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Tracking Rental Property Expenses 101


While many things have changed in the housing market over the last few years, one thing that hasn't changed is that landlords have expenses for their rental properties. What has changed is how we track rental property expenses. Handwritten expense tracking is mostly behind us, except for a few investors who hang on to it because it's what they know.


If you're new to real estate investing, you might be wondering what expenses you might incur or what tools to use to track your rental property expenses. Read on to learn more. 


What expenses should you expect from your real estate investments?


Business formation fees

As you set up your rental property business, you’ll likely want to take advantage of the benefits that come with forming an LLC  -- e.g., the ability to open a business bank account. To form an LLC, you’ll need to determine your business name, designate a registered agent, apply for an EIN number and put together an operating agreement. You can save time and money by using a formation service like ZenBusiness to register your LLC.

Property taxes

One expense that every landlord can count on is property taxes. You will pay for property taxes minus any deductions you can legally claim.

Tax Deductible Expenses

  • Maintenance
  • Advertising
  • Auto and travel expense
  • Licenses
  • Office space
  • Professional services
  • Property insurance
  • Property management fees
  • Leasing fees
  • Property supplies
  • Sales taxes
  • Alarm system
  • Cable
  • Utility bills
  • HOA dues


Tools for Tracking Rental Property Expenses

Expense tracking software has improved by leaps and bounds over the last several years. You can do so much within these platforms that it can sometimes be hard to choose one. Pro tip: Look for a platform that offers automatic payroll scheduling, automatic calculating and tax filing, and same-day direct deposit.


Another consideration is opting to minimize your paper trail. While you will probably want to keep some hard copies of important documents, most landlord "paperwork" can be performed digitally. This enables you to keep your office a bit tidier while making your information easily accessible and minimizing time spent looking for files.


Cloud Computing lets you work from anywhere. Instead of storing information on your platform, cloud-based computing stores data in the cloud. Also referred to as Cloud as a Service (CaaS), using cloud-based computing allows users to work and maintain access to necessary data from anywhere. This is specifically useful in remote teams, which, when using CaaS, can work together within the cloud. 


Cybersecurity is a huge concern in 2021. Hackers are becoming better at what they do. Thankfully, so have cybersecurity professionals. No matter what platform you choose for your rental property expense tracking, protect your data with encryption, authentication, and systems that continually monitor for malware.


The key takeaway is to choose an expense tracking software that matches your business goals and needs. One way to make the choice simple is to opt for a suite of products with proven reliability like those listed above. That way, everything is linked, and you aren't constantly performing repetitive tasks.


And yet another way to simplify your rental property business is to work with a professional property management service. Just keep in mind that this typically costs anywhere from 9% to 12% of your rental income. Whatever you choose, find a method that works for you so you can keep your expenses on track and your rental business moving forward.


Are you looking for a new investment property in Central New York? Turn to the expert team at Acropolis Realty Group! 315.396.0493

Written By: 

Bob Shannon

Go Small or Go Home: How the Right Tech Can Help You Downsize


So, you’ve decided to downsize? Here’s where the fun begins. It’s time to find a place to live, unload your unused belongings, and plan how you’ll organize your newer, smaller home. Deciding what to keep, sell, donate, or toss can often feel daunting; to avoid stress and overwhelm, start with a solid plan. From tracking tasks to sorting your belongings, there’s a plethora of apps, websites, and tech tools that can help people of all ages. Whether you prefer a smartphone app or a user-friendly website, here is some tech to help you downsize.


Downsizing Resources


Downsizing may not be the easiest task in the world, but it can be made simpler by employing a few tricks, thanks to modern technology. Check out the list below, charge up your smartphone, and get ready to take advantage of these time- and sanity-saving tips.


Work with the Skilled Real Estate Professionals at Acropolis Realty Group

If you’re looking to buy or sell a property in Central New York, Acropolis Realty Group offers exceptional real estate service.


6 Apps To Help Organize Your Next Move

These apps (all are free) help you get organized, switch over your utilities, and get an accurate moving quote to avoid unnecessary expenses.


