Residential sales in Tompkins County: Closed sales, Year to date: 


                                                  2014                   2015                   2016

Number of sales                         570                     500                      535
Av.Sales Price,$                  236,000               245,000               251,000
Av.Price/sq.ft,$                          125                      132                      129
Av.Days on Market                    121                       78                        71
Volume, M $                          135 M                 123 M                 134M


More New Yorkers now say they are better off than a year ago than those who say their finances are declining. Is it a good time to buy a house? Nearly 60% say "Absolutely" says Dr Lonnstrom, Director of Sienna College Research Institute. Current sentiment, the measure of how consumers feel about their buying power hit an 8-year high.


Unusually high volume of buyers flooded spring market this year nation-wide. The reason is simple - monthly payments on a median priced home is more affordable than monthly rent on a 3-bedroom property in 76% of all US counties. (National Association of Realtors)




MOTHER EARTH INSPIRED ELEMENTS. Nature will be popular in decorating.

Color palettes are reminiscent of natural elements - reds found in soils, blues of the ocean, lush greens of the forest, and neutrals from softer, textured look of eggs, sea shels, and sand. These natural tones are being paired with color accents, such as tangerine tango, Pantone Color Institute's color of the year. It can add just the right amount of pop with pillows, throws, or tabletop accessories.

Also, look for accessories that incorporate natural elements: woven baskets, leather stools, and cotton napkins.

TOUCH THE SKY. Think about clouds and water when choosing reflective white, blue, and silver objects and hardware. Mirrors are great for staging because they make rooms look bigger. Also consider mirrors in other ways, such as for a tray holding a tea cup and a saucer, or on a wall in an area where there isn't a lot of light.



1. Hardware. Replacing handles, knobs, and hinges is a quick, inexpensive way to enhance kitchen space.

2. Faucet. There are myriad options today in terms of height, spouts, pullout hoses, and folding necks in all price ranges.

3. Lightning. Adding a LED under cabinet light can have a dramatic effect for about $40.

4. Organization. Over the door hooks, baskets, drawer organizers, and stackable shelves for cabinets will add appeal for less than $100.

5. Countertops. Laminate can mimic the contemporary look of granite at a significant discount, for roughly $1,575 for average size kitchen. The same space in granite would cost about $2,400. 



as international purchases surged to 16 billion in 2016.


Home ownership still pays! According to a recent Fed survey of Consumer finances, owner's wealth exceeds that of a renter by a factor of 50, a median of $205,200 versus a median of $4,200.

 Ithaca is NUMBER ONE collegetown in the nation according to American Institute for Economic Research. The cities with population under 250,000 residents with greater than 15,000 students were judged on academic environment, quality of life, and professional opportunity.

 Ithaca in the news:, leading website in providing consumers with regional demographic and economic data, included Ithaca in the "Top 10 Small Towns" and "Top 10 Recreational Cities" in their annual issue of "America's Top Places to Live".
Cornell launches $100 million fund to recruit faculty
David Skorton

Cornell faces an unprecedented number of faculty retirements over the next decade. The university sees that challenge as an unprecedented opportunity: the chance to recruit outstanding new faculty -- the next generation's Alison Luries, Carl Sagans and Barbara McClintocks.

A $100 million Cornell Faculty Renewal Fund will leverage that opportunity, enabling the university to significantly accelerate hiring of faculty over the next five years, funded through philanthropy and university dollars. "Hiring new faculty is a clear sign that we are emerging healthier and better positioned for the future," President David Skorton recently wrote in an e-mail to the campus community. "This will allow us to build strength in strategically important areas and shape Cornell for a generation or more."

A $5 million gift from David Croll '70, chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees' Finance Committee, has kicked off the initiative, which will pay for such incentives as salary, startup funds for laboratories, library acquisitions and research stipends.

"We want to be leaders, not just competitive, in what we provide for faculty to come to Cornell," said Provost Kent Fuchs. Two factors catalyzed the initiative, he added.

First, Cornell's Strategic Plan makes faculty excellence a top priority. In part that's because a significant proportion of current professors are likely to retire in the next 10 years. In 2008-09, nearly half of the faculty was 55 or older and nearly one-third was 60 or older.

Other universities are facing the same situation -- and will be vying for replacements. "You don't want to hire in the middle of that storm," said Croll, a managing general partner at M/C Ventures. "You want to get great people here, putting down roots and then let the hiring tsunami begin. If we can make that a priority, then Cornell will do extremely well."

Second are market conditions. The national financial downturn in 2008-09 slowed the ability of many universities -- including Cornell -- to hire. Now an abundance of exceptional academics are hunting for jobs, said Dean of Faculty William Fry. "There is a really excellent pool from which to select. ... It's a buyer's market."

G. Peter Lepage, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said an aggressive program of hiring over the next few years will give Cornell a long-lasting advantage. "The excellent faculty we hire now, at various stages in their careers, will do more than any other single factor to define our institution for the next few decades."

The goal is to hire new faculty three to four years before a senior professor retires. That will enable Cornell to take advantage of market conditions. And it will give younger faculty time to assume senior roles and gain visibility in their disciplines.

The fund will apply to all colleges and schools, and Fuchs has asked deans to make faculty hiring their first priority and to prioritize the areas in which they will recruit, he said. Donors may designate faculty renewal gifts to a specific college or school or to be used at the discretion of the provost.

A $50 million Faculty Renewal Sesquicentennial Challenge will match multiyear gift commitments of $500,000 or more from donors on a dollar-for-dollar basis with university funds.



 The housing market today contrasts sharply with predictions a decade ago that the Internet would "disintermediate" real estate agents. In reality the number of realtors has grown dramatically. Today 90% of homebuyers and 86% of sellers work with a real estate agent. The median selling price of a  house listed by an agent on average is 16% higher than of a house sold directly by an owner.

Ten home improvements with best return on investment:

Wood deck addition - 85%

Siding replacement - 84%

Minor kitchen remodeling - 83%

Window replacement - 80%

Bathroom remodeling - 78%

Major kitchen remodeling - 78%

Attic bedroom remodeling - 77%

Basement remodeling - 75%

Two-story addition - 74%

Garage addition - 70%


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