New York Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our resource section to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 19, 2020

7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

As a smart seller, you'll want your home in tip-top shape — but you don't want to eat into your profits by overspending on home improvements. You won't be around to enjoy them anyway. The key is to focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house to ensure every dollar you spend supports a higher asking price.

"Smaller and less expensive updates in combination with good staging will have a great return," says Colorado Springs agent Susanna Haynie. But how do you know what things to do before putting your house on the market? Prioritize these updates — and consider letting the rest go.

#1 The Most Important Repair to Make Before Selling: Fix Damaged Flooring

Scratched-up wood flooring; ratty, outdated carpeting; and tired linoleum make your home feel sad. Buyers might take one step inside and scratch the property from their list. Want to know how to increase the value of your home? Install new flooring.

"Replace what's worn out," says Haynie. "Buyers don't want to deal with replacing carpet, and giving an allowance is generally not attractive enough. Spring for new, neutral carpeting or flooring."

If your home already has hardwood floors, refinishing does the job. Expect to spend about $3,000 on the project — and recoup 100% of the cost, according to the "National Association of REALTORS® Remodeling Impact Report."

Consider swapping any old flooring for new hardwood. This project costs more at around $5,500, but you could recoup more than 90% of that at resale. If that's not in the budget, any flooring update makes an enormous difference.

#2 Fix Water Stains

You've learned to live with the results of a long-fixed plumbing snafu, but for buyers, a water stain suggests there could be a dozen pesky problems hidden beneath the surface. That's why this is one of the things to do before putting your house on the market.

"No buyer wants to buy a money pit," says Haynie.

First, make sure the problem is fixed: Bring in a plumber to look for leaky piping or poor yard drainage if your basement is damp. Diverting rainwater from your foundation may cost as little as $800, and repairing a leaking pipe costs approximately $300.

As for the repair work, replacing a water-stained ceiling runs about $670, and drywall costs around $1.50 per square foot.

All are cheaper than a lost sale.

#3 Repair Torn Window Screens

So super inexpensive — and even DIY-able. You can purchase a window screen frame repair kit from a home improvement store for $10 to $15.

Considering the simplicity of this repair, making the fix is always worth it — and so are other small but highly visible issues. When you're debating how to increase the value of your home, nix any small problems, snags, or ugly spots that might make buyers scrunch up their brows.

#4 Update Grout

Is your grout yellowing or cracked? Buyers will notice. New grout, on the other hand, can make old floors look like they came straight from the showroom.

"The best return-on-investment projects before selling a home involve making a home look like new," says Malibu, Calif.-based agent Shelton Wilder. She recently sold a home above asking price after a complete re-grout.

This is another small fix with a big impact: Simple bathroom re-grouting may cost just $1 to $2 per square foot, increasing to $10 per square foot for more complicated jobs. And if you're handy, you can save even more DIY-ing it.

#5 Resuscitate a Dying Lawn

Nothing says, “This one's gonna take some work" like a brown, patchy, weedy lawn.

Fixing the problem doesn't cost a ton of money — and you'll get it all back (and then some!) once you sell. Hiring a lawn care service to apply fertilizer and weed control will cost about $375. Once you sell the home, that comparatively cheap fix could recoup $1,000. That's an unbeatable 267% return on investment.

#6 Erase Pet Damage

Did your (sort of) darling kitten scratch your bedroom door? Fix the damage before listing your home. Otherwise, buyers may consider the scuffs a canary in the coal mine.

”If you have pet damage, buyers will [then] look for pet stains on the floor," says Haynie.

Refinishing a door costs between $100 and $215 (or less, if you're willing to DIY). Replacing pet-damaged carpeting or hardwood may be a bigger job than buffing out some scuffs — but it's worth the cash.

#7 Revive an Outdated Kitchen

A full kitchen renovation is rarely worth it when it comes time to sell — even though buyers love a fresh look. "Kitchens are still one of the most important features for buyers," says Haynie.

The problem is, this $65,000 upgrade isn't something that buyers will pay you back for. Sellers recoup about 62% of a full-on kitchen renovation. If you're updating the space just for your sale, focus on low-cost, high-impact projects instead.

"Updating the kitchen doesn't need to be expensive," says Wilder. "Painting wood cabinets, updating hardware, or installing new countertops or appliances could be enough."

Setting up your home for selling success doesn't have to be expensive. Focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house by picking projects that do more than look pretty. Choose updates that get your home in selling shape and justify a higher asking price.