The Best Apps and Sites for Selling Your Stuff

Too much stuff? Declutter (and sell your old things) before putting your home on the market.


Websites and Apps to Sell Stuff in Your Neighborhood

Use these websites and apps to sell your stuff locally.


A Wireless Car Charger Can Ensure Continuous Access to Apps

Charge your phone on the go and make sure you never run out of juice.


10 Simple Tips for Impressive Real Estate Photography

Follow these real estate photography tips to produce beautiful, consistent photos of your home.


How to Sell Your House Online

Potential buyers flock to the web to search for available real estate property. If you want to learn how to sell your home online, learn about the options available to you.


Senior-Specific Downsizing Resources


When it comes to downsizing for seniors, unique challenges are at play. Seniors are presented with the monumental task of moving on top of physical and emotional factors. Below are several resources specific to seniors to help simplify the moving process:


How Technology Can Help Seniors

Some seniors embrace technology, others may run from it. Either way, technology can help during the move — plus, it can have many other benefits as well.


5 Ways Technology is Making Moving Easier

Even basic technology can make the tasks involved with moving much easier. Learn how here.


9 Things to Consider When Relocating an Aging Loved One

Learn how to make the move as painless as possible by considering these nine factors.


Downsizing requires a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be tedious or stressful. The secret is utilizing the various technologies available at your fingertips. From online tools to smartphone apps, you can use all this wonderful tech to help you stay on track to meet your goals. It’s possible to plan a quick, efficient transition to a smaller home. With the right tools, you’ll free up time to focus on getting settled into your new living space.

Article Written By:
Suzie Wilson ?  ?Happier Home

5 Accessibility Features Senior Home Buyers Should Look For


After retiring, many seniors choose to move out of their previous homes and relocate. Independent seniors who don’t need assisted living services may decide to buy a house in a local retirement community, or simply head somewhere with a warmer climate. Sometimes, a family home does not suit the needs of senior empty nesters.


Naturally, senior home buyers will have many of the same considerations as any other home buyer, like finding a safe, affordable neighborhood and teaming up with a reputable real estate agent. This also includes doing plenty of mortgage research to ensure you’re working with a trusted lender. However, they also need to house hunt with accessibility and safety in mind. Here are five features that seniors should look for before putting down an offer on a new home, presented by Acropolis Realty Group.


Single Story


Ideally, seniors should look for a single-story home. Even if you have no trouble getting up the stairs now, that could easily change in the coming years.


However, if you cannot find a single-story home that fits your other requirements, you do have other options. You could look for houses with elevators instead, but keep in mind this could be significantly more expensive. Alternatively, a house with a staircase that could accommodate a stairlift might also be a good choice.


However, when looking for a home, it’s important to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend. Once you know your budget, you can begin to look for accessible homes within your price range, or homes that could be easily modified to suit your needs. It’s also a good idea to have a little money tucked away for these repairs and renovations. And for your own peace of mind, make room in your budget (around $50 to $150) to have the locks changed on your new home soon after you move in; sites like Angi can help you find the best locksmiths in your area.


Fall Prevention


While attending open houses, every senior should take note of features that raise the risk of falling. After all, 60 percent of senior falls occur within the home, and fall injuries can be life-threatening.


Your new home should have plenty of bright lighting, and any sets of stairs should have handrails. However, you will likely have to hire a contractor to install grab bars in your bathroom after you close on the home. In addition, you should look for a home with non-slip flooring, and the Flooring Professionals recommend cork and vinyl. You may also want to make additional changes after moving in, like adding a padded toilet seat in your bathroom and putting a soap dispenser in your shower, so you’ll never have to worry about slipping on a bar of soap!


Door Levers


For seniors with arthritis, turning door knobs can be difficult and painful. It helps to keep an eye out for a home where most of the doors have levers instead. It is much easier for someone with joint pain and limited mobility to simply apply pressure to a lever and open the door than try to turn a doorknob. Thankfully, if you cannot find a home with door levers, this is an easy modification that you can complete before you move in.


Kitchen Design


Senior home buyers should choose a home with a kitchen that will allow them to move around easily and cook safely. The Senior List advises looking for a kitchen with lower countertops, which would allow you to sit down while chopping vegetables.


