Page 1

Supplement to the Original Valley Pennysaver, the Family Pennysaver and the DollarSaver Produced by Lee Publications • 6113 St. Hwy. 5 • Palatine Bridge, NY 13428 • 518-673-3237 • 800-218-5586 •

Your local guide to the Adirondacks

Page 1 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • March 23, 2013


March 23, 2013 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • Page 2

RE A L ES TAT E GU I D E April 27, 2013 Issue Deadline Friday, April 19, 2013

SERVING HOMES IN THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES: c Albany c Fulton c Herkimer c Montgomery c Oneida c Otsego c Saratoga c Schenectady c Schoharie

For More Information Call John Snyder 518-673-0129 Reach Over 110,200 Homes Distributed In: The Original Family

Page 3 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • March 23, 2013

Home Improvement: Top tips for the best first impression (MS) -- It's called "curb appeal," that good impression people get of your home when they pull up in a car, or when walking by. Real estate agents can be as pleased with exterior curb appeal as they are with a well-maintained house on the inside. When it comes to residential property value, this book is indeed judged by its cover. Exterior trouble areas include peeling paint; rotting wood on window frames; buckled roof shingles; overgrown shrubs; ignored lawns; and weeds growing through interlock paths, steps and the driveway. "The lawns and landscaping that frame our home are as important as the quality inside," says Reinie Drygala, lawncare products manager for Clear Choice, a leading name in innovative garden products. "And the good news is: when it comes to first impressions just a few little tips and tricks can make a big difference quickly. "If you're frustrated about overgrown weeds, for example, the newest herbicide technology is tackling that," Drygala continued. "Now there are alternatives to traditional herbicides that effectively kill weeds, but also provide the homeowner with options if they are looking for ways to have less impact on the environment. The formulation for our Clear Choice selective herbicide, for example, contains up to 85 percent less active ingredients as compared to other products using the same ingredients. As importantly, microtechnology built into the formulation creates much smaller droplets that more efficiently deliver the herbicide to the plant. Clear Choice is effective on over 60 varieties of broadleaf weeds, killing them quickly while being friendly to your lawn." In addition to beautifying your lawn, try these quick tricks to give your home instant curb appeal:

• Replace or paint rusty fixtures like the mailbox, railings, house number, and more.

• Scrape and spot-paint problem areas. This might be a temporary fix, but even a touch up is better than peeling paint.

• Tackle pesky weeds on interlock paths and driveway. Use hand sprays for targeted jobs, or larger jugs for a big surface area. More information at

• Add colour by planting some annuals in the front yard flowerbeds.

• Install lighting along your walkways and steps, or to spotlight the shape and architecture.

“...for the personal attention you deserve!” LANA RUGGIERO, GRI, ASP 11 Forest St., Gloversville (518) 470-4738 •

108 Woodlawn Dr., Town of Johnstown Fabulous home in a wonderful location. Under 10 years young, modern design, efficient floor plan. Master suite plus 2 more bedrooms. Family room, game table area and office in lower level.


1007 Co Hwy 122, Town of Johnstown 5 bedroom country estate on 45 acres. Big kitchen, sunny family room overlooking inground pool, large office with separate entrance. Barns, milk house, silo, trails and ponds all within minutes to NYS Thruway, Albany, Saratoga Springs.


505 State Hwy 29A, Town of Mayfield A one of a kind, exceptionally well maintained & designed home with a GEO Thermal heating & cooling system. Gorgeous new master suite includes tiled spa-like bath with heated floors, California closet. Immaculate 4 car attached garage.


51 Prospect Ave., Gloversville Great looking, easy to maintain, centrally located 2 family city home. Perfect for the first time homebuyer or investor. No repairs needed. Off street parking. Owners are anxious and ready to negotiate!


March 23, 2013 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • Page 4

Schools a big factor in home purchase There are many factors buyers consider when shopping for a home. From the number of bedrooms to the size of the backyard, prospective buyers have their priorities with what they're looking for in a home. Parents to young children or couples who are planning to start a family soon should also consider the school system. Although granite countertops and interior living area may be foremost on the minds of house shoppers, individuals also have to take school districts into consideration when looking at homes, particularly if they're concerned about giving their children the best education possible. According to research by The Wall Street Journal, buyers are willing to pay more for a property if it is in a good school district. That's because even if they do not have children, buyers know that a good school district helps a home remain attractive.

