Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dog Parks in Western & Central NY

So you’ve finally found your dream home. Soon you’ll settle in and meet some new friends, but what about Rover?

With the number of marvelous dog parks in Western and Central New York, you and your dog will have no problem settling into your new home. Plus, taking your pooch to a dog park will allow them to socialize with other dogs and exercise, which can help reduce behavior problems and lead to a happier life for your fur baby.

The Barkyard
LaSalle Park
D A R Drive, Buffalo, NY 14202

The cleverly named Barkyard is Buffalo’s first and only off-leash area. It features a beautiful view of the city’s waterfront and skyline with 70,000 square feet of fully fenced area for your furry friends to run free.

Knox Farm Dog Park
Knox Farm State Park
437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora, NY 14052

Located on the former country estate of Buffalo's renowned Knox Family, this dog park was developed by a hardworking group of Knox Farm employees and volunteers. It has fenced areas for both large and small dogs, and it even features a rinsing station to wash off your pooch’s muddy paws after they romp through the expansive meadow.

You’ll find the Knox Farm Dog Park behind the sheep barn. Easiest access is to enter off of Seneca Street and park in the gravel lot. Walk between the barns and you’ll see the entrance gate.

The Paw Park
550 Smith Road, Amherst, New York 14051

The Paw Park is an off-leash park in Amherst with fenced in separate areas for small and large dogs. With a 4.7 rating on Facebook, visitors call The Paw Park, “[A] great place to take my dog for exercise and a little socialization.” Another visitor raved about the park’s community of pooch parents saying, “If someone sees a dog acting inappropriately they will step in and look out for all the dogs' best interest. The Paw Park is clean and it is so wonderful to have our pooch off the leash, running with a pack and playing with her friends.”

Lewiston Dog Park
Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park
Lewiston, New York 14092

Artpark State Park is known for its performance and visual arts programs, but the site is also home to Lewiston Dog Park, a 1.3-acre facility on the Lewiston plateau. With two large fenced-in running areas to separate the large and small dogs, you dog can play safely and make new friends year round.

Greece Canal Park
241 Elmgrove Road, Rochester, NY 14626

Greece Canal Park has something to offer for everyone, including your four-legged friends. The 577-acre area features baseball diamonds, a soccer field, tennis court and camping area, as well as a one acre off-leash dog park located near the Rotary Lodge. With so much to offer, Greece Canal Park is the perfect place to bring the whole family!

Ellison Park
395 Richs Dugway Road, Rochester, NY 14625

Ellison Park offers many of the amenities of Greece Canal Park, but unique from the other parks on this list, the off-leash area contains three sections – one for large dogs, one for small dogs and a common area for dogs of any size. For the safety of every pup, Monroe County requires that a $24 license be purchased to enjoy the park. You can get all of the details on how to attain the license at

Lookup Park
3850 East Henrietta Road, Henrietta, New York 14467

The newest park on our list is the Henrietta Dog Park at Lookup Park. Launching in July 2014, this off-leash park already has a 4.6 star rating and some adorable videos of huskies enjoying some fun in the sun on their Facebook page. Check out their website for the registration process, rules and guidelines to get all the details before packing up your puppy.

Rootie’s Run
2900 Lakeview Road, Hamburg, New York 14075

Rootie’s Run in Hamburg was named for an adorable beagle who was adopted in 2009 from Adoring Pets Veterinary Health Center after being found wandering on Route 5. Two years later, Rootie’s owner passed away and he was sent to live with his grandparents in Hamburg. With little space to run free, the family set out to create an off-leash park where Rootie could work off some extra pounds and make new friends. Now you and your dog can join him and his puppy pals.

Jamesville Beach Park Off-Leash Area
Jamesville Beach Park
Jamesville, New York 13078

Whether you love water sports, boating, disc golf, hiking or you’re looking for activities the family can enjoy, Jamesville Beach Park has it all, including an off-leash area for man’s best friend. It is an unfenced area which accesses the Jamesville Reservoir. Dogs aren’t allowed in beach areas during the summer, but can run leashed on the shore during winter months. To get to the park from I-81, take Route 173 east to Jamesville, then head south on South Street.

Wegman’s Good Dog Park
Onondaga Lake Park
49 Cold Springs Trail, Liverpool, NY 13090

The first of its kind in Central New York, Wegmans Good Dog Park is an amusement park for canines! The 40,000 square foot space comes equipped with an exercise area including tunnels, jumps, bridges and plenty of red fire hydrants. And owners can feel safe with a double gated entrance that ensures your dog doesn’t run out when another dog enters.

