Halloween Parade and Party

Halloween Parade & Party
Saturday, October 25th
5:30pm-8:00pm
Williamsville Fire Hall

With refreshments and children’s activities. Come in costume!

The Williamsville Business Association, Inc. is a group of business, professional and civic leaders whose purpose is to promote the growth of the business environment and to enhance the quality of life within our community. Over the past 29 years, our Association has represented the merchants and professionals in many ways to make our village a bustling center of commerce. We welcome you to discover why Williamsville, New York remains a great place to live and do business.

BOO-levard of Fun!

Boulevard Mall Food Court
Saturday, October 25
10:00am-1:00pm

Featuring, haunted bounce house, crafts, face-painting, balloon artistry, Halloween fun and safety shows with Charlie and Checkers.

Pumpkin Carving
Saturday, October 25
Glen Park, Amherst
Noon to 3 p.m.
FREE – Come join the fun at the Noll Nature Center! Carve some pumpkins, and have some family fun! 

 

 

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3 Ways to Spruce up Your WNY Garage

Garages are an often overlooked part of the home, despite the fact that home owners spend a frequent amount of time there. In fact, for most home owners, the garage door is the main access point for entry and exit. It’s also a place for hobbies and storage.

The garage needs to be functional and attractive. Here are three ways to do it:

1.Organization: Having an organized garage can help provide a home owner peace of mind while even possibly adding value to the space. As the garage often serves as a family’s storage center for everything from footballs to lawn mowers, shelves and cabinets can help make better use of the space. Sites like Pinterest can assist in photographic inspiration and provide ideas that will work for each unique space. At a minimum, set aside time to clear the clutter, categorize objects into groups (frequently used, rarely used, and hazardous materials), and then contain and store those objects to reflect the categories. Both mounted racks and standing cabinets are options that can be purchased a big-box hardware store.

2. Check your garage door: As a garage door is the heaviest moving object in the home, it’s important to ensure the home owner’s garage door and door openers are up to date with the latest safety features. Don’t know if it is? A 90-second 3-step safety check (available here) will determine if the door has the safety features a home inspector will look for a flag for a potential buyer.

3. Install the latest garage technology: New smart technologies may also be an added selling point to a home owner’s garage. Atop the list are technologies to connect to and control your garage door opener or home lights to any Android or iOS compatible device, allowing home owners to check their garage door, and open or close it from anywhere in the world. Another technology to explore is a battery backup system, a feature that will keep a garage door running for weeks in the event of a blackout, as well as a motion detector light inside the garage so home owners don’t have to always remember to switch off the lights.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2014/09/22/3-ways-to-spruce-up-the-garage/#sf4966340

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Your Prequalification Letter

If you’re serious about purchasing a WNY home, obtain a prequalification letter before you begin shopping. If you don’t, you may have a hard time getting the attention of home sellers or real estate agents. Prequalification involves choosing a mortgage lender and a loan program and providing some information.

Some lenders’ prequalification process is pretty basic –they’ll ask you about your income, debts and assets, and they’ll calculate a maximum loan amount and purchase price based on that information. Loan officers may not verify your information or check your credit rating. Other lenders will be much more thorough – there is no industry standard for prequalification.

Basic Prequalification Letter

Once the lender has completed its prequalification process (extensive or basic), it can issue you a prequalification letter. This is what you’ll give your real estate agent (if you have one) or the seller’s agent (if you’re shopping on your own). The basic prequalification letter says something like this:

To whom it may concern:

Ron and Cecilia Jones have been pre-qualified for a residential mortgage of up to $300,000 at an interest rate of up to 5.5 percent. This pre-qualification letter does not constitute loan approval or commitment to rate, fees, or term. Any misrepresentation in the loan application or adverse change in the applicants’ financial position may void this pre-qualification letter, as would a poor credit history by accepted standards.

A completed loan file with an acceptable appraisal must be provided for underwriting review before a loan decision can be made.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, you can reach us by phone at 888-888-8888 or via email at info@abcmortgage.com

Notice that there is nothing in this letter to indicate that the would-be buyers are capable of being approved for a mortgage. It does, however, indicate that they’re not just looking on impulse; they have at least approached a mortgage lender about financing.