There are some Web sites that can help prospective buyers look at the schools in the areas they are considering. and are two of the premier sites. They break down test scores, demographics, parent and student reviews and many other things that are vital to getting a picture of the school as a whole. The sites also use a ranking system from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) to show how the school stands in comparison to others in terms of test scores. Buyers also may want to make a trip to visit the area they're considering during school hours. This way they can drive by the school and see for themselves the type of students and parents entering or exiting the building. One also may want to set up a brief meeting with the principal to learn more about the ideals of the school and its goals. It's also necessary to look at the proximity of the school to the house. Some towns have rules in place regarding busing or walking to school. Students who live within a certain distance from the school may have to find their own transportation to and from school. This is something to mull over. Families that are interested in a host of extracurricular activities can also evaluate the town or school district based on the sports or other opportunities offered to students. Be advised that the school closest to a home might not be the one a student will attend. Zoning laws, and not necessarily proximity, often dictate where a student will attend school. Therefore, it is important to check with the real estate agent or town to ensure the research being done is for the correct school. Some parents prefer their children go to private school, and many towns and cities have a number of options. In addition to the public schools, agents should be able to point buyers toward the private schools in the area. Some may be able to list tuition costs and acceptance requirements. Having a picture of the school district in the area buyers are considering will help offer a better idea of the neighborhood and the people around whom they'll be living. School districts are important to consider when buying a home, so much so that buyers are willing to pay a little more if it means having a good school in their area.

Four Star Realty Group 308 Main Street Middleburgh, NY 12122

Tracy Boomhower Lisa Tenneson

Licensed Broker, Licensed Sales Assoc. & OWNERS

518-495-9464 Tracy • 518-209-5369 Lisa Office 518-702-4194 • Fax 518-702-4059

School district and environment are important factors in buying a new home.

PRICE IMPROVED NEW TO THE MARKET This sweet village home is Priced to Sell - Many Upgrades $125,500

This magnificent, top of the line home just needs the finishing touches to make it all yours of 56 Acres. $429,900

Not all schools are created equal, and some rank better in test scores and teacher-to-student ratios than others. These are essential factors to think about when looking at homes. Although real estate agents can offer some basic information about what schools are in the area, legally they may not be able to share opinions on how "good" the schools are or be able to break down the demographics of student populations. It is typically up to the buyer to do his or her own research. Because the tax dollars that home owners pay largely go to fund schools and town improvements, it is important to look at the schools. Also, if the home will be a stepping stone to another home in a few years, buyers want to ensure their home has the best chance for resale. Oftentimes, a good school district is a factor future buyers will think about.

DON’T MISS OUT! PRICED RIGHT! Tons of space and walking distance to the village. $114,900

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Fantastic commercial space. Great location on Rt 20. Time to make your dreams come true. $134,900

When the economy struggles to the point of recession, few people benefit. However, there are some businesses that thrive during a recession, using the circumstances to their advantage and actually growing business in spite of a sagging economy.

brown, which can hide spills or stains should the next tenant prove messy and move out after the original lease terms are up. Before laying carpet, don't forget to lay down quality padding underneath. Such padding makes the carpet feel softer and of higher quality.

One such business is rental agencies or property management companies. Even landlords with a single investment property tend to do better during a recession, when individuals might be fearful of buying a home or simply unable to afford it. Such individuals still need a place to live, however, and landlords benefit as a result. One of the best things a landlord can do during a recession is to pay more attention to their rental properties, ensuring the properties are in tip-top shape so they can get the most out of each unit at a time when the rental market is most competitive. This might require some renovations, which landlords should be making periodically anyway, regardless of how strong or tenuous the economy might be.

• Upgrade the appliances. Perhaps nothing evokes a stronger response from prospective renters than a property's appliances. Outdated appliances make renters speculate as to what else might be outdated and if the building is well taken care of. On the other hand, newer appliances, particularly stainless steel items, create a contemporary feel and give the impression, true or false, that a landlord won't allow the building to grow dated or fall into disrepair. When shopping for appliances, choose ones that are more basic so any eventual repairs won't be too complicated or costly. Newer appliances enable landlords to charge more rent for a given property, and many renters would agree that such properties are worth the extra money.

• Update the paint. Apartments are typically empty when shown to prospective renters, and any issues with the paint job are very noticeable during such viewings. If the paint is outdated or there is any fading, update the walls with a fresh coat of paint. It's ideal to do so whenever a tenant moves out, but landlords whose buildings have a high turnover rate likely won't need to repaint every time a tenant moves out. When adding a new coat of paint, choose a light, neutral color to give the property a fresh, inviting look.

