Articles Tagged "Family living"

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June
6

Nature Photography Destinations - Adirondacks Regions - CB Prime Properties

The Adirondacks have long been known for their distinctively gorgeous natural scenery—why not capture some of it in photographs for National Nature Photography Day? Many aspiring shutterbugs enjoy exploring this region to find the best spots to snap a shot. Some of our real estate agents are also photography enthusiasts who have spent a lot of time in the area. Here are some of their top picks for nature photography spots in this beautiful part of New York.

  • Pilot Knob Trail Head - 1195 Pilot Knob Road, Queensbury, NY
    The Pilot Knob trailhead is part of the short but incredibly scenic trail at the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob. At just 3.8 miles of easy-to-moderate terrain, this trail near our Queensbury homes for sale is perfect for beginner-level hikers. Along the way, you'll find plenty of breathtaking photo subjects, including a majestic waterfall at the trail's mid-point.

    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

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!

October
26

Investing in an RV - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

An RV is a big investment, but it can make a lot of sense for those who want to travel a lot. Traveling in an RV can save as much as two-thirds of the costs of regular travel since you'll be skipping everything from airfare and hotel to expensive restaurant meals all the time. Perhaps even more compelling right now, RV travel is a way to travel without exposing yourself to people and spaces out of your control.

That's not to say that owning an RV is completely carefree. There are a lot of expenses associated with an RV, not to mention a couple of questions you might want to bring up with our real estate agents while you're looking for the sticks-and-bricks home where you'll spend the rest of your time.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to invest in an RV.

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
1

Fire Pit Safety Tips - CB Prime Properties

Summer is just a few short days away. Our real estate agents understand that you are eager to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and relaxing evenings around the fire. We're right there with you, and we want you to have a fun, enjoyable, and safe time. While fire pits are pleasant additions to any backyard, it's essential to follow these safety tips to ensure that your relaxing evening doesn't end with a trip to an emergency room.

  • Watch what you burn. Don't burn pressure-treated wood, plastics, or garbage in the fire pit. These contain toxic chemicals that can lead to respiratory problems, cancers, and a host of unpleasant side effects.

    Click Here to Read More...

August
5

Albany Book Lovers Libraries, Bookstores, Groups

Libraries, Bookstores & Literacy Groups in Albany

What could be better than settling down in a shady spot on a warm, late-summer day with one of your favorite books? That is how many of our Albany residents will spend August 9--National Book Lovers Day

We're fortunate here in Albany because we have loads of libraries and bookstores to find the perfect read. We also have a variety of literacy groups working in the area to share your passion and help others discover a love of reading. Our real estate agents are here to help you enjoy this fun, educational holiday, with a guide to celebrating National Book Lovers Day around Albany.

Click Here to Read More...

July
15

Ice Cream Shops Around Albany
Summer is here, and that means boating, swimming, and, of course, celebrating National Ice Cream Day on July 21 with a scoop or two of your favorite frozen treat!  If your craving for this cool concoction rests somewhere between hard ice cream and Italian ice, there is no need to worry when you move to Albany.  Your new hometown can fill the bill (or waffle cone) with some of the best ice cream shops in Upstate New York. Our real estate agents take a quick look at some of their favorite spots around the Albany.

  1. Emack & Bolios - 366 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY 12209 
    For over ten years, Emack & Bolio's has been delighting visitors with their "out of this world" ice cream. This combination ice cream parlor and coffee house is open year-round and often has live music both indoors and outdoors.

    When you're ready to take a break from exploring Albany homes for sale, this is the perfect spot to kick back and relax. Enjoy candy-covered waffle cones, frozen espresso, or an award-winning smoothie while chilling at one of the outdoor garden tables. The cozy indoor dining area also offers free WiFi, and there's a fireplace for those chilly nights. No matter what the season, you can feel comfortable settling in for hours at a time!
  1. Scoups - 566 Albany Shaker Rd, Loudonville, NY 12211
    Not far from some of the best Loudonville homes for sale, popular ice cream shop Scoups is always a great bet. From homemade hard ice cream and Italian ice to soft serve, Frogurt, and orange sherbert, this shop has something for everyone. Keep it simple or go all out with candy toppings, milkshakes, or a decadent specialty sundae. 

  2. Jims Tastee Freez - 58 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY 12054
    Since it originally opened in 1963, classic ice cream and hot dog shop Jim's Tastee Freez has been a favorite among locals. Here you'll find ice cream, shakes, floats, sundaes, and slushies. Want something more substantial? Add a chili cheese dog and make it a meal!  Before you head home for the day, we recommend taking a drive around so you can get a look at some of the beautiful Delmar homes for sale
  1. Control Tower - 1050 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham, NY 12110 
    Nothing says summer adventure like spending the day at Control Tower! Not only will you find 60 flavors of ice cream, sundaes, and more, you can also enjoy the batting cages, go-karts, and mini golf! This is the perfect place to take the entire family for a day of summer fun. While you're in the area, don't miss the opportunity to check out a few of the nearby Latham homes for sale, you won't regret it!  

  2. Plum Dandy Frozen Yogurt - 419 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
    Whenever our agents are in the area showing clients Saratoga Springs homes for sale, they love stopping by Plum Dandy Frozen Yogurt. Since their treats are a little bit healthier than regular ice cream, we can enjoy it often without guilt! Our favorite flavors are the cake batter and dutch chocolate.  You can't stop by Plum Dandy without picking up a cup of famous Utica Coffee to go with your treat. Not only is it delicious, but it'll give you a kick-start and help you power through your day! 

