Author Archives: Stephen Gardner

How To Determine If You Should Buy A House

You’ve Got Your Debt Under Control
You might have some sort of debt whether it’s student loans, credit card debt or something else. However, if you’re well on your way to becoming debt-free, it might be time to think about investing in a home. Any extra cash flow you can use to spend on a home rather than on debt might be an easy revenue source to save for a down payment.

Your Credit Score Is On The Rise
Your credit score plays a major role in your ability to get a home loan. It’s usually lower when you’re just getting started in your career or when you’ve just graduated from college. As you pay down your debt and prove yourself to be a dependable borrower over time, your credit score will go up. You can qualify for most mortgages with a credit score of at least 620.

You Have A Down Payment
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have a 20% down payment to buy a home. It’s now possible to buy a home with as little as 3% down on a conventional loan or 3.5% down on an FHA loan. You might even be able to qualify for a VA loan or a USDA loan with no down payment at all.

Much of the time you’ll find that you have a few benefits when you bring a large down payment to the closing table. A 20% down payment will allow you to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is a special type of insurance that protects your lender if you default on your loan. Most lenders require that you pay PMI if you don’t put 20% down on your loan. You can save thousands of dollars in insurance costs over time with a solid down payment. It might be time to invest in a down payment if you have the money saved.

You’re Steady In Your Lifestyle
Buying a home is a big commitment and most mortgages last between 15 – 30 years. You don’t need to stay in your home for that long, but you should still be sure you love your area before you buy a home. Don’t know where your career is going? Think you might want to move to a new city or your income isn’t steady? You might not be ready to buy a home. But if you think you might want to settle down, start a family or stay in one place for at least a few years, buying a home might be a smart move.

You Need More Space
You might be perfectly happy in a one-bedroom apartment if you’re single or living with a partner. But do you have children or are you thinking about starting a family? You might decide you need more space. Just one extra bedroom can make a huge difference.

It’s important to ease into the home buying process if you’re not ready. If you have a stable career, enjoy where you live, have a down payment and understand all of the costs of owning a home, you might be ready to buy a house. But you might want to stick with renting if you still have excessive debt, think you might switch careers soon or you don’t have an emergency fund.

3 Common Moving Nightmares (and How to Prevent Them)

Moving doesn’t have to be a waking nightmare. Here’s how to avoid a move from … you know where.

Moving may top the list of stressful experiences that can feel like a bad dream — one that can easily come true unless you take precautionary measures.

Problems can occur at every stage of the relocation process, but the most common moving nightmares fall into three categories. Here’s how they typically play out — and how to avoid them.

Bad movers

Many moving horror stories involve rogue or incompetent movers.

  • The movers are late or don’t show up at all. The agreed-upon time comes and goes, but you see no sign of an approaching moving truck. Regardless of the excuses you receive, the inevitable result will be lots of stress and wasted time.
  • The movers are careless or inexperienced. If your movers arrive late or lack the proper equipment to handle your items safely and efficiently, your relocation can quickly turn into a nightmarish experience.
  • The movers are scam artists. In the worst case scenario, you may fall victim to moving scams. Rogue movers will often request much more money than previously negotiated, based on alleged extra services. They may also hold your belongings hostage until you pay an extra “fee” as ransom or steal your more expensive belongings and discard the rest.

The good news is that there is an easy way to avoid such nightmares. All you need to do is carefully research your movers before hiring them to make sure you are dealing with licensed and experienced professionals you can trust. It’s also a good idea to purchase appropriate insurance for your belongings, just in case.

Traffic problems

Heavy traffic or road accidents can also turn your move into a real nightmare.

  • Traffic jams. The moving truck is delayed, and there may not be enough time to proceed with your move as planned. You may have to postpone the relocation to another day, or you may miss your flight.
  • Traffic accidents. If there has been an accident on the road, the moving truck will have to wait until the damaged vehicles are removed and normal traffic is restored. However, the scenario could get much worse: You may lose all your possessions or receive them badly damaged if the moving truck crashes, catches fire or gets trapped somewhere because of adverse weather conditions. It’s even possible that thieves could break into the vehicle and steal your goods.
  • Breakdown. If the moving truck breaks down on the road, you’ll have to wait for the moving company to send another vehicle. What’s more, your items can easily get damaged while being transferred.
  • Parking issues. The moving truck has to circle the neighborhood for hours until an appropriate parking space is vacated, or the movers have to park far away from your home’s entrance. In such cases, you’ll not only lose valuable time but also have to pay an extra fee for the delay or an additional long-carry fee.