Ideally, you would not have to bend down or reach up too high to access the cabinets and storage space, either. Therefore, your new home should feature a kitchen with plenty of counter space. Being able to store important items within reach on your counters will make it easier for you to cook and organize everything without straining your back.


Covered Entryway


Standing outside your front door in the rain and fumbling around for your keys is frustrating, and for seniors, it can be downright dangerous. At open houses, pay close attention to the home’s entryway. Ultimately, you should choose a home with a covered entryway because it’s much safer for seniors. Furthermore, a wide doorway will be more convenient for seniors using mobility aids.


For seniors, finding the right house can be a challenge. Most homes are not specifically designed with the needs of older buyers in mind. However, by prioritizing certain features in their search for a new home, senior homebuyers can find a house that will serve as a safe and comfortable place to enjoy their golden years.


Acropolis Realty Group wants to help you find a home that suits your needs and lifestyle. Call our office today at 315-396-0493.

Article Written By:
Michael Longsdon
Elder Freedom - Empower the Elderly

5 Easy Ways To Quickly Make Your New House Feel Like Home



If you're feeling miserable after moving into your new home, you're not alone. Research suggests that the fear of the unknown and not being close to friends or loved ones prompts people to spend more time alone, thus lowering levels of happiness. Studies also indicate that movers report more unhappy days than those who stay put. While this sounds all gloom and doom, it is possible to get over the change hump by making your new house feel like home! Acropolis Development explains how.


Incorporate Old With New

Incorporating old furnishings and decor from your old home into your new abode is an easy way to achieve instantaneous comfort. Don't be afraid to mix up styles and come up with new ways to use a piece — perhaps that chest of drawers no longer fits in your new bedroom, but works as a repurposed console elsewhere. Keep only what you love, but repurpose if you can't afford a big ticket item such as a new sofa.


And there’s something lovely - and highly affordable - about vintage used furniture for creating that vital at-home feel. Be sure to find your new local ReStore and hunt for that perfectly lived-in piece that will help you connect and relax in your new space!


Still not sure how to blend old and new styles seamlessly? Consider searching for professional architecture design services online. These services offer virtual staging, interior design, and other home projects that can help you envision what you want the interior of your home to look like.


Get A Professional Deep Clean

Nothing is more unsettling than moving into a dingy home, so get a professional deep clean before moving in. These experts are masters at time-consuming tasks such as cleaning the baseboards and grout between tiles, making windows look as good as new and steam cleaning the carpets. If you want to tackle this job yourself, don't neglect the fridge and stove (breeding grounds for bacteria), cabinets, counters, sinks, tub/shower, toilet, walls and floors.


Purify The Air

Clean, fresh-feeling air is just as important as a clean house, so invest in an electrostatic air filter to remove pollen, dust mites, mold, bacteria and other indoor air pollutants from your living space. This device charges particles in the air so that they become attracted to the metal in the filter (much like a magnet), while polyester or cotton paper compiles the small particles from the air.


Help Your Pets Get Settled

Cats and dogs can have a hard time with change, too, so in order to help you feel more settled, help your furry friend do the same. Quickly set up a section in your home with your pet's bowls, toys, bed and litter box, so they get the message that they're at home. Maintain their normal routine — such as feeding and walk times — and give them plenty of attention via playtime to counteract anxiety and tucker them out.


Christen The Kitchen With A Home-Cooked Meal

Nothing is more comforting than a home cooked meal with your family, so ditch the delivery and whip up an easy, yet delicious dish in your new kitchen. Soups, stews, casseroles, pasta and stir-fry are all options that take little time to prepare and can feed a crowd. Take your time enjoying a leisurely dinner around the table — not on the couch or floor — and enhance the experience with candles and upbeat music. It's a great opportunity to decompress while making the first positive memory in your new home.