Detailed Prequalification Letter

The more detailed prequalification letter is almost a preapproval. The lender may have some actual proof of income and assets from you, and it may have checked your credit. In that case, your letter will look more like this one:

XYZ Mortgage Company

Ronand Cecilia Jones is pre-qualified for a residential loan in the amount of $300,000 to purchase property to be determined. This qualification is based on a 30 year conventional mortgage at 6.5% interest with total property taxes not to exceed $6,500.

Based upon information received at application, along with credit and income verification received and reviewed by XYZ Mortgage Company, the applicants meet the requirements for a conventional loan at the above-listed terms.

We have also reviewed cash assets and reserves of the applicants, and determined that they have sufficient funds to complete the transaction. This pre-qualification letter does not constitute loan approval or commitment to rate, fees, or term. Any misrepresentation in the loan application or adverse change in the applicants’ financial position may void this pre-qualification letter, as would a poor credit history by accepted standards.

This pre-qualification letter is not intended to confer any rights or privileges upon third parties including, but not limited to, seller of real property. A completed loan file with an acceptable appraisal must be provided for underwriting review before a loan decision can be made.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, you can reach us by phone at 888-888-8888 or via email at info@xyzmortgage.com

You can see that in this case, the lender has checked credit and reviewed supporting documentation. A letter like this would inspire more confidence in both buyers and sellers.

Important Stuff!

Note: when you’re negotiating to purchase a house, you might not want the seller to know how much you’re prequalified to borrow. If, for example, you’re offering $275,000 with a $240,000 mortgage for a house listed at $300,000, you probably don’t want the sellers to see a letter prequalifying you for a $325,000 purchase with a $300,000 mortgage. Ask your lender to give you several letters with different amounts, or simply request a letter that conforms to the offer you plan to make.

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Spooktacular Days at the Buffalo Zoo!

Join us at the Buffalo Zoo for a day of fangtastic fun! There is something for everyone at this friendly, not frightful event! Indoor treat stations, free train and carousel rides,hayrides around Delaware Park, games, apple cider and donuts.


Activities will run from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 12:00pm until 3:00pm on Saturday’s & Sundays. For $5 plus the cost of Zoo admission, guests can enjoy indoor treat stations, free train and carousel rides,hayrides around Delaware Park, games, apple cider and donuts. Children under the age of 24 months will be admitted for free. Tickets on sale September 1st  by CLICKING HERE or calling 1-800-838-3006.

Dates: 

Fri, 10/17/2014

Sat, 10/18/2014

Sun, 10/19/2014

Fri, 10/24/2014

Sat, 10/25/2014

Sun, 10/26/2014

The Buffalo Zoo

300 Parkside Ave
Buffalo , NY, 14214
United States
716-837-3900

www.buffalozoo.org

rgottleib@buffalozoo.org

 

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Oktoberfest in Williamsville

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Buffalo Maritime Festival


The 2nd Annual Buffalo Maritime Festival is September 19-21, 2014. Featuring the US BrigNiagara, Tug DeWitt Clinton, USCG Response Boat Medium, and our own Spirit of Buffalo! The three-day festival is sure to be fun for all-ages with boat tours, kids’ activities, food & beverage, a beer garden, live music, & much more! Admission is free!
Please check out directions and parking information for Canalside! (**Note that “Canalside 2 hour street parking” will be closed during the Buffalo Maritime Festival). If you have any questions about parking or directions to Canalside, please contact us.

Friday September 19
Festival open 3:00 pm-8:00 pm
Time Event Details
3:00 PM* US Brig Niagara is welcomed to Canalside with a boat parade Watch from the Boardwalk as theNiagara sails into Canalside with a boat parade!
3:00PM – 8:00PM Food & Beverage, vendors open, beer tent open Featuring food trucks, & Clinton’s Dish as well as West Marine and RCR
3:00PM – 6:00PM Imagination Playground with Explore & More Children’s Museum Build n’ Play Fun with Explore & More – FREE
4:00PM – 6:00PM Day sail on the Spirit of Buffalo For more info and tickets visitSpiritofBuffalo.com

5:00PM – 8:00PM Live music on stage Featuring thePointless Brothers Band and The Canal Street Mariners!
*Note that the Brig Niagara’s arrival time is approximate and can vary based on weather, winds, & other factors out of Canalside’s control. Stay tuned to our Twitter page for the most up to date information on the Niagara’s arrival time!

