Archive for the 'Information' Category

A Fresh New Look For Your Kitchen

Something different - no emphasis on granite counters or stainless steel

Something different – no emphasis on granite counters or stainless steel

As a Realtor® I am continually asked about granite counters and stainless steel.  Are these kitchens pretty?  Absolutely… But then again, they all start to look so much a like. I am not quite sure when the page turned to only exist with granite and stainless, but it happened.  Yes there will always be followers for the materials because they are really beautiful.

So it is always refreshing to me when I see someone mixing things up, without using granite or stainless.  The kitchen cabinets in the above photo are custom but they are done in a mint green, the hardware and fixtures are brass and the trim is in oak with oak stools. The one wall adorns wallpaper with an Arts & Crafts feel, the refrigerator and dishwasher are covered with matching panels.  The built in ovens do show metal, but it adds to the nice blend of differences.  The wood adds warmth that is inviting and looks like someone actually would use it.

kitchen ideas

The above kitchen before remodel

Updating your kitchen always adds value to your home when done with care.  When updating consider how long you plan to live in the home.  If you are completing the upgrade just to sell, then you want the improvements to give the kitchen a fresh clean feel, yet using a minimal approach.  If you plan on staying for many years, then go ahead and think about the little added touches that will make the kitchen say it is all yours.

For more ideas about remodeling your kitchen, what you should do when selling and what you should not do, then give me a call 315-719-8377.  I want to make sure that your kitchen is “picture perfect” when home buyers are looking at it and to also sell it quickly.  Let’s chat…

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Snug Harbor and The Viking Closed for the Season


snug harbor

Just as things are starting to warm up for  the upcoming season on Keuka Lake and the new hotel almost complete, we receive the very disappointing and sad news that two landmark places on Keuka Lake will not be opening.


Snug Harbor had been closed for a few years and finally reopened a few years ago under the experienced management team of the Bates family.  Lakers and visitors began to flock back and were really enjoying the place with it’s new ambience.  Dock slips were rented out to those looking for a place to moor their boats and everything seemed to be going quite well.  Then we had a very long cold winter,  Apparently the pipes and the water system took a big hit and the family just could not tend to the repairs and plan for an opening.  We will miss them and will be keeping our fingers crossed that someone will come in and save the day.


Then just this past week, we were told that The Viking would not be opening.  The Viking has been offering lakeside cabin and motel rooms to visitors of Keuka Lake for years.  It was a very economical way to spend time on the lake.  There is a larger entry gate off of the main East Lake Rd and down by the water there were covered boat hoists and boats with the familiar Viking tops.

Both of these businesses will be dearly missed, but if you are planning to visit the area, there are many other restaurants and places to stay.

If you think you may want to stay for a much longer amount of time, then give me a call and we can talk about investing in lakefront properties.



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You Need To VENT !!! Are You Venting Properly ?

With the installation of energy efficient furnaces, these little PVC pipes poking out of the sides of homes, have become quite common.  No longer do we need expensive or enormous chimneys in order to heat our homes. Of course if you love a wood burning fire, then yes, you will need a fire retardant chimney with a triple wall metal insert.  Now back to venting.

courtesy of consumer union

courtesy of consumer union

Because furnaces are so efficient, there is a minimal amount of heat released allowing the installation of short pvc pipes.  These are normally found at the base of the home either coming from the first floor or basement, depending on the location of the furnace.

With the record snowfalls we have incurred this year, numerous homeowners have forgotten about the pipes and have allowed them to become snow covered.  Calls are being reported for furnaces not operating.  When snow packs around the opening of the vents, it causes the pilot lights to go out. Heavy snow pack can also cause carbon-monoxide to back up since it does not have an exit.

For your safety make sure these vents are clear of any snow pack.

Another vent you may have issues with in this severe cold, is your sewer vent or vents depending on how many bathrooms or sinks in the home.  These are required to operate your water pressure in your toilets and sinks.  One sign that they may be blocked, is a gurgling sound in another room when flushing the toilet or draining a sink.  This means there is not a proper air exchange. Hence a back up of methane gas.

courtesy of Structure Tech Home Inspections

courtesy of Structure Tech Home Inspections

You can now find kits in your hardware store to attach to the tops of your vent pipes to prevent the buildup of ice and or snow. Or you can try to insulate the vent pipes inside the attic area of your home.  If you have sudden gurgling in your traps or you begin to smell sewer gas, you will need to address the issue because methane gas besides smelling bad will give you headaches and make you feel sick.

