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Investing in Property Upgrades and Affordable Housing in Seneca Falls

As the town budget is being drawn up for 2020, Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry has requested double the amount of funding that it received last year in order to undertake essential upgrades to the building. Next year sees the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment which, with Seneca’s historic connection to the suffrage movement, will likely attract many more visitors to the town. For this reason, refurbishing heating systems and renewing flooring can be seen as an investment, as well as simply essential expenditure on maintenance. This principle of looking at long-term investment applies to personal properties in the region, too. For private home owners, funding the right renovations can provide profitable returns and considerably improve the value of an investment property.

Buying and Renovating a Property

According to, the median house price for recently listed properties in Seneca Falls is just over $150,000 — considerably lower than the median for New York State as a whole. There are also several projects underway to create more affordable homes in the area.  Funding has been made available to invest in over 250 affordable apartments in the Finger Lakes area, with a view to continuing community growth and development.

In addition, the first phase of a housing project for veterans and their families has recently been completed on Auburn Road. However, even with a choice of reasonably priced homes in the area, purchasing any property is still a major financial commitment. By taking a closer look at the sizable variation in home loan interest rates, local buyers could significantly lower their monthly mortgage repayments. The money they save is then available for investing in renovations and improvements, which can further increase any potential equity in the property.

Redeveloping Vacant Properties

As well as investing in more affordable homes in the area, Governor Cuomo, along with the Empire State Development Corporation, has helped to set up the Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank Corporation. This is a not-for-profit organization whose aim is to reclaim vacant and abandoned properties and breathe new life into them. After initial assessment of their viability, these properties can be put back to productive use as commercial developments, facilities to be enjoyed by the community or affordable homes for individual families. As reported in March, the Land Bank was looking at buying seven tax-delinquent properties for just $1 each, with a view to removing or redeveloping them. The properties were situated throughout Seneca County, including one in Seneca Falls,.

In a town of historic value like Seneca Falls, ensuring notable buildings and attractions are upgraded and well maintained is essential to preserve interest and attract visitors. However, in a small town, it’s also important to balance preservation with investment in new properties and the maintenance of a vibrant community. Here, all buildings are put to good use and  residents are able to enjoy and invest in their own property.

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