Is It All Truly Just Location, Location, Location?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I tend to differ from that real estate mantra, "Location, location, location." Do you? I also think that a healthy portion of real estate success is who is servicing you while you buy or sell. As a traveler far and wide, I have seen a whole lot of real estate. I also like to look up the demographics of various places we visit, checking out the population, tax rates, real estate values, and such. So I think of myself as a real estate junkie, a hobbyist who likes to know what's beneath the towns and cities we visit.

I've been to a lot of real estate websites and blogs, too. Is it just me, or are many of those websites terribly difficult to navigate? They are messy and full of weird links and articles. I have, however, discovered a really nice website for Calgary real estate. He's a young gentleman named Cliff Stevenson. His website is really terrific! Everything is on the first page, NEAT and tidy and organized. I love the social media buttons the greet you when you bring up the website, and the small real estate blog video in the sidebar. There's also easy access to the team of Calgary real estate agents. Best of all, you don't have to blindly navigate through any obscure pages or tabs to do a property search. It's right there, in your line of focus. Very nice. I also like the "Featured properties" at the bottom of the page; it's a nice touch.

As a consumer, I think a realtor's website says a lot about his business. It's not all about location, it's service and presentation, too. If you like to browse real estate sites or are looking for an orderly place to buy or sell or browse, check out the site!

Places to go for First Timers Visiting the Big Apple

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Traveling to New York City is usually a right of passage for most Americans, even more so for New York State residents. However, if home life in upstate New York is all you know, a visit to the “city that never sleeps” could make you uneasy to visit if you don’t have an itinerary in mind.

For newcomers and first time visitors, it may not be wise to just wing your vacation or stay, it’s best to know where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and how much cash you’ll need. The last thing you need is to be stranded in the middle of Battery Park without money for a cab or a subway ride. Thankfully, there are several sites that can give you an idea of where to go on your trip to New York City.

Central Park

Even for first timers, most people know that the crown jewel of the city is Central Park. Located in the middle or Manhattan, dividing the West and East sides, Central Park is a lush 843-acre park that serves as an ideal location for films, tv shows, romantic or family picnics or a vibrant jog. Whatever you decide, Central Park should be at the top of your “places to visit” list. The park is just a subway ride away, connecting most railways under Columbus Circle, which is at the southwesternmost tip of the park.

Empire State Building
We’ve all seen it, standing 102 floors from the pavement below, soaring upward in a spire of light. The Empire State Building is the embodiment of the spirit of the state of New York, which also happens to be called the Empire State. Known as the tallest building Manhattan, the Empire State Building has been featured in many films and tv shows, such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Gossip Girl”. If you just so happen to visit the City with your significant other, visiting the Empire State Building could be both fascinating and romantic.

Madison Square Garden
You haven’t really experienced a concert if you haven’t seen you favorite band or singing artist at Madison Square Garden. Located in Midtown Manhattan, Madison Square Garden is easily accessible by cab, by car, though you may need to find Madison Square Garden Parking, or the F, B, D or M trains. The stadium also serves as a multipurpose arena known for holding the concerts of the century and being the home for the New York Knicks. If you’re looking to attend a concert or perhaps a basketball game, purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended due to the popularity if the venue.


If shopping is your thing, one of the places you may also want to visit is Bergdorf Goodman, one of the only remaining luxury department stores on the island. Competing with Bloomingdales, Barney’s and Saks 5th Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman offers shoppers a wide selection of designer apparel such as Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen and Jimmy Choo. 
The great thing about Bergdorf Goodman is that it’s divided into two department stores, one for men and one for women, making shopping more accessible. If you’re feeling up for it, call in advance and ask for a personal shopper to help you pick out what you need. Bergdorf Goodman is located on 5th Avenue at the heart of Manhattan, just a few block from Central Park. You can’t miss it!

Wherever you decide to go on your trip to New York City, make sure you know where you’re going. This doesn’t mean that you need to strictly stay on schedule, it just gives you an idea of where to go so you don’t get lost.  It’s always good to have a flexible itinerary and subway map handy to navigate you through the city. If you need more ideas on where to go in your stay at NYC, check their website for fun, seasonal events taking place during your stay.

House Flipping and Other Strange Dreams

Monday, January 07, 2013

I had some weird dreams last night. It must have been those spicy chicken wings I had for dinner. Ever hear of "house flipping"? It a way of making money, done by people who purchase an old, run-down home, renovate it, and sell it for a nice profit. Sometimes, they can fund their purchase with a nice 203k loan or from the profit from their previous "flip." I have often considered getting into such a business. I LOVE old homes (I have always lived in old homes) and I'm pretty handy with the hammer and electrical cabling.