In order to truly feel settled, don't waste any time getting to know your neighbors. While you'll always want to maintain a support system of good friends and family members, the reality is, it's your neighbors that you'll be seeing on a regular basis. Consider hosting a small social gathering once you're settled. Have fun exploring your new neighborhood and sourcing new places to shop, eat, and stay active. Establish a comforting routine that incorporates things you enjoy such as hitting the gym, taking your dog to the park and hitting up the local farmers market. The sooner you have a normal rhythm in your life, the better you'll feel.


To learn more about our properties and property management services, visit Acropolis Development or call us at (315) 396-0493.


Photo Credit: Pixabay

Written By: Mark Simons

AGENT SPOTLIGHT: Kayleigh Andersen



I was born in Syracuse and was raised on the north side of Oneida lake. I studied at St. Lawrence University, earning a degree in Anthropology with a minor in Biology and was accepted to graduate school at Syracuse University where I received a Masters degree in Forensic Science with a special focus and certification in Crime Scene Investigation. I was able to intern at the Onondaga County Medical Examiners office for a summer and had hopes of entering my field. Unfortunately, I was unable to land my dream job, but I was able to be fortunate enough to work at the Onondaga County Justice Center as a medical records clerk and medical assistant for 3 years. 


I had my first daughter at 26 and my entire life changed. Amelia was born with bilateral vocal cord paralysis and required medical assistance since her birth. During this time and dealing with medical professionals, I decided I did not like their course of treatment and requested a second opinion. I was able to secure her medical services in Cincinnati Ohio at Rady Children’s hospital and I followed my daughter there and stayed there for 3 months. While all of this was happening, my relationship with her father fell apart and eventually I obtained full custody of her. Amelia had a tracheostomy placed and required special services including physical therapy and speech therapy. I went from a kid who knew all about the medical field to having to use specific skills to keep my child alive on a daily basis.


I met and fell in love with my now husband who is Vice President of construction services at C&S Companies here in syracuse. When we had first starting dating, he was only a Project Manager but had already committed to moving to San Diego, California that same year. In the course of 6 months we dated, he took on the role as Amelia’s father, went to all her appointments, and eventually traveled 9 hours one way each weekend from syracuse to Cincinnati to be with Amelia and I for her tracheostomy removal surgery which required us to stay in Cincinnati for a month. He asked me to marry him in Cincinnati on his last visit and I said yes!


We moved to San Diego in October 2017. From dating to engaged in 6 months and moving across the country in 8! Seems crazy looking back on it now, but Tim has always been on my corner and pushing me to be my best self. Once in San Diego I immediately noticed how insane the real estate market was. Everywhere you looked there were real estate offices and I felt a pull towards that. 


I enrolled in online classes and started studying while also finding out I was pregnant with my second daughter. Between doctor appointments and studying, I was able to complete my courses within a few months. All the while I began visiting with my future brokerage at Keller Williams. I attended lectures and took their courses all before I was even a realtor. I was eager to get this career path started. May 4th, 2018 I was finally a realtor and joined one of the top producing teams in San Diego. I learned an immense amount of knowledge from this specific team but felt a little off. I had my daughter in July and that’s when things got worse. I was the only girl in an all male team and was faced with difficulties of maintaining my family duties and living up to their expectations. I made the switch from not only the team, but brokerages. 


I switched to Big Block Realty and a Wife-Wife team. The atmosphere was mom and pop local and everyone came from a place of help. It was with my second team that I gained the most knowledge and understanding of the real estate market. 


I loved meeting people, hearing their story, and getting them into a home they would love. After 2.5 years of being in San Diego, Tim was offered his current position back home in syracuse and we couldn’t resist. The downfall was that I had to retake the real estate exam again!


Since being back it’s been a huge eye opener. San Diego was beautiful and fun, but it wasn’t realistic and it never felt like home. We moved back and purchased our first home (a fixer-upper) just 3 houses down from my in-laws. We now have the luxury of being with our family all the time, and that makes all the difference.


Practical Tips To Help You Prepare For Downsizing



There are many reasons, you might want to let go of your four-bedroom family home as you head into your senior years. Saving money is one motivation, but, more often, seniors choose to downsize to a smaller space because of mobility or health concerns. A small house is a neat and tidy package that, when chosen correctly, can reduce the physical burden of maintenance and lessen your monthly financial commitment. And even though the pandemic has changed the landscape of buying, selling and moving, you can still start your downsize by connecting with a professional at Acropolis Realty Group to begin the home-buying process. As you begin, we hope the following tips will help.


