit the water in New York without a fishing license. If you're in the mood for a fly fishing adventure this June, be sure to check out some of our real estate agents' favorite fishing destinations in the Catskill Mountains.

  • Beaverkill River - Roscoe, NY 12776
    The Catskills are often credited as the birthplace of North American fly fishing, and the Beaverkill River is one of the streams in this region that's been challenging anglers for centuries. To test your own fly-fishing skills, head to the tiny village of Roscoe, nicknamed "Trout Town, USA." This is where the Beaverkill and Willowemoc meet at a legendary confluence known to local fly fishers as Junction Pool. You'll find ample riverbank access in town, as well as several excellent fly shops and outfitters just footsteps from these lovely Roscoe homes for sale.

    Click Here to Read More...

May
26

Farmers Markets - Capital Region - CB Prime Properties

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is essential for good health. As we head into summer, shop the best selection of produce at these popular markets near Albany homes for sale.  

  • Troy Waterfront Farmers Market - Russell Sage College, 1st St. & Division St., Troy, NY 12180
    "Waterfront" may not be applicable right now, but Troy Waterfront Farmers Market is ready to continue serving customers. TWFM's temporary location in a parking lot at Russell Sage College, just minutes from Troy homes for sale, includes up to 25 of their top vendors of meat and seafood, produce, and specialty foods. Visit the website to sign up for a 20-minute slot on Saturdays between 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., with the first half-hour reserved for first responders and the elderly. Walk-ups will be permitted as time and space allow. If you prefer, order online for Sunday pickup at Carioto Produce.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
16

Running Trails - Catskill Region - CB Prime Properties

Training for a 5k run is rewarding for so many reasons, especially when you call the Catskills home. In addition to working toward a worthy goal, training in the Catskills provides the perfect excuse to enjoy all of the outdoor beauty that the region has to offer close to Syracuse homes for sale.

As our real estate agents and so many residents know, the region is home to an endless collection of trails offering everything from relaxing, leisurely strolls to challenging uphill climbs with spectacular views. Find the ideal destination to train for your next 5k run, with our guide to five great parks and trails in the Catskills Region.

  • Andes Rail Trail – 266 Depot St., Andes, NY 13731
    Andes homes for sale put you in the heart of hiking country, with trails for every experience level including the popular Andes Rail Trail. The trail starts with a relatively flat 2-mile loop, with scenic views of the mountains and countryside. Around the halfway point of the loop, you can pick up the Bullet Hole Spur hiking trail, which will add another 2.2 miles round-trip. Bullet Hole Spur will take you up a gradual incline through ancient forests, with views getting more extensive as you climb.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
10

Chocolate Shops & Florists - Capital Region - CB Prime Properties

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, many men and women will be faced with a decision — do you get the one you love flowers or chocolate? Our real estate agents have a simple solution: get them both! A fresh bouquet of flowers paired with a delectable box of chocolates creates an unforgettable gift that your special someone will love. Best of all, the variety of chocolate and bouquets available lets you customize each gift set for your family members, friends, and loved ones. Visit these Capital Region florists and chocolate shops to make Valentine's Day extraordinary.

Florists Around the Capital Region

  • The Posie Peddler — 92 West Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
    Schrades Posie Peddler has a history dating back to Schrades Flowers in 1910. The Posie Peddler, opened in 1974 as a continuation of Schrades' flower shop greenhouses, is located in the old red schoolhouse just feet from vintage Saratoga Springs homes for sale and has a stunning selection of flowers ready to send to your loved ones.

    Click Here to Read More...

January
20

Yoga Studios - Central New York - CB Prime Properties

Few activities invigorate both mind and body as well as yoga. Find your physical and mental balance at these wonderful Central New York yoga studios recommended by our real estate agents.

  • Infinite Light Center for Yoga & Wellness - 6499 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville 13078
    Infinite Light Center for Yoga & Wellness is a peaceful oasis near Jamesville homes for sale where you can fully refresh your body and spirit. The center offers massages, Reiki sessions, and a sauna room to complement the full selection of yoga classes. Studio hours are 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Saturday. Wellness services are by appointment.

    Click Here to Read More...

January
6

Capital Region Pizza Shops - CB Prime Properties

Who says you can't eat pizza for every meal? National Pizza Week 2020 runs from January 12th through the 18th, and you'd better believe that our real estate agents are going to order slice after slice of deliciousness as much as we can. Looking for the best pizza around the Capital Region? Check out these seven spots for the perfect pie!

  1. Sovrana's — 63 North Lake Ave., Albany, NY 11206
    Kick your National Pizza Week off with award-winning pies from Sovrana's. This pizzeria is also a bakery and deli, so you can rest assured that every roll of dough and piece of meat is as fresh as can be. Pop in for one of their "gooey slices of divine bliss" after you've worked up an appetite browsing Albany homes for sale.

    Click Here to Read More...

December
2

Holiday Light Displays - CB Prime Properties

There's no doubt that the holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year when you call Upstate New York home, and local light displays are a big reason why. The tradition of light shows in our area dates back decades, creating enchanting family memories and helping locals get into the holiday spirit. This year is no exception, with legendary holiday light shows taking place across a wide variety of local communities. Our real estate agents are ready to ring in the holidays, and we've got the details on the best holiday light displays to visit around Upstate New York.

Holiday Light Displays Around Upstate New York

  • Price Chopper/Market 32 Holiday Lights – Washington Park – State and Willet Streets, Albany, NY 12210
    With a history that includes more than 30 years of spectacular light shows, the Price Chopper/Market 32 Holiday Lights is the perfect place to get in the holiday spirit close to Albany homes for sale. Take a scenic drive through the park to see all of the lights, then visit the Washington Park Lakehouse to enjoy crafts, refreshments, and meetings with Santa.

    Click Here to Read More...

November
25

Albany Charities for Giving Tuesday - CB Prime Properties

Giving Tuesday is a time to remember to give back to the community. This year, Giving Tuesday takes place on December 3rd, and our real estate agents encourage you to donate to one of these great area charities.

  1. The Oley Foundation — 43 New Scotland Ave., MC 28 Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY 12203 
    The Oley Foundation seeks to enrich the lives of those who rely on intravenous or tube feeding for nutrition. They offer life-altering education, advocacy, and networking programs as well as provide patients with free supplies and equipment they need to improve their quality of life.

    Click Here to Read More...

October
21

Moving to New Town in New York - CB Prime Properties

Our real estate agents love helping homebuyers find the perfect property. When you find your dream home, it can feel like the best day of your life, but there's still work to be done. 

Whether your new home is across town or across the country, leaving your old neighborhood and getting comfortable in a new one can present a challenge. You'll need to find your new favorite grocery store, the best nearby restaurants, and other cool places to spend your time. Not only that, but there are a lot of advantages to getting to know your neighbors. However, if you're shy or even just busy, you might not know the best way to go about this.

The following five tips will help you settle in and make your new town feel like home in no time. 

  1. Settle In First
    Before you start exploring your new neighborhood, you'll want to get settled in your home. Finish unpacking and take some steps to start making the house feel warm and welcoming. Paint the walls, hang some photos, and make sure you're comfortable. Depending on how much stuff you have and how motivated you are, this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Don't push yourself too hard and give yourself a break if you start feeling overwhelmed. You don't have to be completely unpacked to start exploring the city, but once the boxes are gone and the house feels cozy, you'll feel more confident heading out to get to know your neighborhood.

    Click Here to Read More...

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