ERA Team VP Welcomes New Agent, Mollie Stutzman

ERA Team VP Real Estate is excited to announce the addition of its newest real estate professional, Mollie Stutzman. Stutzman will be working out of the Chautauqua, NY office and looks forward to serving all of Chautauqua and parts of Cattaraugus counties.

“Mollie’s strive for success is apparent,” says Bill Soffel, ERA Team VP Broker/Owner. “She has an eye for detail and I’m confident that will contribute to her positive client relationships.”

Mollie is a wife and mother of two and resides in Chautauqua county, so is no stranger to the community. “I really look forward to serving clients and helping them find buy and sell homes, Mollie says. “Real estate is a smart investment and I’m proud to be able to assist people in their investment journey!”

To reach Mollie directly, you can call her at 716-640-9452 or email her at criscraft79@gmail.com.

7 Things to do this Fall in Western NY and Northwest PA

Fall is officially here and there’s no better place to spend it than right here in Western NY and Northwest PA! Here are a few of our favorite socially-distancing safe spots to visit this Fall.

  1. Visit Pumpkinville in Great Valley, NY.

With a little more added each year, Pumpkinville offers Fall entertainment for all ages at a reasonable price. Known for their famous pumpkin donuts and apple cider, there’s a variety of other yummy treats available as well. There’s also plenty of kids’ games, photo opportunities, , a petting zoo, corn maze, and of course… pumpkins! Pumpkinville is open 7 days a week, 9AM – 7 PM through October 31 and is located at 4844 Sugartown Rd. Great Valley, NY 14741.

2. Go apple picking at Whittier Apple Farm in Ashville, NY.

Located in Ashville, NY, Whittier Apple Farm offers over 12 varieties of apples for your family to pick this fall. Fresh pressed apple cider is available for purchase as well!

3. Take a chairlift ride at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, NY.

Although Ellicottville’s iconic Fall Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19 this year, Holiday Valley is still offering weekend chairlift rides through the autumn touched woods this October. Rides are available on weekends only from 12-4PM for 10$ per rider (ages 6 and under are free).

4. Enjoy the Fall foliage at the Pfieffer Nature Center in Portville, NY.

Situated on over 600 acres of gorgeously landscaped lend, the Nature Center is a wonderful way to unwind and enjoy the foliage!

5. Pick out mums at Peaches & Cream in Randolph, NY

Located at 19 Main Street in Randolph, NY, Peaches & Cream offers a variety of fresh goods and locally made syrups, sauces, and jams throughout the summer, but they’re also well known for their beautiful selection of mums in the fall! They’re open 7 days a week through the Fall.

6. Stop by Pumpkintown in Busti, NY.

Offering a variety of fun fall themed games and activities, Pumpkintown is open weekends now through October 27, weather permitting. Fresh cider, a corn maze, and pony rides are a few of the items Pumpkintown is most known for!

7. Enjoy the views from the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk in Mt. Jewett, PA.

Beautiful is truly an understatement when it comes to the Skywalk, no matter the season, but our favorite time of year to visit is the Fall. Take the family and enjoy the phenomenal views and foliage from above and be sure to bring the camera!

ERA Team VP Welcomes 3 New Real Estate Agents

ERA Team VP is proud to announce the addition of three new real estate professionals to its team. Jesse Harmon, Lynn Case, and Patricia Collier all join the brokerage each with unique backgrounds.

Jesse Harmon joins the team with a background in nursing, yet has always had an interest in real estate. “My two kids and I enjoy spending time outside together. I also spend some of my free time volunteering for various organizations and giving back to the community.” Jesse says. She plans to serve Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Southern Erie Counties and is looking forward to helping friends, family and future clients with all of their home buying and selling needs. Jesse will be working out of ERA Team VP’s Allegany location. To reach Jesse directly, call 716-904-1456 or email jesseharmon02@icloud.com.

Lynn Case, who resides in Jamestown, NY, also joins ERA Team VP as a new agent, however, she has over 20 years of working with the public. Lynn is eager to dive into her real estate career and begin helping those looking to buy or sell a home. “I’m looking forward to serving clients in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and parts of Erie county. I have a passion for helping people and look forward to supporting my clients with one of the biggest steps in their lives!” Lynn will be working out of ERA Team VP’s Chautauqua office. To reach her directly, call 716-640-9393 or email lynn.case1@yahoo.com.

