Saratoga Area Fun – Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival

Hot Air Balloon Blog

There are many things that I love about being a real estate agent based in Saratoga County. The county is full of lifestyle choices from rural areas, suburban neighborhoods, villages, hamlets and cities. There is pretty much an area for everyone, I chose a rural area. Additionally, there is tons to do within the limits and summer events are very popular.

One of the area’s most popular events is coming up – one that myself and many of my friends enjoy. The Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival is a wonderful family-friendly event held annually at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. Each year the festival brings many beautiful and unique balloons.

Balloon launches occur daily, weather permitting of course for everyone’s safety. You can take a tethered balloon ride or experience a true hot air balloon ride. The Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival also is host to the “best balloon glow in the U.S.”

In addition to all of the balloons, there are many amazing artisans that exhibit during the festival. From paintings to jewelry, home decor, specialty foods and many other one-of-a-kind items you can find all sorts of neat stuff that make great gifts for a friend or yourself. There will also be demonstrations by select exhibitors – see how they make their creations!

As mentioned it is a family-friendly event. There is tons for kids to do at the Stewart’s Shops Kid Zone. Check out the Walk-About Balloon, Petting Zoo, or have your face painted! There is live music and food vendors making this a great all-day activity.

So if you are looking for something to do in the Saratoga area this summer, this is one event you don’t want to miss. You can purchase tickets and learn more about the fair on the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival website. Even purchase a ticket for a hot air balloon ride! Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and I hope I see you there.

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

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Latest Listing – 2613 Campbell Ave, Schenectady, NY

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2613 Campbell Avenue, Schenectady, NY 

I recently got this amazing listing in Schenectady that I wanted to share with you readers. This beautiful older home is huge,classy and amazingly maintained.

2613 Campbell Ave is a short drive to 890, Rotterdam Square Mall, and Downtown Schenectady where you can catch a show at the historic Proctor’s Theater and dine at one of the many amazing restaurants.

This home has been tastefully updated. It is a wonderful blend of modern conveniences with the charm of yesteryear. The master suite his huge with a great amount of closet space. The master bath isn’t too shabby either. 3 additional bedrooms join the master on the second floor.

On the first floor is great living space. While not quite open concept, it has an excellent flow that brings the open concept illusion. A dual sided gas fireplace can be enjoyed in the living area or during a family dinner in the formal dining room. The kitchen is huge, lots of cabinet space and upgraded kitchen appliances.

Porches grace the front and back of the home. The back porch features a sunk in hot tub and covered sitting area for fun summer parties or a relaxed night at home. The backyard also plays host to the 2 stall garage which features a studio on the upper level, just in case you need more space.

Check out this home on my website and schedule your tour today! This isn’t one to be missed!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

 

Meet My Latest Listing

OK, it has been a long few months since I last updated this blog. My apologies, but I promise it has been for good reason and I have been very busy. Plus the holidays, I am sure you can all understand how easy it is to get sidetracked during that season. Speaking of which, I hope you all enjoyed yours and have been having a most excellent New Year!

I’ve been working with many buyers but was fortunate enough to be brought in on a listing in the wonderful city of Glens Falls. I did my college internship in this beautiful, historic upstate NY city and I was elated to be brought in on a listing in that area.

I would like to introduce all of you the Condos at 93 Maple Street! These luxury condo units are move in ready and are perfect for the first time homebuyer, empty nesters looking to downsize, or as vacation property. After all they are just a short drive away to Lake George, Saratoga Springs and the Adirondack Park.

Building 93 Maple

The Condos at 93 Maple Street – Glens Falls, NY

One of my favorite things about the units is that each one is different. Layouts may be similar but each unit has been professionally designed by Paula McCormick Interiors and all have their very own personalities. The high-end finishes really bring life to each space and the unique individual feel allow buyers to pick from tastefully done units rather than accepting a standard cookie cutter build.

But don’t just take my work for it. Here are a few photos:

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I encourage you to check out the condos for yourself. If you are fortunate enough to be in the Glens Falls area, around the Capital Region or traveling to Upstate New York stop by on Sundays between 11 and 1. We hold a weekly open house. Of course you can always make an appointment, just submit an inquiry on the contact page of our website. You can visit The Condos at 93 Maple Street here.

I can’t wait to find these units the perfect homeowners they have been waiting for, maybe it will be you….