Not only is summer the perfect time to enjoy outdoor adventures, but it's also prime home buying time. Are you ready to find a sweet deal on the home of your dreams? Contact us today to get started

June
24

Multigenerational Families

Our REALTORS® at Coldwell Banker Prime have been serving clients getting in on the latest trend in the U.S. housing market: Multigenerational family homes.

Shifting economic and employment conditions have made multigenerational living much more desirable. It's a cost-effective choice that can also contribute to stronger family bonds.

Plus, the availability of larger homes in many cities means it is now much easier than ever for generations to co-exist in a home while maintaining their own privacy and lifestyle.

But how can you find a home that everyone in the family will love?  We offer these steps:

  • Start by Deciding on Neighborhood Amenities
    When you are looking for a home, it's often a good idea to begin with the neighborhood and then visit properties in that area. With age comes different needs and priorities: Be sure to take into account the job market, access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and mass transit. All of these things may be necessary for the quality of life for a family member.
  • Develop a List of Priorities for the Home
    Once you've narrowed down a neighborhood or two, it's time to start thinking about the home. Each person who'll be living there – including the kids – should write a list of five things they want their ideal home to have. While it's usually not possible to have everything, you can use these lists to find areas of consensus and focus your attention when comparing homes.
  • Work Together to Develop a Financial Plan
    The healthier your financial outlook is, the easier it will be for you to get a home loan package on favorable terms. To make it work, it's often best for every adult in a household to contribute. Even elders on a fixed income should jump in. Figuring it all out starts with a budget: This way, you'll know "how much" house you can afford and still have a healthy amount for other things.
  • Look for Lifestyle-Supporting Home Features
    Every home is different, and you should look for one that suits your lifestyle. For example, it may be a good idea for older family members to have plenty of living space on the first floor and skip the stairs. If there will be many vehicles, then a larger garage will make things convenient. Think about the optional features that could add comfort and convenience to each person's life.
  • Use the Available Space in Creative Ways
    Most homes will probably need some adjustments to fit you just right. Look for ways to add to the amount of private living space each person can enjoy: For example, basements and attics that might otherwise go unused can be converted into studies or playrooms. Adding a closet converts virtually any room into a new bedroom, and it's easier than ever to install a "half bath."
  • Plan According to Your Ultimate Goal
    Some homes are temporary, while others are meant to be passed down for generations. When you are searching for a multigenerational home, you'll often be keeping it within the family for many decades. Scrutinize the inspector's report and be cautious of red flags like problems with the roof, electricity, and septic or sewer system. These can lead to big headaches down the road.

No matter what your goals are in your house hunt, our real estate professionals at Coldwell Banker Prime can help you. Our team has the insight and experience to help you find the perfect multigenerational home for you. Plus, our customer service is unparalleled.

Contact us to learn more. We look forward to assisting you soon.

June
10

Albany Father's Day
Have you made plans for Father's Day yet? If not, don't worry! There are a ton of fun things for Dads to do in Albany. 

To help inspire you, our REALTORS® have created a list of their favorite ways to spend Father's Day. Choose a couple of activities from the list, and you'll be well on your way to planning a Father's Day weekend he won't soon forget. 

  1. Golfing at Capital Hills at Albany Golf Course: 65 O'Neil Rd, Albany, NY 12208
    What better way to start the morning than by getting out and enjoying a round of golf with Dad? Capital Hills at Albany golf course offers picturesque views and a challenging course that's appropriate for all skill levels. It's also home to the area's largest driving range. Spots will fill up fast on Father's Day, so make sure you reserve your tee time early. Plan to take the scenic route home so you can get a look at some of the gorgeous Albany homes for sale near the golf course. 

    Click Here to Read More...

May
27

Catskill Region Getaways

How do you want to spend your summer? Floating in the middle of a lake? Becoming one with nature during a trail hike? Casting a fishing line — and your worries — into the river? Our REALTORS® believe that the Catskill Mountain area of New York is the perfect place for an outdoor getaway that has enough attractions and activities to fill your summer with relaxation and adventure.

  1. Belleayre Mountain Ski Center – 181 Galli Curci Rd., Highmount, NY 12441 
    You don't need snow to have fun in the sun at Belleayre! The Belleayre Beach is your destination for swimming, fishing and playing from sunup to sundown. The surrounding trails are great for hiking, dog walking, mountain biking and filling your lungs with the fresh air you won't find in the city. Take a scenic gondola ride to the top and have a quiet picnic as you gaze at this astounding view of the Catskill Mountains. Summers at Belleayre will make you want to move into Fleischmanns homes for sale as soon as possible.

    Click Here to Read More...

May
20

New York Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day is a special holiday that honors the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. Although the federal holiday itself was not made official until the 1970s, the observance of a national Decoration Day on May 30th began in the 1880s to honor those who had lost their lives in the Civil War. Memorial Day was made a federal holiday in 1971 with its observance moved to the last Monday in the month of May.

This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 27th, and our REALTORS® encourage you to celebrate the weekend at one of the many events around Albany and Saratoga Springs.

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April
1

Clifton Park New York Families
Home is where the heart is — a phrase our REALTORS® hold dearly. A home is where your family grows and where the precious moments of everyday life blossom into memories you'll cherish for the rest of your lives. Home truly is where your heart is and we believe that finding your dream home in the perfect neighborhood helps you raise a loving and caring family.

As you search for your next New York home, we encourage you to take a few days to tour some wonderful Clifton Park homes for sale. Slightly south of the Saratoga Springs area, Clifton Park is one of our favorite towns in the Capital Region. Our REALTORS® invite you to come and explore these charming neighborhoods and discover why Clifton Park is a great place to raise your family.

Click Here to Read More...

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