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June
27

Cleaning Before Moving - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

After cleaning the home for potential buyers to view, you will need to clean it one last time before turning over the keys to the new homeowner. As a seller, you need to make the buyer feel confident about the purchase. One easy way is to hand them keys to a clean house. Here is a final cleaning guide for you from our real estate agents.

  1. Wipe the Walls
    Get a bucket, fill it with water, add a little soap and get a sizeable smooth sponge to scrub your walls. Dip the sponge in the soapy water, squeeze the sponge to leave it a little soggy, and use it to wipe the walls.

    Repeat the process when wiping the doors, window, window frame, sills, and baseboard. Wipe the walls from up downwards. You can buy an eraser cleaning supply to take out any scuffs.

    Click Here to Read More...

June
20

Summer Maintenance Tasks - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Home maintenance is a must if you want your home to look its best and be in top condition. Our real estate agents will tell you, it's also a great way to add value before listing. Add to your comfort and improve the aesthetics and functionality of your Albany home for sale with this home maintenance checklist for the summer.

  1. Take Care of Your Exterior
    Check for and replace any rotten boards on your deck. Reseal the boards to protect against any further water damage.

    Click Here to Read More...

May
31

Bidding War Mistakes - Buy a Home - CB Prime Properties

Our real estate agents know buyers can find themselves under a lot of stress if a bidding war breaks out. When comparing Albany homes for sale, buyers want a price they can feel good about—but they often feel like they have to stick it out and bid on a home they fell in love with.

Having the advice of a real estate agent you trust is one of the most important ways to avoid bidding war mistakes. Your agent is there to help you understand the process, know the fair market value of a home, and make informed decisions.

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May
23

Whole-House Music Systems - CB Prime Properties

Being able to play music in any room you're in or even throughout the entire house is a goal for many homeowners. With all of the advancements in technology, multi-room audio is now easier than ever before and can be achieved in a variety of ways. Here are a few systems our real estate agents see used most often.

  • Sonos
    It used to be that Sonos was the brand of choice for any Albany homes for sale with ceiling or in-wall speakers installed, as there weren't a lot of other options for multi-room sound systems. While more options are available now, Sonos is still one of the best. Sonos doesn't use your wifi but sets up its own mesh wireless network, which keeps your bandwidth clear for other uses. Add a well-designed, intuitive app and the ability to install ceiling and in-wall speakers for a discreet, professional setup, and you'll see why Sonos is still one of the leading choices.

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May
16

Hamburger Month - Central NY - CB Prime Properties

Don't you just love biting into a juicy hamburger? The crunchy lettuce, the gooey cheese, the tender beef—everything just blends together so well. If this has you in the mood for a burger, then you're in luck. May is National Hamburger Month, and the very best way to celebrate is to go out for a burger. Our real estate agents have a few restaurants to recommend in the Central New York region.

  • LODED: 6393 Thompson Rd., Syracuse, NY 13206
    As the name suggests, the burgers at LODED are loaded. This restaurant makes smash burgers, flat patties cooked until the outsides are crisp and delicious.

    Click Here to Read More...

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...

April
18

Patio Plants - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Turning your backyard patio into a relaxing outdoor space is easy. By adding lush greenery, colorful flowers, and decorative pots, you can make your patio feel like a tropical oasis. Whether you enjoy backyard parties or reading a good book, our real estate agents know that beautiful plants add design appeal and relaxing atmosphere to any patio.

When buying patio plants, it's important to choose wisely. Just because you like the look, the plants you choose may not thrive on your patio. To create a sustainable outdoor environment, you need to choose the right patio plants for Albany homes for sale. Here are some things to consider.

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April
11

arage Organization - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Oh, the frustration! Our real estate agents helped you find a great house with plenty of garage space, but now you're looking at an ocean of boxes and bins with no room to even park your car. It's OK. Take a deep breath and get organized. Before you opt to spend even more money on a storage unit somewhere, take some time to maximize the space you already have.

