5 Tips to Make the Buying Process Less Stressful

Buying and selling a house is one of the most stressful things someone can do in their lifetime. So much goes into it- the timing, the planning, etc. Everything needs to be planned perfectly and if one person does not hold up their end the entire thing could fall through. On the plus side, there is a few ways to not have to do this when looking for a house. For those of you that are about to, currently, or thinking of going on a house hunting journey these four tips should really help.

Tip 1: Decide What Your Requirements Are
Buying a house is one of the biggest and most important purchases a person will make in their lifetime. That being said, you want to love it, and if you’re moving with a partner you want them to love it too! Even when you’re even kind of thinking about it- nothing is set in stone, sit down with whomever you are moving with and think about what you want. How many bathrooms? Do you want a pool? How many bedrooms? Will you have a lot of people coming to visit? What size? What area of town? There’s a lot of decisions that are going to be made during this conversation. Write down and list the absolute minimum requirements for your future dream home. This will help the buyer’s agent find a home that you love too. It is important to get a house that you’re happy about, your partner is happy about, and that is functional for your lifestyle.

Tip 2: Get Pre Approved for a Mortgage
There are a lot of positives on getting pr eapproved for a mortgage. Number one on the list: it helps you to know your budget. One of the worst things is finding a house, falling in love and figuring out it’s just not in your price range. Getting pre approved can help get rid of that. It helps you know exactly how much you can borrow, and know your mortgage payment. Secondly, it also helps in the negotiating process. The seller will actually figure that since you are pre approved your offer is good and a sure thing. Because you’re pre approved, the seller will take your offer over other peoples because it adds a level of certainty.

Tip 3: Don’t Rush the Process
The second you decide you want to buy a house, start getting ready to buy a house. Give yourself enough time to do everything you want to do. Nobody wants to buy a house they kind of like, only to find the one you love days later. Give it some time to find exactly what you want. Start exploring your options early on, as this can help you minimize stress. The feeling of urgency is one of the number one reasons this process can be so stressful. Avoid that by giving yourself ample time to figure out what is perfect for you and your family.

Tip 4: Plan your viewings
Instead of having 15 different viewings all on different days, see if it’s possible to block off hours for multiple viewings in one day. Trying for weekdays is also good as less people go for viewings during the week. Your agent is also going to be able to give you more of their attention.

Tip 5: Get an Agent
Getting an agent is one of the most important parts of the process. Agents know the process like the back of their hand. They can help you navigate the market and decide what works and what doesn’t. They are there to carry most of the workload during the buying process. They are there to make it as easy as possible for you. An agent can be one of the best tools you can have. They are there to advise you on what to do, how much to offer, and answer any of your other questions. Finding an agent you can trust, rely on, and call with any new information is important. Lastly, they have access to newer listings before other people do- which means they can find your dream house faster than you can sometimes.
Hopefully using these five tips will help to ease your buying process and make it less stressful for you! Remember that at the end of it will be exactly what you wanted- the house you need for this point in your life. No matter what happens, house hunting is quite the adventure. We wish you all the luck with it. We do like being a part of the adventure however. Red Door of WNY is opening doors all over WNY! Give us a call or stop in and we can help you open yours!

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4 Famous Houses in Buffalo

I think we take Buffalo for granted. This place has seen a lot of history! From the Erie Canal, to the burning of the city, to being called New Amsterdam for a little while- this place has been around for quite some time. Walking around the city will show you just how long it’s been around. We have some of the oldest buildings and a lot of new ones too.  This doesn’t change the fact that we have some pretty cool houses around you. Today, we’re only going to talk about 4.

1- Darwin D. Martin House Complex, Frank Lloyd Wright
125 Jewett Parkway & 118 Summit Avenue, Buffalo NY 14214
Constructed in 1903-1905, this complex consists of multiple structures. It is from the ‘prairie house’ style portion of his early, much celebrated career. It has 394 art glass windows just to give you a brief idea. It is most famous for the Wright style of horizontal lines and sharp angles and ranks among his most famous works. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the six structure property for a very wealthy and prominent business man, Darwin D. Martin. Over time, parts of the complex have been demolished, but there are still a few original structures standing. The complex is now going through a complete restoration. Cool thing about this place- it has the home of the famous ‘Tree of Life’ stained glass window. Go check it out- there are tours going on there all the time!

