Monday, March 18, 2019

3/19 Radio Show: Michael Burke & Janet Gosch

Your guest host, Susan Ballard, welcomes Michael Burke and Janet Gosch to the show.

Michael Burke is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with HUNT Real Estate ERA's Williamsville Clarence branch. Janet Gosch is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson also with the Williamsville Clarence branch.

Together, Michael, Janet and Susan discuss the upcoming Spring market. We can expect to see an increase in inventory as seller's prep their homes for sale.

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

10 Great Upstate New York Places to Take Your Kids This Spring

Upstate New York offers families a plethora of places to explore. Here are 10 great spots to check out as the weather warms up.

1. Adirondack Mountains
The Adirondack Mountains encompass an astounding 6 million acres of upstate New York. This protected area is a paradise for outdoor sports year-round. While the snow is still deep on the ground, take your kids to the Whiteface Mountain Ski resort, which offers slopes for beginners and experts alike. As spring warms up, you can spend a day bicycling along the winding coastal trails of Lake Champlain. If your family is up for a real challenge, you can tackle one of the Adirondack’s 46 peaks and enjoy unparalleled views of the forested hills.

2. National Museum of Play
Rochester's National Museum of Play is sure to entertain children of all ages. It is the world's largest toy museum and features countless interactive exhibits. While the kids are off exploring the Sesame Street or Comic Book Heroes rooms, parents can relax at the beautiful Discovery Garden or indoor aquarium. The Museum offers special events daily, so be sure to check out their calendar to plan your visit.

3. Corning Museum of Glass
Don't worry about taking your kids to a place filled with fragile glass artwork. The Corning Museum of Glass offers several child-friendly events throughout the year including glassblowing demonstrations, scavenger hunts, and glass jewelry-making workshops. Be sure not to miss the Student Art Show in May for a collection of more than 2,000 local students' artwork.

4. Taughannock Falls State Park
Niagara Falls may get all the hype, but Taughannock Falls towers over it in comparison. This breathtaking 400-foot waterfall is located in a state park that includes numerous hiking opportunities. Take your younger kids on the easy Gorge Trail that leads right up to the bottom of the falls. Afterwards, enjoy a pleasant spring barbecue on the shores of Cayuga Lake.

5. The Sciencenter
Located in Ithaca, the Sciencenter offers a great treat for families who are feeling the cold-weather blues. Start your journey of discovery with the Sagan Planet Walk, a scale model of the solar system that extends from downtown Ithaca to the entrance of the center. Next, take your kids on a unique mini golf experience at Galaxy Golf where they can learn math and science while having fun. The Sciencenter has special events for young children several times a week, so be sure to check their schedule often.

6. The Wild Animal Park
Located on 12 acres just north of Chittenango is the Wild Animal Park. This privately run zoo is home to hundreds of exotic animals. They have daily presentations on alligators, tigers, and bears, where the staff feed the animals and talk about their natural habitats. In addition, the park has Hopper's Bounceland: a village of five bouncy houses featuring a 23-foot slide. There is also a special birthday package available with outback or African-safari themed adventures.

7. Cascades Indoor Water Park
This massive 41,000-square-foot water park lets your kids make a splash regardless of the weather outside. The water is kept at a perfect 84 degrees, and there are different sizes and depths of pools suitable for children of all ages. Parents will also love relaxing in the outdoor hot tubs. The Cascades Water Park is conveniently located off Interstate 81 in Cortland, New York.

8. Albany Tulip Festival
Celebrate Mother's Day at the 68th annual Albany Tulip Festival. This event is free to the public and is set in Washington Park. More than 100,000 tulips are in full bloom, offering a spectacular celebration of spring. The festival has plenty of children's activities, craft vendors, and great local food. Additionally, there are multiple live music performances, and the event culminates in the 18th Annual Mother of the Year award ceremony.

9. Beaver Lake Nature Center
Located just outside of Syracuse is the Beaver Lake Nature Center. Here you can find more than 400 annual programs that are sure to keep your kids busy year-round. Every weekend the Center offers guided walks that focus on local animals and plants. While the schedule changes frequently, be sure not to miss out on the late-April Spring Adventure Week. This free event includes a scavenger hunt and children's crafts.

10. Niagara Falls
Spring is the best time to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls. Not only are the flowers in full bloom, but the main tourist season has yet to begin. Niagara Falls is America's oldest state park and has been featured in countless books, TV shows, and movies since its inauguration in 1885. It continues to be a must-see attraction today thanks to its unique location on the American/Canadian border. In addition to the spectacular views, the park offers the Aquarium of Niagara, which features interactive marine exhibits for kids.

If you’re ready to explore communities in upstate New York, let a HUNT Real Estate sales professional help you find the right location for you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Small Improvements that Make a Big Difference when Selling Your Home

As homeowners begin the process of putting their homes on the market, deciding what to improve can be overwhelming. If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you'll want to concentrate on upgrades that will provide the best return on investment, as well as maximize the home's appeal to prospective buyers.