  • Take Out the Trash
    You know you planned not to move junk into your new house, but exhaustion took over, and suddenly you have box upon box of unidentified stuff. Now is the time to rid yourself of it once and for all. Go through every container and sort the contents into toss, keep, and sell or donate. Just because something is "perfectly good," it isn't necessarily good for you. Get rid of what you don't need or truly want. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, we only use about 20% of the items we keep!

    Click Here to Read More...

March
28

Butterfly Garden - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Butterfly gardens are popular additions to Albany homes for sale as they decorate backyard spaces and delight children. Not only are these insects beautiful to observe, but they are also an integral part of the ecosystem as they pollinate plants. Fortunately, butterflies are easy to attract with the proper setup. Our real estate agents have compiled a simple guide below to help you start a unique butterfly garden.

  1. Select the Right Location
    Choose a sunny site in your backyard as butterflies love to bask and most plants that attract them love the sun too. Ensure that the winged beauties will receive sunlight for half the day.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
21

Bourbon Bars - Capital Region, NY - CB Prime Properties

The Capital Region has become known for its dining and drinking culture over the past few years. If you're a bourbon lover, then you're in luck: There are several craft distillers and bourbon bars in and around Albany. While you're in the area looking at Albany homes for sale, we highly recommend stopping by one of these destinations for a drink, a tasting, and perhaps even a tour.

  1. Albany Distilling Company: 75 Livingston Ave., Albany, NY 12207
    Albany Distilling Company is a small craft distillery that creates spirits using a combination of traditional and modern methods. They make their own rum and vodka, but they're particularly well known for their bourbon whiskey. It's 43% ABV and aged for 48 months.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
14

Update Period Kitchen - CB Prime Properties

Living in an older home can sometimes feel like a catch-22. How do you infuse the comforts of modern-day living without compromising its character and old-world charm? Period homes, like these Albany homes for sale, offer a captivating glimpse into bygone days and come with charming architectural details that imbue them with a timeless appeal. That said, you still want your kitchen to be functional and energy-efficient.

Let's see how you can modernize your period kitchen while retaining those beautiful features that made you fall in love with it in the first place.

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February
28

Coastal Decor - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

If you often daydream of the beach but are miles away from the ocean, coastal décor can bring the charm of the seashore to your doorstep. When browsing through Albany homes for sale, you may wonder how to make your choice feel like summer all year round. Luckily, our real estate agents are fans of coastal interiors, and they share their best tips to evoke this style in your home below.

What Is Coastal Décor?

A coastal interior uses the texture and colors of seaside elements like the blue sky, white fluffy clouds, and sand to reflect the breeziness of the beach. Coastal interior designs differ between regions, depending on the style you desire. For instance, the Mediterranean coastal vibe features beautiful tile work, vivid colors, terracotta flooring, and warm and earthy textures.

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February
14

Renting Before Buying - CB Prime Properties

In 2021, our real estate agents guided clients through a housing market unlike anything in living memory. Low interest rates inspired many people to pursue the dream of homeownership. At the same time, much of New York saw housing prices skyrocket.

No matter if you're looking at Albany homes for sale or elsewhere in the state, today's market holds opportunities and surprises—for buyers and sellers alike. Knowing that interest rates may soon rise, many homeowners are taking the plunge and selling right away.

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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.

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January
17

Financing a Home in 2022 - CB Prime Properties

The year is off to a good start, and the market is moving ahead at full speed. If you're thinking about buying a house this year, now is the time to start planning ahead. Whether your goal is to make your move by spring or wait until fall, our real estate agents strongly recommend getting everything in order sooner rather than later. Most importantly, make sure you know what the lending landscape looks like for the year ahead so that you don't get caught off guard by last-minute surprises.

  • Credit Counts
    While lenders are eager to make loans, they continue to emphasize ensuring borrowers have credit scores that confirm their ability to repay the loan. As in years past, anything above around 670 is considered "Good" credit and will be sufficient to qualify for most loans. Of course, anything above 700, or between 750 and around 800, will qualify most borrowers for the best loan terms and options. And, while it's a badge of honor to achieve, striving to earn a score of between 800-850 is unlikely to be viewed by lenders any differently than a credit score in the same ballpark.

