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Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

If You’re Thinking About Building in the Rochester Area You May Want to Take a Spring Road Trip!

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Mar 5, 2018 @ 06:03 AM

Thinking About Building In the Rochester Area Take a Spring Road TripWe’re approaching that time around Rochester when the ice begins to give way to the first blossoms. Officially, the first day of spring is March 20th this year (and the long-range forecast for Rochester on that day calls for a high of only 33 degrees—not very spring-like!). Still, if you’re thinking about building in the Rochester area you may want to take a spring road trip!

Why take a road trip this time of year if you’re planning to build a new home? Choosing where you want to build is an extremely important part of the homebuilding process. In fact, you could argue that where you choose to live is as important as the floor plan you choose for your home. And while you can look at floor plans online, it's a bit more difficult to get a sense of what a community is like just from online images.

We build homes in communities all across the greater Rochester area, including Webster, Perinton, Victor, Ontario, and Canandaigua—just to name a few. You can read descriptions about the communities (click on the links shown here) and their amenities. You can even check out photos of what the town looks like. But there’s nothing quite like visiting the communities themselves to get a feel for what it actually feels like.

A short road trip will let you see for yourself what traffic is like, where the stores are, how far it is to schools and work. You can get a feel for the general lifestyle of the community and see if you think it’s a good fit. Another thing to consider is that a description (or even a picture) of a lot doesn’t really tell you much about what that piece of property is like.

That doesn't mean you can't do a little homework ahead of time to narrow down your search a bit. We invite you to check out the communities where we’re currently building. Simply click on the name of the community and you'll see sitemaps and photos of the area. Then if you see some communities that appeal to your family, you can head off for a first-hand look. If you can't find what you're looking for in any of those communities, you can also search for property (or houses) by zip code.

But once you’ve done some preliminary research, there’s just no substitute for seeing a community for yourself to see if it feels like a good match for your family’s needs and lifestyle. And doing that now can put you a step ahead in the process of building your new home when the weather is no longer a factor.

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Topics: Rochester NY, Building a New Home, Selecting a Home Site

What Makes The Rochester Area a Great Place to Live

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 20:01 PM

What-Makes-The-Rochester-Area-a-Great-Place-to-Live.jpgWhy is this a great place? This may not be a typical scene for the Rochester area in January, but it’s a good reminder of one of the reasons people love this region. Spring and summer can be absolutely delightful. Whether you’re enjoying relaxing by a riverbank, or enjoying the breeze coming off Lake Ontario (or off the water in the Finger Lakes region), it's awfully nice. Of course, there's more to the area than nice places to relax. What makes the Rochester area a great place to live? Let's take a quick look.

  • It Offers a Great Balance of Big and Small: Built on the banks of Lake Ontario, Rochester is the third largest city in New York which means you’ll have access to all the amenities of a larger population center. It’s a large city with a small town feel. And the areas around Rochester are full of small-town charm and character. Communities such as Canandaigua, Webster, Ontario, and Mendon provide quiet and relaxed places to raise a family.
  • An Abundance of Affordable Housing Choices: Housing in the area is very affordable and there is no shortage of choices when it comes to finding a home design that fits your specific lifestyle. You can take your pick from many floor plans that include Colonial homes, 1st Floor Master plans, Patio homes, Ranch homes, Cape homes, and even homes that are designed with In-Law layouts.
  • Area Attractions: If you want to get away for a weekend or even a day trip, the Rochester area has lots to keep you entertained. You can catch a concert in Syracuse (known for its jazz festivals). Or you could take a quick trip over to catch some of the most incredible water scenery at famous Niagara Falls. And while those falls are world-renowned, there are plenty of other things to do in the area.  Here’s a post that highlights some of the other great activities you’ll find in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Great Dining: Rochester resident love their food—and you'll find a wide variety of great dining opportunities in Rochester and the surrounding area, including American, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and more.

There are plenty of reasons to live in the greater Rochester area, but what if your home no longer meets your needs? What if your family has grown and you need more space? Or what if you happen to be a mature couple and want a home that will allow you to stay where you are without moving?

We specialize in home remodeling and additions. Whether you need a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, a home addition for more space, or even an In-law addition to accommodate aging parents—we can help!

And if you are looking for a new home, we build a wide range of home styles (click here for a look at the various plans) in a number of communities throughout the East Rochester area. You can find the home you want in the community you want virtually anywhere around Rochester.

This may not be the best time of year for stretching out along the riverbank, but there are plenty of reasons to enjoy Rochester all-year long. And now is a great time to think ahead about remodeling or building so that you can enjoy the great spring and summer weather!