Saturday September 20
Festival open 10:00 am-10:00 pm
Time Event Details
10:00AM- 6:00PM Deck tours of the US BrigNiagara Tours are $7 Adults and $5 for Children 12 & under (purchase advance tickets here)

10:00AM– 6:00PM Tours of the Tug DeWitt Clinton& the USCG Response BoatMedium Tours of the DeWitt Clinton and Medium are FREE
10:00AM– 10:00PM Food vendors, Beer garden open
10:00AM– 5:00PM Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market
Shop nearly 30 local artisans and enjoy live music & entertainment on the Boardwalk!
10:00AM– 6:00PM Rowboat Rentals with the Buffalo Maritime Center
$10 for 30 minutes, available in the Historic Ruins/Commercial Slip area!
11:00AM– 5:00PM Kids maritime crafts, activities, & face painting Enjoy arts & crafts, face painting & more on the Dart Lawn for FREE
11:00 AM Boat Building Demonstration Join the Buffalo Maritime Center in the Historic Ruins for free boat building demos!
1:00 PM Children’s Maritime Parade Prizes for best costumes & goodie bags for the first 100 participants! For more details, click here.

2:00PM– 4:00PM Buffalo Maritime Chowder Competition: Red, White, & Other! The public is welcome to participate: either as a contestant or taster- only $2 for a tasting ticket! For more details,click here.

3:30PM– 4:30PM Children’s musical performance: Susie Rozler Susie Rozler performs the “Erie Canal Show” on the Dart Lawn- FREE!
5:30PM– 9:30PM Live music on stage Featuring Jack Mahone, The Truth, & more
6:00PM– 8:00PM Evening Sunset Sail on the Spirit of Buffalo For more info and tickets visit SpiritofBuffalo.com

8:00 PM Adult Maritime Costume Contest Dress as your favorite Maritime-themed character- pirates, mermaids, sailors, etc. Prizes for best costume. For more details, click here.

Sunday September 21
Festival open 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Time Event Details
10:00AM- 6:00PM Tours of the US Brig Niagara Tours are $7 Adults and $5 for Children 12 & under (purchase advance tickets here)

10:00AM– 2:00PM Tours of the Tug DeWitt Clinton& the USCG Response BoatMedium Tours of the DeWitt Clinton and Medium are free
10:00AM– 2:00PM Food & merchandise vendors open Featuring Clinton’s Dish as well as West Marine and RCR
10:00AM– 6:00PM Clinton’s Dish beer garden open
10:00AM– 2:00PM Kids maritime-themed arts & crafts tent Enjoy free maritime arts & crafts under the tent!
10:00AM– 6:00PM Rowboat Rentals with the Buffalo Maritime Center
$10 for 30 minutes, available in the Historic Ruins/Commercial Slip area!
11:00AM– 1:00PM Live Music on stage The Heenan Brothers
12:30PM– 2:30PM Day sail on the Spirit of Buffalo For more info and tickets visit SpiritofBuffalo.com

6:00PM – 8:00PM Evening Sunset Sail on the Spirit of Buffalo For more info and tickets visit SpiritofBuffalo.com

Monday September 22
Time Event Details
1:00PM- 7:00PM Public sail on the US BrigNiagara 6 hour immersive educational sail on the Brig Niagara. This is not a luxury cruise! Ages 12 & over only. For more information and tickets visit US Brig Niagara‘s site.
6:00PM – 8:00PM Evening Sunset Sail on the Spirit of Buffalo For more info and tickets visit SpiritofBuffalo.com

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

Although spring lawn care gets all the attention, fall lawn care is the make-it or break-it season for grass.

“I’m already thinking about next year,” says John Dillon, who takes care of New York City’s Central Park, which features 200 acres of lawn in the middle of Manhattan. “The grass I grow this fall is what will be there next spring.”

Fall lawn care is no walk in the park. It’s hard work, and Dillon guides you through the four basic steps.

1. Aeration
Aeration gives your lawn a breather in autumn and provides room for new grass to spread without competition from spring weeds. Aeration tools pull up plugs of grass and soil, breaking up compacted turf. That allows water, oxygen, and nutrients to reach roots, and gives seeds room to sprout.