    Click Here to Read More...

January
11

Houseplant Help - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Come January, most of our holiday greenery and decorations are a memory, and our homes can seem rather dull without them. Furthermore, January is still a long way from spring and blooming gardens, so what are we to do in the meantime? Adding greenery by way of houseplants is one way to brighten things up—a fact which will come into particular focus on Jan. 10 for National Houseplant Appreciation Day.

If you're ready to liven up your new house found among Albany homes for saleour real estate agents are happy to share some delightful ways to do so.

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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!

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December
20

Winter Indoor Projects - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Colder weather might mean more time spent inside Albany homes for sale. But that doesn't mean your DIY home projects have to come to an end. There are all kinds of things you can do to complete upgrades, improve energy efficiency, or even make your surroundings a little more pleasant. Crossing a few of these projects off your to-do list this winter will be well worth the effort.

  • Keep the cold air out by sealing leaks and openings
    This is an excellent DIY project for colder weather because it will keep drafts out, making your time indoors a little cozier. And it can even help lower heating costs, limit noise, and prevent pests too. Check around windows and door frames, attic and crawl space access points, and around vents, fans, and electrical outlets. Those are just a few of the places cold air can get in. For a list of other places to check, visit Energy.gov
     

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December
6

Pastry Shops Around the Capital Region - CB Prime Properties

Pastry Day is December 9, so it's the perfect chance to indulge in our favorite tasty treats. Everyone has a favorite type of pastry, which is why they're such a good choice for any celebration. With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start ordering your favorites. Our real estate agents share five local bakeshops around the Capital Region.

  • Zachary's Pastry Shoppe - 54 State St., Albany, NY 12207
    For some of the best pastry trays in the Albany area, check out Zachary's Pastry Shoppe near downtown. Their famous trays include mini cannoli, cream puffs, eclairs, cheesecakes, mousse tarts, and more. They also serve a wide range of cakes, pies, and cupcakes. Zachary's is a great stop for a sweet treat or a holiday platter of pastries. Best of all, it's just down the road from these Albany homes for sale.

    Click Here to Read More...

November
29

Choosing a Christmas Tree - CB Prime Properties

Whether you're still looking at Albany homes for sale or have already found the perfect one, you probably can't wait to decorate your home for Christmas. The Christmas tree is the central decoration in many families, and it makes a home feel so cozy and warm. But do you put up a real tree or an artificial one? Here are some factors to consider if you're still deciding between the two.

  • Does Anyone in Your Home Have Allergies?
    Some people are allergic to the pollen or sap of real pine trees. If you or someone in your home has ever experienced a pine allergy, you're better off opting for an artificial tree. Even if the allergy symptoms are mild when exposed to trees outdoors, they're likely to be more serious indoors where you have limited airflow. You don't want to spend the whole holiday season sneezing and rubbing your eyes because of your Christmas tree.

    Click Here to Read More...

December
13

Living Room Storage - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Our real estate agents can tell you if there's one thing almost everyone wants in Albany homes for sale, it's plenty of storage. The living room is one spot some extra storage can make a difference. Since it's a common area, it's not unusual for clutter to quickly take over. You might have a variety of different things that you use in that area too, so staying organized is key. If you've been longing for some additional storage, try one or more of these ideas to add function and style to your living room.

  • Look for multi-functional furniture and decor pieces. One of the best tips for the living room, especially if space is at a premium, is to look for pieces that serve more than one purpose. That way, you're not sacrificing function to add storage. You can still enjoy your living room as you usually do.

    Click Here to Read More...

November
22

Holiday Shop Local - Capital Region, NY - CB Prime Properties

This holiday season, shopping small is more important than ever! Our real estate agents love exploring local shops and sharing their finds with new residents.

Whether you decide to wait for Small Business Saturday or you're ready to start your shopping now, we recommend paying a visit to these nearby retailers. 

