5 Tips for People Relocating to Buffalo

Buffalo wears many hats- everyone who lives here knows that. We’re a drinking town, a blue collar city, and the hidden food capital of the world. It is really a wonderful place to move to and settle down with a family. There is no shortage of things to do here no matter the season. Buffalo has a lot to offer anyone from all 4 seasons, to seriously quality food there is something for everyone here. Here are some tips we put together for people thinking about living in the nickel city.

1-The Winters are not something we joke about   
One thing for sure- the winters here are pretty notorious. Every few years there is a big storm or two so having a warm jacket that is actually warm is one of the most vital things you can own here in the Queen City. Also- living through one of these storms is kind of a rite of passage. The storms are still talked about years after at almost every family event ever and anytime it snows there will be stories from years past about the infamous ‘Blizzard of ‘77’ which everyone will never forget about. Our tip- invest in a few things: a good pair of touch screen gloves, a high quality snow brush, a snow removal service and nice boots. You will thank us later. If you have never experience the high amount of snow here- learn to love it fast!

2: Buffalo is actually pretty affordable
Compared to most cities of its size, Buffalo has pretty good prices. The housing market is affordable and although unemployment is kind of high (6.7% as of April 2017) Buffalo is going through resurgence. With so many new businesses coming into the area there are so many opportunities rising. The cost of living in Buffalo is 23% or so lower than it is in NYC. The average cost of utilities compared to the rest of the country is average. However- Buffalo ranks as 154 out of 520 of affordable cities to live in. You can get a city feel for cheaper than you would in other places.

3: Try ALL the food
Buffalo has some really famous food here and if you are relocating we heavily encourage you to try ALL of it. Yes- this is this the home and birthplace of the famous Buffalo Chicken Wing and you can honestly taste the difference. Even if you are just here for a weekend make it a point to visit The Anchor Bar which is the birthplace or Duff’s -equally a favorite here. Sponge Candy is something you should also try as we are one of the only places in the world you can make it! Teds, Mighty Taco, beef on weck, Andersons, Jim’s steak out, are only a few of the Buffalo favorites.  Do some research and you will find out not only where Buffalonians eat but also just how much we love food. We LOVE food. Lastly, eat pizza at local restaurants not at chains here and you can also thank us for that tip later. The pizza here is different and tastes better than any chain ever will.

4: The City of Good Neighbors
This is just one of our nicknames. It really is not that difficult to meet people here because most people are genuinely happy and nice people. Most people will find themselves in one of a few areas over the weekend- Allen or Elmwood, Hertel Avenue,  or in North Tonawanda at the few bars on the main area. Go to one, sit down and we guarantee someone will start a conversation. Also a good place to meet people is Canalside.  Canalside is one of the newest installations in the Buffalo boom and everyone loves it. There is always something going on there- from yoga classes to movie nights. Trying to get involved there will probably lead to some friendships in the future.

5: We have A LOT of pride in Buffalo Sports teams
It doesn’t matter how bad or how good the Buffalo Bills do- there will still be a crowd of screaming fans in the New Era stadium every Sunday. The same goes for the Sabres. It does not matter how many Superbowls the Bills have last (which honestly we are still salty about) Buffalonians will always show extreme pride in their sports. One topic to avoid at dinner parties- The New England Patriots. Most people hate them, even the people that don’t follow football. If you’re going to tailgate at a Bills game be prepared to view some of the most serious tailgaters in all of the NFL. We don’t mess around.

Buffalo is an amazing place that can offer a lot to really anyone looking to relocate here. From aspiring young college graduates, to older people looking to live somewhere different Buffalo can probably offer you what you’re looking for. Anywhere you are- you’re really only about 20 minutes away from the city or the country. We have a lot of pride here about our city- no matter how many losses are teams may have, no matter how many feet of snow we get, the people of Buffalo really love Buffalo. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be one of us soon! If you are interested in relocating to Buffalo please give us a call at 716-768-1177. We are opening doors all over WNY- let us help you open yours!

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5 Ways to Know You Have Found the House of Your Dreams

You’re looking for a house. Not just any house, but THE house. You’re first house, maybe your last house, the house you’ll have Thanksgiving in, maybe the house you’ll bring your first child home to. You are looking for a place to hold years of memories. Maybe it’ll even be a part of a story that sounds like-“ Hey remember when you lived at that house? The one with…” It can be intimidating if you look at it that way, and a lot of people do. Which is why a lot of people question when they have found the house they are looking at. Here are some ways you can be kind of sure that this is not just any house, but your house.