2- Birge- Horton House, Green & Wicks Architectural Firm
477 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY 14202
This was built by one of the most famous Buffalo Architects- E.B. Green. It was originally built in 1895 for Henry M. Birge and his wife.  They would come to own a dry goods store, but then change focus to wall paper. Soon, they would be the largest producer and distributor of wall paper in the nation under the name of M. H. Birge & Sons after he took his sons, Henry and George in as partners to the business. The business eventually closed down as wall paper lost popularity in the late 1980s. The house itself is Georgian-revival style and it is four stories tall. It was the last home constructed during the row-houses era, which is a type of house unique to Buffalo. In 1906, Katherine Pratt-Horton would end up living there, eventually buying the property in 1920 from Fanny Birge- wife of Henry Birge. After she passed away, the home was inherited by the Daughters of the American Revolution- the current owner.

3- Robert T. Coles House and Studio
321 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo NY
Robert T. Coles is one of the most famous people that Buffalo has ever produced. He is credited with designing the Merriweather library, U.B.’s Alumni Arena, the John F. Kennedy Recreation center, and many more. The studio was built in 1961 and designed by Coles to be his primary residence and studio. It has been his home with his wife Sylvia for over 50 years now. The house is modern style and it is an L-shape. It is a single story home with two units connected by a small hallway. At the time of its construction, it was considered one of the most modern designs ever. Looking at pictures of it, the home looks so liberating. I feel at home just looking at it.

4- William Dorsheimer House
434-438 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York
This is actually the first property designed in Buffalo by H.H. Richardson. This house would actually lead him to even more important and prestigious projects because of how well-received it was. It would actually lead him to getting the commission for the Richardson-Olmstead Complex.  The home was built and designed between 1869-1871, and is three stories tall with a simple design. The home was built for William Dorscheimer, a wealthy Buffalo lawyer. He would go on to become a politician and later a journalist. The house is now used for commercial purposes.

Just walking around this city can lead you to a multitude of places to look at and enjoy. There are so many famous and historical houses in Buffalo, 4 is just scratching the surface. Who knows? Maybe the house you live in will one day become famous too! At Red Door of WNY, maybe we can help you find that house. We’re opening doors all over WNY! Let us make your dreams come true!

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6 Ways to Update Your Outdoor Spaces

With the arrival of summer also comes the arrival of a variety of get togethers at your home. Where do these get togethers usual occur? The backyard- on the patio or in the backyard. Being in a place where the cold weather is a good portion of the year, our patios and outdoor spaces take a big hit when it comes to our extreme weather. Since this is the case usually an update or two is needed every occasionally, to spruce of our space. Here are some tips for ways to update these spaces so that you can enjoy them more and add to the value of your home when it is time to sell it.

1- Add a fire pit.
There is nothing like sitting around a fire with your friends and family on a cool summer night, relaxing and having conversation. Fire pits are becoming more popular than ever. It also adds an entirely new look to your backyard while offering your guests a reason to stay later. It also can be used as a centerpiece of an entire event. There are a lot of options for getting a fire pit. Most people just buy them and throw them somewhere in the backyard. Make sure to put them on something more solid than grass or you will have strange yellow circles in the backyard where the grass is now dead. Some people do add permanent fire pits on the patio and in the backyard and Pinterest has hundreds of ideas on how to make them. Good thing is- if you use a more permanent way you can use it in the winter. Don’t forget the smores!

2- Grab some paint.
Painting some of the areas in your yard with bold, contrasting colors help to make the space more seasonal. For example- painting the desk a bold yellow and adding a blue rug helps to contrast your space. This adds to the overall feel that you are in summer mode. Another option is picking a more neutral color which can callow you to add some bold color accessories that you can change as you please. The southern states have recently started painting their patio ceilings ‘haint blue’. Who knows? Maybe this will become popular in the north.

