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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life, this Friday, Nov. 30, at 7pm

 
 
 
 
The Opera House will screen the classic holiday film, It's a Wonderful Life, this Friday, Nov. 30, at 7pm, with FREE admission as our gift to the community. Come see this 1946 classic (#1 on the American Film Institute list of the most inspirational American movies of all time) in the Opera House beautifully decorated for the holidays. And if you can't make it, take this tour of the Opera House in all its holiday finery!


For More Information On Chautauqua Lake Real Estate and Living Visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com Our Listings: www.chautauqualakehomes.postlets.com

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The 5 Most Expensive Ways Buyers & Sellers Sabotage Themselves



It’s easy to see the experience of buying or selling a home as an adversarial one: you vs. the people on the other side of the bargaining table, with one chess move by your opponent potentially costing you thousands of dollars.

In my experience, though, the average real estate consumer’s biggest potential enemy is him or herself. Buyers and sellers routinely take approaches, make moves and make omissions that cost themselves much more than anything the other side could ever do.


The first step of any cure is diagnosis. Here are some clues to detecting the costliest cases of real estate self-sabotage so you can stop them in their tracks, get out of your own way and get back to the business of buying or selling your home:

1.  Hesitating.  I’m a big proponent of buying or selling - making any real estate move, really - on whatever time frame makes sense for your life, your family and your finances, rather than trying to time the market. That said, once you’ve done the math, saved your pennies, prepped your property and otherwise decided to move forward on your home buying or selling plan of action, hesitation can cost you. 

  • Buyers who hesitate to make an offer can lose out on a home entirely - or can wait so long another offer comes in, forcing them to offer more to beat the other folks out.
  • Sellers who hesitate to take an offer can lose out on a buyer, when a new listing comes on the market that catches their eye or better meets their needs.
  • Mortgage borrowers who wait too long to lock their interest rates can end up paying more when rates creep up instead of down.

And here’s one more for buyers: hesitating to move forward after you get into contract can also cost you untold stress and deal complications if it snowballs into a situation where you run late removing contingencies - having to ask the seller repeatedly for extensions can cost you negotiation goodwill that you could otherwise have leveraged into repairs or closing cost credits.

I’d say 90% of hesitation is a result of fear, and fear most often arises when
  • we second-guess our life decisions connected to the real estate transaction,
  • we don’t understand or are intimidated by a subject, or
  • we feel powerless to make a wise decision because we don’t know our options all the factors we should be taking into account.

Accordingly, you can eliminate hesitation-related self-sabotage by:
  • working through the life and financial decisions that are intertwined with your real estate matters completely and on paper before you start the process, so you can revisit them if and when you’re tempted to hesitate

  • getting as educated as possible in advance about your local market dynamics and neighborhood home values, as well as the home buying or selling process in general, and
  • diving head first into the discomfort and uncertainty that everyone experiences when they make these major decisions, sitting down with your agent and other pros involved to get every question you have answered in a timely manner so you can move forward, rather than putting decisions off and “sleeping on it” night after night.

2.  Not taking expert advice. Have you ever taken an indecisive friend out to dinner, watched them hem and haw over the menu, ask the server what their favorite dish is and then order something totally different than the server’s choice? That same phenomenon takes place every day in real estate. Many smart buyers and sellers invest much time and energy into agent-finding, asking around for referrals, checking agents out online, interviewing them and even calling around to check references, only to completely disregard their advice!

If you have a reputable, competent agent, you might be surprised at how often they can save you money with simple nuggets of experience-laden advice specific to a given scenario, like:
  • act fast
  • list it lower
  • offer less/more
  • counteroffer for more
  • be aggressive
  • take the bank’s terms
  • don’t buy that house
  • get one more inspection/bid
  • don’t remove contingencies yet/remove contingencies now
  • ask for X, Y or Z repair, price reduction, credit, free rent-back, furniture, or longer time to close.

Experienced, local agents have a strong sense for some of the precise things that are so tricky for a buyer or seller to wrap their heads around, like pricing and negotiations. You should definitely ask your agent for data and the logical rationale behind their advice, and should keep asking until you understand and are comfortable with the decision that you make (whether or not it agrees with their recommendations). By no means am I suggesting that you blindly take every piece of advice you are given by any agent, trusted or not.

That said, if you’re having a hard time getting satisfaction or making progress on your home buying or selling aims
and your typical reaction to advice from your agent is to reject it, at least consider that being more receptive to that advice might actually help you get out of your own way. 

And if you have a truly hard time trusting your agent’s advice for whatever reason, consider that you might simply not yet have found the right agent for you.