Brought to you by Houselogic


Posted in Home Selling Tips
Oct. 20, 2020

5 Steps To An Energy-Smart Home

What upgrades are you considering for your new home?

Did you know you could save hundreds of dollars each year and increase the value of your home by making a few energy-efficient upgrades? Plus, these changes will have a positive environmental impact! 

5 Top Tips Towards a Cost and Energy Efficient Home

Posted in Homeowner Top Tips
Oct. 7, 2020

Protect Yourself From Mortgage Fraud

Protect yourself from mortgage fraud!

The months leading up to the purchase of a new home are super-busy. There’s so much to do! While you’re tending to everything on your list, be careful not to let scammers take advantage. As homes continue to sell, more opportunities arise for mortgage fraud.

How it works:

You’ve picked out a property and you’re now preparing for closing. Here’s where the hacker steps in.

If you’re targeted, you might get an email appearing to be from your real estate firm or title company. It’s telling you there’s been a last-minute change in the closing process. It’ll then instruct you to wire your closing fees or even your entire down payment, to a specified account. Alternatively, you’ll be asked to share account information so that the company can withdraw fees.

Of course, the email is bogus and the account belongs to the scammer. In a matter of minutes, you can lose tens of thousands of dollars.

Red flags:

Learn how to spot a fake email and hold onto your money. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Pre-closing payments.  Most closing-related fees aren’t due until the day of the actual closing.
  2. Wire transfers. Many mortgage brokers and realtors won’t insist that you wire funds. They’ll happily accept a check. If they do require a wire make sure to discuss how to make the transfer over the phone.
  3. Email.  You should never be asked to send financial information via email.

If you’re targeted:

If you receive an email from your real estate firm or mortgage company asking you to wire funds, do not respond. Verify the email’s legitimacy by contacting them with a number you know is genuine. Do not click on any embedded links or respond directly to the email. Instead, open up a new message and email them directly.

When the scam is confirmed, take these steps to protect yourself and others in the future:

  • Delete the suspicious email
  • Alert your real estate firm, mortgage broker, financial institution, and title company
  • Tell your house-hunting friends about the scam
  • Alert the FTC at

If you’ve already wired money to the scammer, you can still mitigate the damage by asking about a wire recall immediately. If you’re in the market for a new home, be extra vigilant. Don’t let this exciting time become a nightmare!  If you have any questions or concerns about your mortgage or protecting yourself from scammers, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling 315.777.8995 or by clicking the envelope icon at the top right corner of this page.

Posted in Homebuying Tips
Sept. 25, 2020

Achieve Your Dream Of Homeownership

You’ve saved a down payment, narrowed down your choices of neighborhoods, and created a wish list of the qualities you want in a home. To help make sure you’re ready, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask yourself before taking the next steps toward your dream of homeownership.

Remember, purchasing a new home costs more than just the down payment. Buyers also need to cover closing costs, moving expenses, new furniture, renovations, as well as upkeep and maintenance for their new home.

Can I afford the monthly mortgage payments?


Most lending companies will loan to a homebuyer if the monthly mortgage payments do not push the buyer's debt-to-income (DTI) ration above the recommended 43 percent. This means the total monthly debt the buyer carries, including their mortgage, credit cards, loans, and car payments, does not exceed 43 percent of their monthly income. Unsure what your debt-to-income ration looks like? Check out this helpful calculator.

When determining whether you can afford your monthly payments, be sure to include calculations for taxes and insurance. A mortgage lender should be able to provide estimates for you and may recommend escrowing them into your monthly payment.

Does buying a house in my neighborhood make financial sense?

In some neighborhoods, rentals are relatively affordable while houses sell for far more than they’re worth. Ask your real estate agent about the neighborhoods you’re considering, as they’ll be able to provide insight into these trends and why they might occur. They can also help you determine if a different neighborhood might be a better fit for you. 

Real estate agents at Personalized Real Estate Solutions have insight into neighborhoods throughout Northern and Central New York, including along the St. Lawrence River and in Syracuse.

Do I have a plan in place for repairs?

As a renter, you call the landlord about a leaky faucet, and it becomes their problem. As a homeowner, it’s your problem, so you can either fix the leaky faucet or hire someone to do the job. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place before you need to fix something in your new home.