If you have any questions about your vents and do not feel qualified to address the issues, contact a local contractor with good references to take car of the issues.

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Are You Ready For The “Hot” Selling Season?


I know you are most likely thinking of Summer when you hear the word  “hot”, but really the hot selling season is the Spring and for the Finger Lakes Area, it starts to wind up in mid February.  (just around the corner).  Why February?  Well buyers know that if they are really serious, looking in February will allow them to find a property and start enjoying during the first available part of the Summer season.  If they close before then, they will have time to freshen it up and furnish to their liking.  I already have buyers looking for new property listings. If your home is listed at the beginning of the selling curve, you are most likely to obtain the highest selling price. Competition is the strongest during the Spring.  So let me help you stay ahead of the crowd with the following tips below. The longer you wait to list, the more buyers there are that have decided on a home that is already listed.  So lets get going… 7K0A0947

Click to continue reading “Are You Ready For The “Hot” Selling Season?”

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The Top Three Items To Stop A Buyer In Their Tracks

real estate for saleWhen your home goes up for sale, your Realtor® will be working hard to find and attract buyers to your home.  Once these buyers arrive there to view your property, you want to make sure that your home is ready, everything is in place and tidy and that the buyer will want to continue through your doors and eventually decide this is going to be “their” new home.  But if certain items are not addressed, this will not happen as planned.

Your home will have professional photos taken and even the best photographer can not remove the clutter. The top three things that will stop a buyer in their tracks are:


  • Pet Odors…Many owners do not realize that there are odors present, either because they have become raining cats and dogsaccustomed to them, or they just are not sensitive to odors.  There is nothing like walking through the door and being knocked out with pet odors and the worst are usually cat odors.

But dog odors can be just as bad, depending on the type of dogs or if the owner breeds them.  If you have cats or dogs ask one of your friends to be honest about the odors, and actually kids are most likely to tell you the truth.

With cat odors you will want to wash everything down with a neutralizing solution (visit your local hardware store for their recommendation), set out odor capturing containers and thoroughly clean out the litter boxes.  If the cats have sprayed on the furniture, you will have to remove it.  Do not just put out fragrance containers or candles, they do not remove the odors, and sometimes those odors can be just as overpowering.  The best fragrance in a home, is something very mild.

For dogs, make sure their bedding is kept clean.  If your dogs are used to getting up on the furniture, you may want to keep covers on them.  These covers can then be removed when showing the home.

  • Curb Appeal…When a Realtor® drives up to your home with the clients in the car, the last thing your agent wantsc56241_aa083b1b02b243469c4b0645f6c24fc6_jpg_srz_257_343_75_22_0_50_1_20_0 to hear is “No, we do not want to see this house.” because at that point, there is no forcing them inside.

Make sure your entry way is clean and inviting.  Windows on doors should be clean and sparkling, doors should be freshly painted and all trim work painted as well.  Any toys or gardening implements need to be put away, leaves and or snow should be removed and it does not hurt to have a nice seasonal item such as a planter or wreath to welcome you. The lawn should be cut and trimmed and trash containers put out of view.

I had one client that insisted on leaving a burn barrel in the side yard, and you would not believe how many buyers questioned the burn barrel being there.  The burn barrel detracted from the beauty of this million dollar home.

Many times we enter our homes through side doors or back doors and forget about the attraction or lack of, of our front door.  Take a fresh look at your entry way today.

  • Smoking Odors…Gone are the days of smoking being acceptable.  Non-smokers will notice the odors much more smokethan smokers.  Smoke will work it’s way into all of your material items such as sofas, chairs and drapes.  It will also yellow your walls and fixtures.  So if you  are a smoker or someone in your house smokes, you will have to address the behavior and thoroughly clean everything in your home,  including your ceilings.  This may be the opportunity to encourage the end of the smoking habit.

When meeting with prospective sellers, I have the talk with them.  The bad pet odor talk, the smoke in the house or the curb appeal talk and sometimes the conversation includes all of the topics.  If I am not honest with them, I am not doing my job.  I know what it takes to get buyers into your home.  Some buyers have pet allergies and just knowing there are odors , sets the stage for them, the one that says this home just will not do, even if the odors are minimal. And non-smokers will pick up the slightest hint of tobacco smoke.   Becoming mad at the potential buyers will not sell your home, but addressing the issues will.

Let me know if I can be of assistance to you, to help you prepare your home for sale.


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Mary St. George