Category Real Estate

Sabres’ HARBORcenter Will Begin Construction Next Month

Harbor Center

Major changes are coming to the Webster Block in downtown Buffalo!

Last Tuesday, several agencies gave their approval to the Buffalo Sabres to continue working on their plans for HARBORcenter. This project will cost approximately $170 million for a 650,000 square foot facility.  It will feature a 200 room hotel, sports bar, two ice rinks, restaurant and other retail shops. The HARBORcenter wants to focus on creating a regional tourism destination for amateur hockey.

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US Rate on 30-year Mortgages Remained Unchanged at 3.53 Percent

Home for sale in Mount Lebanon

Freddie Mac reports that the average U.S. rate on both 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgages remain unchanged for a second week. Rates are currently as low as 3.53% as of February 14, 2013.

The rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage stayed at 2.77 percent for a second week. The record low is 2.63 percent.

The slowly improving housing markets are gaining with the help of low interest mortgages. Although the increased housing demand is boosting new home construction, many people are still  unable to take advantage of the low rates due to blemished credit or large down payments.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country each week to calculate average mortgage rates...

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Most Common “Red Flags” for FHA Appraisals

FHA financing allows home buyers to purchase a home with 3.5% down, which is a great deal for the buyer.  However, there are many red flags that appraisers will look for while conducting their appraisal inspections for an FHA loan.  VA loans have a tendency to have even stricter guidelines than FHA loans, and conventional loans tend to be less restrictive.

Before a home even hits the market, sellers should walk through their homes and inspect for these conditions that may become problematic down the line.  Simple repairs that can be done on the front side can help the transaction move along with fewer delays.

Buyers should take note of these items as they walk through homes with their agent, during open houses, and especially during home inspections.  Just like the seller, the buyer should know the key issues before they become delays (or deal breakers).

This list is by no means complete or exhaustive.  These are just common issues that require attention.  Home inspections and appraisals are all completed on a property by property basis.

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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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Know The Bills Associated With Your Buffalo Area Home (Investments AND Single Family Homes)

And no, that isn’t a reference to our local NFL team!  While working with an international client that didn’t fully comprehend the various bills associated with owning a property in Buffalo, NY, it was discovered that several of their tax bills were delinquent.  Luckily, it was caught in time, but that client could have lost their property to foreclosure if they were not careful!  Please share this post, reference it often, and be sure that all your bases are covered so the same doesn’t happen to you!  (Please note that these dates are accurate for the 2011-2012 tax billing period and may be subject to change.)

  • City of Buffalo ...
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Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries! (Plus More Tips For Winter)

It’s that time of year again.  We’re about to “fall back” and gain an extra hour in our day.  In addition to changing your clocks, PLEASE be sure to change your batteries and TEST all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace units over 5 years old.  Replace any unit that has been painted over.  And replace any unit that appears damaged, or does not test properly.

Here are a couple other things you should be considering, as we enter the winter season here in Buffalo:

1.  Have your furnace serviced.  Don’t just change the filter!  Have the unit cleaned, the thermocouple checked, be sure the pilot is lit, be sure the unit is operational, and have your heat exchanger checked for cracks...

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