3- Create some art
It’s amazing what a few DIY projects can do for you. Putting some decorative things in the backyard can really help make the space more oriented towards you and who you are. They can be as simple as some painted step stones to the garden to some creative bird houses. One idea to get your kids involved as well is painting some rocks for your garden. Grab some acrylic paint and let them design a few rocks that you can place around your space. This will add some character.

4- Put some light on it!
Adding lights in the backyard can really help when the party keeps going on into the later hours of the night. This can be simple as there are many ways to do this. Adding some string lights along the back fence or over the patio itself help to give it a more celebratory look. Adding some mason jars around the backyard with some simple candles is just as easy as it sounds. One idea we saw was to paint some of your planters with glow in the dark paint. During the day, you cannot even tell that they are painted but at night they can light up the stairs or a walkway to make it easier to navigate

5- Do some planting.
Adding some planters or hanging baskets can really make the outdoor spaces feel like you’re in an outdoor space. Plus, part- they’re pretty to look at. Making a planter is easy and it give you a chance to be creative with it. There are literally hundreds of ways to add some personality to your plants. Another fun project for the kids is getting them to design a pot and teaching them how to plant their favorite flower. It can be a good afternoon activity when they’re home on summer break. Hanging plants are no exception- wire baskets, metal baskets, plastic baskets, etc. Just pick out your favorite flowers and add them to your backyard to increase your appeal. It’s a simple, cheap and easy way to update your outdoor space.

6- Use Pavers!
If you’re looking for a bigger project, one way to update is using pavers over having solid concrete poured. There are companies that do this, but if you’re feeling good that day than it is something you can do on your own. Pavers are great because if one cracks or it gets weathers all you do is a get a new one to cover that piece or just turn it over. These little things can save you time and last a lot longer than some other traditional building options for your spaces.

We hope that you use some of these ideas to make your outdoor space, patio, or backyard the beautiful oasis that you want it to be. You should want to be outside and spend your time there, not dread it because it doesn’t look as good as you wish it did. Your home is your place- make it yours as much as possible! At Red Door of WNY, we are opening doors all over WNY. We want to help make your dreams come true- and finding a great house with a good outdoor space is no exception. Give us a ring and we can help you too!  

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Hertel Avenue Is on the Rise

Over the past few years, Hertel Avenue has changed its look, and we are LOVING it. Once a place of old bars refusing to update the entire community has seemed to step into the modern era. New businesses have moved in and new restaurants and bars are taking this slice of Buffalo to the next level. It has been a wonderful transformation. People want to be there even more than before now. How do we know? Drive down Hertel Avenue at almost any point during the day and there is traffic. Apartments in that area are going for nearly twice what the rent used to be, and houses are sold faster than they go up. Right now, is a wonderful time to be by Hertel Avenue.

A lot of these new restaurants are serving up some of the best food in town right now. They should be honored; of all the places in the states Buffalonians are some of the harshest food critics. Can you blame us? We know good food. In my opinion, one of the best places on the ‘new’ Hertel Ave. has to be the Burning Buffalo. This lovely little spot is located right down the street from the North Park Theater,  and it is the best place to sit and have a drink with friends and just enjoy the day. Now open for brunch, their menu offers unique American style food. Personal favorite is the Hertel Avenue chicken sandwich which is a unique blend of sweet and savory. For those of us that are gluten free they do offer gluten free options. And they’re actually good! They offer unique sliders and wild game burgers. Their menu honestly has something for everyone. They also have games to play if you just want to kick back and enjoy some time with your friends. The Burning Buffalo is bound to become a Buffalo classic and I am excited to see what they have in store for us.

Lake Effect Ice Cream has just opened a location on Hertel Avenue. With their first location in Lockport, it almost makes sense for them to start growing. Their unique flavors such as Couch potato and sponge candy make them the premier place to get Ice Cream in Buffalo. Their ice-cream makes us proud to be from Buffalo. They are now formally open for business on Hertel and have two sundaes unique to that location. One of them being the ‘North Park’ which has rock candy right on top, the other being ‘Bella Italia’ which include lady fingers, espresso sauce, and coffee Ice-Cream. I spoke to Jo at the Lockport location just to ask a few questions about their new location and she really helped us out. She said her favorite sundae is offered at both locations and it is called ‘Salty Caramel’. This sundae has Salted Caramel popcorn on top of the sundae! I guess we know where we’re going later.