Of course, there’s nothing you can do to prevent traffic accidents or breakdowns. But you can at least reserve a parking place directly in front of your old and new homes, and choose a moving company that has experienced drivers and several moving vehicles in good condition.

Poor organization

Moving involves a lot of loose ends, and even the smallest oversight can result in a disastrous move.

  • Packing chaos. You realize you’ve packed more items than previously discussed with the movers, and some items can’t be loaded onto the moving truck. Or maybe you don’t label the boxes properly. Worst of all, you may not be ready when the movers arrive. All these packing mistakes result in lost time and money.
  • Furniture troubles. If your large furniture doesn’t fit through the doors, you may have to leave treasured pieces behind or request hoisting services that will cost you dearly and delay your move.
  • Paperwork problems. If you forget to transfer the utilities, you won’t have electricity, gas and water on move-in day. If you forget to change your address, you won’t have your mail delivered to your new home. If you forget to update your driver’s license and car registration in time, you’ll be fined. Not taking proper care of your documents will most certainly get you in trouble.
  • Overspending. If you book your movers at the last moment, require too many extra services, fail to create a realistic moving budget or pack all your items without sorting them out first, you’ll end up paying much more than you expected.
  • Safety issues. Make every effort to prevent injuries and accidents on moving day, as getting hurt is one of the worst things that can happen during your relocation endeavor.

The only way to avoid problems when moving house is to plan each phase of your relocation adventure in meticulous detail and stay one step ahead all the time. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing any of these all-too-common moving ordeals.

Is Buying a Historic Home Right for You?

Hold on there, architecture aficionado! Consider these factors before making history your home.

Some home buyers want new, modern and move-in ready. Others prefer older homes, with character and charm they can’t find in new construction. If you’re interested in historic homes, take these factors into consideration as you shop.

Historic neighborhoods often impose restrictions

Many towns throughout the U.S. have zoning and planning commissions that, among other things, set out to preserve and protect historic homes and neighborhoods.

As a result, renovating and altering a historic home — particularly the building’s facade — will require a separate layer of approval and sometimes bureaucracy. If you buy a 100-year-old home, you may not be able to renovate it the way you want, and that is a serious consideration.

Some landmark or historic districts retain an immense amount of control. As a result, renovations and planning can take longer and cost more. If you’re purchasing a historic home with intentions to renovate, you should consult both an architect and town officials.

Recreating architecture from the past can be challenging — and expensive

Let’s consider the example of Victorian-era homes. Contractors and home builders constructed Victorian homes through the mid to late 19th century, often with materials that are no longer in use today.

If you buy a home in less-than-perfect condition, finding the wainscoting, picture rails, crown moldings, and richly decorative and ornate features common in Victorian architecture can be tricky. Architectural salvage companies can track down these materials, but there’s often a steep cost attached.

Repair and maintenance needs could be extensive

Most buyers want move-in ready homes because they don’t have the time, money or energy to embark on a renovation project. These buyers also don’t want to be burdened with systems going out or having to live with older or outdated technology. For them, it’s a quality of life issue.

If you want a historic home, you need to have a maintenance strategy in mind. Unless you plan to do major renovations or updates (subject to any landmark or historic area regulations), you have to be ready to address issues that arise. Broken systems, leaks or flaws mean time and money.

For history buffs, no amount of time commitment or money will stand between them and a one-of-a-kind home. That person appreciates the architecture and knows that intensive maintenance is par for the course. If you don’t share that appreciation, a historic home is not right for you.

Small Kitchen? Try These 9 Tips for Making the Most of Your Limited Space

Transform your standard-issue rental kitchen with these tips.

Is there some kind of law that requires rental apartments to supply no more than a single square of kitchen counter space to each unit?