If you’re handy enough to handle repairs on your own, you’ll save money, but will need to be ready to give up some of your free time to tend to things around the house. Otherwise, it’s best to have money in an emergency fund for possible repairs or necessary replacements before purchasing a home.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone, whether it's your first home, your dream home, or a vacation home. If you're ready to take the next steps toward buying a home in New York State, reach out to one of our helpful real estate agents today.

Posted in Homebuying Tips
June 15, 2020

All You Need to Know About Home Loans

A home loan, or mortgage, is likely to be one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s important to know all the facts!

What is a home loan?

A home loan, or a mortgage, enables you to purchase a home without having to foot all the cash out of your pocket when purchasing. You will, however, need to make a down payment, which is typically between 3.5-20% of the home’s appraised value, along with closing costs and some other fees. The lender then finances the rest of the purchase. You’ll repay the loan, along with interest, usually over the course of 15 to 30 years.

Are all home loans alike?

Before you get started, you’ll need to choose a mortgage type. A good lender will help you find the right one for your needs. A conventional loan usually requires a 5-20% down payment, an FHA loan may also be an option, which typically requires a smaller down payment, but requires you purchase mortgage insurance. If you’re a military veteran, consider obtaining a VA loan, which lets you buy a home with zero down payment.

Once you’ve chosen the kind of loan that’s best for your family, you may be given a choice of repayment arrangements for the loan.  Here are the three common types of mortgages:

1.  30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The interest rate on this 30-year mortgage will remain fixed no matter the changes to the national rate.
2.  15-year fixed-rate mortgage. This mortgage will also have a fixed interest rate, but the term lasts just 15 years. The monthly payments will be higher, but the overall interest paid over the course of the loan will be significantly lower.
3.  Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).  An ARM gives the borrower a lower interest rate in the early years of the loan, and then a gradual increase (adjustment) in rate over the rest of the life of the mortgage.

What do I need to know before applying for a home loan?   

A home is likely to be the largest purchase you’ll ever make. To qualify, you’ll need documentation that shows you can afford the monthly payments.

The primary way lenders gauge your financial responsibility is through your credit score. This number is like a grade that tells lenders how you’ve handled your past credit accounts and other debts. It will include the length of time you’ve had credit accounts and loans open, the timeliness with which you’ve made your payments, the trajectory of your debt and the amount of available credit you might use. You can request a free credit report from all three major credit bureaus once a year at

Another crucial factor in determining your eligibility for a mortgage is your debt-to-income ratio or your DTI. Lenders want to know how big your collective outstanding debt will be in relation to your income.

If you’re considering buying a home, make sure to pay all your bills on time, don’t open new credit cards and work on paying down your overall debt. A higher credit score will help you get approved quicker and obtain a lower interest rate on your loan.

When should I apply for a home loan?

While you won’t need the loan until you are ready to close on a house, it’s a good idea to start the process before you begin house-hunting. If approved, your lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter showing the amount you’re qualified for. Having this letter in hand shows sellers you’re serious about buying. Most pre-approvals are only good for 60-90 days, so make sure you’re ready to start house hunting before you get yours.

How can Personalized Real Estate Solutions help?

We've streamlined the process of buying or selling a home to make it easier for you. PRES built a team of industry experts to make sure you have access to local home inspectors, contractors, interior designers, service providers, property managers, lending professionals, title and escrow companies, painters, gardeners, plumbers, electricians, home warranty companies, and more to provide you with the best service possible!

We are dedicated to providing the most up-to-date market data in the area. Our team is made up of caring, knowledgeable professionals that will work tirelessly to make your home buying and selling experience rewarding and convenient.


Posted in Homebuying Tips
June 15, 2020

Home Buying Checklist

New home or not so new, it pays to know what to look for regarding its structure, equipment and surroundings. Though a final assessment can be made by an inspection service company, this checklist can serve as a reminder of what you should look for – in order to make a wise buying decision.

Posted in Homebuying Tips
June 15, 2020

Is your home ready to show?

Make sure you’ve done everything you can – inside and out – to make your home as attractive as possible in the eyes of the buyer. First impressions last. And homes that look their best tend to sell faster and command every dollar they’re worth. Use this checklist when preparing and showing your home for sale.

