Overcome your home selling fears

Remember when you learned how to use the jungle gym rings in grade school? If you wanted to get anywhere, you had to build up enough courage, motion, and strength to let go… and trust you would be able to grab onto the next ring, getting you one move closer to your goal!  

Buying and selling a home can be a lot like learning how to get across the jungle gym. You might miss your next ring, but you won’t get better if you don’t try again. You might dangle for a bit, until you have the right help come along and give you a nudge in the right direction. You might, however, get it the first time and ‘nail the landing’!  

The Repair Dilemma:

Sellers have never been more fearful to try their luck at the real estate ‘jungle gym’, and here are three major reasons why: 

We understand that putting your homes best ‘foot forward’ is to ensure it is looking its absolute best when a potential buyers walk through! Also, people don’t want to put a lot of money into fixing up their home just to turn around and sell it again… Especially knowing what kind-of a market their walking into! Let’s review a couple of different approaches that could be taken. 

  • Sell as is: If you are at peace with selling your home as is, then do it! Fix the basic items (replace lightbulbs, repair screens that may be ripped, tighten hinges on cupboard doors, etc.) and make sure your home looks cared for. Potential buyers will still see the love you have given your home even though you might not want to splurge to have that big deck put on for someone else to enjoy. Also, if you’re looking for a few affordable and fun projects, check out 5 easy ways to upgrade your home.  
  • Pick your investment: While you might not be interested in fixing every little item, you might want to invest in the most important ones. If you have spoken with a real estate agent…, they know what to look for. They will be able to advise you on what will have the biggest impact on your home’s sale price. The greatest agents will have terrific advice that will not break the bank but will get your house ready for the market! 

The Market:

In the housing market, the seller and the buyer are, in many cases, the same person – the existing homeowner. To buy a new home, you must sell the home you already own, and then find a home you like better. With the market being as tight as it is in today’s housing market, the risk of selling, if others do not, prevents many existing homeowners from selling. The result? Prices are further bid up by competition for the increasingly short supply. 

Sellers also think their home might not be worth as much as what they need in order to buy a home in a market like this. This is the ‘nudge part’ of the jungle gym analogy. The hesitation is understandable, but that is why relying on a great support system, for example, the agents at ERA Team VP Real Estate will give you the nudge in the right direction. With a free CMA [Comparative Market Analysis], these professional and knowledgeable agents can help capture the value of your home, which in this market will likely sell for more than you would expect! For a free valuation of your home, contact one of these qualified agents in your area. 

The complexity of the process is overwhelming:

There is no doubt that this process is complex….and at times overwhelming! From the beginning of packing up your house, going through the emotions of excitement and sadness to the elatedness of finding your dream home and looking forward to moving in… it is a lot to process, a lot to do, and a lot to keep organized! The right Real Estate Agent is key to eliminating stress and complexity while providing peace of mind throughout the entire process. Finding an agent who recognizes the value of your home, who communicates well and genuinely cares for your needs is crucial in making an overwhelming process a walk in the park. 

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 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.

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

New Years in Ellicottville

Still need plans to ring in the New Year? Ellicottville has you covered, with something for everyone, and ERA Team VP still has a few available properties at a discounted rate if you want to book a last minute getaway!

http://www.myteamvp.com

For starters, Holiday Valley puts on an epic New Years Eve party, inside the Main Lodge on the main floor, where you can easily view the Groomer Parade and Torchlight Parade on Cindy’s Run at 11:15. The party starts at 9:00 and commences at 1:00 am with a fireworks show in between, starting at 11:45. This is a family friendly event, so bring everyone!

If you’re looking to celebrate downtown, there’s plenty of fabulous dining and music options on the schedule! We strongly suggest making dinner reservations ahead of time- everywhere is sure to be very busy. Take advantage of walking back to your Vacation Rental (if you’re staying in the Village), or catch an Uber!