Choosing a new place to call home

Your moving endeavor starts with knowing where you want to live, and one of the best ways to determine a good fit is through a vacation rental. Try to find a vacation rental that is similar in layout and size to the home you think you’ll need and in the neighborhood that speaks to you the most. This will give you a much better idea of what it’s like to live in that area. 


The home search

Now that you have some experience in the area, make a list of everything you need in your new home. This might be a mailbox at the front door, a garage with no stairs into the home, or an open floor plan. Take this list to your realtor, and let them know what features are negotiable and what is set in stone.


You’ll also need to determine your preferred price point and calculate how much you expect to net from the sale of your existing home. Checking listings online and researching the housing market is a good place to start. You’ll find that the median sale price of homes in Syracuse is $132K. Check your credit score ahead of time, too, to get a better idea of the kind of rates you can expect. Intuit reports that 600 is a good starting number to strive for, but that better rates are available the higher your score climbs.


Packing for the future

The hardest part of a move that leaves you with less floor space is deciding what you won’t pack. Unless you plan to rent a storage unit and keep up with those payments, you’ll have to purge belongings from each room. Start with the most obvious items. Your furniture might not fit into your new house or condo. Measure the pieces you’d like to keep, and then check the size and shape against your new rooms. Your personal belongings may also need thinning, which can be an emotional part of the process. This might be a good time to call the kids and grandkids for a heart to heart on what they would like to have of yours. Keep a few small items and photos to create a shadow box of memories to display in your new home.


Moving day is here

As you clean your home, start packing boxes with what you’ll take with you. (You can find large moving boxes on Home Depot for $1.78 each.) Plan to go one room at a time, labeling boxes along the way. Most importantly, bring in a few extra sets of hands. A moving company is your best bet and will ensure that your stuff is secured properly in the moving truck. Many moving companies offer coverage for damage as well as the option of unloading your boxes at your new home. Make sure you research the top moving companies and read reviews first before deciding which one to hire.


Moving doesn’t have to be a pain, but know that the place you want to go is really where you need to be by staying a few weeks beforehand. When it is finally time, plan your transition carefully so you don’t wind up with a house full of stuff that won’t fit. The above tips can help you get started, but remember, your realtor is a wealth of knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions during each step.


Additional resources

How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Housing Market

Everything You Should Know About Designing a Home for Aging in Place

How to Safely Donate Clothes and Housewares During Coronavirus

How a Senior Move Manager Can Simplify Your Move

Article Written By:
Michael Longsdon
Elder Freedom - Empower the Elderly

Things to Know Before Investing in a Commercial Property


Have you considered investing in a commercial property? Maybe you’re already a residential investor, and you want to widen your portfolio. Perhaps you’re new to real estate investing and commercial investing seems like the best way to go. Maybe you’re a business owner or entrepreneur looking for the perfect physical location.

Whatever your motivation may be, it’s essential to know that commercial real estate investing isn’t cut and dry. Several factors go into a profitable commercial property. Sometimes a property that seems to be beaming with potential ends up being a money pit. Other times, a property that looks a little dull, ends up being a goldmine.

How can you tell the difference? More importantly, what things do you need to know before investing in commercial property?

Let’s jump into it.
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  1. Picking the Right Property Type is Key

There are several types of commercial properties. There are office buildings, retail buildings, apartment complexes, warehouses, industrial structures, mixed-use buildings, and more. One of the most crucial tasks of commercial property investment lies in picking the right property type.

A lot of this deals with knowing the market trends and doing some future prospecting. For instance, right now, it wouldn’t be wise to invest in a mall. While malls historically made people millions, the market for the mall is dying.

Another example is housing. In highly populated cities, people used to invest in single or double family dwellings. However, the cost of living is rising faster than the rate of income, and people can’t afford these types of homes. As a result, investing in an apartment or a single-family property that you can break into a multi-family complex is a wiser choice.