Patricia Collier is the third addition to the ERA Team VP Real Estate team. Patricia resides in the Olean area where she has worked as a real estate agent since 2016 and also owns a landscaping company with her husband. She says, “I grew up in a family that loved to buy and restore old homes, so I have a lot of experience in that. I have also worked a Community Outreach Coordinator and had some involvement in marketing while I resided in Maine.” Patricia says, “I intend to serve all over Cattaraugus and Allegany counties and truly enjoy working with military families. I am very familiar with VA loans.” In her free time, Patricia enjoys traveling, knitting, cooking, gardening and spending time with her husband, daughter, and dog, Loki. Patricia will be based in the Allegany, NY office but can be reached directly at 716-696-0259 or patricia.collier20@gmail.com.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jesse, Lynn and Patricia to our team! Although each of these individuals have different backgrounds and experiences, I’m confident that they all bring a professional, motivated approach to our team,” says Bill Soffel, Broker/Owner of ERA Team VP. “We’re looking forward to providing each of these ladies with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the real estate industry!”

To learn more about ERA Team VP and the real estate or vacation rental market, visit www.erateamvp.com or www.myteamvp.com.

ERA Team VP Welcomes New Real Estate Associate, Ellen Fenton

ERA Team VP Real Estate & Vacation Rentals is thrilled to announce the addition of Ellen Fenton to its team in the Ellicottville, NY office. Ellen joins the firm with just over 5 years of real estate background and extensive insurance experience.

“We’re thrilled to have Ellen join our team! We’re confident that the ERA tools and resources will help her grow her business and serve our community very well,” says Bill Soffel, ERA Team VP Broker/President.

“I’m so excited to dive into my real estate career full force,” says Ellen, who also owns a local insurance agency, Ellen Fenton & Company LLC. “I know my extensive insurance background and experience will really facilitate my ability to serve my clients on a real estate level as well. The two go hand in hand.” As part of ERA Team VP, Fenton will have the opportunity to offer home buyers and sellers a wide variety of market-relevant products and services, as well as robust online marketing programs, extensive listing distribution partners, and related services including mortgage, title and home warranty.

Outside of work, Ellen enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren and has recently taken up sewing. She loves animals, nature, and giving back to the community however she can.

To reach Ellen directly, you can call her at (716) 244-8933 or email her at ellen@ellenfenton.com. For more information about ERA Team VP Real Estate & Vacation rentals and the Ellicottville Real Estate and Vacation Rental Market, visit www.myteamvp.com or call (716) 699-4800.

Backyard Diaries Edition 3- Allegany, NY & Surrounding Areas

Although we’ve recently entered Phase 3 of Re-Opening in WNY, many of us are still looking forward to social distancing safe activities in our area. Allegany, NY is the home of St. Bonaventure University and is known for the beautiful Allegheny River that runs through the town. In addition, there are many other hidden gems in the Allegany area that are worth a visit!

Pfieffer Nature Center – Portville, NY

ERA Team VP agent, Amy Henzel, recommends the Pfieffer Nature Center in Portville, just 20 minutes away from Allegany. “My family and I find the Pfieffer Nature Center a perfect way to get active and enjoy all that nature has to offer!” The nature center offers free admission, loads of hiking/biking trails, and a calendar full of unique outdoor programs and activities.

Rock City Park – Olean, NY

Rock City Park in Olean is recommended by ERA Team VP agent, Janna Davis. Rock City Park is filled with hiking trails and one of the largest natural displays of quartz conglomerate in the world. Janna says “If you’re looking for a good hike and beautiful views, you’ll want to check out this hidden gem!”

Allegany State Park – Salamanca, NY

Many ERA Team VP affiliates also suggest Allegany State Park- a 65,000 acre NYS park with over 5 miles of paved bike trails. Allegany State Park offers two developed beach areas, cabin rentals, pavilion areas, several playgrounds, a full service restaurant, and so much more. Wendy O’Neil of ERA Team VP shares, “The State Park has been a community landmark for years. My family and I have so many memories at the Park and we’re so excited to make more this summer!” Jane Grice, Licensed R.E. Salesperson with ERA Team VP, also adds “My family really enjoys packing a picnic and our bikes and heading to the State Park for the day. Simple, fun, and easy to access no matter where you live in WNY or NW PA!”