Lastly, one of the newest places on Hertel is Hertel Avenue Poutine and Cream. Owned and operated by the same owners of Allen Street Poutine Company- we already know what to expect. It is almost heaven on a plate, and what can possibly go better than French fries and Ice Cream! It is located on the strip, right next to The Burning Buffalo. The star of the menu is their unique style milkshake- called “freak shakes”. However, the personal favorite seems to be the ‘’creamy buns” which is doughnuts filled with ice cream. The poutine portions are large and are a meal. The poutine is a wonderful marriage of flavor and creativity. All the options will keep you full and probably warrant you to take some home. Hertel Ave Poutine and Cream is going to most definitely become one of the most popular places on the strip. We’re just happy we don’t have to drive all the way to Allentown for great poutine now!

Hertel Ave is quickly becoming one of the best places to be right now. With new bars and restaurants opening, and more people going down there it is one of the places to be in Buffalo right now. Do yourself a favor, and when you question where you should go think of one of these new places adding to the rich culture that is our lovely city. If you are looking for a house in the North Buffalo area, or around Hertel Avenue, give us a call. Red Door is opening doors all over Buffalo, and we want to make your dreams come true!!

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Weekend At Red Door

It’s June, which means one thing for Buffalonians- it is finally safe to come out and play. The hibernation period is over and the weather is finally warm enough where you can leave your parka at home. One can tell that everyone is excited for summer every year just by the shear amount of events that start being advertised in early May; every weekend there’s a new celebration. For the most part, it’s a celebration of heritage, food, this city, and life. Frankly, it is nearly impossible to go to every summer event in Buffalo. This weekend, Red Door was able to participate in two of the larger ones Porch Fest and Pride.

Porch Fest is a celebration of Music. Started in Ithaca, New York, it is exactly what it sounds like. All over the Elmwood Village, musicians’ set up their stages on porches. People are able to walk from porch to porch and listen to local music as they enjoy the weather, the food, and the city. This celebration takes place all over the country. From Georgia to Cleveland, there are porches turned into stages and people love it. Buffalo is no exception. We celebrate it bi-annually which just goes to show how big of a hit it is. Assisted by the EVA, volunteers help to set it up and we could not be more thankful.

The band on our porch was ‘Surviving Friday’. The music was wonderful and probably everything you would need to get you to actually survive Friday. They did a fantastic job and there was a pretty good sized crowd enjoying their music. Huge thank you to them for preforming on our porch! Overall, the event is a great way to celebrate music. Buffalo has a pretty large and bold local music scene and supporting them through events like this help them out a lot.

Pride needs almost no background information. It is probably the largest and most well-known event that takes place in June and in Buffalo overall. The 2017 celebration marks the 26th year that Pride Buffalo has been taking place. That’s 26 years that our city has been celebrating people being who they are- which is amazing to think about. Pride is a week-long celebration with events every day, some of these include: the Flag Raising ceremony, the Gay 5K, and the Big Gay Sing. We were lucky enough to spend more time on our porch as the parade marches straight past our location.

The parade is beautiful, colorful, loud, bold and fun. It is a celebration of the history and culture of the LBGTQ community in walking to show who they are and where they have come from. The theme of this year was “connect” and we felt like we all did. It is the event that gives you pride to be who you are, this in itself is unique. After watching this amazing display of individuality and acceptance, we are already counting down until next year.

Summer is the best time to be in Buffalo. Gone are the days of snow, snow brushes, oversized sweaters and being nervous to watch the weather. The days are now here where we all get to celebrate our community, our culture, our traditions and our lives. We look forward to even more Buffalo- event filled weekends. Thank you to all of the people that work so hard to put these things together so we all get to enjoy them!

If you are interested in working with Red Door of WNY please give us a ring at 716-768-1177. We’re opening doors all over WNY and we want to make your dreams come true! 

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