Between the white walls, scarce and often outdated cabinets, and a lack of amenities, it’s rare to find a solid kitchen in the world of yearlong leases.

But no good makeover starts with a beautiful subject, right?

All you need to transform that bleak little kitchen into a well-designed, functional space is a bit of imagination, some basic home maintenance skills, and a few solid pieces.

Here’s where to begin.

Donate first

Before moving into your new space, make sure to get rid of all those things you don’t need anymore.

Have you actually used that discounted bundt pan in the past year or two? If not, donate to your favorite local charity shop. Someone else might get use out of it, and you’ll be saving yourself from more clutter in your new home.

Think vertically

Vertical storage is a tried-and-true method of using space, and the kitchen holds some unique opportunities for making the most of it.

Hanging pot racks, magnetic knife strips, mounted dish-drying racks installed above the sink, and rods with hooks for towels, aprons, small tools and oven mitts are all excellent ways to keep clutter in its place — and keep the surfaces and lower area of the room free.


Find beautiful cleaning tools

The ugly truth is that a lot of everyday items just make sense to keep out — but that doesn’t mean they have to be such an eyesore.

Skip the plastic and get yourself a classic wooden broom, natural fiber dish brush and a glass soap dispenser. These items don’t cost much, but they add a softer look while also getting the job done.

Tap into change

Just because your place didn’t come equipped with a dishwasher doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Installing a quality faucet with a pull-down sprayer can make your chores less of a chore (and, as long as you swap it back before you move out, it shouldn’t violate your rental agreement).

Have space and the budget for something more? Portable dishwashers are a massive timesaver. From small countertop models to wheeled butcher-block-top options, there are sizes that fit into almost any space and require nothing more than your standard sink to function.

Live the island life

A kitchen island is a versatile tool for almost any space — even the tiniest micro apartments!

Whether you choose a larger center-of-the-room-style piece or a small butcher-block number, these additions create more counter space and storage, all in one piece.

Bonus: If your island has wheels, it can serve as a portable bar for your next party. (Hey, if we can call bingeing our favorite shows with a few of our closest friends a “party,” so can you.)


Light it up

Another timeless tip: Good lighting is everything.

If your kitchen is dedicated to getting things done and starting your day, invest in cool lighting — the kind that washes everything in a bright, sunlit glow. A refreshing, cooler light wakes us up and creates an invigorating feeling.

If you’re more of a romantic and enjoy taking your time in the kitchen, keep relaxing, warm lighting around so that you can let the day melt away as you sip your merlot.

For those who prefer a bit of both, app-enabled bulbs can customize the mood for any occasion, and some even use every color of the rainbow.

Think (temporarily) BIG

If there’s one common complaint about renting, it’s the stark white walls. Removable wallpaper adds a touch of personalization and won’t break the bank — or at least, it doesn’t have to.

To keep costs low, stick to one accent wall. Finding a large-scale print will make the space feel larger, and layering a sizable mirror on top will maximize the look and any light.

Curate unique displays

One of the best ways to keep an assortment of oddly shaped kitchen items is to dedicate either one section of the room (think: the top 12 inches of the walls) or one wall to showing them off.

Whether it’s your grandmother’s antique creamer collection or the jumble of cookie cutters that won’t fit into your drawers, making them into a vignette adds a layer of personalization to your space while also providing covert storage in plain sight. Easy-to-install hooks or some simple shelves are great ways to achieve this solution.


Keep it alive

Every room deserves a plant. Not only do they look good, but they also improve the quality of the air around them. If you don’t have the floor or counter space to spare, a hanging plant will do the trick.

No natural light in your kitchen? Or perhaps you’re better at killing plants than keeping them green? No matter — there are plenty of realistic artificial plants these days, which means everyone can benefit from the organic shapes of ferns, succulents and the ever-popular fiddle-leaf figs.

Have pets? Make sure to check the toxicity of your plants before choosing their placement.

No matter how uniquely challenging your space might be, there are solutions waiting for you to find them.

7 Qualities of a Good Neighbor

Win and woo your next-door friends with a little neighborly know-how.

If you want good neighbors, you’ll first have to become one yourself. Master these seven techniques, and even you (yes, you!) can win the approval of your entire neighborhood.