If kids frequently play on your lawn, plan to aerate twice a year — fall and spring. If your lawn is just for show, then aerate once a year — and maybe even once every other year.

A hand-aerating tool ($20), which looks like a pitchfork with hollow tines, is labor-intensive and meant for unplugging small sections of grass. Gas-powered aerating machines (rental, $20/hour) are about the size of a big lawn mower, and are good for working entire lawns. Bring some muscle when you pick up your rental: Aerating machines are heavy and can be hard to lift into your truck or SUV.

Depending on the size of your property, professional aeration costs about $150.

2. Seeding
Fall, when the soil temperature is about 55 degrees, is the best time to seed your lawn because turf roots grow vigorously in fall and winter. If you want a lush lawn, don’t cheap out on the seed.

Bags of inexpensive seed ($35 for 15 pounds) often contain hollow husks, weed seed, and annual rye grass seed, which grows until the first frost then drops dead. Splurge on the good stuff ($55 for 15 pounds of Kentucky Bluegrass seed), which resists drought, disease, and insects.

Water your new seed every day for 10 to 20 days until it germinates.

3. Fertilizing
A late fall fertilization — before the first frost — helps your grass survive a harsh winter and encourages it to grow green and lush in spring. Make your last fertilization of the year count by choosing a product high (10% to 15%) in phosphorous, which is critical for root growth, Dillon says.

Note: Some states are banning phosphorous-rich fertilizers, which are harmful to the watershed. In those places, look for nitrogen-rich fertilizers, which promote shoot and root growth. Check with your local extension service to see what regulations apply in your area.

4. Mulching
Instead of raking leaves, run over them a couple of times with your mower to grind them into mulch. The shredded leaves protect grass from winter wind and desiccation. An added bonus — shredded leaves decompose into yummy organic matter to feed grass roots.

A mulching blade ($10) that attaches to your mower will grind the leaves even finer.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/lawns/fall-lawn-care-tips/#ixzz3DE5wJQu2. Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

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6 Ways to Spruce Up Your WNY Home with Staging

Studies have suggested that staged homes sell faster, and as such, more sellers may be willing to give it a try.
So what are some staging ideas for sprucing up your WNY property?
Thomas Rouse, a design producer at “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” offered the following tips in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.
1. Paint: A fresh coat of paint in a neutral palette can be an inexpensive upgrade with big impact.
2. Have furniture but don’t clutter: Don’t leave rooms empty because potential buyers may struggle to visualize what all you can do with the space. Also, Rouse suggests avoiding furniture with patterns, which can be distracting.
3. TV artwork: Mount a flat-screen TV to a wall and have a slideshow playing on it with images of nature, Rouse suggests.
4. Fill the walls: Don’t leave walls bare, which can make a home feel cold, according to Rouse. Hang photography, framed artwork, and mirrors to spice up the walls.
5. Flower displays: Have fresh-cut flowers in simple glass vases displayed on the dining room table and in other places in the home to bring more life to a space, Rouse says.
6. Gender-neutral bedrooms: Keep bedroom colors neutral and have simple bedding — preferably in white — to make a room feel fresh, Rouse says.

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The Role of the Builder

A lot of people don’t understand the sheer complexity of the builder’s job and the systems required to build a house from scratch.

Many analogies have been used to describe the professional builder: the conductor of an orchestra, the captain of a ship, even a general executing a military campaign. The point is that the builder is the one who must coordinate the innumerable players and products needed to transform a set of two-dimensional drawings into a finished home. The builder has to make sure that everything happens just when it’s supposed to, and that the end result is exactly what the clients envisioned.

Ideally, this responsibility begins well before the first shovel breaks ground. One advantage to choosing a builder early in the design process is that the builder can make sure the home can be built in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Bringing on a builder at this early stage can yield significant cost savings.

Once the plans are complete, the builder has to work with local zoning and code authorities to secure the proper permits. Professional builders have a thorough understanding of building codes, as well as good working relationships with local authorities. This is another big plus to hiring a pro: the building department is likely to scrutinize more closely a permit application submitted by a homeowner, or even by a small building company, than one submitted by an established professional contractor with a
reputation for solid management and quality work.