But my dream was about house flipping, reality-style. Yeah, the house flipped. Over.

I wish I could remember all the details... the house was shaken off its foundation and fell over into a heap on the ground. WEIRD. I then dreamed I wandered through an old home I once lived in as a little girl. It had changed somewhat, and had been put on the market. In the dream, I was considering a homepath deal and buying the house. Then I woke up.

House flipping -- the "real" kind -- does have some appeal. But I think I'm too old now to be a house flipper. Lord knows, there's a ton of decrepit old homes around here that need repair, but I think the selling part would be the most difficult. A local company tried house flipping in the city and it hasn't turned out as profitable as they liked.

Clark Howard (the affable radio financial/thrift geek) says that now is a good time to buy a home. I was flabbergasted, actually. Doesn't it matter that the economy is kind of shaky? But Howard says its a great time to buy because people are eager to sell. And I can imagine that people are probably relocating to new areas for better job opportunities. That's been tossed around a lot, here in Upstate New York... it
s becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet in Upstate. I admit, I am nervous about the future. For forty years, everyone and their mother have been clamoring for more "change" but nothing ever happens. It's discouraging. On the other hand, one man's trouble is another man's treasure. Who knows, maybe NYS will get some real flippers who can turn everything around here....

A Great Family Destination

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The 2012 travel season is rapidly coming to a close here in the Northeast. Because of the winter weather (and heating expense), most places shut down for the season. It's too bad, really, because I love to travel during the autumn and early winter season. The weather is usually perfect -- it's after the agonizing summer humidity but before the snow starts. Oh well. These days, I'm expanding my sights and have a few out-of-state destinations coming up for the 2013 season. I've never been west of the Ohio River, and I want to see the county a bit more. Of course, our travels will still be very "history" based. We love historic sites and museums and other related family vacation destinations. I want the kids to see some of the highlights of the United States, particularly the Rockies, the Mississippi river and the Gulf Coast area. I saw the Gulf of Mexico as a girl, and it remains one of the highlights of my life. What a glorious area! I would SO love to take the kids on one of those Mississippi river tours, or walk the sandy-white beaches and see the turquoise-tinted waters. It's so lovely. The Mississippi tourism website is spectacular -- not only do they list attractions, but they also list events and special deals. The photos of the region are so tempting!

How about you? Do you have any special vacation desires? Have you been to the Gulf Coast? What special thing do you remember about it?

Just so you know, I am being compensated to mention the website in this post. The opinions expressed here are 100% mine!

New York Traveler: Lake George Redux

Friday, September 28, 2012

Technology for the Country Folks

Friday, September 14, 2012

HAHA! Click the image for a large (readable) view.

Vacation for NY Residents in Their Very Own City

Thursday, September 06, 2012

New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, and millions of people visit there every year. While many tourists from around the world come into the city on vacation, it is possible to enjoy the city even if you live there. If you are a resident of New York, you might want to consider taking a vacation in your very own city. What could you possibly do on a trip in your own city?


One of the most important parts of the process is making sure that you have some place to stay. Many people in this situation would be tempted to simply stay at home and go out to see things in the city. If you want it to really feel special and feel like a vacation, you need to stay somewhere other than your home.

For example, if you live in the suburbs of the city, you could book a hotel room inside the city. This will make it feel as though you are traveling somewhere away from home. Otherwise, it will just feel like you are going out for the day and then coming back to your regular life in the evening. If you're planning on being gone for an extended trip, you might need to find some of the best self storage New York has to offer. This way, you can still access your things while you're 'away' from your home.

Seeing the Sights

When you live in New York City, it's common to take all of the tourist attractions for granted. Many people who live in the city have never actually been to the Statue of Liberty or to Central Park. They've never been to The Met or to The Empire State Building. On your vacation, you should spend some time taking in these sights. They'll make you feel that much more proud to be a New Yorker.

Other Options

Besides just sight seeing, you may want to do some of the activities that New York is known for. For example, you might want to take in a Knicks game, watch a Broadway show or one of many other activities along the way.

Regardless of which options you choose to pursue, just make sure that you have a good time. If you treat it like a vacation and enjoy your time in one of the best cities in the world, it will be one of the most memorable trips of your life.

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