1. Good neighbors bring cookies

Whether you’re new in town or haven’t kept in touch, a delivery of freshly baked goods is a perfect way to break the ice and let neighbors know that you’re thinking of them.

If cookies can keep Santa returning year after year with a bag full of loot, then surely they can train your neighbors to do your bidding. Consider the following scenario.

“Honey, somebody’s robbing the neighbor’s house again.”
“Wait, Janet. The ones who brought cookies yesterday?”
“Exactly. This time I’ll call the cops.”

2. Good neighbors rarely gossip

If your neighbor seems to know the dirt on everyone within a two-block radius, you can count on them to keep tabs on your personal life as well.

The next time Nosy Nellie gleefully describes the contents of the Rickenbacker’s trash again, move the conversation along by refocusing the conversation on her. “So, what are you growing in your garden this year?”

You aren’t in high school anymore, so preserve relationships with your neighbors and avoid the gratuitous gab fests.

3. Good neighbors share phone numbers

For such a connected age, you should really question why you don’t have your neighbors’ phone numbers. After all, what if they receive your package by mistake? What if the house floods while you’re on vacation? Worse yet, what if you need a babysitter?

If you feel uncomfortable bringing it up, ask during one of your cookie deliveries (you are following rule number one, right?) or right before a trip. Jot down your name, number and email address on a piece of paper and ask if your neighbor is comfortable sharing theirs.


4. Good neighbors help before they’re asked

The neighbor who says, “Let me know if you need anything,” probably isn’t going to help whenever you actually need something. You, on the other hand, are a good neighbor and genuinely want to help out.

To get ahead of the meaningless small talk, anticipate their needs. If they have kids and you’re comfortable babysitting, tell them up front. If they’re clearly struggling to mow the lawn during a heat wave, ask for the best time to stop by with your lawnmower.

5. Good neighbors are tidy

Even if you lack self-respect, respect the sensitive tastes of others and clean up your act.

Keep the ironic lawn ornaments to a minimum. Keep trash receptacles hidden in the side yard, or better yet, the garage.

Whenever you’ve finished gardening or landscaping for the day, put away your tools and bags of unused mulch. Rake the leaves and clean up grass clippings and all the other stuff your dad used to bug you about.

And if it’s not too much trouble, pressure wash and paint your house periodically.

6. Good neighbors mow the lawn

An unkempt and weedy lawn is embarrassing for your neighbors, so it should be embarrassing for you as well. Keeping it mowed every week or two is a good start, but it will take more than that to win the approval of the locals.

Trim the edge of your lawn regularly, fertilize on schedule and keep weeds to a minimum. Keep your foundation plantings simple, neatly trimmed and topped off with mulch.

If your neighborhood allows it, go the no-lawn method by planting swaths of low-maintenance, drought-tolerant ground covers. Crucially, don’t overdo it on the sprinklers — especially when it’s raining.

7. Good neighbors communicate

That old “good fences make good neighbors” quote had to come up at some point, right? A good neighbor must respect boundaries. That said, they should also be crossed when the fences themselves start losing pickets and falling over in a storm.

Even if it’s technically their fence, you might not be happy with the shoddy workmanship and resentment that you’ll have to live with when they get around to fixing it themselves.

Address shared interests like fences, drainage ditches and troublesome trees ahead of time so that you can work out a plan that both parties can agree to.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring cookies.

What You Need to Know About the Fair Housing Act

This landmark legislation passed 50 years ago — learn your rights and how to defend them.

If you’ve searched for a new place to live recently, you’ve likely seen the Equal Housing Opportunity logo (an equal sign inside a house) on a landlord’s, real estate agent’s or lender’s paperwork.

But the Fair Housing Act is more than just a logo. It’s a federal law designed to protect renters and buyers from discrimination.

Here are some key points to know about the Fair Housing Act when you’re searching for a place to live.

What is the Fair Housing Act?

Also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson just days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who had championed the cause for many years.

The act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status (sex was added in 1974, and disability and familial status were added in 1988).