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Topics: Rochester NY, Selecting a Home Site

The Home Site Selection Process—How Gerber Can Help!

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Aug 5, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

Gerber-Homes-Home-Site-Selection-ProcessYou can’t be too careful when choosing the right homesite for your new Rochester-area home. Where you choose to live can be every bit as important as the floor plan you choose for your home. There are two major factors that you should consider when choosing a home site. One is the community you'll be living in, and the other is the physical condition of the lot itself. Let's look briefly at both.

Your Prospective Community

Some homeowners want to build in a place that offers great views or gives them easy access to water. That could mean looking for a site nearer to Lake Ontario—or down closer to the Finger Lakes area. Some people want easy access to Rochester for work or other activities.

For many homeowners, however,  the location they choose isn’t merely about convenience to shopping or an easy commute to work. They want to build a home in a place where they can also build community and feel comfortable with the residents living around them. The good news is that Gerber offers opportunities in a wide range of locations around the Rochester area.

The Physical Characteristics of Your Potential Lot

After giving it some consideration, most prospective homeowners don’t have that much trouble picking a community. But when it comes to selecting the specific lot they plan to build on, they can find themselves facing things they may not be prepared to deal with.

That's because the physical characteristics of your potential lot can have a huge impact on the kind of house you can build—and even the ultimate cost of building your home. For instance, when you're considering lots, you may find one that is more reasonably priced than other lots. It may look great to you and fit your budget better, but is it the right lot?

Often there are things about a lot that aren’t readily observable to the untrained eye. And sometimes it’s those unseen characteristics that can end up costing you time and money when you build your home. If that inexpensive lot you have your eye on requires a lot of grading to get it ready to build on that’s going to cost you money. What looked like a deal can actually end up costing your more!

There are other things to consider. How easy is it to access the utilities that you’ll need? Are there building or zoning restrictions that you’re not aware of? All of those things can significantly impact the desirability and affordability of a home site you’re considering.

That’s where Gerber can help. We’ll work with you to find the right lot for your family’s home—whether it’s in one of our own developments or a piece of property you own. Or we can help you find property elsewhere and determine what it’s going to cost you to build on that site.  Click here for a short and helpful video in which I highlight our process for helping you select the site that will best suit your needs and budget.

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Topics: Selecting a Home Site, Home Building Tips

“Discover the Promise” in Greece, NY

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jul 16, 2017 @ 06:07 AM

TheTownofGreece.jpg

The motto for the town of Greece is, “Discover the Promise.” There is plenty of promise in this town of about 96,000 located just five miles northwest of Rochester.  And while it’s just one of many areas where Gerber Homes builds, it's definitely worth its own look!

The town’s history goes back to 1822 when it was originally established as Northampton and was part of the town of Gates. The French explorer LaSalle visited the area originally inhabited by the Seneca Indians, in 1669, and the first permanent settlement was established in 1792. The town’s name was changed to Greece in support of the Greeks who were fighting for independence from Turkish rule.

In the early 1800s, trade from the Great Lakes made the community a transportation hub and a major supplier of farm produce to the new and growing nation. Agriculture remained the dominant enterprise in Greece for many years, until the Eastman Kodak Company emerged as the region’s largest employer.

Today, as a residential community, it still holds plenty of promise for residents. There is an abundance of recreation in the area and much of it takes advantage of the large expanse of undeveloped land and the more than 8 miles of shoreline along Lake Ontario. There are a number of bike trails in town. The town's bike trail extends from the Canal to Lake Ontario.  There are also trails along the New York State Erie Canal.

The Town also maintains 17 park areas. Of the 764 acres that make up these parks, only 189 acres are developed areas that contain 13 baseball diamonds, 10 soccer fields, 3 combination football/soccer fields, 8 basketball courts, 20 tennis courts, 2 volleyball courts 16 playgrounds, a skate park, 2 disc golf courses, and several nature trails. The remaining lands are used for passive recreation.

Greece is also home to a very popular public library that receives more than 500,000 visits annually. A new main library facility was completed in 2000 and provides 35,000 square feet of space for books and other media used by the library patrons.

The town hosts numerous special events including  Concerts at the Greece Town Hall.There are great things to do in the area as well, such as taking a Finger Lakes Wine Tour with a professional driver.  Or you can head to Rochester and take a tour of the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House.

If you’re thinking about building in or around Greece, you’ll want to check out the many floor plans Gerber Homes offers that can be built in the area. Whether you’re looking for a patio home, a ranch home, a Cape-style home or something with a 1st-floor master suite—you'll find it here.