3.  Overpricing or lowballing.  It might run contrary to conventional wisdom, the idea that asking for more money or offering less can be acts of self-sabotage, but ignoring the damage that these acts can do to your real estate plans is unwise. In real estate, pricing is just more nuanced than that. It’s not the case that you can simply pick your price, ignoring the financial complexities involved and the psychologies of the folks on the other side, and expect for good things to magically happen.

Those nuances include these truths: setting a list-price that is significantly above what other, similar homes have recently sold for will not only not get you that price, it poses the potential to turn buyers off, keep them from coming to see your home, make your place sit on the market longer than it needs to and ultimately, it can result in low or no offers. At the extreme, overpricing can force you to cut the price, sometimes dramatically, to activate buyers who have learned to disregard the obviously overpriced listing in their online house hunt search results.

And buyers beware: making lowball offers significantly below the fair market value of target homes has a similar impact. Sellers ignore them or counter them up higher or they get beat out (often repeatedly) by more realistic buyers. I have seen the tendency to lowball cost buyers thousands over the months they are trying to get a fantasy-land deal, in terms of home price increases or money that same buyer ends up throwing at their eventual home, out of desperation and frustration.

Don’t let your emotions be the ruler of your pricing or offer decisions. Motivation is one factor to consider, but the data on recent, comparable sales should be given much more weight, to keep the threat of price-related self-sabotage in check.

4.  Cutting corners.  Getting a home ready for sale is a marathon endeavor, not a sprint - especially if you’ve been living there for a number of years. Same goes for working on your credit, savings and financial plans in advance of making your first buy: smart buyers-to-be start years in advance. So, it’s tempting to get near the end of your preparation action plan, lose patience and start cutting corners on staging, property preparation, even vetting your own financials and family wants and needs.

Don’t submit to temptation - well, don’t submit without the input of your agent and loan officer. 

Depending on your situation, there are some corners that might be okay to cut - the ones that will have very little impact on the eventual outcome of your real estate endeavors. But give the pros you ‘hired’ the opportunity to give you their input before you unilaterally skip steps on your original action plan. If you tell your agent you need to cut your property preparation budget down by a bit, they can help you decide where the corners you cut will have the least impact on your home’s overall presentation to buyers. If your loan officer says that paying a particular credit account down by $4,000 instead of $5,000 won’t really do too much to your qualification status, you might be fine kickstarting your house hunt a few months before you had planned to.

Unfortunately, it’s all too common to see homes where the sellers have poured cash into great, fundamental repairs and neglected some essential, inexpensive cosmetic items - or buyers who have fallen just a tad short on cash or credit and end up scrambling to boost one or both under pressure. Bring your professional team into the conversation before you cut any corners, and ask them to help you understand and minimize any consequences of cutting costs.

5.  Failing to read documents all the way through. Hundreds of your signatures will be requested and required during the process of buying or selling a home. But perhaps the single-most expensive way real estate consumers stab themselves in the back is by failing to read and understand nthe documents they are given - from contracts to disclosures to inspection reports and even closing/loan documents - all the way through.

Many a condo owner has been surprised to learn that they are being assessed a hefty special bill for common area repairs, when that “surprise” was predictable from a few of the hundred pages of HOA disclosures they received before closing escrow. Seller disclosures can be cryptic and boring, but also often contain red flags to guide buyers and their inspectors to the real areas of concern. (Their guiding power is nil if you don’t read them, though.)

And the same goes for sellers - your agent should read and help you understand offer(s), buyer’s inspection reports and requests for repairs or credits, estimated closing statements and everything else, but ultimately you are responsible for reading and understanding all of these influential, binding documents before you sign them. 

So read them. And don’t be afraid to ask questions or insist on clarifications and corrections, if indicated. If you were quoted a certain interest rate or monthly payment, make sure that matches up to what you see in your closing docs - or that you understand and accept the reasons why it doesn’t, before you sign. This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the major lender-borrower disputes and buyer-seller legal dramas that have arisen over the years because of errors in loan or closing documents that could have been detected and resolved simply, easily and inexpensively before closing.  Don’t be one of them.

ALL: How have you sabotaged yourself - or seen others do the same
- in the process of buying or selling a home?
All: You should follow
Trulia and Tara on Facebook!




For More Information On Chautauqua Lake Real Estate and Living Visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com Our Listings: www.chautauqualakehomes.postlets.com

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Holiday Valley Resort's New Lodge Replaces the Chalet in the Valley

Holiday Valley Resort is on a quest for conitnous improvement and has demolished the old Clubhouse Chalet where your ski trips have started since 1962. Desite the six expansions over the years, it was time for the resort to build a new lodge with more efficient year round facilities for skiers, golfers, vacationers, conferences, events and more. The result is $12 million , 66,000 square foot building that screams the great outdoors. The new building is what you expect to see at a world class resort, with 32 foot high cathedral ceilings, tongue and groove cedar decking, massive wooden beams, 2 story stone chimney with fireplaces on both floors and a great lodge feel on the extrior with natural stone and cedar.