Ellicott Island Bark Park
10 Creekside Drive, Tonawanda, New York 14228

The Friends of Ellicott began as a small group of volunteers who had a vision to improve Ellicott Island Park and make it an environmentally sensitive off-leash dog park. As of January 2014, Erie County signed an agreement to make Ellicott Island Bark Park official. With a newly added fence, dogs are free to roam and enjoy the shade from the tree canopy during hot summer months at this lovely, mostly undiscovered island gem.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5/23 Radio Show: J. Michael Kelleher & Mark Brylinski

Guest host, Linda Mallia, welcomes J. Michael Kelleher and Mark Brylinski to the show!

J. Michael Kelleher is an attorney at Hogan Willig with a focus in commercial and residential real estate.

Mark Brylinski is one of our leading real estate professionals working out of our KenTon office.

Together, Linda leads the discussion on the shortage of listings.

To find out more, listen to this week's show! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

5/16 Radio Show: Mark Poloncarz

Your Host, Peter Hunt, welcomes Mark Poloncarz to the show.

Mark Poloncarz is the county executive of Erie County, New York.

Together, Peter leads the discussion on the Say Yes Buffalo Program and continued job growth.

To find out more, listen to this week's radio show!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Featured Open House

HUNT OPEN HOUSE OF THE WEEK: 429 N. Franklin Street #214, Syracuse
Open Saturday, May 16th from 12:00-4:00PM
Former Factory Converted to Upscale Condominiums
2,400+/-sf of downtown living at Mission Landing at Franklin Square. Modern 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo with 12 windows, brick walls, high ceilings, open floor plan, and custom kitchen. Great room features fireplace, built-in bookcases and view of Onondaga Creek. Master bedroom has custom bath with walk-in California closet. Indoor parking space. Building amenities include a tennis court and exercise area with rooftop patio. Creekwalk to Armory Square is adjacent to the building. Close to hospitals and Syracuse University. Move right in and live your life. Open this Saturday from 12 Noon - 4PM.

Offered at $430,000

This home is listed by Judy Winslow, HUNT Manlius Office

To see our collection of HUNT luxury properties, check out our online Distinctive Properties Magazine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Guide to Property Taxes in Upstate NY

Upstate New York has some of the highest property taxes in the nation, which means that learning about how you are taxed and the available exemptions can help you save quite a bit of money. There are a number of options available, including exemptions for non-profit organizations, disabled individuals and veterans. These exemptions can help to make this otherwise high tax amount much more affordable and manageable, which is important for most households.

You pay taxes on your Class 1 property based on a specific formula. This formula consists of four steps, which include:

• Determining the market value based on the value of like properties in the neighborhood
• Determining the assessed value
• Applying any exemptions
• Determining the property tax bill

While this is a bit simplistic, understanding how your property tax is figured is essential. There are a number of exemption options available including STAR, Enhanced STAR, Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption. Each of these exemptions offer different benefits for the residents of upstate New York and are something you should learn more about in order to know which one applies to your property. According to the NYC Government publications, the exemptions in place include:

STAR: This is the school tax relief and is offered to any owner of a house, condo or co-op that has an adjusted gross income of $500,000 or less annually.
Enhanced STAR: This exemption is available for seniors over the age of 65 with an income below $83,300 annually.
Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption: This exemption is for seniors over the age of 65 who have an income $37,400 or less.
Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption: Available for homeowners with a disability with an annual income of $37,400 or less.

According to reports from the State Comptroller’s Office, the median tax rate per $1,000 is $35.72, which is higher than the state median of $30.60. However, since the homes are assessed to a lower value than some of the other municipalities, the actual tax rate has to be higher in order to earn the same amount of money that is being received in areas, such as the Valley of Hamburg. This is why it is more important to look at your dollar’s cost effectiveness, rather than the tax rate. While the tax rate is higher in upstate New York, it is also due to a number of factors that you do not have any control over.

Getting ready for the next tax year

When it comes to paying taxes in upstate New York, you know the rates are higher, so preparing ahead of time is necessary. Understanding the deadlines and when to prepare for payment is essential:

• January: You will receive your Notice of Property value in the mail
• March: The 15th is the deadline to dispute the value of your property and apply for any personal exemptions
• May: The Finance Department will release the final assessment roll and then generate property tax bills for the following tax year that will start on the 1st of July
• June: Expect to receive the first bill for property tax in June.
• July: The new tax year begins and you will be taxed at the previous year’s rate
• November: The City Council will vote on the new rates that are then signed off on by the Mayor.

Understanding property tax assessments can be a bit challenging, but it is something that all residents in Upstate New York should to take the time to do. The exemptions that are available can help residents save on their overall tax assessment and ensure that they do not wind up paying too much.

* The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing tax and/or legal advice.