At the time the act was signed, overt housing discrimination was a huge problem throughout the country, including the attempted segregation of whole neighborhoods and the outright rejection of qualified renters based on race and other factors.

Today, much of the discrimination in the housing market is less obvious, but it’s still an unfortunate reality.

According to the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), over 25,000 housing discrimination complaints were filed with the federal government and local and national fair housing agencies in 2017. Over half of the complaints were based on disability, followed by race at 20 percent.

But these numbers reflect only reported incidents. The NFHA estimates that over 4 million instances of housing discrimination occur annually, but many people don’t realize they’ve been discriminated against — or know what steps to take when it happens.

What does housing discrimination look like?

Most of the people you encounter in your home search, including real estate agents, sellers, landlords, property management companies and lenders, are bound to Fair Housing Act regulations and additional state and local laws, based on where you live or are looking to live.

Fair Housing Act violations can occur in all phases of buying and renting, including in advertising, while you search, throughout the application process, in financing or credit checks, and during eviction proceedings.

Here are a few examples of discrimination people in protected classes have encountered:

  • A real estate agent tries to “steer” a buyer away from a certain neighborhood
  • A landlord tries to avoid renting to someone by saying the unit advertised has been rented when it hasn’t
  • A property management company refuses to rent to a family with children or requires a higher deposit
  • A landlord evicts a person of color for a reason they wouldn’t evict a white tenant for
  • A mortgage broker asks questions or requests excessive documentation from an immigrant couple that they wouldn’t request from another buyer
  • A lender charges a single woman a higher interest rate than what her credit score should dictate
  • A landlord refuses to make reasonable accommodations for a tenant who is disabled

What do I do if I’ve been discriminated against?

If you’ve been discriminated against in any of the ways above, or if you suspect that other actions taken by a property manager, landlord, real estate agent, broker or lender may be discriminatory, there are many resources at your disposal.

  1. File a report: File a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at You can also file a complaint with local housing resources found through the NFHA.
  2. Get more info from local housing agencies: You can find a list of local housing counselors at Besides answering questions about discrimination claims, these agencies provide home buyer education workshops, pre-purchase counseling and rental housing assistance.
  3. Talk to an attorney: Like any other legal issue, when pursuing a complaint under the Fair Housing Act, it’s smart to consult a lawyer.
  4. Find people you can trust: If you experienced housing discrimination from your real estate agent, mortgage broker or lender, it’s time to find a new professional to help you in your home search. Ask friends, family members and colleagues for referrals they know, like and trust. Remember — these real estate professionals are working for you, so their only concern should be finding you the home that’s right for you.

Clean House for Sale: The Kitchen

There are some rooms that buyers tend to key in on: Kitchen, Bath, Living room and Dining room. You may miss a small touch up here or there in the rest of the home, but these rooms are critical! Its more than just making your home attractive, it’s about increasing your ability to show and close in as little time as possible. Some of these steps are best performed by the home owner, while others, such as larger cleaning projects can be hired out. If you’d like a recommendation, please contact your Hollycreek agent. We’ve worked with several services.

Imagine it’s not yours

Almost everyone has a tendency to become accustom to familiar surroundings. The first challenge for the seller is to step back and imagine the home you’re selling is NOT your own. Walk through and make a make a cleaning list.

Time to “De-Clutter” the Kitchen.

When it comes time to clean, one of the first things to do is decide WHAT needs to be on display for your prospective buyers. If you have a “loaded” refrigerator, bulletin board or a planning desk heaped with papers and books in your kitchen, you may be comfortable with it. It is after all, your own. But for a prospective buyer, odds are pretty good that it looks like a mess.

We suggest:

Reduce the “Cluttered Fridge” to “Cleared”
Organize the Bulletin Board. It’s OK for it to look busy as long as it’s organized.
The Planning Desk will always be more inviting with minimal items that are stacked and orderly.

Use as Directed

There are a lot of cleaning materials out there. From sprays, cleansers, creams and even microfiber clothes. Regardless of WHAT materials you use, read the directions carefully to ensure safe and thorough cleaning. A surprising tip from commercial cleaners is for spray materials used on glass and multi-surface. Instead of spraying the surface, try spaying the cleaning agent into your cleaning cloth. This reduces the chance of overspray and possible staining. If you’re using microfibers cloths it will also ensure more thorough “clean”.

