Message from the President

by Joe Rivellino 

Hello Members,

Young Buyers Prefer Walkable Communities, Says Realtor® Survey

Most potential homebuyers are not only looking for the perfect home, they are also looking for the perfect neighborhood. According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey, when Americans think of their dream neighborhood they often think of a mixed-used, walkable community.

Realtors are community builders and understand the complexities that go into creating a strong and successful community. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all neighborhood, more and more Americans, especially younger ones, are being drawn to mixed-use communities with a combination of homes and business and walkable areas.

Walkability is defined as a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Can someone go grocery shopping on foot? Are there shops and restaurants within walking distance? Are there plenty of sidewalks, and are they well maintained? These are all factors taken into account when determining an area’s walkability.

According to the survey, millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a method of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials are also the generation most likely to make sacrifices to purchase a home in these types of communities, such as buying a smaller home or buying a house without a backyard.

Younger buyers are looking for communities where they can walk to a restaurant and don’t have to drive to pick up their weekly groceries.  However, it is not only millennials who are hoping to move into walkable neighborhoods; these preferences are seen across generations.

Based on the survey, women of all generations are more likely than men to show a preference for walkability, with 61 percent saying that the availability of sidewalks in a community with stores and restaurants to walk to is very important to them. And 48 percent of all respondents answered that they would prefer to live in communities containing houses with small yards but within easy walking distance of the community’s amenities rather than living in communities with houses that have large yards but are driving distance to all amenities.

As their preferences shift from the suburbs to urban centers, homebuyers continue to rely on Realtors to help them find their dream homes and neighborhoods. Realtors are the most trusted resource for real estate information and have unparalleled knowledge of local markets and conditions, helping their clients to fulfill their real estate goals.

I have a special email “Joe on the Go” for you to keep in touch with me and sending your questions or comments any time, on any subject 24/7/365.

New Product at the BNAR Store

BNAR has partnered with to create awareness riders for your real estate lawn sign.  Breast Cancer and Support Our Troops Awareness Riders is our introduction to this new program and are available at the BNAR for $7.00 including two pins, one for each side.  One hundred percent of the proceeds go to Hope Chest Buffalo and Western New York Heroes.  Call Kelly at the BNAR 636-9000.

Two avenues to get up to speed on the new TILA/RESPA Requirements

New Integrated Disclosure Requirement Goes Into Effect October 3, 2015 and Real Estate salespersons will likely be answering questions asked by the clients with whom they work with.   Here is a one-hour course that will get you quickly up to speed so you will be ready for the changes that will affect the lending and real estate industry, distilling the 1,888 pages of implementation requirements down into an overview that should help you answer questions buyers and sellers are sure to have.   Register using this link.

NAR in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau developed a new website designed to help real estate professionals understand the changes to the closing process and how to explain them to consumers.  Use this link to the website.

BNAR Annual Meeting & Director Election Event

All members are invited to attend the BNAR Director Election and Annual Meeting which will take place on Wednesday, October 21 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.  Join us for hors d’oeuvres and beverages, network with others and celebrate with the winners of this year’s election.  Please register through Internet Member Services.

Realtor® Diane Benczkowski Victorious in Cheektowaga Supervisor Primary

Diane Benczkowski, a local Realtor and BNAR member, has defeated her Democratic opponent in the September 10th Cheektowaga primary race and is now the presumptive supervisor-elect in Cheektowaga as there is no Republican candidate.  Ms. Benczkowski won by a 326 vote margin with 4,070 votes cast.  A past school board member and current town council official, Diane garnered the endorsement of the local Democratic party but was opposed by the outgoing supervisor and some party leaders in her community, making her a slight underdog in the race.

The Realtor® Action Committee (RAC) played a significant role in Benczkowski's victory.  The local, state and national Realtor® associations put together an independent expenditure campaign which included phone calls, radio advertisements, on-line ads and direct mail pieces in her support.  The candidate was also financially supported by the Realtor® Political Action Committee.  This is all part of a national effort to support Realtors® who run for political office in order to support the rights of homeowners and the real estate profession.

On behalf of all of the members throughout Western New York, we congratulate Ms. Benczkowski on her victory, extend our best wishes for her upcoming term, and offer her our assistance during her tenure. 

West Herr Benefits
BNAR Realtor Team Store
Key Communicator Kickoff