Other “Musts” in the Area

Our team also recommend the following day trips right in our backyard!
Canticle Farm – Allegany, NY
Blueberry Meadows – Portville, NY

Backyard Diaries Edition 2 – Bradford & Warren, PA and Surrounding Areas

With summer right around the corner, and social distancing still a huge part of our lives, now is a great time to revel in the place you call home! Bradford and Warren, PA offer a phenomenal selection of social distancing safe activities and destinations right in their backyard and ERA Team VP Agents and staff have the inside scoop on the best destinations!

Kinzua Dam

Situated on 39 acres of land, ERA Team VP Agents, Jaime Nuhfer, Tonya Studley, and Dave Lunden all agree that Kinzua is a must-see destination in the Warren/Bradford areas. Located in Mt. Jewett, PA, just 30 minutes from Bradford and just over an hour from Warren, this historical landmark offers one of a kind views, hiking/biking trails, and incredible natural scenery. Kinzua is best known for its sky-walk – a 300+ feet high viaduct with glass bottomed deck offering breathtaking views of the tower structure beneath.

Rimrock Hiking Trail and Overlook

ERA Team VP associates Denise Whipp and Jaime Nuhfer both recommend Rimrock Hiking Trail and Overlook as well. The 1.3 mile long trail connects Kinzua Beach to Rimrock Overlook, with incredible views along the way. “It’s definitely a favorite go-to in my family!” says Denise.

Jake’s Rocks

Another ERA Team VP favorite destination is Jake’s Rock Overlook in Mead township, PA. Soak in the views of the Jackson Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir! “Jake’s Rocks Overlook is a family favorite for us,” Jaime Nuhfer of ERA Team VP explains, “We really enjoy exploring the trails and gigantic boulders along the way!” This unique day trip destination is just a 30 minute drive from Warren and about 40 minutes from Bradford.

Other “Musts” Nearby

Debbie Swanson, ERA Team VP admin in the Warren, PA office, recommends a few other destinations in the area:
– Hector Falls – Kane, PA
– Chapman Dam – Clarendon, PA
– Hearts Content – Warren, PA
– Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail – Tidioute, PA

Backyard Diaries – Edition 1 Arcade, NY & Surrounding Areas

By now, we’re probably all feeling the same way. Restless. Bored. Ready to go back to “normal”, whatever that may be. Quarantine isn’t for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be so bad if we know how and where to spend it! With so many fun and social distancing safe activities and destinations, right in our backyard- now is the time to take advantage of them!

Wendy Freiheit and Michelle Schmidt, affiliates with ERA Team VP’s Arcade location, have given a list of their favorite day trip destinations in the Arcade area. Both agreed that Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY is one of the top destinations to check out. “You simply just can’t beat the views of the surrounding nature,” says Wendy Freiheit, ERA Team VP Broker Liasian. Michelle Schmidt, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with ERA Team VP, adds “Whether you like to hike, bike, or just relax and take in the surroundings, Letchworth is fantastic.” Letchworth Sate Park is an easy 30 minute drive from Arcade.

Wendy and Michelle also suggest the Beaver Meadow Audobon Center in North Java, about 15 minutes from Arcade, as well as Knox Farm in East Aurora, about 40 minutes from Arcade. “Both of these destinations offer family friendly, outdoor recreation of all types,” says Wendy.

“One of my other favorites is Eternal Flame Falls within Chestnut Ridge Park in the town of Orchard Park,” says Michelle, “You’ll definitely want to wear good footwear- the hiking trail is rocky.”

Whether you’re spending this pause with your family or alone, there are so many wonderful outdoor activities right in our backyard! Be sure to post your experience on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #BackyardDiaries!

ERA Team VP Welcomes Two New Real Estate Associates

ERA Team VP Real Estate & Vacation Rentals recently announced the addition of two new Real Estate Associates to its firm. Joanna “Jo” Ross and Bonnie Lynch both join the firm with impressive backgrounds and experience.

Joanna “Jo” Ross has joined ERA Team VP’s Warren, PA office with 20 years of sales and marketing experience under her belt. “I’ve always had a knack for negotiating and and eye for finding unique qualities in properties,” says Ross, “These qualities, combined with my experience in sales and marketing, will equip me to thrive in the real estate industry and serve home buyers and sellers very well.” JoAnna enjoys being in the outdoors and likes to spend time kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and golfing. To reach JoAnna call (814)-350-6248 or email joross.realtor@gmail.com.