Assess the Current Situation

The first step to deciding what to do to boost the value of your home is to take stock of its current condition. Come up with a list of upgrades that would increase the quality of life of you and the other people who live in your home. Let’s look at a few areas that can increase your home’s value.

Upgrade the Kitchen

The kitchen is the one room that can have the biggest impact on how potential buyers view your
home. Instead of upgrades that focus on maximizing the appeal to a certain type of person — such as those with serious culinary skills — give the kitchen a general face-lift. You can cost-effectively increase its visual and functional appeal with a fresh coat of paint and possibly new tile.

Installing a back-splash in a complementary or contrasting color provides an excellent way to provide a previously uninspired kitchen with a pleasing pop of color. If the existing tile is dingy and worn, a fresh replacement will give the kitchen the bright boost that it needs.

Create the Right Type of Curb Appeal

Most homeowners already know curb appeal plays an important role in maximizing the saleability of their property. Curb appeal is more than just adding a few colorful annuals to flower beds and keeping the kids' toys picked up most of the time.

To create authentic curb appeal that works no matter what the time of year, concentrate on the front entryway of your home. Begin by painting the front door or, if necessary, replacing it with a new door in a color that plays well with the rest of the home’s exterior.

Create a small seating area on the porch or in the yard area off to the side of the entryway, keeping in mind that the key to a successful home sale is creating an ambiance that inspires prospective buyers to imagine themselves and their loved ones having pleasant experiences in the home. Making the entryway as welcoming as possible catches attention in a positive way and makes people feel welcome.

To finish the look, add a flowerpot brimming with lush, blooming vegetation on each side of the door and an attractive welcome mat.

Dress up the Bathroom

The bathroom is another part of the house that can make or break a possible home sale. Naturally, the room should be as clean as possible. You want to try to capture the look and feel of a well-appointed restroom in an upscale hotel or spa. Replace worn and frayed towels with thick towels in tasteful solid colors and stack them on open shelves and display them on racks. Beach towels should be left in closed cupboards.

Covering the floor with a sumptuous bathroom rug, hanging an appealing piece of art, performing paint and tile replacement jobs as needed, and placing an attractive bowl on the counter full of scented soaps will complete the upscale ambiance.

As you can probably see, all of these upgrades have several common themes. None of them involve significant financial commitments, and all are designed to make the property appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. The goal should be to provide a framework for the personal needs and preferences of buyers where they can imagine their own art, furnishings, and appliances fitting in seamlessly.

If you’re looking to sell your home soon, get in touch with a HUNT Real Estate agent. Our qualified sales professionals can advise you on all aspects of selling your home.

Monday, March 11, 2019

5 Museums to Explore in Buffalo

There are a lot of great museums to visit in and around Buffalo. Grab the family, or a few friends, and spend a Saturday learning about something new. Been to these museums before? Make another visit as their exhibits are always changing!

Buffalo Museum of Science

The Buffalo Museum of Science provides family-friendly fun 7 days a week. Stop by the National Geographic 3D Cinema, participate in workshops, spend time at Discovery Camps, get a bite to eat at the cafe, or just peruse the numerous exhibits. Guided tours are also available. Discounts are offered for seniors, children under 17, students, those with a military ID, and museum members.

Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park

The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is the largest naval park in the nation, and it includes artifacts such as uniforms and documents that stem from all branches of the military. The main attractions include a WWII submarine and the USS Little Rock, a guided missile cruiser. Overnight stays are available, and admission discounts are offered for seniors, groups, and kids under 16.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Established in 1862, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery has an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. It features rotating exhibitions, tours, programs, workshops, and lectures, as well as a cafe on site. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is discounted for students, seniors, museum members, and military personnel. If you visit on a First Friday, admission is free!

Buffalo Fire Museum

The Buffalo Fire Museum features uniforms, badges, journals, videos, and more, all relating to the Buffalo Fire Department. The museum also has special collections, including one devoted to September 11. They not only preserve the history of the fire department, but also educate the public – especially children – about the importance of fire safety. Admission is free.

The Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum

Fondly referred to as the Pierce Arrow Museum, the museum began as a passion project of the owners, husband-and-wife team Jim and Mary Ann Sandoro. For four decades, they've been collecting items related to transportation history in the Buffalo area. Originally a nonprofit, it turned into a full-fledged museum building in 2001. Admission discounts are offered for seniors and children under 17.

3/9 Radio Show: Barry Muskat & Nancy Callari Frank

Your guest host, Susan Ballard, welcomes Barry Muskat and Nancy Callari-Frank to the show.

Barry Muskat is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA's Williamsville Village branch. Nancy Callari-Frank is a Mortgage Consultant with HUNT Mortgage.

With mortgage rates progressively decreasing, Susan, Barry and Nancy discuss how more buyers are actively looking to purchase a home. They also discuss their recent professional achievements which were recognized last week at the HUNT Annual Awards Celebration.

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