Top to Bottom

Because no one wants to clean the same area more often than needed, let’s take a tip from professional cleaners: Start Cleaning at the Top. In some cases that does mean the ceiling, or light fixtures. If these are open or enclosed glass globes they may need to be carefully removed for washing with a gentle detergent and dried before being returned to their place.

Check the ceiling around these fixtures as well as the upper corners of the room for cobwebs. If your room has shelves or tall cabinets, working with a vacuum first to remove anything that’s settled will help to make the rest of the job easier.

Continue your cleaning process working on higher surfaces before lower.

Kitchens can Sell the Home

Kitchens are a true focal point for many buyers. Even if your kitchen isn’t brand new and shows a little wear, its OK. Keep it clean and neat by starting with the right products.

Treat wood cabinets and doors like furniture. Wiped and polished with your preferred polish or oil cleaner are two of your better options. Remember that scents are an important trigger point for many people, use them sparingly so the buyer isn’t overwhelmed by conflicting scents.

Stainless Steel appliances are very popular and if you have them in your home you already know how durable they are! These can be a great selling feature. One challenge though is fingerprints. Stainless steel surfaces sometimes show these like a beacon! There are several products on the market to clean and prepare these surfaces.

Sinks tend to see multiple use daily. Keeping these areas free of debris is helpful. We also recommend wiping them down while still wet. This will help to remove water stains. Whether your sink is stainless or ceramic, be sure to use an appropriate cleaning solution. Those with low abrasion are recommended in order to avoid damaging the finish.

Counters come in a multitude of surfaces; Granite, Marble, Concrete, Recycled and Laminate among others.
Each has a unique look and brings a defined character to your kitchen. Look for the manufacturers instructions or contact a local supplier for recommendations on how to properly maintain these surfaces.

We’d be pleased to help you sell your current home or buy your next one! At Hollycreek Homes we take great pride in the trust so many Western New Yorkers have placed in us.
For more information, contact us at 585-400-4000.

10 Small steps for big selling value

If you’ve lived in your current home for a few years, odds are pretty good that its no longer “perfect”. Oh, we understand you still like your home and the neighborhood. But you and your family have LIVED in your home for some time and now the challenge is trying to look at your home as if YOU were buying it. Before listing your home

10. Clean like you’re trying to impress. Whether you choose to scrub every nook and cranny or hire professionals. This step alone can speed the selling process and price.

9. Consider curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint on the front door; Replacing the used “Welcome mat” and Tidy landscaping make a tremendous first impression.

8. Painting or simply touching up. If your walls have seen years of “love” from the kids, it might be time to paint. If however all you need are touch ups on the corners (which tend to be nicked and dented), be sure to attend to these. Many won’t notice the repairs unless they’re left undone.

7. Little fixes: Loose door knobs or drawer handles. We know these probably fell off the “honey-do-list”. You’re busy. But let’s be sure they don’t fall off in the hands of those looking at your home.

6. Simplify decorations and artwork. We don’t want you to completely change your decor. But some personal items that prospective buyers might “question” may be better served stored away for you.

5. Light and more light. Start by washing the windows and them let the sunshine in.

4. De-clutter the closets. Yes, closets are often where “all the stuff goes”. But a full closet only serves the one living in the home. Your prospective buyers want to see how big your closets are (so they can imaging how well it will hide THEIR belongings).

3. Update lighting fixtures in the kitchen. Rather than a complete kitchen or bathroom make-over, consider changing out dated lighting for new.

2. Edge and trim the back yard. Once those who are “looking” have made it through the home, their next stop is often the backyard. Make it inviting and neat.

1. Call a Real Estate professional! At our count-down, let us share with you why this is #1. Home owners who wisely contact a reliable real estate professional in their area receive the benefit of their experience and home traditionally sell for significantly more.

