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Albany New York Real Estate Blog

Fraida Varah

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Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 43

Albany NY Real Estate Market Update: January 2012

by Fraida Varah

Preliminary Albany County single family home sale numbers for January, 2012 indicate 115 homes closed, less than the 167 closed in December. The average selling price was $213,000 and the median was $177,500..both down from the December average of $223,000 and median of $184,000. Average days on market stood at 80.

Compared to January 2011, there were virtually the same number of closings but the average selling price was down from $229,000 in 2011 to $212,000 this January. The median price was also lower falling from $203,500 to $177,500. These numbers probably reflect two things. The affordable home buyers program in the City of Albany which probably accounted for 30 or so transactions in October at selling prices under $200,000 and significantly less activity in the middle and upper price ranges during the last quarter of 2011.

As of February 1, there are 1238 active single family homes on the market in Albany County. There were 135 homes that went under contract in January so the month supply of inventory in Albany County stands at 9, still a buyers market.

30 year fixed rate mortgages are still hovering at historic lows in the 4% and sub 4% range.

Fraida Varah

Saratoga and North Creek Railway

by Fraida Varah

Located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, the Saratoga and North Creek Railway is a shortline railroad that runs between Saratoga Springs and North Creek. This historical railroad was once the Adirondack Railway built by Thomas C. Durant in 1871 and acquired by Delaware and Hudson Railway (D&H) in 1889. In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt was at the North Creek station when he learned that William McKinley was assassinated. After the Lake Placid Olympics in 1932, North Creek built ski trails at Gore Mountain, and the first D&H ski train from Schenectady to North Creek in 1934. North Creek soon garnered fame as home to the state’s first downhill ski center, Gore Mountain.

In addition to the scenic beauty of the Hudson River and Adirondacks, the excitement of the Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Gore Mountain, the Saratoga and North Creek Railway provides access to many of the region’s farmer’s markets, antique shopping spots, and museums and galleries. Popular spots include the Hudson River Trading Company, Garnet Hill Lodge, North Creek Depot Museum, and The Rustic Homestead and Streamside Fly-Shop. The Hudson River Trading Company’s Lodge & Camp merchandise provides a window into the region’s past; Garnet Hill Lodge offers rafting, fishing, biking and hiking; North Creek Depot Museum offers educational programs and exhibits; and The Rustic Homestead and Streamside Fly-Shop encompasses the rustic charm of the region as a renowned furniture shop, art gallery, fly shop, and fishing outfitter.

The Saratoga and North Creek railways include The Hudson Explorer, The New York Express, and The Gore Mountain Snow Train. The Hudson Explorer is the railway’s classic excursion that begins in Saratoga Springs in morning with return trips to North Creek in the late afternoon. The New York Express provides morning service from North Creek to Saratoga Springs, where riders head to the Saratoga racetrack or to NYC. After a half-century hiatus, The Gore Mountain Snow Train once again brings skiers and sightseers to North Creek. Diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and beverages in the Golden Sands and Bryce Canyon Vintage Coach Cars as they take in the beauty of the Adirondacks.

Albany Chef's Food & Wine Festival

by Fraida Varah

The Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival is a three-day festival that showcases the city’s chefs and restaurants by providing the community with innovative cuisine and exceptional wines. Its mission is to educate consumers on sustainable agriculture while providing funds to support Albany’s non-profit arts community.

The Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival will be held January 12th, 13th and 14th (Thursday through Saturday) at the Crowne Plaza – Albany City Center (unless otherwise noted). Participating chefs and restaurants include AJ Jayapal from the Mallozzi Family, Brian Molino from Prime Business Dining, Dale Miller from Sperry’s, Jaime Ortiz from Angelo’s 677 Prime, Jim Rua from Café Capriccio, Jonathan Crean from Kelsey’s Crowne Plaza, Luc Pasquier from Attache Culinaire, Mark D. Graham from Mezza Notte Ristorante, Ric Orlando from New World Bistro Bar, and Yono Purnomo from Yono’s and db, An American Brasserie.

The festival kicks off with a Mayor’s VIP Reception, which will be held at City Hall from 5 pm-7pm on Thursday, January 12th. The reception is presented by Angelo’s 677 Prime and The Business Review, and wines are courtesy of Korbel & Sonama-Cutrer. Limited tickets are available for $125.