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her websitehttp://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

 

TLC Properties: Renovation or Rehab – Smart Investment For A Must-Have Home

Renovations and Rehab Blog

Wow! It’s been a while since I was able to sit down and write. It has definitely been a busy few weeks. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

My weekend before Thanksgiving was filled with home showings and my very first open house. Ok, so it wasn’t really MY open house, but I got some very valuable real estate experience by helping one of my contemporaries.

For today’s post though I really want to speak about my experience working with some great buyers who have entered my world. Like I did a few years ago, my buyers are looking to make a long-distance move and get back to their family, who are located here in the Capital District. This particular couple really knows what they are looking for, which to my surprise were serious fixer-upper properties.

I love fixer-upper properties. You have a chance to make something your own, you can help preserve the original nature of a historic home, you can save lots of money. My buyer has built & redesigned homes before and enjoys the process. Because of this we looked at some really fabulous homes, though many of them weren’t in what one might call fabulous shape. Actually there were some that no one would call fabulous shape. However, with my buyer’s ability to see what could be, I quickly found myself ready to get a hammer and nails and start the work myself.

All too often many beautiful homes go overlooked because they require work. Not every home is salvageable but, when you find a gem that has weathered decades or even centuries and still maintains it’s structural integrity, in lies an opportunity.

An opportunity to make a home your own. Seriously, you don’t need a brand new build to get what you want in a home. In fact, sometimes people invest in new builds and the homes still don’t necessarily meet all of your wants and/or needs. Not saying buying new is a bad thing, for some people it makes all of the sense in the world, but with a little ambition and creativity you can bring a relic into the current time. The best part, you can increase your equity rather quickly by choosing a distressed property and making the proper, cost effective, renovations to it. Always think about resale and market value when doing renovations. Spending money you don’t need to or you will never see a return on is silly, unless you have a generous budget and feel like spending.

I know, I know – renovations? Nobody has time for that. It’s true, renovations can seriously cramp your everyday style. But! Getting exactly what you want in a home, building equity, and having that feeling of pride with every project completion can be very rewarding for home buyers and owners.

My buyer’s and I stumbled upon a Craftsman, out of the original area we were looking but very close to their family. It had fallen into foreclosure and was in sad shape for how pretty you could see it had once been. It was dirty, had a top to bottom red kitchen, and the furnace was totally broken but the bones were in good shape. The “ah-ha!” feature was that none of the traditional Craftsman touches had been messed with. The original woodworking and structural elements were intact. The only exception was the peculiar red kitchen. The icing on the cake? The home was priced way below budget. When adding the estimated total cost of renovations to the listing price the figure was still way under budget – granted most of the labor cost would be offset by my buyer’s hard work. I will have to wait and see as no decisions have been made yet, but it left a lasting impression on me about distressed properties. Not only can they be a place you really feel is your home, with your personal must haves, they can also be a really solid investment for both you and the property.

Renovations and rehabs are certainly not for everyone. They are time consuming, they can end up costing a fortune, and they can make you regret ever thinking one was a good idea. But when that work is done and your home is exactly how you want it, with extra money in your pocket, that run down, dirty, red kitchen property will be a home again. There are countless tv shows out now with famous faces that feature these types of projects –  Nicole Curtis on Rehab Addict, Jonathan and Drew on Property Brothers, Flipping Virgins with Egypt Sherrod…the list can go on and on. There is tons of inspiration and education out there. Just look at Pinterest! Make sure you have a few hours if you go on Pinterest for DIY ideas, you may be on there for hours – I know from experience.

If you are ambitious enough and not scared away by homes in desperate need of a family to love them then you may find great pride in the challenge. It can really be a great investment and you just might learn a thing or two about yourself. 🙂

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her websitehttp://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

My Real Estate Experience – How I Became A First -Time Homebuyer Twice and Why I Chose To Use A Salesperson The Second Time Around

Home Graphic

Prior to being an agent, I was a buyer. I purchased my first house at a county tax auction. When it came time to move we found ourselves in a unique position. While we were homeowners, we had never actually bought a house in the traditional real estate market. We were still first time homebuyers in a way – we were still clueless.

We moved from Utica, NY to the Capital District with our 3 year-old son and 3 dogs. We were between homes so my parents helped us out. I stayed with the 3 dogs at my mom and step-dad’s house with them and their 3 dogs. My husband and son stayed with my dad, about 15 minutes away. I know, weird, but it worked.

We found out I was pregnant with our second child shortly before our move. Nothing triggers super-mom feels like that news while being faced with a new job, move, and living with your parents again. My possessions were strewn about 3 separate locations. My husband and son were living apart from me. I had regular ice-cream date nights with my mom and stepdad. I knew we had to find a realtor and quickly.