1: You forgive the flaws.
There is no lying about that. Nearly every house on the market will have something wrong with it. This could be  the older sewer, or the furnace on its last leg or the leaky faucet in the upstairs bathroom. If you are able to overlook these sometimes bigger issues then it is a possibility. If you are willing to even do the work or put in the money to upgrade it to what you want it to be, than it is probably the house you’ve been waiting for.

2: It meets your checklist we talked about a few posts ago
Remember when we gave you the advice to sit down and write what you absolutely needed in your house? If the house you are looking at meets all of that criterion chances are you may have found it. You and your partner or whomever you are buying with need to be happy when you are all moved in and you look around. It needs to be a place you look forward to going to after a long day. If the house your looking at meets all of those little things you aren’t willing to budge on- it should be seriously considered.

3: You can picture what it will look like
if you walk into a house and look at it and imagine what it will look like with all of your things and personal touches added- that is already a good start. But if you like what you envision than that is a fantastic start. You don’t want to buy someone else’s house- you want to buy your home. Can you see how you’d arrange the furniture, what you’d do with the backyard, what holidays may look like with your family? If you like this vision, and it is affordable for you- than you may have just opened the door to your new home.

4: You feel the flutters
Anyone who has bought a house remembers what it was like to walk into the house of your dreams. You feel nervous, excited, and joy all at one time. It can be quite overwhelming. That feeling travels all through your body and you get that feeling of “YES!”. However- just because you feel that does not mean it is the right house. Does it meet your criteria? Can you afford it? Don’t be stuck being house-poor. Life is more than just your house. But that feeling is a great thing! If it happens, you may have just found your home- but be smart about it.

5: You already feel pride in it
After the initial showing and a few days down the line you are going to think of the houses you have already looked at and there will be some that stick out. If there is one in particular you can’t wait to show pictures of to your mom or your best friend- this is great!  It means you’re excited about it and there is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to it. There are a lot of factors that go in to finding a house that is perfect for you. Location, home features, landscaping- and so many more. If you aren’t embarrassed about any of them then it may be the house for you.

Finding a house is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It can be fantastic! Hopefully some of these tips will help you make you your final decision. Both you and whomever you are buying with should be happy with wherever you choose! If you are looking to find the house of your dreams, just give us a call at 768-1177. We are opening doors all over western NY, let us help you open yours!

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Things To Do Before a Home Inspection

Buying and selling a house is exciting but is almost just as equally stressful. By the end of the journey most people just want to be done with it! The home inspection is no exception- it can be one of the most nail biting experiences of the entire process. There are some ways to make this part a lot easier on yourself. It doesn’t even take much! Most of the tips we have listed won’t take you more than a day to do or get together. Believe us-you’ll thank yourself when it’s all said and done. Here are some tips to make your home inspection go smoothly:

1: Give Access
Frankly put- if the inspector cannot get to what they need to, they can’t check it. Removing stuff out of the way of sinks, hot water units, furnaces, drain clean-outs, etc. can make their lives a lot easier. If they can’t get to certain spaces it may look bad to the buyer.

2: Do your repairs before the inspection
A lot of times, it is easy to forget to do certain things around the house that you have become blinded to. For example- the kitchen sink is usually slow to drain but that has not bothered you in months, but it will both the inspector and the potential buyer. Unclog any drains, fix any leaks, tighten up those few loose valves etc. Another good tip- check the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors! Just testing them to make sure they work can help you out too. Check the towns code just to be sure you have the right amount of detectors before you have the inspection done- sometimes it may vary from town to town. If there are a few minor things around the house that are not done it could potentially make the inspector think there are so some serious issues they may be missing.

3: Do some preventative maintenance
Just getting a few things cleaned and tuned up will mean a lot to the inspector and the potential buyer. Getting your HVAC system tuned up and cleaned and changing the filter means that you are still keeping up with the appliances in your home even though you may be leaving soon. Leave the receipts on the counter to show that you have kept up with these things. Getting the gutters cleaned or having the hot water tank checked as well will also help.

4: Clean the Home
Make no mistake- potential buyers would rather buy a home from someone who is neat and tidy over someone who is messy and even dirty. Wouldn’t you? If a home is neat and tidy it is usually a sign that the current owner takes a lot of pride in their home and they care about it. Making sure the home is clean for the inspection will give the impression that you care about what happens to it. It is a good way to start off the inspection process.