A fresh coat of paint for home, garage, even fences – may be the one improvement that creates the most positive first impression. Lawn trimmed, clear of debris. Gutters sealed and downspouts clean. Tidy front entrance. Door brass polished, worn trim or rusty mailbox painted. Storms and screens cleaned. New doormat put out. If possible, keep front curbside free of parked cars. Painting inside walls can pay dividends far beyond the time, effort and expense involved. Tend to “little things” – oil squeaking doors, tighten loose cabinet knobs, take out removable stains, replace damaged floor tiles. All windows, doors and drawers should open and close easily. Fasten loose tread plates, clean soiled carpeting. The kitchen is the one place in the home that buyers look at closely. Tighten leaky faucets, repair faulty wall switches, outlets, light fixtures and any appliances that will “go with the home.” The bathroom gets close scrutiny too. Keep it spotless. Tiles scrubbed and grouted, faucets polished, toiletries and medicines in their chest. Laundry items in closed hamper. Cleaned windows and clear, uncluttered closets and basement contribute to a more attractive home. Clear out accumulated items from closets, cabinets and under counters – also from the garage. Consider holding a garage sale prior to showing your home.

Article Source: NYSAR,

Posted in Home Selling Tips
June 15, 2020

New York State Offers Something for Everyone!

Find out more about New York State

This collection of links to local REALTOR® associations and chambers of commerce can help you find out more about New York State and the areas where you may be interested in purchasing a home.

You may also click here for a local board/association directory.


1. Adirondack Region :
To find out about the Adirondack region, click on the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce or visit the Northern Adirondack Board of REALTORS® website.

To find out more about, Lake Placid, click here.

For information on Plattsburgh, click on the North Country Chamber of Commerce or visit the Clinton County Board of REALTORS® website.

Find about more about Saranac Lake.

Find about more about St. Lawrence County, visit the St. Lawrence County Board of REALTORS® website.

For more information about Warren County, visit the Southern Adirondack REALTORS® website.

For information about Whiteface Mountain, click here.

2. Capital Region:
For information about the Capital District, visit the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® website or click on the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce.

For information about Columbia County, visit the Columbia-Greene Board of REALTORS® website.

For information on Guilderland, click on the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Rensselaer, click on the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Saratoga County, click on the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Schoharie County, click here.

For information about Southern Saratoga County,  click on the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County.

3. Central Region:
For information on Greater Syracuse, visit the Greater Syracuse Association of REALTORS® website.

For information on Utica and Rome, visit the Mohawk Valley Association of REALTORS® website or click on the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Jefferson and Lewis counties, visit the Jefferson-Lewis Board of REALTORS® website.

Additional information about the Mohawk Valley, can be found at the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce site.

4. Genesee Region:
For information about Cortland County, click on the Cortland County Board of REALTORS®.

For information about the western Finger Lakes Region, click here.

To find out about Geneva, click on the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Greece, click on the Greece Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the Greater Rochester area, visit the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® website.

For information about Livingston County, visit the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Webster, click on the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Yates County, click on the Yates County Chamber of Commerce.

5. Lower Hudson Region:
For information on the Dutchess County area, visit the Dutchess County Association of REALTORS® website or click on the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Orange County, Putnam County, Rockland County, Westchester County and Manhattan visit the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® website.

For information on Orange County, or visit the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Red Hook, click on the Red Hook Area Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Ulster County, visit the Ulster County Board of REALTORS® website.

For information on Warwick Valley, click on the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Westchester County, click on the Westchester County Chamber of Commerce.

6. Metropolitan Region:

For more information about the Bronx, visit the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS® website.

For more information about Brooklyn, visit the Brooklyn Board of REALTORS® website.

To find out about Greater New York, click on the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the Hampton and North Fork area of Long Island, visit the Hamptons & North Fork REALTORS® Association website.

For information on Huntington, click on the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Long Island, visit the Long Island Board of REALTORS® website.

For more information about Manhattan, visit the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® website here.

For information on Queens, click on the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Sag Harbor, click on the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Staten Island, visit the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® website.

7. Southern Tier Region:
For more information about Broome County, click on the Greater Binghamton Association of REALTORS® or visit the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.

For information on the Elmira area, visit the Elmira-Corning Regional Association of REALTORS® website.

For more information about Chenango, click on the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Cortland County, click on the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Delaware County, click on the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

For information about Ithaca, visit the Ithaca Board of REALTORS® website.

For more information on Otsego and Delaware counties, visit the Otsego-Delaware Board of REALTORS® website.

8. Western Region:
For information about the Buffalo area, visit the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Association of REALTORS® website or click on the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce.

To find out about the Greater Olean area, click on the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce.

For information on Hamburg, click on the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

For information about the Jamestown area, visit the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County Area.

Article Source: NYSAR,

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates