My Blog

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.
unnamed (2).jpg

  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.
unnamed (2).jpg

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. 

Three Trends and Predictions for Real Estate Investors In 2020


2020 has already been a challenging time for real estate investors as the uncertain economy has caused a cooling off in some of the hottest real estate markets, in spite of continued historically low interest rates. The Coronavirus in addition to the 2020 Presidential election both have the potential to negatively affect the economy, which in turn has left investors and future property owners questioning if now the right time is to sell, rent, or buy. The last thing anyone wants is to regret their decision to put a property on the market or invest in potentially overvalued real estate. In order to provide some guidance, here are three trends and predictions that will most likely affect real estate in 2020 and the following years to come.

1.)  A Greater Concentration of Demand for Housing & the Slowing Home Prices

With the changing economy comes the concentration of new jobs in secure industries such as information technology (IT). The hub of these large firms is mainly located in major cities. This leads to a new demand for housing not only directly in these urban areas but in the surrounding suburban ones as well. Investors should be conscious of the fact that this new demand for housing in larger markets means there will be a shortage of housing. As demand surpasses supply, the price of real estate for both buyers and renters will continue to rise. This is attractive to property owners looking to maximize sales or rental costs on the properties they are looking to put on the market or up for rental. 

            However, this does not mean that prices can go up forever. Although demand for housing in these markets has increased, it is predicted the prices of homes in areas like San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle will continue to drop throughout the upcoming year. This generally occurs when property prices outrun local incomes. Due to the prediction that the value of certain homes across the country will begin to fall, if an investor were thinking of cashing in a property in order to get out of a market, now would be the ideal time as prices are likely at their peak.

2.)  Widening the Gap Between Owning and Renting

In the past decade, many real estate investors have purchased single-family homes to rent to families in major cities such as New York, Seattle, Portland, Miami, Nashville, Charlotte, and Boston. This is due to the increasing property value of single-family homes in these urban areas. As mentioned before, with the demand of home ownership rising in the past five years, investors have been able to raise rents for those unable to purchase a home or preferring to rent . However, as rents continue to surpass income available to housing, many individuals have been forced to move to smaller cities and commute further in order to make the cost of living affordable.

            Because the number of people who can afford the high rent in these cities is small, a new suggested strategy in these markets is to split single-family homes into four rental units to make them more affordable. Even though this takes time and requires money on the investor’s behalf, it will make the cost of living more affordable, and it benefits the investor as more tenants can occupy the space. Should “rent control”come into effect in 2020, creating more units will allow investors to continue to make a reasonable income off of renting their properties.

3.)  The Diversified Version of a “Mall”

A more interesting trend that has been seen in 2020 is the idea of a more diversified mall. Many massive department stores are being forced to close due to the growth in online shopping. With 9,000 more retail and department stores closing at the end of 2019, many mall owners are looking for unique yet profitable ways to occupy about 2,000-3,000 square feet of space per store closing. This is challenging because most companies looking to enter the mall market cannot fit into a space large enough to fit an entire department store.

            As a result, many mall owners are filling these massive spaces with workout facilities, entertainment areas, apartments, restaurant areas inside the store, co-working spaces, and more. So far, this has been profitable for many malls and shopping plazas because not only are there more attractions at these locations besides shopping, but their real estate value is high due to their proximity to all the stores, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. Investors are starting to look at these apartment units to see if there are long-term rental possibilities or if this is just a fad.

            With all of this information in mind, 2020 will be an interesting year for those involved in the real-estate industry. Renting has become the new buying, especially in cities that are jacking up their prices because of the demand from potential homeowners. Going into 2020, it is important to realize now may be the time to sell as property value is high and the future of the economy continues to be uncertain. In addition, as potential buyers begin to look at real estate in more affordable rural areas, maybe they should consider seeing if their local mall has recently opened an apartment complex!

Written By Kathryn Elliott, SU Hill Communications

Page:  of 000  |