5: Leave the house
There is almost no reason for you to be there during the inspection process. Inspections can take a long time and the inspector has to do a lot of things- go up on the roof, turn the AC or furnace on full blast, open cabinets, the list goes on. You standing there watching them can make them nervous or hesitant to do certain things. It is also a time for the potential buyer to be there and able to speak freely without fear of offending you. A lot of time and money goes into buying a house, and it is a huge investment. The buyer has the right to be fully aware of what they’re getting into. Most home inspections take a while- so be sure to schedule for at least 3 hours away from your house.

6: Leave Any Receipts There
If there are things you have invested in during your time in owning the home it is important to let the inspector know. For example- if you have put in a new sewer then make sure the inspector is aware of it. That way, on the write up they can make it known that the sewer was replaced a few years ago so there is no need to check certain things. Any maintenance done to HVAC systems or replacements should be included there as well. It not only makes their life easier, but also builds the value of your home.

Home inspections determine a lot and they can be nerve wracking- there is no doubt about that. A lot goes into them. But following some of these easy tips can help. Buying and selling a home is a big milestone in anyone’s life and there is no reason to make it harder than it needs to be. We all wish you the best of luck in it and we hope we helped! For more tips on buying or selling just give us a call. We are opening doors all over WNY, and we would love to help you open yours. Just give us a call at 768-1177!

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A Few Parks Around WNY Worth Visiting

Life gets crazy and around this time of year especially. It seems like every weekend there is another barbeque or event that we have to go to or make an appearance at. Sometimes it feels good to take a mental vacation for a few hours- leave the phone in the car and get back to basics. What better place to do that than at some of the wonderful parks here around WNY! We all know of the bigger ones but there are so many that we put together a solid 4 that should keep you busy- at least for the month of July! Here are some great options when you are craving some one on one time with nature:

1: Reinstein Woods- Located in Cheektowaga NY
Reinstein is beautiful. It has so many lakes and ponds that are all over the place- and streams that follow it too. With trails that are winding and vary on difficulty level it is a perfect activity to do with a serious hiker or a young child. It is a very quiet, serene place that not too many people know about. It even has a place for kids to play with wood branches and learn about nature known as the Nature-Play area. Reinstein is also full of history and they want to tell you about it!  The history trail goes through the history of the park and the history of WNY. Reinstein is located right next to Stiglmeier Park which is also an amazing stop.

2: Knox Farm- Located in East Aurora
Knox Farm is hidden gem. It is the former estate owned by the Knox Family from Buffalo. Over 600 acres in size, it truly is just amazing to walk through. Pulling into it makes you feel like you’re almost stepping back in time. Looking out into it feels like you’re not even in New York anymore. It is absolutely gorgeous and I would highly encourage everyone to go at least a few times during the year. In the fall the leaves make it look even more stunning than usual.  There are several things you can do at Knox Farm and horseback riding is most definitely an option throughout the park. There are acres of habitats, wetlands, grasslands and wooded areas. So really- there is no shortage of areas to explore. Knox Farm also hosts a variety of events for the community- visit their website and you can learn all about them.

3: Tifft Nature Preserve- Buffalo, NY
Tifft is like the little slice of paradise in the middle of the city. Standing in the middle of the park you forget you’re in Buffalo. It is a 264 acre piece of land that is dedicated to the safety and preservation of wildlife in Buffalo. It has one of the most interesting back stories of most parks. At one point it was a massive dairy farm owned by George Tifft. Later it became a transshipment center for coal and iron ore and then finally during the 1950s, became a dump. That’s right- it was a dump! In the 1970’s Tifft started to get cleaned up a bit. They decided to enclose the 2 million cubic feet of solid municipal waste in clay and then cover it with soil from other places in the preserve. They then widened the ponds and added more wildlife to it. Since then it has become a department under the Buffalo Museum of Science. It is a beautiful place to just walk through. There are lots of information signs throughout it as well that explain exactly what you are looking at.

4: Buckhorn Park- Grand Island NY
If you are looking for a place to kayak this is a very good contender. Buckhorn is located right on the north side of the Island and it is very easy to miss. It is probably one of the most hidden parks on the list and is very much a hidden gem. There are trails that will take you right by the water and trails that will take you into deep wooded areas looking up at massive, old oak trees.  It’s a great place to go on a hot summer day because nearly all of the trails are shady and covered so you will be that way too. There is so much to explore there too. It is very quiet and peaceful and a great place to visit to clear your head and de-stress.
We all hope you enjoy your exploration of some of these beautiful places. Make some time for yourself and go walk around and enjoy some of the amazing wildlife and trails that we are so lucky to have. Let us know which one your favorite is!! Happy July everyone!! If you would like to explore some houses around the area as well- let us know! We are opening doors all over WNY and we want to help you open yours. Just give us a call at 768-1177!

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