Your home at the Lake

During your travels for work or play, when you get the chance to talk with fellow travelers, conversations often turn to “home”, “So, where do you live?” If you’re an upstate New York resident, you may already have a smirk on your face. You know where this is going. “Upstate New York”, you reply. Those who only heard “New York” are thinking…Noisy, Busy, Expensive, All business. But you know better. Set in a lovely section of upstate New York, is the Finger Lakes region. While the vast continental U.S. landscape sees almost nothing of waterside property and activities, we enjoy an amazing abundance of this rare and precious commodity. Water. And as far as real estate goes, Water-front property is always in demand. If you’ve never lived by the water, do yourself a favor during your next vacation, rent a house lakeside in the Finger Lakes. Be careful! You might just fall in love with the idea of lakefront living

If you’d found your dream-house by the lake, your day might look like this…

Good morning

If you’re an early-riser, you’ll enjoy starting the day with your favorite breakfast and the sunrise on any one of the lakes in our region. Canandaigua and Conesus Lakes offers spectacular views throughout the year. And whether your favorite start is watching the sun rise or rolling out of bed once the dew is off the grass, there’s nothing like starting your day accompanied by the sound of the water.

Mid Day

Are you ready for some fun? Sailing, jet skis and boating of all sorts are available at any of the lakes. If you want a quieter time, Loon or Silver Lake offer smaller, more secluded venues while Ontario (one of the Great Lakes) provides wide open space and the opportunity for a day trip to Canada. In order to enjoy our neighbors to the north, remember to have your passport or enhanced license with you.


If you’ve spent the day boating, tubing or water skiing, you and your group have probably worked up an appetite. Rochester and the surrounding areas offer a great array or fine dining and casual fare. T-Shirt and flip-flops, doesn’t mean you’ll have to go for fast food though. Many of the restaurants cater to boaters in the area. You’ll find a scrumptious list of water side restaurant at Water-Front Food – Rochester and Seize the Weekday. Other lakes Like Honeoye offer places like The Boathouse Grille for a Casual place to hang out with friends after a long day on the water.


Enjoy and one of the beautiful lake sunsets, like Owasco. Is a wonderful way to wind to truly appreciate a northern summer evening.


If you’re looking for a more romantic location with a view, places like the Savannah House on Seneca Lake offer wonderful accommodations.

Lulled to sleep by the waves

Well, you’ve had a full day and finally returned to your dream home by the lake.
With the windows open, you’re lulled to sleep by the waves. We’ve come full circle and it’s a beautiful end to a beautiful day. If you’ve worked with the Holly Creek Team to find your lake-side home, not only did you receive the help of top-notch real estate professionals, but you’ve had the opportunity to review some of our area’s most amazing homes.

For those who are considering a tour of these lake front properties, Holly Creek Homes would be happy to help you indult your new found fancy. We handle premier properties on the surrounding lakes as well as many other local water fronts.

Is It Time to List Your Home?

Life gets busy and many of us have plans about what we want for family, work and life. You may have even thought about how long you plan to spend in your current home. Just like your retirement planning your home is probably one of your biggest investments. And just like those types of accounts its worth revisiting plans every now and then to see how current trends might be advantageous for you.

Maybe your plan was to stay in your home for the next 5 or 10 years. But with available real estate in great demand, NOW may present a tremendous opportunity to sell.

Reasons to consider changing your plans could include:

All your children have graduated from high school
Often, considerations for NOT moving include keeping your kids with their friends in their school. In the event that yours have all graduated, moving your plans up to make the most of a situation could be a good plan for you.

You’d like to spend the next 10 years of your career, focused on your career (not home maintenance)

No home is “worry-free”. Every piece of real home-based estate includes the need for maintenance. So whether you’re looking to shed the need for lawn care or up-keep on the interior, Its worth considering your options.

Elder parents who’ve lived with you are now in an Elder care environment.

If you spent years caring for your parents or in laws in your own home, but they’ve come this point we understand. Much like caring for kids, you wanted to keep them in a familiar home but almost everyone arrives at a situation when full time care is required. This change can be a good time to speak with a professional realtor.

You were already considering “down sizing”

Early retirement has been good to you. But you’re ready to “de-clutter” your life and home. Give us a call.

Regardless of your situation, the Hollycreek team would be happy to speak with you and review your options. If together you agree that this is a good time to make the most of your investment in your home, we’re here to serve you!