Bonnie Lynch also joins ERA Team VP, working out of the Arcade, NY location. Bonnie is not a rookie in the real estate industry; she spent 1991-2001 as a realtor. “Although I spent a bit of time in the field, I know there’s been a lot of changes in the industry that I’m excited to dive into.” Bonnie says, “I really enjoy making people happy by making their dreams come true, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do that and assist them with buying or selling a home!” Lynch loves spending time with her family and likes camping, bonfires, traveling and car shows. To reach Bonnie directly, call (716)-725-7585 or email her at bonniealynch65@gmail.com.

“In today’s market, growth is the only option, and attracting top talent is a surefire way to achieve that goal,” said Bill Soffel, Broker/Owner of ERA Team VP. “We are thrilled to have professionals of Bonnie and JoAnna’s caliber join our firm.”

As part of ERA Team VP, Ross and Lynch will be able to offer home buyers and sellers a wide variety of innovative and market-relevant products and services, as well as robust online marketing programs, extensive listings distribution partners, and related services including mortgage, title and home warranty.

For more information about ERA Team VP Real Estate & Vacation Rentals and the Real Estate/Vacation Rental Market in the Southern Tier of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania, visit www.erateamvp.com or call their main office at 716.413.0200.

5 Things NOT to do During the Closing Process

Congratulations! You’ve found the home of your dreams and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with a closing date just around the corner. Although this is an incredibly exciting time in your life, there are a few things you should keep in mind during the closing process.

We sat down with Emily McVay from Homestead Funding to further understand the home closing process and she provided several key “pitfalls” buyers often forget when waiting for closing day; often costing them their mortgage and ultimately their dream home.

  • Do not change jobs. According to Emily, “Change in job status will cause your file to be re-underwritten and reconsidered. This may cause a delay with your loan process or possible denial of your loan application.”
  • Do not use charge cards excessively or make late payments on any accounts. Often times, in order to save the cash reserves buyers have set aside for closing costs, they resort to “living” on their credit cards. “Excessive use of credit cards can have negative effects on your credit rating,” says Emily. “Also, late payments of any type can decrease your credit score, increase your home loan interest rate, delay loan closing, or cause loan denial.”
  • Do not spend money you have set aside for closing. “Most conventional loans require 2 months of reserve money to be verified in your available financial accounts. Once it has been verified for use at closing, spending these reserve funds may result in loan closing delays or loan denial,” according to Emily.
  • Do not originate any inquiries into your credit.
  • Do not make large deposits without checking with your loan originator first. Emily explains, “Abnormal deposits or large deposits…must have money sources verified by Underwriting. Making these deposits could result in loan processing delays or denials.”

For more information about real estate in your area, contact your local ERA Team VP Agent or visit www.erateamvp.com. For more insight about the home buying and financing process, contact Emily McVay at emcvay@homesteadfunding.com or 716-450-7773.

Emily McVay
Licensed Loan Originator (NMLS 1586340)
Homestead Funding Corp. (NMLS 3232)

COVID-19 Update from ERA Team VP

Dear Friends,

At ERA Team VP, there is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our owners, guests, our dedicated staff and the community around us. Now, with the universal concerns regarding COVID-19, that is more important than ever.

The safety of our guests, owners and staff has always been one of our core values.  As we face the challenge presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking precautionary steps to insure a healthy experience for all. Please be assured that safety is of utmost importance to us. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it evolves. 

Here are some of the precautionary measures we are taking:

  • In-person check in/out is no longer required for arrivals within the next 30 days. Guests can still easily reach us by calling our office Chautauqua office at 716-413-0200 or our Ellicottville office at 716-699-4800.

  • We have always used cleaning products with disinfectant. In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our housekeeping staff will increase focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc.

  • Back of the house areas are also being cleaned more frequently.

  • Proper hand hygiene is part of the messaging our team receives on a daily basis.

  • Our staff receives ongoing education on best practices put forth by public health agencies.

  • Team members who can work from home will be doing so.

  • We recommend that guests traveling to the area follow guidelines established by the CDC.

When you are ready to plan your next vacation, be sure to ask about travel insurance. You can book with confidence and give your family something to look forward to.

We are committed to providing you with a fun and safe getaway.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 716-413-0200 or 716-699-4800.

For the most up-to-date information and current protocols on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.

We wish all of you the very best for good health and hope to see you again soon.

With Gratitude,

ERA Team VP Vacation Rentals

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