No doubt Dee thought I was nuts when we met. The first thing I did was a put an offer in for a house that wasn’t showing yet. I should have listened when she warned me against doing this, but my maternal instincts required I nest. After trying to talk some sense into me she said “well ok, let’s get started.”

Our offer was accepted and we toured the home. It was reasonable for the asking price. We set up inspections and since I had my birthday off from work, I thought it was a great day to schedule everything. Don’t do this, EVER! If thing go wrong, you feel like crap on a day you should feel awesome. Also, never offer on a property site unseen. The inspection turned up an issue costing 1/4 of the purchase price to fix. My great deal shot me in the back! On my birthday!

My emotions were high, pregnancy hormones raging, and I had a strong urge to eat my feelings. I learned my lesson. Don’t make ridiculous decisions, like placing offers on a home you haven’t seen and expect no hitch. I pulled it together and sent new properties to Dee. This may seem strange, but this was going to be MY house. If I was finding homes online that I wanted to see, it seemed like common sense to tell Dee. I always found our relationship to be more of a partnership than her working for me. I enjoyed that because I wanted to be an active participant.

We took a Saturday to check out properties on the list. There are three that I recall vividly: One gave Dee the look of fear only a seasoned grandparent can possess; one where a crawl space door literally fell off the wall when I opened it, and one little blue cape. It was perfect! I had always wanted a cape AND it was blue!

We were sold, but it was a short sale. For this house, it was a risk I was willing to take. The sellers accepted our offer and I knew that we would wait on the bank. We went forward with inspections, hoping for the best. Weeks came and went. My due date was approaching…fast!

I needed to nest and get prepared for my new son. The weeks following were never ending. Constantly extending deadlines, wondering what happens next, hoping for good news any day. I was tired, stressed, and really wanted my abdomen back to myself. Dee was there for every freak out I had. She was supportive and really helped turn the craziness into a positive experience.

In mid September my mother and husband decided to move him and my son from my dad’s into my mom and stepdad’s, where we all waited for house news. By October, I had enough. I started looking at available properties online before learning the bank rejected our offer. We quickly regrouped and went to tour another house.

It was wonderful. A small brick ranch like my grandmother’s, in our desired school district, with 2 acres of land. I was elated to find this gem; out of date, having not had a face lift since its build, but great bones. No sooner had we seen it, Baby C showed up. My husband and I decided the little brick ranch was perfect. I called Dee and she came to the hospital for me to sign the offer paperwork the day of Baby C’s arrival. We even took time to document the moment. It was new one for me and I am sure a first for Dee.

Erin and Dee

Erin & Dee with Baby C

As they say – third times a charm! Our offer was accepted and things got moving. Now I focused on getting in the house. My newborn needed a nursery and I wanted my old bed back. My parents were also ready to have a Miller-free household. There was paperwork and approvals as far down as the rabbit hole goes, day in and day out. I worked full-time from home for my maternity leave, needing the income for financing. Let me tell you, doing this while taking care of a newborn is not for the faint at heart. But all of the struggle paid off.

Andy, Dee and Erin at Closing

Andy, Dee and Erin at Closing

We closed in the early part of December and moved out of my parents within 2 days. We were home. After 6 months of living with relatives, new jobs, all of the home buying disappointment and the birth of a newborn, The Millers were home. Just in time for the holidays!

Holidays with The Millers

Holidays with The Millers – Photo courtesy Melissa Duell Photography

Dee was my voice of reason and the person who brought me down a few notches when I was in a panic. Without her, we never would have survived this process. Her guidance taught me some valuable lessons that I hope I bring to the table as a real estate salesperson.

The knowledge I gained through using an agent was priceless. It made the process so much easier to have an advocate. That kind of support can really help you get it right. I will forever be grateful to Dee for being a person I could trust. Just like your real estate salesperson should be for you. It is for those reasons I will always suggest to use a real estate professional for your next home purchase.

Oh! Lastly, should any of your family or friends ever take you and your family in during a reno or a build or when you are in between homes – you owe them massive props. It isn’t easy to double or triple the amount of your human household, let alone double the dogs in your home. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate it and pitch in what you can while you are there. It will make the rough times a little bit better. Major thanks to my mom and dads for letting us room with you all. ❤

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. Previously she has worked in social media and marketing, with a strong background in customer service. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her website at www.homeswitherinmiller.com.