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Special Section Archives The Altamont Enterprise, May 26, 2010

A sense of community — exemplified by home-grown parades — helps sell homes

By Saranac Hale Spencer

What surrounds a home contributes to its worth.

“Location, location, location is true,” said local Realtor Troy Miller of the popular expression.  Houses in areas with strong community fabric have an inherent value, he said.

The two major factors contributing to where people choose to look for houses, he said, are school districts and neighborhoods.

“School districts and community are definitely the top couple of things that play into where people do their search,” said Miller, who owns CM Fox Real Estate, which develops and sells real estate in the area.

He recently built senior housing complexes in the villages of Altamont and Voorheesville, both of which have vibrant communities.  They each host a Memorial Day parade, as do the hilltowns of Berne, Knox, and Westerlo.

According to New York State’s Office of Real Property Tax Services, “Market value is generally defined as the price a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a property in its present condition with neither buyer nor seller under pressure to act (such as career relocation, death of a family member, divorce, etc.).”

It goes on the explain, “A number of factors may affect a residential property’s market value, including:

— External characteristics — “curb appeal,” home condition, lot size, popularity of an architectural style of property, water/sewage systems, sidewalk, paved road, etc.;

— Internal characteristics — size and number of rooms, construction quality, appliance condition, demonstrated “pride of ownership,” heating type, energy efficiency, etc.;

— Supply and demand — the number of homes for sale versus the number of buyers; how quickly the homes in your area sell, and;

— Location — desirability for a particular school district, neighborhood, etc.”

Miller, who grew up in Altamont and has raised his children there, said places with a sense of community are ideal for families because “The whole village helps raise their kids.”

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