While you’re here, be sure to check out the iconic Village Gazebo and Ski Tree- both of which are great photo ops! If you haven’t booked your accommodations yet, or interested in Ellicottville Real Estate, contact our Ellicottville office today at 716.699.4800. See you soon!

Ellicottville, NY 2019-20 Seasonal Rentals

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, one weekend on the slopes just isn’t enough!” Then this is your opportunity to take the plunge and secure a seasonal rental in Ellicottville! Seasonal rentals are available to be secured for the entire ski season, usually for the dates of 12/1-4/1, allowing you and your family to come and go as you please and soak up as much skiing as you can.

For those of you that don’t know, Ellicottville, NY is known for it’s two quaint, yet evolving ski resorts and appealing village life. Holiday Valley Resort was named 3rd in the East according to Ski Magazine in 2015, while HoliMont is the largest private ski resort in the country, and they’re just 2.5 miles apart from each other with a quaint village nestled between.

Not only does Holiday Valley offer 60 well-groomed ski slopes, 13 lifts, and 3 phenomenal lodges, but also an incredible Aerial Park, Climbing Forest and a Mountain Coaster, all for year-round entertainment. Not to mention the dozens of hiking and biking trails, 18 hole golf course, and a fun summer cabana bar adjacent to the 3 public pools.

Across town, HoliMont is equipped with 55 trails, 8 lifts, and loads of hiking and biking trails as well. The HoliMont board members and staff take pride in being the only ski area in North America to use what they call “Mountain Men” to service their ski slopes during ski hours, rather than mechanized equipment like other resorts. HoliMont membership information can be found on their website, however, guests that stay with ERA Team VP can be signed in as guests during their stay as well (maximum of 3 weekends). Both resorts are fabulous venues for weddings, corporate events and retreats as well.

It doesn’t end there! The Ellicottville Village offers even more with the perfect balance of local charm, unique retail offerings, phenomenal dining options, and overall fun atmosphere. Some of our favorite spots are The Purple Doorknob, Watson’s Chocolates, Adventure Bound on the Fly, Bike and Bean, and Ellicottville Brewing Company. Not a skier? The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce does an excellent job at filling the calendar with exciting, family friendly events throughout the year, so you’ll be sure the whole family will be entertained while you’re here!

Whether you’re ready to dive into a seasonal rental or just looking to stay a weekend, ERA Team VP has you covered! Contact our Ellicottville office today for availability and pricing!

716-699-4800
rentals@teamvp.com

Booking Your Vacation Rental

Looking for an easy way to book your next vacation? Booking your vacation rental is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with ERA Team VP Real Estate & Vacation Rentals! The ERA Team VP website is a fast, easy, and effective way to browse all 200+ rental properties located throughout Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua Lake, and Ellicottville.

Book your next vacation with confidence

Each property has a wide array of high-quality photos, so you know exactly what to expect before you arrive! Whether it’s a historical home on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution, a Chautauqua Lake lakeside home, or a cozy chalet in Ellicottville, NY, we have what you’re looking for!
1. Go to www.myteamvp.com
2. Select Vacation Rentals – All Properties
3. Browse All Rental Properties -or- Perform an Advanced Search
4. Review Property Details, Amenities, and Photos
5. Request More Information; Add to Your Favorites; Perform a Quote; Utilize the Split Cost Calculator; and More!
6. Book Now!

It’s that simple! Of course we have an experienced staff of seasoned Reservationists who are available for further insight or questions.

Head over to www.myteamvp.com today to book your stay! Your dream vacation awaits!

Ellicottville’s Largest Disco Party

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Team Pritchard got in the 70’s spirit for 2016 Ellicottville’s Largest Disco Party!

ERA Team VP was a proud sponsor of Ellicottville’s Largest Disco Party hosted at Villaggio on Saturday, May 21st.  This was a fun-filled night full of creative costumes and dancing! People broke out their wigs and best digs, which made this night a night to remember in Ellicottville!