These are just two examples; however, knowing the property type for the market is critical to making a profitable commercial property investment.

  1. Location Truly is Everything

Let’s talk about location. You can completely redo a commercial property, invest millions into making it look inviting and appealing. However, if the location stinks, there’s no getting around that.

Location truly is everything in commercial property. With that, the ideal location depends greatly based on what type of property you purchase. A retail space needs to be in an area with plenty of foot traffic, whereas a manufacturing warehouse would be better suited outside of densely populated areas.

When investing in commercial property, it’s pivotal to remember that you cannot change location, and that location can and will impact everything you plan to do with the property.

  1. The Interior Is Moldable – Look for Good Bones

While the location can’t be changed, the visual components of a building can be altered. Sometimes, a commercial property looks a little rough, but the potential lies in your ability to transform it into something new.

Aside from property type and location, you want to focus on the bones of the building. Does the property have a good structure? Can you go in and make aesthetic adjustments and improve the property?

Changing the structure of a building is a lot more costly and time-intensive than cosmetic improvements. Even minor layout adjustments are possible with the right bones. For instance, using modular glass panels, you can transform a warehouse with good bones into a workable office space.

Ultimately, it’s good to know that the most important factor lies in finding a property with the perfect potential. The bones and structural integrity generally matter a lot more than the aesthetic interior and exterior blemishes.

  1. The Market Shifts Can Be Dramatic

We saw it in 2008, and we’re seeing it again in 2020. Market shifts can be dramatic, volatile, and unpredictable. You can avoid future headaches by really understanding market dynamics before you dive in. However, there are some things that you can’t prepare for.

It’s vital to have plans for worst-case scenarios. You don’t want to go all-in with no cushion. Keep in mind – the commercial real estate market is cyclical, so should the market dip, know that it’s poised to pick back up again. You just have to have the safeguards in place to ride it out until then. 

  1. Consider Energy Efficiency Standards from The Jump

Energy efficiency ought to be a high priority for you. Utilities for commercial properties can be extremely costly, and focusing on energy efficiency is one way to combat those high utility bills.

If you’re shopping for commercial property, be sure to ask about energy efficiency measures. If a property doesn’t have any energy efficiency efforts, you’ll want to figure that into the budget.

Creating an energy-efficient building can be quite a task. Some commercial property owners simply add energy-efficient windows and lighting, architectural grilles, and seal the windows and doors and call it a day.

However, if you want to capitalize on energy-saving potential, you’ll want to do much more than that. Consider reframing and using techniques like ICF construction and materials like tilt up walls to create a tilt up building. Use polyiso insulation, energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and strategically plan the layout.

While there’s a cost-saving benefit to these upgrades, it could also be a mandatory step to take. As government regulations about energy efficiency get stricter, you might be forced to make these upgrades in the future, anyway. So, it’s essential to know and consider energy efficiency as part of owning a commercial property.
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Start Investing in a Commercial Property

If you keep all these five things in mind, you are well ahead of the curve. Commercial property is still a viable and prosperous investment. You just have to know what you’re looking for and how to find it.

Remember, finding a realtor that you trust is key. They can help you avoid the money pits and find the potential.


Corey Tyner is the owner of Cash Land Buyers Arizona and Phoenix Fast Sell. He is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona with over a decade of experience. His work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other real estate investor publications.

Penny-Pinching Projects for Making a Happier and Healthier Home


We all want our homes to be places that nurture our minds, bodies, and souls. However, sometimes homeowners could get more from their abodes. If you want to ensure you and yours come home to a place that increases health and happiness, without spending big bucks on your efforts, read on.


Savor Your Outdoor Spread


Your first thought of home is probably a vision of your four walls, the actual house that provides shelter from the elements and a place to make memories. Don’t overlook your home’s outdoor areas, though. Time spent in nature can provide particularly powerful mental and physical benefits, boosting memory and energy, reducing stress and inflammation, increasing happiness, and even bolstering immunity.