• Install new windows. Older buildings tend to have creaky or drafty windows, which not only makes the property colder during the winter months, but it also drives up utility costs as renters are forced to turn up the thermostat to combat drafts and cold air entering the unit. New windows can eliminate such drafts and reduce utility costs, something landlords can use to their advantage when discussing the property with potential tenants. Landlords might even be able to earn tax breaks when installing new, energyefficient windows. Discuss if any such breaks exist with the local municipality.

• Replace the carpeting. Carpeting is another area prospective renters are instantly drawn to when viewing an apartment. New carpeting is always attractive to potential tenants, and landlords won't have to break the bank to replace the carpets when an existing tenant moves out. Instead of expensive carpeting, choose a medium grade carpet with a neutral color, ideally beige or light

When it comes to renovating a rental property, landlords can make a handful of small renovations that, while relatively inexpensive, enable them to earn substantially more money from each unit over the long haul.

Mohawk Valley Real Estate LLC 4720 State Highway 30, Amsterdam, NY 12010


Relatively minor renovations to rental properties can earn landlords substantially more money over the course of a typical lease.

Top 10 dream home features GLOVERSVILLE - 5 BR, 1.5 bath, eat in Kitchen, LR, DR, 2 car garage on large city lot. Across from Nathan Littauer Hospital. Close to shopping and Churches. Listing JS2097 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Asking $82,500

TOWN OF PERTH - 3 BR, 2 bath, open concept LR, DR, and kitchen, dbl. wide mobile home on 1.4 acres with above ground pool. Listing JS2098 . . . . . . . .Asking $124,500

(MS) -- If you were given a chance to design a dream home, what features would you choose first? Take a look at the most popular wish list in 2011 from Nudura, a leading firm in building technology: 1. Curb appeal. Home exterior, driveway, and landscaping must attract admiring attention. 2. Concrete and natural stone, rather than wood framing and brick. These homes ( are not only beautiful, they are stonger, more sound resistant, and far more energy efficient than wood frames and brick. 3. Maximum energy efficient throughout from top to bottom. 4. Solar panels in the roof to generate a personal energy source. 5. A large, designer kitchen with natural stone countertops and futuristic appliances, cabinetry and waterworks. 6. Natural hardwood flooring like Brazilian cherry and sustainable bamboo.

1088 LAKEVIEW AVE. SCHENECTADY Move-in condition. Great 3 BR home in quiet neighborhood. Living room w/wood fireplace, Formal DR, HW flooring, kitchen with all new appliances and walk-in pantry, back yard has a large deck and garage. Listing JS2099 . . . . . . . .Asking $105,000

TOWN OF GLEN - Camp or seasonal home in great location with views of the Adirondack Mountains and the Mohawk Valley. Newer log home features lofted BR, propane fired stove, HW Heater and Lights. All the comforts of home yet quiet and private location. With a few changes this could be a year round home Only $69,900

7. A sunroom, a front porch, and a backyard finished patio. 8. Vessel sinks, or freestanding bowls above the bathroom countertop, accompanied by wall-mounted faucets. 9. Bedroom walk out or balcony. 10. Designer bathtubs and walk-in shower with marble tile, a seating bench and rainfall showerhead.

Page 5 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • March 23, 2013

Renovating a rental property

March 23, 2013 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • Page 6

Get the best price when selling a home The housing market has not yet rebounded to pre-recession prices, when buyers seemed to be stepping over one another to bid up the price of homes. Today's sellers may be lucky to get asking price, with the reality being a certain percentage below. However, that doesn't mean sellers should accept bottom-of-the-barrel offers. There are still ways to get the best price possible on an offered home.

Curb appeal is one factor that can help a home sell faster and for more money.

With sellers hoping to get the most possible for a home and buyers interested in spending the least, it's sometimes a battle of wills when it comes to hashing out a confirmed price in the world of real estate. Sellers who wonder whether they'll struggle to get a good offer can hedge their bets in the right direction by employing a few strategies. • What you see is what you get: It's difficult to change first impressions. If a potential buyer pulls up to a home that doesn't give them "warm and fuzzy" feelings immediately, it may be hard to eventually sway opinion of the home -- even if it's pristine on the inside. Individuals do judge a book by its cover, which means that effort should be put into making a home's exterior as appealing as possible. Landscaping should be neat and lush. There shouldn't be any obstacles leading to the front of the home. Items that look in disrepair should be mended. Curb appeal does matter. • Use a real estate agent: Many people forgo this step, thinking they can sell their home just as well without an agent and not have to pay commission in the process. A real estate agent is schooled in the process of negotiating the price of an offered home. In fact, the more a home's selling price, the higher the agent's profit. That's incentive right there. Furthermore, agents know the average prices of similar homes and can help a seller price and market a property correctly. That may add up to a faster sale (and a better offer). • Price it competitively: Some sellers think the higher they price their home the more money they'll get for it. The fact is, the longer an overpriced home sits on the market, the less appealing it will appear to buyers. Individuals looking for a home may repeatedly see the listing and wonder what's wrong with the home. Even if it's the best home in the neighborhood, it may be seen as a red flag that's best avoided.