Professional builders also have close relationships with quality subcontractors. And because the builder is a source of ongoing work for those contractors, prices offered to the builder will likely be less than prices offered to anyone else.

Once the project is under way, the builder’s management skills really make a difference. These skills include:

  • Keeping the job on schedule by ensuring that all workers and materials show up at exactly the right time. Construction timetables can change quite often, with causes that range from bad weather to late deliveries. The time and organization required for the builder to constantly adjust everyone’s schedules is something homeowners seldom see.
  • Overseeing the job to guarantee that all trades deliver quality work. The builder knows enough about each specific trade, and has a good enough relationship with each subcontractor, to make sure things get done right. For example, if it’s too cold to pour a concrete slab, the builder will have the knowledge and authority to put it on hold even if the concrete contractor is tempted to move ahead.
  • Solving and preventing problems. A new custom home is an extremely complex undertaking with a million things that can go wrong—and that will go wrong without a skilled and experienced person in the lead. Having a professional builder in charge of solving problems takes a lot of stress off the homeowners.
  • Completing the punch list at the end of the project. Everyone has heard horror stories of unprofessional contractors who left a job with a list of small things undone. The professional builder has the resources to make sure that everything is complete before the key is turned over.

Finally, from start to finish the builder protects the homeowner by carrying the needed licenses and insurance policies and confirming that everyone else on the job is similarly covered.

Building a home is not a seat-of-the pants endeavor. Good builders have well-honed management systems for making it all happen. These systems are an important part of the professional builder’s value.

Warm regards,

Jim Mordeno, CGP

Mordeno Construction
2603 Love Road
Grand Island, NY 14072
(716) 773-5908 – Phone
(716) 773-6160 – Fax

jmordeno@mordeno.com
www.mordeno.com

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Selling Your House? Get Ready for Inspection

By: Michele Lerner

You’ve prepared your house for sale, hired a listing agent and the marketing plan has succeeded so well that you have an offer on your home. All good news so far, but you still have a couple of challenges to face, including a home inspection.

No matter how much you know about the place you’ve occupied for the past few years or decades, a home inspector may find issues that your buyers will want you to address. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll ace your inspection, you can take steps to make it less likely that a home inspection will put an end to your sales plan.

Consider a Pre-Inspection

Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may want to schedule an inspection before you put your home on the market. If your home is relatively new and you’re not aware of any problems, you can probably skip this step; but if you have any concerns about your property, it could be worthwhile to spend $400 or so to hire your own inspector. Once the inspection is done, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing about potential problems and having the opportunity to address them on your own time, rather than under pressure from a buyer who wants work completed before the settlement date.

You can and should disclose to buyers any problems your home inspector finds and what you’ve done about them – whether you’ve made a repair, replaced an appliance or planned to offer a credit for the buyers so they can fix it their way.

Prepare for the Inspection

Regardless of whether you’ve had an inspection, your buyers are likely to hire their own home inspector. You can be helpful to that inspector in several ways, which is likely to make the inspector feel a little more favorable towards you and your home. That’s not to say that the inspector would overlook a serious problem, but perhaps he would lighten up a bit on some minor issues. Try these methods of buttering up an inspector:

Remove clutter:
You’ve probably started packing a bit, but it will help the inspector more if you empty the spaces beneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks and move any belongings that block access to your water heater or other appliances.

Get your paperwork together:
You should create a file with documentation of all maintenance and repairs
you’ve done on your home, including annual or semi-annual furnace inspections,
receipts for roof or chimney repairs and other inspections. If you’ve had an
insurance claim on your house, keep those papers together, too, so you can prove
that you took care of the problem.

Provide complete access to your home:
Make sure you unlock gates and doors to a shed or garage that don’t have
lockbox access. Move anything that’s blocking entrances to the attic, basement
or storage spaces.

Leave home:
Inspectors find it easier to do their work without the presence of the homeowners and, even more important, without your pets and children around.

Clean your house:
It won’t make a bit of difference if you have a leak, but a clean home gives the impression
that you take care of your property and so the inspector shouldn’t expect to find as many problems.

Leave the lights on:
Make sure your light bulbs work, especially in storage spaces or areas you don’t often
use.

The easier you make things for a home inspector, the more favorably disposed he’ll be toward your home.

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