The whole downstairs area was dedicated to the dance floor where we all put our best dance moves on display! Upstairs was the lounge and food section for people to chat and enjoy some refreshments in order to fuel up for more dancing! This awesome event also had a red carpet costume competition! Everyone was dressed up for the occasion, which led to a lot of laughs and good times throughout the night!

Tickets were only 25 dollars each and they included 2 drink tickets as well as a raffle ticket for a chance to win some really cool prizes! With some really good food and drink choices, Villaggio knocked this event out of the park.  Everyone got creative and let their costumes and dance moves shine!

“ERA Team VP Real Estate and Vacation Rentals was honored to support and sponsor such a fantastic event!” said Rachael Wiley-Steffen, Director of Corporate Marketing and Vacation Rentals at ERA Team VP. “Thanks to Villaggio for bringing all of us together for some funkadelic fun and for an awesome fashion parade on the red carpet!”

Everyone here at ERA Team VP had a blast and we are looking forward to next year’s event!

Kicking off the New Year in Ellicottville, NY? Here is the recipe to a perfect New Year’s Eve… packed with music, food, and fun!

NYE

Villaggio

7 Monroe Street, Ellicottville  |   716-699.2199  |  VillaggioEVL.com
Start off your night by indulging on one of the many choices featured on Villaggio’s Special 2015 New Year’s Eve Menu. With entrees ranging from Lobster Mac & Cheese to Veal Chop & Artichokes, there’s sure to be something to satisfy your tastebuds! Click here to view all of the decadent options that are being offered. If you are planning on indulging at Villaggio this New Year’s Eve, make sure pick up a gift card beforehand and earn $15 in Villaggio Cash back for every $100 you spend!

Balloons Restaurant and Nightclub

20 Monroe Street, Ellicottville  |  716-699-4162  |   BalloonsRestaurant.com
Next, take a short walk down the street at 7:00pm for some live entertainment, courtesy of the A-List Band. Comprised of 6 seasoned musicians, the A-List Band performs a wide variety of music from Rock to Funk. Find your place on one of the two dance floors and be immersed by the lights and music from the incredible world class sound system and light show! Be sure to make your way over to the bar for a $3 drink special from 6pm-9pm.

The Gin Mill

20 Washington Street, Ellicottville  |   716-699-2530  |   EllicottvilleGinMill.com
Still in the mood for music? The Gin Mill is featuring the 3 Easy Pieces at 9pm! This family-owned and operated tavern has been open since 1976 and offers pub grub & draft beers! Be sure to stop by, as they have a huge selection of beer on tap!

Holiday Valley New Year’s Eve Celebration

6557 Holiday Valley Road, Route 219, Ellicottville  |  716-699-2345  |  HolidayValley.com
Looking for a more family-friendly event? Holiday Valley will be hosting their annual New Year’s Eve party. Beginning at 9pm with music and DJ entertainment in the Holiday Valley Lodge, the event includes drinks, food specials and mocktails for the kids as well as party hats, glowsticks, and noisemakers. Cindy’s Chairlift remains open for an extra hour and followed by a Grooming Machine parade at 11:15pm, a torchlight parade at 11:30, and concluding with a “knock-your-socks-off” fireworks show beginning at 11:45! Entrance to the New Year’s party is free and reservations are not required.

Armor Inn

5 East Washington Street, Ellicottville  |   716-699-1143  |  ArmorInn.com
Cap the night off with a champagne toast at midnight at the Armor Inn! Reservations are recommended for this event so make sure to give them a call at 716-699-1143. They will be offering their regular menu as well as a special New Year’s Eve Menu.

After celebrating the New Year in Ellicottville NY, skip the drive home and book a stay in a Vacation Rental Home! ERA Team VP Vacation Rentals located at 12 Washington Street, has accommodations available in the Village, near Holiday Valley and HoliMont, and in the surrounding countryside. Call our office 716-699-4800 to speak with a seasoned reservationist and finish your New Year’s Eve celebration in the comfort and convenience of a local Vacation Rental Home!