Category Finance

[INFOGRAPHIC] US Employment Growth By State

Interesting map showing job growth throughout the country over the last month, year, 3 years, and 5 years.  New York is one of the few states that showed growth over time!  Click the graphic for a detailed version.

employment infographic


Graphic provided by

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Living in a Flood Plain Can Increases Your Insurance Rate!

Living in a flood zone is risky not just for your home, but can also impact your life. A flood can damage your home and property, and it will almost surely impact you financially.  Dealing with the stress of a flood also puts an intense emotional and potentially physical strain on you as the owner.

There are many factors that can cause flooding.  Some of these factors can be controlled, such as ensuring you have proper drainage systems that are free from debris.  Other factors are uncontrollable – severe rain fall, snow melt, hurricane force weather, and more.


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No, I’m Not a USAA or a NAVYFED Preferred REALTOR(R), Nor Do I Want To Be

This is a guest post written by Sarah Stelmok, an associate broker in Virginia, and published on her blog at  For those of you in WNY considering using a USAA broker, please understand that while you may benefit, your agent stands to take a significant hit! Please see Sarah’s post below in it’s unedited form.

I have rece...

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Credit Reports & You – Renter’s Edition

Establishing yourself as a solid candidate for an apartment is important, especially when you find the apartment of your dreams.  You have to be able to differentiate yourself from the other people applying for the apartment – in a positive way.  Having a solid credit score, but more importantly, a solid credit report, is one of the keys to your success in finding a new apartment.

Please note:  The guidelines discussed in this article apply to the properties I handle leasing for, in the Buffalo, NY, Amherst, NY, Williamsville, NY, and Grand Island, NY areas.  There is even some flexibility on a complex to complex basis, so please keep these in mind as GENERAL guide lines.

So, w...

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2011 Energy Star Tax Credits

Were you considering some improvements in your property last year because of the tax benefits, but just didn’t have the chance to take advantage of the opportunity?  Well, 2011 brings additional Energy Star Tax Credit savings!  These savings aren’t quite as grand as last year, but if there are improvements you were looking to make, this year may be the time to take advantage.  The full article can be found at WalletPop, but here is a brief synopsis of the credits available in 2011…

From WalletPop:


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Proper Usage of the 1099-MISC for Contractors

Part of being a landlord is tracking your income and expenses.  One such expense is paying handymen and contractors to handle maintenance work when it becomes necessary.  Not only are you responsible for tracking the work as it progresses and handling the associated bills, but you may also be required to issue the contractor or handyman a 1099-MISC as well.

As a disclaimer, I am not an accountant.  You should consult yours to verify your specific tax obligations.

John Compagno has published an article in REALTOR magazine which explains the use of the 1099-MISC in greater detail, including when you need to issue the form, what you need to do to ensure compliance, and the penalties for filing late.  I have uploaded a copy of the article as it was published, for your reading pleas...

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