Articles posted in Tips and Advice

Even Zillow CEO Says Use An Agent

Zillow CEO Calls Zestimates ‘Starting Point’   Even Spencer Rascoff thinks you should ask a real-estate agent what your home is worth   Source: Marketwatch | Sept. 18, 2016 9:10AM | By Amy Hoak, Editor A decade ago, when the real-estate bubble was reaching its peak and homeowners were giddy about the rise in home values, plugging in addresses at the new website Zillow became a national pastime. “People ‘Zillowed’ their Christmas list….

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Old STAR Discontinued for New Homebuyers

“Old” STAR Discount Method Discontinued New Homeowners To Receive Tax Credits If you’re a NY homeowner who participates in the state’s School Tax Relief Program (STAR), recent law changes may affect how you receive your benefit. These changes will begin with the 2016-17 school year, and depend on when you purchased your home. I purchased my home prior to March 1, 2015 If you purchased your primary NY residence and were accepted into…

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Parks and Trails Map

50+ Saratoga Area Parks & Rec Spots Saratoga County, NY In celebration of spring (and winning top spot for healthiest county in NY!), we created this interactive Google Map of parks, playgrounds, trails, beaches and swimming spots all over Saratoga County. It will work on any type of device.  [Scroll down this page to see a text version organized alphabetically by town]  Computers: left click (hold mouse button down) and drag to…

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7 Tips for Better Room Lighting

Effective Room Lighting 7 Tips for a Better, Brighter Space With fewer daylight hours in the winter, rooms in your home that usually benefit from natural light can be left feeling cold and gloomy. And it’s not just about drab looks – loss of daylight and poor lighting can also trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (“SAD”), a type of depression affecting over 10 million Americans. Artificial light – done right – can help combat winter…

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Deadline for STAR Approaching

Reminder: STAR tax relief applications due Deadline for most towns is Feb. 28 Reminder: the deadline to apply for NY’s STAR tax relief discount is approaching. The deadline for most towns is February 28 (a Sunday), after which homeowners will have to wait another full year to take advantage of the program. What is STAR? STAR is a New York State tax relief program that lowers property taxes for certain…

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Tidings of Comfort & Joy: Remodeling ROI

Remodeling ROI and Top Trends for 2016 According to the National Association of REALTORS®, home improvement projects make homeowners very merry all year round – they surveyed Owners’ happiness levels and the return on their home improvement investment, the result is a list of the top remodeling projects to bring tidings of comfort and joy… whether you’re home for Christmas, or decide to sell. If a big remodeling project isn’t on your…

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Renters Beware – Craigslist Reg Flags

Craigslist Red Flags How to Exercise Caution When Using the Internet’s Most Popular Classifieds Site Craigslist can be a great tool for finding apartments, furniture and other items, but it’s also a great tool for scammers looking to steal your money, identity, or worse. As a real estate agency, we also fall victim when our listings’ photos and information is “lifted” from the Internet and used as bait by online…

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Home Hacks for Winter Prep

HOME HACKS – WINTER PREP 15 Fast Fall Projects for Homeowners It’s officially fall (already!), which means it’s time to preparing your home for the winter ahead. Here are 15 things (most of which you can do yourself) to help keep your house warm, cozy, and efficient until spring.     “The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall would be trimming [the] dead out of trees,” says Bryan Gilles, owner…

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Smart Tactics to Market Real Estate Listings

Zillow’s 7 Real Estate SEO Strategies   In real estate, research is key. On the front end, Buyers are researching properties, and Sellers are researching the best agencies to represent them. On the back end, real estate agencies and their marketing companies need to reciprocate by making their websites user-friendly for people and for search engines like Google and Bing. This process – Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) – is a technical matchmaking game that’s absolutely…

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Good News for STAR Exemption

STAR Legislation Passed Property Tax Cap Gets 4 Year Extension The New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR) recently shared good news with all its members regarding the New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) Program. The state Senate and Assembly passed recent legislation, A.8323/S.6012, that extends the property tax cap for four more years. It includes a couple of minor technical amendments and provides a four-year, $3.1 billion property tax…

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