  • T&J Handcrafted Soap: 271 River St., Troy, NY 12180
    Handmade soaps make great stocking stuffers, gifts for coworkers, or additions to larger gift baskets. At T&J Handcrafted Soap, you'll find over 40 different varieties of soap. Some are made from local beer, wine, and tea! They also have a selection of other body products — like fizzies, soaks, lotions, and hand-poured soy candles.  

    This shop is located near some of the best Troy homes for sale, so we recommend taking a drive around after you're done shopping. You never know, you just might come across your dream home.

    Click Here to Read More...

November
15

Recycling Tips for Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

One of our real estate agents' favorite annual events is coming soon: America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. It's the only nationally recognized day dedicated to empowering Americans to recycle more and buy recycled products. The day educates and encourages individuals to reuse as much as possible, be mindful of what they consume, repurpose items, and focus more on the recycling bins than trash cans.

  • Know What Can and Can't Be Recycled
    Just because an item has the recycling triangle does not mean it is recyclable. There's green-washed recycling and there's real recycling. For instance, some companies will have a recycling program for their waste products, but instead of recycling, they'll take the items to another part of the country. You need to read the recycling rules for your area's recycling program and follow the guidelines as best as you can. Each city has its own specifics, but here are basic guidelines:


    • Paper: Paper is generally recyclable, including magazines, books, flyers, colored paper, and junk mail. However, the paper should never be sticky, wet, or mixed with other types of materials. Avoid waxy papers or those saturated with grease and food.

      Click Here to Read More...

November
8

Cappuccino Around Albany, NY - CB Prime Properties

Cappuccinos are one of the most popular coffee drinks and are well known for their combination of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. They're comforting yet strong and can be enjoyed in many coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants in the area.
  
Our real estate agents suggest celebrating Cappuccino Day - which falls on November 8 - by visiting one of the following cafes or other venues in the Albany area:

  • Stacks Espresso Bar 260 Lark St., Albany, NY 12210 
    The owners of Stacks Espresso Bar take pride in creating a cafe and community space that's a friendly and accessible place to enjoy your cappuccino or other coffee drink. Located just around the corner from Albany homes for sale, it features coffee from diverse roasters to serve unique, delicious coffees. Order your 8- or 12-ounce richly-textured cappuccino with a soy or almond milk alternative if you'd prefer, and treat yourself to a tasty treat to enjoy alongside your drink.

    Click Here to Read More...

October
25

Foundation Inspection - Buy a Home - CB Prime Properties

Discerning homebuyers who want to avoid cookie-cutter options available in planned communities are often attracted to the unique architecture and mature landscaping that can be found in some older Albany homes for sale. But for a house to offer the full value its appearance suggests, it must have a strong foundation. If you're looking to put your home on the market, our real estate agents suggest looking for signs of potential foundation issues before you do. 

  • Perform a perimeter check
    As you walk around the exterior of the house, Look down the length of each wall to spot any bulging or leaning. Either suggests that there could be some issues with a deteriorating foundation, so you will want to call in a professional immediately. While hairline cracks in the concrete are normal, anything over 1/4 inch is a problem that should be resolved as quickly as possible. Look also for signs of standing water which can cause serious damage to the foundation. This can often be resolved by simply cleaning and repairing gutters and drains to ensure water is properly directed away from the house.

    Click Here to Read More...

October
18

Fall Leaf Pickup - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Homebuyers considering some of the many gorgeous Albany homes for sale are often attracted to the majestic trees and lush lawns that surround them. But as the leaves transition from green to gold and red, they also drift to the ground, creating clean-up chores that can cut into your Saturday mornings. Our real estate agents wanted to share several helpful tools designed to keep that imposition on your time to a minimum. Here are some of their favorites:

  • Leaf Vacuum
    A leaf blower may have been your favorite option until now, as they do work well to clear sidewalks and driveways. But you've got to love a tool that picks up those pesky leaves, not just pushes them around. Coming in at under $100, these ingenious devices can operate in either blowing or vacuuming mode, providing you with an additional option. They normally come with a vacuum tube and a zippered collection bag but may have other accessories. Several models offer variable speeds for maximum control. This device leaves us wondering why we didn't think of that!