With so much to gain, make it a priority to provide your family members a place to savor the great outdoors. Gardenista points out you can create a great outdoor room in a budget-friendly manner. Choose an area with level ground to keep construction costs and complexity minimal, and do some of the work yourself if you can. While installing a full stone patio can be on the challenging side for the average do-it-yourselfer, mixing materials can provide an attractive result with less work, expertise, and expense.



With an outdoor area ready to savor, plan to outfit the space with inexpensive furniture. You can make clever and beautiful patio furniture from upcycled pallets, or if getting splinters, disassembling and reassembling don’t hold appeal for you, you can always find patio furniture online at great prices (sets are available for under $200) and even earn cash back from retailers. Either way, you’ll feel that much better lounging in your personal outdoor paradise and knowing you didn’t overspend.


Pare Down for an Overall Lift


We live in a culture that traditionally tells us that more is more. However, science is finding fault with that logic. As Psychology Today explains, an uncluttered space promotes energy, reduces anxiety, improves focus, and can even help keep you and yours from bickering. So turn a critical eye to your home and your belongings, and decide if a thorough decluttering is in order.


You can apply this theory both inside and outside your home. Examine your landscape for places that could use improvement, such as haphazard and overcrowded plantings, and make sure there are places to organize outdoor equipment and toys.


Inside your home, think about what items you don’t really use or love, and let go of them. Rather than tossing them in the trash, consider passing those things along to someone else, whether via a garage sale or through donations to charities. You can even offer your stuff on swap websites.


Whatever option you pick, it’s a chance to double up on perks. You’ll not only have a less cluttered home environment, you’ll know your surplus stuff is being put to good use. Plus, it’s either a free solution or you’ll make a few bucks in the process.


When Hired Help Is a Must


DIY isn’t for everybody. You can always hire a lawn service to tackle outdoor concerns on your behalf (some services in Syracuse charge less than $100 depending on yard size), and a professional organizer can address organizational concerns inside and outside your home.


Keep in mind any time you hire a contractor, it’s in your best interest to learn about their qualifications before you commit. Check references, view samples of their work, and get everything in writing for best results. And while it might be tempting to go with the cheapest offer, keep in mind it could be money thrown away if the end product isn’t up to par.


Every homeowner should reap health and happiness from their humble abode. If your home and yard isn’t a personal sanctuary, contemplate how it could better feed your well-being. With a few penny-pinching changes, you can enjoy priceless benefits.

Written By 
Curtis Fisher |

3 of the Most Important Things to Remember When Selling Your Home


Selling your home is one of the most important and potentially lucrative decisions you will ever make in life. It goes without saying that this is definitely something that you don’t want to leave to chance. Rather, you will want to make sure that you do everything right to guarantee that potential buyers will appreciate the value of your home so that it sells at a profit without languishing for too long on the market.


To that end, get familiar with these key opportunities to make your listing a successful one:


Due diligence


At the core of every home-selling effort is research. This is a great place to get started since selling your home is actually a more nuanced task than you might realize at first glance. There are, in fact, many processes to consider and remember that can be overwhelming for a real estate novice. Doing your due diligence before anything else will undoubtedly do wonders in making the journey more manageable.


For instance, listing your home on a Thursday or Friday might be to your advantage, and how you set your price can be eye-catching or off-putting to potential buyers. Finding a listing agent who knows the local market and can help guide your decisions is an endeavor worth undertaking early on, and there are some other things you can do before your listing goes live.


Competitive mindset


No doubt, pricing is also one of the most pressing things to think about when selling your home. The real estate market is generally a very competitive one, so it’s crucial not to price your property too high or too low in order to guarantee success. Rather, you want it to be competitive, so do the legwork and find out how much homes are selling for in your immediate area and how they compare to yours. Ditto for properties that are yet to be sold, as well.


Of course, being competitive also means that you want your property to be more attractive than the competition so that it sells quickly and profitably. This makes staging very crucial. In fact, much of the success of your home’s sale hinges on it.


And as Reader’s Digest explains, it’s wise to consider home improvement projects that are particularly compelling to potential buyers, such as kitchen upgrades and bathroom renovations. Don’t leave out some trendy touches as well, but don’t get carried away. Keep in mind you want an overall look that isn’t “too” anything, offering the broadest possible appeal to house hunters.


