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Appraisals Affect Albany NY Real Estate Values

by Fraida Varah

Since 2009, third party residential real estate appraisers are no longer hired directly by the mortgage lender (unless they use in-house personnel), mortgage banker or mortgage broker. They are hired by appraisal managment companies who share the appraisal fee with the actural appraiser. The result of this new arrangement is that appraisal fees to the consumer have increased, appraisers are earning less, and often the appraisers are inexperienced or unfamiliar with the local market and this has resulted in inaccurate appraisals. This in turn has caused many residential real estate transactions to fail. For more on this, see the Reuters story at the link below.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/24/us-usa-economy-appraisals-idUSTRE77N2PM20110824

Fraida Varah Real Estate Group

Saratoga Race Track: And there off!

by Fraida Varah

"Headed down the backstretch..."

horse and jockeyThe Saratoga Race Track, located in Sarasota Springs, New York, is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. The track was built in 1863 and was rated as Sports Illustrated's #10 sports venue of the 20th Century. Each year from late July through early September, equestrian enthusiasts gather for 40 days of racing on the famous track.

Originally built by John Hunter and William R. Travers, Sarasota has been home to the Travers Stakes, the oldest major thoroughbred race in the U.S., which is a very popular race every summer.

The track is also known as the “Graveyard of Champions” because of the numerous upsets that have happened throughout history. For example, Man o’ War lost after a 21-start streak, Secretariat lost after winning the Kentucky Derby, and Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 longshot Jim Dandy in the 1930 Travers Stakes.

Admission to the grandstand is $3 and clubhouse seats are just $5. Children under age 12 are admitted free with parents or guardian, making this a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to a true piece of Americana. For more information about hours of operation, parking, costs, maps and more, click here.

There are also several days this season on which Saratoga Race Track is offering promotions. Listed below are the 2011 promotions:

  • Sunday, July 31 – Saratoga baseball cap
  • Sunday, August 14th – Saratoga short-sleeve tee
  • Sunday, August 21st – Saratoga duffle bag
  • Sunday, September 4th – Saratoga long-sleeve tee

Tri-city Valley Cats

by Fraida Varah

Tri-city Valley Cats logoWho doesn’t love going to a ballpark, eating a hot dog, and watching baseball on a warm, summer night? The people of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York, are lucky enough to have the Tri-City ValleyCats and the Joseph L. Bruno stadium practically in their backyards. With numerous games each week, you should be able to find a time that perfectly fits your schedule!

Built in 2002, the Joseph L. Bruno stadium (aka “The Joe”) has become a well-respected stadium in the New York - Penn League (NYPL). With a division championship in 2010, the ValleyCats have been improving with each passing year, and a ValleyCats’ game is bound to entertain every member of the family. Whatever you do, make sure to catch a game this summer and be dazzled by the ValleyCats!

This season, the ValleyCats are offering numerous promotions with all sorts of prizes and deals. Here are some of the best ones of the summer:

  • Thursday, August 11th – G.E. Kids in Free night (with purchase of an adult ticket)
  • Friday, August 12th – 10th Anniversary Giveaway
  • Sunday, August 14th – NFL Night (wear your favorite NFL jersey and have the chance to participate in some on-field drills); Wing Fest (Judge your favorite local wings); Post-Game Fireworks
  • Wednesday, August 24th - .50 cent Hot Dog Night

If you are looking to have an entire day of fun at “The Joe,” don’t miss the double header on August 12th.

For more information about the Tri-City ValleyCats, their schedule, roster, and more, click here.

Albany NY Real Estate Market: July 2011 Update

by Fraida Varah

Preliminary Albany (County), NY real estate results for single family home sales during July, 2011 are as follows. Sold and closed homes in July numbered 153 compared to 214 in June. The average home sale price was $243,000 compared to $227,000 in June and the median sale price was $209,000 vs. $199,000 the previous month.  The sale to list price ratio increased almost a full point to 97.2% compared to 96.3% in June and the time on market decreased from an average of 78 in June days to 63 days in July.

Year to date the numbers show that at this point in the year 2011 is lagging last year as there are 996 closed sales through July 31 this year compared to 1229 last year. Both the average and median sale prices have slipped about 1% from last year and the time on the market has increased from an average of 75 days last year to 80 days this year. The average sale to list price ratio has remained steady at 96.5%. 

The months supply of single family homes on the market is up from 8.4 months on July 1 to 10.1 months on August 1. Active single family inventory in Albany County on August 1 stands at 1668 houses compared to 1608 last month and pending sales in July were 164 compared to 191 in June.

30 year fixed mortgage rates continue to hold between 4.25% and 4.5% generally.

Fraida Varah Real Estate Group

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4