Details of the New Holiday Valley Lodge



New Holiday Valley Lodge (drawing from www.holidayvalley.com, retreived 9-9-2012)
According to Holiday Valley Resort, the special features of the new Lodge will please guests throught the year. The overall lodge has improved views of the slopes, private party rooms, large capacity conference rooms, and expanded food service area, and expanded exterior deck, an McCarty Cafe, the Overloot Terrace and a Day Care center. The new food service area has a brick pizza oven and increased seating. The second story bar has an awesome 180 degree panoramic view of the slopes through the floor to ceiling windows. The private party rooms are available to groups to rent, while the large capacity conference rooms are available on a year ‘round basis for your conferences and executive retreats. The layout of the new McCarty CafĂ© is designed for improve customer service, while keeping its cozy, intimate feeling. The popular exterior decks are expanded and the Overlook Terrace replaced the existing Day Care Center and can be used for year ‘round outdoor events. The Day Care is inside the new Lodge, for convenient drop off and pick up of your kids. The seasonal locker rooms, the High Performance shop and Rental shop are expanded and are more centrally located and have greater slope access. (Click link to see project photos on Holiday Valley's Website). Based on the plans layed out by Holiday Valley Resort, this should be one cool lodge that is updated look and feel similar to other world class resorts.



Countdown to the Grand Opening



Demolition of the 1962 Clubhouse Chalet began on March 18, 2012 and the new Lodge will be complete by December 2012 if everything goes as planned. As you know, the weather and unanticipated items may change the completion date. According to Holiday Valley Resort, the new lodge should be open in time for the 2012-2013 ski season. The following is the the estimated timeline:

•March 2012 - Demolition of the Clubhouse

•End of May 2012 - Steel structure complete

•August 2012- Windows installed

•September 2012 - Interior finishing begins

•October 2012 - Landscaping and parking

•December 15 - Completion of the lodge


The End Result



October 2012 Holiday Vally Lodge Construction
The new Holiday Valley Lodge continues a 19 year run of resort improvments that ranges from new lifts, lodges, trails, equipment and properties. The lodge is a great renovation to the resort and is still central to the Resort Services Center, Holiday Valley pool complex and the Mountain Shop/Golf Shop. Holiday Valley Resort continues to prove why it is ranked in the top ten ski resort towns in the East , according to Ski magazine. You will be sure to create as many new memories, stories and getaways at the new lodge that the old Clubhouse Chalet did for the past 50 years of guests













For More Information On Chautauqua Lake Real Estate and Living Visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com Our Listings: www.chautauqualakehomes.postlets.com

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Big Crowd Anticipated for Holiday Valley Beer and Wine Festival

October 31, 2012 9:23 am | Chautauqua-Allegheny, arts and culture, festivals and events, food and wine
holiday-valley.JPGNovember 9-10, 2012
Ellicottville, N.Y. - The cold weather is setting in, and there’s no snow for skiing or snowboarding, yet Holiday Valley is anticipating a big crowd on November 9 and 10. The 9th Annual Holiday Valley Beer and Wine Festival will take place November 10 from 3:30 to 7:30 PM in the Yodeler Lodge. A sell-out crowd of over 2,000 people are expected to attend Saturday’s Beer Fest event. Presale tickets are $45 per person.
Holiday Valley, the Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing Company will host this event where over 30 local, US and international craft brewers plus 6 wineries from New York State will pour samples of their products for beer and wine enthusiasts.
The band Big Leg Emma will entertain attendees during Saturday’s event and a Torcedores will demonstrate hand rolled cigars. A variety of Brewfest foods will be served throughout the event and each ticket includes a $5 food credit.
A very special Brewers Dinner will be held on Friday, November 9 at 6PM.The evening will feature flavor combinations of nationally recognized craft beers and seasonally focused cuisine, all served in a casual station format. This unique opportunity will allow guests to meet brewers from popular Micro Breweries to discuss the nuances of their beer and how it compliments the food it is paired with. One hundred people are expected to attend the Brewers Dinner. The Brewers Dinner is $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling 716-699-2010.
Lodging packages including Brewers Dinner and Festival tickets are available at the Inn at Holiday Valley, the Tamarack Club and Holiday Valley Rental Properties. Shuttles are available to transport Holiday Valley Lodging guests to the Festival then to the Village of Ellicottville and back to the Holiday Valley lodging properties.
Presale tickets for the Beer and Wine Festival are $45 and are available online at www.holidayvalley.com/brewfest and also at Wegmans.
Contact:
Jane Eshbaugh
Director of Marketing
Holiday Valley Resort
6557 Holiday Valley Road
PO Box 370
Ellicottville, NY 14731
716-699-3904