Along those same lines, depersonalization is also critical. Buyers are more compelled to buy a home that they can see as theirs, so make sure to remove all your clutter and change too-personal and unique details, like stripping off whimsical carpeting in favor of hardwood floors. And of course, don’t forget to deep clean before showings to put your—or more accurately, your home’s—best foot forward.



Last-Minute Repair Resources for Harried Homeowners

When it comes to selling a home as quickly as possible, you need 
the right contractors at your fingertips when unexpected issues arise.

Need an electrician to fix an outlet?

Need a plumber to fix a pipe ASAP?

Need your carpets cleaned?

Need your AC serviced at 8 a.m. on a Saturday?

Need a garage door mechanic?



Marketing strategy


Finally, know that it’s not enough to have a nice home that’s priced well and listed at the most opportune time. Such measures will still fail if nobody knows that your property is out there and ripe for the picking.


You need a solid marketing strategy to get your property on the radar of people who are on the market for a new home. This will entail promoting your listing on the right platforms to reach home buyers. Your listing agent can help guide your choices in this regard.


Of course, getting pro-quality photos of your property is another must. More often than not, these photos are the first thing that potential buyers see, so these should be able to offer a lasting first impression and even be compelling enough to get buyers to the showing.


Selling your home is an exercise in planning and strategic thinking. Do your research, stage and price appropriately, depersonalize, and find a great agent to help guide you through this process. Thanks to good decisions on your part, ultimately, your home will sell itself.

Written By: Shirley Martin,

Meet TJ Perkins


In an industry that is ever changing and evolving, real estate looks to its agents for dependability. Timothy “TJ” Perkins embodies this, having been with Acropolis Realty Group from the very start. In his senior year at Syracuse University, TJ approached Steve Case, who is now the owner of Acropolis Realty Group. But at the time, to TJ, he was simply “Professor.” When TJ asked Steve for insight on any real estate companies in the Syracuse area he thought would be a good fit for Perkins, Steve had a unique offer. He did have a company in mind, but it didn’t exactly exist yet. Steve was parting from the company he was working for at the time with a plan to start a business of his own. When Steve proposed the idea of founding the new company together, TJ instantly replied:  “Hell yeah, let’s do it!”

Growing up in West Monroe, Perkins had considered pursuing a career in New York City, but when the opportunity to begin Acropolis Realty Group arose, TJ had special insights into the area and the people he would be working with. “When I first started I did a lot of my business in Oswego County. I knew everybody up there. I knew every road. I knew the prices of every house.” As the business and regions Perkins was working in expanded, so did his market knowledge, allowing him to evolve into “a market expert in all of Syracuse’s markets.”

Years later, TJ’s “let’s do it” enthusiasm is still applied to his business today.  As part-owner of the Acropolis Realty Group residential branch, the average day consists of being a support to Acropolis’ over forty agents, as well as business development in recruiting new agents. It is these agents that make TJ’s job so gratifying.  The fruits of TJ’s labor came to light during a corporate retreat at Greek Peak. Four agents shared with TJ that they had their best year in real estate since joining the Acropolis team. “Seeing people succeed when they come on board with us is the most rewarding. Being able to guide the agents to close deals is one of the best parts of my job.”

TJ’s passion for creating a sense of unity within Acropolis Realty Group is ever more so amplified now, given the current state of uncertainty experienced worldwide. TJ, along with  the leadership team, are intentional about bringing the team together virtually and host weekly happy hours. These meetings allow agents and staff to ask questions to help navigate this unknown time together. More importantly, this time together each week helps to build a sense of camaraderie within the Acropolis family. “By helping to remove the fear, my hope is that agents will focus on the opportunities more than the hurdles.” Perkins continues to encourage his agents on how to grow their business, just in new ways now.

From a wide-eyed college student unsure of his future to now a broker and part-owner, TJ Perkins and Acropolis Realty Group have successfully grown together. Joyfully, the growth continues within TJ’s home, where he’s started a family just thirty minutes away from where he grew up. And, his roots continue to grow in this good upstate soil---at home,  in the office, and beyond. 

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