    Click Here to Read More...

September
27

Buying a Flipped House - CB Prime Properties

You've seen all the shows where older, abandoned homes are turned into gorgeous, modern dwellings. Flipped houses are usually attractive, 100% move-in ready, and competitively priced. They can seem ideal in today's inventory-strapped real estate market. If you're thinking of buying a flipped house, however, you need to determine whether it is the treasure it appears to be or a dust-heap in disguise. Some developers will flip a house to make a quick buck, using cheap labor, going with cheap finishes, and taking shortcuts. Here are some ways to spot renovation problems in a flipped house for sale, according to our real estate agents.

  • Just Look Down
    If you want an immediate assessment of the overall quality of the renovation work, look at the flooring. Poor workmanship is a red flag that you shouldn't ignore. For instance, if they've got flooring butted up to doorjambs or base molding, that could be a hint at more serious flaws. Also, wall-to-wall carpeting can be used to conceal water-damaged hardwood floors. Cracked or bouncy tiles could indicate the subfloor was not laid correctly.

    Click Here to Read More...

September
13

TV Placement - Buy a Home - CB Prime Properties

If you're browsing for a new home, one of the many questions you might ask yourself is, "Where will my TV go?" Our real estate agents know exactly how difficult it can be to find a house that meets both your functional and style needs.

For one, a television is a necessary living room fixture for many people, and knowing where to place the TV can be puzzling, especially in a room with several windows or a fireplace.

The size and structure of a living room are some of the most important features you'll have to consider when buying a house. Here are a few ideas on where to place a TV to help you create a setup that best suits your style and living room space.

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August
30

Making an Offer Stand Out - Buying a Home - CB Prime Properties

Whew! This market is competitive, and you may be worried that your offer will get lost in the shuffle. But there are ways to stand out from the crowd. Our real estate agents have some stellar advice to make your offer get noticed when you're ready for that dream home from Albany homes for sale

  1. Offer a bigger down payment.
    Offering a larger down payment than you need to can send a message about how serious you are. It also says you're on top of your financial obligations. Positioning yourself as someone who's in good shape financially will catch your seller's attention.

    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.


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August
16

Garage Sale Before Selling a Home - CB Prime Properties

If you're selling your home, a garage sale is a fantastic opportunity to get rid of items you no longer need and earn a little cash. Our REALTORS® know that a garage sale is a useful way to reduce the clutter before putting a property on the market. Check out a few tips for hosting a successful garage sale. 

  1. Be Picky When Choosing a Date and Time
    Garage sales held on the weekend are usually much busier than those held on a weekday; conventionally, Saturday is the most popular day for garage sales. Stay away from holiday weekends and days with major local events.

    You'll also need to decide on a time for your garage sale. Most garage sales start in the morning and end in the early afternoon, though there may be regional variations. Check out local listings for other sales in your area to get a better idea of when they typically start and end.

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July
26

New Homeowner To-Do List - CB Prime Properties

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and our real estate agents know you can't wait to start making that space officially your own. If you're like most people, you probably have a lot of projects in mind to help you do exactly that. But before you get started, take a minute to do these 10 things first. You won't regret it!

  1. Change the locks and key codes
    You don't know how many people the previous owners may have given keys to, and changing everything will let you rest easier. Don't forget about the codes for garage door openers or security gates as well.

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July
19

Ceiling Fans - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

When decorating your home, it's important to explore modern elements that adhere to your preferred aesthetic. One increasingly controversial item in the world of home decor is the installation of ceiling fans.

Some home decor enthusiasts feel ceiling fans are a potentially outdated, low-end addition. However, our real estate agents know that when used correctly, ceiling fans are a valuable addition to any home. Follow these tips to ensure your ceiling fans are a hit. 