• Give people what they want: Buyers often prefer updated kitchens and bathrooms. Most buyers out there are not looking for "handyman specials." They want a relatively turn-key property. A kitchen or bathroom that is an eyesore can repel potential buyers. Home shoppers may be more inclined to go closer to asking price if some of the bigger-ticket items are already completed. • Don't be an open book: If a buyer knows that time is of the essence or the home is "priced to sell," he or she may sense that desperation, almost guaranteeing a low-ball offer. Sellers shouldn't let on too much about their reasons for selling or make it seem like

they'll be in dire straights if the home doesn't sell quickly. Selling a home under duress is not likely to cause prospective buyers to pony up. • Don't be afraid to counter-offer: A buyer who is excited to get an offer on a home in a slow market, but feels the offer is below value, should definitely counter-offer. While the buyer may not accept the counter, he or she may make another offer that is more to the seller's liking.

Did you know? Primary mortgage insurance, or PMI, protects lenders in the event that borrowers default on their primary mortage by ceasing to make payments, resulting in homes ending up in foreclosure. But all borrowers do not have to pay PMI. Typically, home buyers must make a 20 percent down payment on a home when they buy it. However, some borrowers are unable to put down 20 percent. In such instances, the lender will require they pay PMI. This is because the lender views a borrower who cannot make an initial 20 percent down payment as a riskier investment, and lenders charge PMI in an effort to protect themselves should the borrower CELL: 518-424-5621

prove worthy of their skepticism. PMI will be factored into the monthly mortgage payment, but borrowers should know they do not have to continue paying PMI once they have paid enough toward the principal amount of the loan. For most, this means once they have paid 20 percent of the principal, then they can ask that the monthly PMI payment be removed. Many borrowers are unaware of this or even forget to ask, but it's within their rights as borrowers and can save a substantial amount of money over the course of the mortgage loan.

Ed Pierpont

104 Reed Street Canajoharie, NY 13317

Judith A. Phetteplace Licensed Real Estate Broker 316 MOHAWK DR. TRIBES HILL, NY 12177

HOME: (518) 829-7813 OFFICE: (518) 829-7250 FAX: (518) 829-5119

NY Lic. #16000022349 NACHI #05122792


(518) 332-6294 Fax (518) 673-3667

Mohawk Valley Inspections, LLC Your Full Service Home Inspection Headquarters

Timothy Adams Licensed Inspector NYS# 16000045787 Buy And Sell With Confidence Office: (518) 762-5706

In an effort to leave the unemployment line behind them, many men and women have decided they would relocate for jobs if the opportunities presented themselves. According to the Atlas Van Lines 2012 Corporate Relocation Survey, 52 percent of all relocations in 2011 were new hires. That's not only reflective of people's willingness to move for new opportunities, but also companies' willingness to help new hires make smooth transitions. Whereas many companies were forced to reduce or eliminate their relocation budgets during the depths of the recession, more and more of them now have more money to help candidates relocate.

have an impact on your decision to move or stay put. If possible, visit the city before beginning your job hunt. If you find the city fits your lifestyle, then begin your pursuit of a career. • Don't overlook temporary housing. Many firms provide temporary housing for new hires or existing employees who relocate. This option should not be overlooked. Firms expect quick answers when asking an existing employee or a new hire to relocate. In fact, the Atlas survey found that 72 percent of firms give an employee two weeks or less to accept an offer to relocate. So you likely won't have enough time to find your next place to call home. In such instances, consider temporary housing, ideally offered by the company. If the company does not provide temporary housing, then stay with a friend or family member or contact realtors and explain your situation. A real estate agent should be able to help you find temporary housing and can then help you once the relocation is complete and you're ready to find a permanent residence.