On Friday, January 13th, 4pm-8pm and Saturday, January 14th, 12pm-4pm there will be a Grand Tasting at Rising Star Chef Pavilion. There will be more than 250 wines, spirits, and beer and 40 participating chefs and restaurants over two days of tastings. The wines are courtesy of Empire Merchants North, and Beer by DeCresente. Three Rising Star Chefs will be featured in the Grand Pavilion at the ballroom entrance. Tickets are $50.

A Slider Slam will be held 8pm-11pm on Friday, January 13th, featuring 10 participating chefs and restaurants. Craft Beer pairings are presented by Brewery Ommegang, and Wine & Spirits by Empire Merchants North. There will be live music and dancing, a Judge’s Choice, and a People’s Choice for best and most creative sliders. The Slider Slam is $25.

On Saturday, January 14th, the Signature Chef Invitational will be held between 1pm-3:30pm, where chefs will compete for a spot on the 2013 Signature Chef Team in a mystery live competition during the Saturday Grand Tasting in the Pearl St. Room. The 2012 competitors are Jason Baker from Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark, Dominique Brialy from The Epicurean, Ryan Huneau from The Mallozzi Group, Rachel Mabb from the Renesselaer at The Hilton Garden Inn, and Giovanni S. Morina from the Gio Culinary Studio. Tickets are included in Saturday’s Grand Tasting.

There will be a Grand Gala Reception and 6-Course Dinner on Saturday, January 14th. The Reception will begin at 6pm and the dinner at 7pm. The 2012 Signature Chef team will present “Food as Art” at live action stations, inspired by Capital Repertory Theatre’s 31st Season. Wine is presented by Empire Merchants North, paired by Sommelier Dominick Purnomo. There will be a live and silent auction, and music and dancing. Tickets are $150.

Albany NY Real Estate Market Update: December 2011

by Fraida Varah

Preliminary single family home sale numbers for Albany County are in and show the following.

There were 152 homes that closed in December compared to 157 in November. The average price fell from $227,000 to $221,000 and the median price fell from $203,000 to $182,000. Average days on market for those homes that closed in December were 89 and the sale to list price ratio was 96.3%.

Preliminary year end numbers for 2011 show 1892 homes sold and closed compared to 1962 last year. The average price dropped slightly from $228,000 to $227,000 and the median price dropped from $201,000 to $195,000. Average days on market increased from 73 in 2010 to 80 in 2011 and the sale to list ratio remained about the same at 96.5%.

Single family inventory in Albany County stood at 1281 homes on January 3, 2012 and their were 104 homes that went under contract in December indicating a 12 month supply of homes on the market, up slightly from November when there was an 11 month supply.

30 year fixed mortgage interest rates remain at historic lows in the low to mid 4% range.

Fraida Varah

Albany NY Real Estate Market Update: November, 2011

by Fraida Varah

Preliminary single family home sale numbers for Albany County indicate 145 homes closed in November up 2 from last month with an average sale price of $230,000 and a median sale price of $210,000. Average time on the market slowed to 85 days from 73 the previous month and the sale to list price ratio declined from 96.6% in October to 95.5% in November.

Year to date, single family closed home sales in Albany County are running about 100 fewer that last year to date with 1719 so far this year compared to 1814 this time last year. The year to date average sales price is up slightly to $228,000 from $227,000. but the median is down slightly to $196,000 from $200,000. The average days on the market is up from 72 to 79 and the sale to list price ratio is virtually unchanged at 96.5%.

The months supply of inventory stands at 12 months with 1493 active listings as of December 1 and 126 pending sales written in November. 30 year fixed rate mortgage interest rates remain in the 4% range.

Fraida Varah

Maple Ski Ridge

by Fraida Varah

Maple Ski Ridge is just 30 minutes northwest of Albany, which means one of New York’s finest skiing and snowboarding resorts is easy to get to, even on a moment’s notice, when the urge for the slopes hits. Whether you spend the whole day in the snow, or take some time to relax by the fireplace, a day spent at Maple Ski Ridge will be a day well spent. There are many features that set Maple Ski Ridge apart. Consider its state-of-the-art, environmentally safe snow-making equipment, which covers 95% of the trails. Even when snow levels are less than ideal, Maple Ski Ridge can safely stay open, meaning you get more out of your season pass!

So, what can you expect from a visit to Maple Ski Ridge? For starters, you’ll find trails accommodating every snow enthusiast—from beginners to daredevils. Plus, the Terrain Park, with its hills, jumps, and rails, gives you the chance to do tricks just like the X Games pros. Private lessons and group lessons are available for people of all ages and skill levels, making it easy for everyone to hit the slopes with confidence. And no worries if you don’t have your own equipment, because Maple Ski Ridge has plenty of snowboards, skis, poles, boots, and bindings available to rent.