  • Avoid Outdated Ceiling Fans
    One reason that ceiling fans have a bad reputation is that outdated ceiling fans that appear old and rickety can negatively impact a room's appearance. Homebuyers searching for Albany homes for sale may associate an old ceiling fan with poor home maintenance or overall outdated features. They may even view the entire home as "old," even when it isn't.

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June
21

Benefits of Downsizing for Retirees - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

The kids have left, and your home is filled with memories rather than people. Besides, it's a lot of work to keep a big house in good repair. If you're retired and your house feels too big for you, it might be time to downsize and move into a smaller abode like these Albany homes for sale, which are designed to be a joy to live in.

In fact, if you're thinking of downsizing, there's no better time to do so than in today's seller's market. Our real estate agents can help you determine the best course of action and potentially lead a more leisurely lifestyle.

  1. You'll Save Money
    A smaller dwelling means less space, but it also means less money spent on housing repair costs. Simply put, downsizing is a great way to save money. Think about it. A larger house equates to a larger mortgage, higher property taxes, and insurance costs. And you get to save on housekeeping costs too. You can also save on utility costs as you have less space to power and heat.

    Downsizing saves you money, which can contribute to a more satisfying lifestyle in retirement. Your pension can go further, and you'll have more money to spend on yourself, like indulging in a shopping trip.

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June
7

Choosing Mulch for Landscaping - CB Prime Properties

Improving the appearance of your landscaping can boost the curb appeal of Albany homes for sale and give your home that wow factor. Mulch is an essential part of the overall look of your landscaping. It gives everything a neat and finished look making your yard look well cared for. The right kind of mulch will help keep your plants healthy too.  

Mulch vs. Rocks vs. Ground Cover Plants

There's more than one way to finish off your landscaping, so here's how to know if mulch is right for your situation:

  • Mulch is very common and appropriate for a wide variety of soil and plants. It gives your landscape an immediate finished look, and individual plants will be visible. Mulch helps control soil temperature, moisture, deter weed growth, and helps prevent erosion. Organic mulches decompose and add nutrients to the soil, so they will need to be replaced periodically. You won't want to use it in a steep-sloped area or where it can wash away easily.

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May
17

Declutter Before Moving - Homebuyers - CB Prime Properties

There are plenty of great Albany homes for sale. If you're looking to move, our real estate agents can help you find the best place for your needs. One thing you'll have to do yourself, though, is sorting through your belongings to decide what to pack up and bring with you and what to get rid of.

Preparing for a move is a great time to purge the items you no longer need, want, or use. But the question is, what do you do with the things you're getting rid of? When possible, you should donate them to avoid waste, rather than simply throwing them out. There are several places that take donations. However, not everything will be accepted by your local donation centers. Here's a basic overview of what you can and can't donate to keep in mind while you do your pre-move purge.

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May
10

Create Office Space - CB Prime Properties

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 percent of people were working from home. This figure has increased to a whopping 71 percent of people who report that they work from home at least some of the time. With so many people working from home, it's important to have a productive workspace.

If you don't have dedicated office space, you can transform your closet into one. Our real estate agents know that a home with an office space also appeals to potential home buyers. Check out these tips to turn your closet into a cozy home office.

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May
3

Mother's Day Brunch - Central New York - CB Prime Properties

Mother's Day brunch is the perfect way to show Mom your care. Our real estate agents think you'll enjoy the delicious options at these Central New York destinations:

  • The Marriott Syracuse Downtown - 100 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse, NY 13202
    When you want to honor Mom with more than a meal, why not make it a truly special event in the Grand Ballroom of this beautiful hotel? She'll enjoy her favorite culinary delights, be they seafood, pasta, or exquisite desserts. Three seating opportunities will be available between 9:30 AM and 1 PM. Tickets are $49/adults and $20 for children between 6 and 12 years old. Children under 6 are free of charge. With limited seating, this offer will likely sell out quickly.