Finding a company that's willing to incur some, if not all, of an employee's relocation costs is certainly one way to make the process go smoothly. But even those who can't find such a willing employer don't have to rule out relocation. The following are a few ways to make relocating for your career as successful as possible. • Don't be afraid to negotiate. The Atlas relocation survey noted that 87 percent of the firms surveyed had a formal relocation policy. These policies can run the gamut from very accommodating to extremely limited. But many policies leave room for exceptions, so men and women should not be afraid to negotiate. The company may offer additional benefits to entice you to relocate, but the applicant has to ask about those benefits. • Do your homework. Companies often expect quick responses when they offer out-of-towners a position. Applicants likely won't have enough time between receiving the offer and meeting their

Relocating for an employment opportunity is one way men and women are navigating a difficult job market. deadline to accept or deny the position to do all of the research that needs to be done. Before applying for positions within a given city, learn about the city, including the cost of housing, the reputation of the city's school districts, and anything else that will ultimately

• Know the repayment provisions. While many people consider their decision to relocate a success, others find their new job and city are falling short of expectations. That can be a sticky situation if your new company helped pay for your relocation. Before accepting the job offer and relocating, ask to read the relocation policy and make note of its repayment provisions. Some firms that help relocate new hires or existing employees have the right to ask for those costs back if the employee leaves the company within a given time frame. Know these provisions before you decide to relocate.

Buying a home? Avoid these mistakes The dream of home ownership is one that lives on in spite of the global economic struggles. The process of buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster ride, with feelings of excitement mixed in with exhaustion, fear and uncertainty. Over the last several years, the real estate market has been turned upside down, and many prospective buyers have begun to question some of the conventional wisdom associated with buying a home. While such skepticism might be a healthy attitude in the current market, prospective buyers -- particularly those who have never purchased a home before -- should avoid the following mistakes that buyers make regardless of whether the market is up or down. • Failure to get qualified beforehand. Mortgage qualification is essential when buying a home, as it gives buyers preapproval for a loan before they make any offers. Making an offer on a home before you know what the bank is willing to lend you is a waste of time for everyone involved, including you, the seller and the real estate agents involved. Some agents will not show a home if you don't have a preapproval. Once preapproved for a loan, don't take any steps that might put that approval in jeopardy. This includes anything that might drastically alter your credit score.

Kathleen M. Mussi Licensed Real Estate Broker/Owner


217 N. Main Street • Gloversville, NY 12078

Tel 518-773-8457 Fax 518-773-9734 Cell 631-875-8646 We Also Specialize in Property Management

• Being blindsided by additional costs. First-time homebuyers, once they have moved into their home, often experience some sticker shock when the additional expenses associated with home ownership arise. These additional expenses include property tax and insurance costs and can be substantial. Even those buying a condominium or co-op should expect monthly maintenance fees even if their new place is brand new and needs no maintenance. • Shooting for the moon. The ongoing recession is in part the result of predatory lending that saw banks grant excessive loans to applicants who, in hindsight, could not actually afford all that they were approved to borrow. The result was many people buying homes they could not afford, and then suffering some steep consequences, including foreclosure, when the first mortgage payment came due or the interest rate rose. First-time and even veteran buyers must avoid shooting for the moon when it comes to buying a home, and instead only buy one they know they can afford. What the banks says you can afford isn't always the same as what you know you can afford. Only buy a home you know you can afford, regardless of whether the bank has approved you for a larger loan.

Res: 518-829-5163 Cell: 518-424-9752 E-mail:

Joelle L. Phetteplace-Bluvas Associate Broker 316 MOHAWK DR. TRIBES HILL, NY 12177

OFFICE: (518) 829-7250 FAX: (518) 829-5119

• Pigeonholing yourself into an inadequate living situation. Just like buyers shouldn't go overboard, they also must avoid compromising on the things that are most important to them. For example, many of today's buyers, fully aware of the rash of foreclosures and all the housing horror stories of the last several years, are reticent to commit to a home, and might compromise with a condo or co-op. But if a home is what you really want, and another living situation that mirrors apartment life is going to make you miserable, don't settle for that situation for the sake of security. Doing so could cost you financially, especially when you realize the situation isn't what you'd hoped for and look to sell earlier than is ideal. • Skimping on the cost of an inspector. An inspector is your last chance to find out if a home is your dream home or a money pit. Even if a house appears to be everything you want, don't close on the sale until the house has been thoroughly inspected. The old adage that advises against judging a book by its cover certainly applies to buying a home, and prospective buyers should enlist the services of a qualified inspector before closing on the sale of a home.

Page 7 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • March 23, 2013

Make your relocation a smooth one

March 23, 2013 • REAL ESTATE GUIDE • Page 8

Real Estate Guide 3.23.13  

Real Estate Guide March 23, 2013