Season passes purchased before November 30th are only $275, so buy your pass today and save! Day passes are also available, starting with four-hour passes for $32. If you’re looking for a great deal, consider signing up with your family or friends for unbeatable group rates. For more information on rates and passes, click here.

Winterizing Your Home in the greater Albany, NY area

by Fraida Varah

Winter weather means getting out your coats and gloves. But have you thought about getting your house ready for the colder months? If you’re not careful, winter weather can wreak havoc on your home in the form of frozen pipes and leaky roofs, among other things. The good news is that by winterizing your home you can not only avoid these and other problems, but save some money on heating costs too.

The following are some basic winterizing tips:

  1. Check the seals around windows and doors for drafts. If you’re having trouble feeling drafts, try lighting a stick of incense to help you see them. Apply weather stripping wherever air is getting through. Investing in door sweeps is also an inexpensive investment that quickly pays off.
  2. Since heat rises, adding insulation to your attic is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to keep more warmth inside your home. Remember, you should have a minimum one-foot of insulation up there, no matter how cold it gets.
  3. Insulate your pipes to keep them from cracking. Pre-molded foam rubber sleeves are available at most local hardware stores.
  4. If you have a fireplace, make sure there isn’t any debris in the chimney. Also, consider investing in a chimney cap to keep obstructions from entering your chimney in the first place.
  5. Cleaning out your gutters might seem like a time-consuming chore, but clogged gutters can cause water to back up and freeze, which can potentially lead to a leaky roof.
  6. Make sure your furnace is working properly. Replace the furnace filters at the beginning of winter, and plan to change them as needed throughout the season. An annual tune-up and cleaning is also advised.

Albany NY Real Estate Market: October

by Fraida Varah

Preliminary numbers of Albany County single family home sold show 128 homes closed in September compared to 179 one month ago. The average selling price was $212,000 compared to $236,000 a month ago.

Year to date single family homes sales in Albany County stood at 1556 compared to 1656 for the same 10 month period last year. The average selling price is unchanged at $228,000 but the median selling price is down to $195,000 from $200,000. Average sale to list price ratio is about the same at 95.5% and the average time on market is up slightly from 71 days to 78 days.

As of November 1, there is approximately 11 months of inventory available with 1600 listings and 142 houses selling in October...still a buyer's market across many price ranges althought not all.

Mortgage interest rates continue to remain below 4% for a 30 year fixed rate conventional mortgage.

Fraida Varah Real Estate Group

Albany NY Real Estate Market Statistics: September

by Fraida Varah

Preliminary Albany County single family home sale numbers indicate 164 homes closed in September, down from 208 last month, at an average sale price of $239,000 (down from $253,000 last month) and a median sale price of $194,000 (down from $200,000 last month). The average sale to list price ratio was 95.7% and the average time on the market was 83 days.

Year to date, single family homes closed is 1409, down from 1514 during the first nine months of last year. The average sale price is up from $228,000 to $229,000 and the median sale price is down to $195,000 from $200,000 last year. The average sale to list price is about the same as last year at 96.4% and the time on the market is up from 72 days last year to 79 so far this year.

The market slowed some in September with 123 homes going under contract and with 1653 homes on the market as of October 1, the months supply of inventory is now up to 13.2 months compared to 9.5 months at the end of August.

Home mortgage rates are at historic lows with a 30 year fixed rate FHA loan now available at 3.75%.

Fraida Varah

City of Albany NY Homeownership Assistance

by Fraida Varah

The City of Albany recently announced a homeownership assistance program designed to help Albany homebuyers with downpayment and closing costs. The city will make 0% interest loans up to a maximum of 8% of the purchase price to a maximum of $15,000 for a term of up to 10 years on homes whose purchase price does not exceed $200,000. The homeowner must live in the home during the entire term of the loan and complete a Homebuyer 101 course offered by the Affordable Housing Partnership as a condition of being qualified for the program. The homebuyer also must provide a purchase contract and a pre-approval letter from mortgage lender. For additional information and an application, please see the City of Albany website and the link below.

http://albanyny.gov/Government/Departments/DevelopmentPlanning/AlbanyCommunityDevelopmentAgency/HomeownershipAssistance.aspx

Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 43