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April
19

FICO Score Importance - Buy a Home - CB Prime Properties

So you've decided you want to buy a home and have already toured several Albany homes for sale, but did you know your FICO score can make a big difference? Assessing your FICO score can help you determine if it's high enough to qualify for a mortgage loan on terms you can afford. If you're planning to make this major purchase, read on to understand why your FICO score is important and the steps you can take to improve it.

  • What is a FICO Score?
    Created by the Fair Isaac Corporation, the FICO score is a three-digit number used by lenders to assess an applicant's creditworthiness. A FICO score ranges from 300 to 850, is largely based on the information in your credit reports, and can help lenders assess how likely you're to repay debt. This, in turn, can affect how much you can borrow, how much it will cost, and how many months you have to repay. FICO scores are used by more than 90% of lending companies, but not all credit scores are FICO scores. In fact, FICO releases new credit score versions to improve on the last one and create a more reliable and predictive score for lenders. This means that you can have several FICO scores, based on the model used by the mortgage company.

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April
5

Window Treatments - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

When selling your home it's important to make it as appealing to buyers as possible. And one thing they always want is a bright and inviting space. You'll want to let in as much natural light as possible by choosing the right window treatments. Letting in more light makes rooms look brighter, bigger, and generally more welcoming. So here's how to showcase your Albany homes for sale in the best possible light.

Choose the Right Style

  • Consider the function of the room. Certain types of window treatments work better in certain spaces. For example, you wouldn't want drapes in the kitchen or on a porch door.
  • Consider the style of the room. Your window treatments should fit with the overall style of the room and home.

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March
15

DIY Bookshelves - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

If your books are littered everywhere around your house, here's some good news: You don't need master carpentry skills, thousands of dollars, or a workshop full of tools to build a dreamy bookshelf. With the right supplies and a little bit of creativity, you can build a unit worthy of a great library. Use it to display your cherished reads, media collection, knickknacks, and anything that suits your fancy. Our real estate agents give you the steps below for building an easy and inexpensive DIY bookshelf.

  • Design and Determine the Dimensions
    You can custom design your bookshelf to fit a particular space or make one that can work in various locations. Either way, measure the space where you'll place the shelf unit. Decide how tall and how wide you want it to be. Typically, bookshelves are 12" or 16", but you can build yours to suit your needs. When you plan the size, you want the shelves to support the heaviest objects you have in mind without causing a noticeable dip. The shelves should be strong enough to support a heavy load of books and other décor items. Also, decide if you want your bookshelf to have a closed or open back.

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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!

February
22

Landscaping Trends for 2021 - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

As a seller, you're probably looking for that extra something to give your home an edge over the competition. Starting with some advice from our real estate agents is always a good idea. They can tell you about the market in your area and what buyers are looking for right now.

Like everyone else, many buyers in the market right now have spent far more time than usual at home over the last year. And they've realized that their current home just doesn't fit their needs. So how do you make your Albany homes for sale stand out to them? Taking advantage of the current landscaping trends is an excellent place to start. The outside of the house and yard are the first things a buyer sees, so they can make a big impression. It can also help them imagine themselves entertaining friends, working out, or enjoying their favorite hobbies outdoors in this new space. And that might be just the thing that motivates them to make an offer.

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February
15

Mexican Restaurants Around Central NY - CB Prime Properties

Our real estate agents love visiting local restaurants. We're always looking for a reason to dine out, so imagine our excitement when we learned that National Tortilla Chip Day is right around the corner! 

We want to make sure you're prepared, so we've done the hard work for you. That's right; we've visited a bunch of local Mexican restaurants and created this round-up of our favorites so you can enjoy the best of the best.

  • Mesa Grande Taqueria: 100 Genesee St, Auburn, NY 13021
    Mesa Grande Taqueria serves fresh, authentic Mexican food, including huge burritos, freshly toasted nachos, tacos, quesadillas, salads, and more. All of their food is made in-house from scratch, and you can taste the difference.

    Located not far from the best Auburn homes for sale, this restaurant has some of the best barbacoa in the area and queso you're sure to fall in love with. When you're done with your meal, we recommend taking a drive around so you can get to know some of the great neighborhoods nearby.

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