Photo from www.greceny.gov

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Topics: Building a New Home, Selecting a Home Site

Brighton & Pittsford: Distinctive Small Town Character with Easy Access to Rochester

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 @ 09:07 AM

Brighton & Pittsford: Distinctive Small Town Character with Easy Access to Rochester

If you work in the Rochester area—but would like to live in a place that’s a little less busy and a little more open—there are a couple of towns in the area that you may want to check out before building a new home. Both Brighton and Pittsford give you easy access to the greater Rochester area—and yet retain their own distinctive character.

Brighton is a smaller community of about 37,000 residents that has plenty to offer. This time of year you can take advantage of their annual Summer Concert Seriesthat runs for six weeks.The concerts are free to the public and are handicap accessible. Contact the Recreation Department 585-784-5260 with questions or check out the 2017 Summer Concert Schedule.

You can also take advantage of theBrighton Farmers’ Market. This weekly, producer-only market was founded in 2008 as part of the Town’s Color Brighton Green initiative. Sponsored by the town, the market helps promote environmental sustainability among Brighton residents and businesses. Click here for additional information.

The town is also home to six park sites and various recreation areas encompassing 350 acres that feature playgrounds, lodges, pavilions, pools, sports fields, picnic facilities, walking trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, and more.

Brighton & Pittsford: Distinctive Small Town Character with Easy Access to Rochester

Pittsford is another smaller community (with a population of just under 30,000) in the Rochester area that has a long history. The Town of Pittsford was settled in 1796 and incorporated in 1827. There are a number of buildings within the community that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Adsit Cobblestone Farmhouse, Cole Cobblestone Farmhouse, Gates-Livermore Cobblestone Farmhouse, Mendon Cobblestone Academy, Mendon Presbyterian Church, Miller–Horton–Barben Farm, Sheldon Cobblestone House, Stewart Cobblestone Farmhouse, and Whitcomb Cobblestone Farmhouse.

Today, Pittsford is more likely to be known for golf since the LPGA Championship has been hosted at Locust Hill Country Club repeatedly. Pittsford’s Oak Hill Country Club hosted the 1995 Ryder Cup, as well as the 1956, 1968 and 1989 United States Opens. It was also the site of the PGA Championships in 1980, 2003, and 2013.

Golf isn’t the only pro sport in town. Every August the Buffalo Bills of the NFL also have their summer training camp at St. John Fisher College.

Pittsford boasts 11 town parks within its borders including Great Embankment and Thornell Farm Park. Lock 62 and Erie Canal trail offer a look at the historic double lock, and the Isaac Gordon Nature Park offers hiking trails and cross-country skiing. Powder Mill Park has a ski lift and a creek that is popular with trout fisherman while Mendon Ponds includes a vast trail system and some of the most unique geology in the area.

Prior to the 1950s, Pittsford was a largely agricultural community with a distinctly rural character that was home to many family-owned farms. The area still retains that flavor and character.

Both communities are great places to live and provide easy access to Rochester. Gerber Homes offers a wide range of floor plans that can be built in either Brighton or Pittsford, ranging from the cozy 2-bedroom 1 bath, 1,040 square foot Hampshire to the 3,605 square foot Walton that offers 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths and a 1 bedroom 1 bath “In Law” apartment. And there are plenty of other options in between! Click here to view the many different floor plans available.

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Topics: Custom homes, Rochester NY, brighton ny, pittsford ny, Building a New Home, Selecting a Home Site

Looking for Fun Around Irondequoit?

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, May 15, 2017 @ 13:05 PM

Looking-for-Fun-Around-Irondequoit.jpgIf you’re like a lot of people in the Rochester area, you’ve had enough cabin fever to last you for a few months! It’s time to get out and enjoy the area. But what’s there to do around the Irondequoit area? We’re glad you asked! Here are a few things you and your family can enjoy without having to go too far.

Visit the Zoo:  Explore the world of animals at Seneca Park Zoo. Click here for more information and online ticketing.

Amuse Yourself at Seabreeze: With more than 70 great attractions, Seabreeze Amusement Park offers fun for the whole family. Check out thrill rides such as the Time Machine, the Jack Rabbit Rollercoaster (the oldest continuously operating roller coaster in America!), the Whirlwind, and more.  There are rides for the whole family, such as the Great Balloon Race, an old-fashioned carousel, and Twirlin’ Tea Cups. There are also rides that little ones can enjoy on their own that include the Bear Trax roller coaster, Barnstormers bi-planes, and T-Birds car rides. And the whole family can enjoy a world of water with the six adventures in the Seabreeze Water Park. Click here for more information!

Make Learning Fun: Just a short drive south will take you to the Rochester Museum & Science Center where you can immerse yourself in the incredible world of science. Follow your curiosity from the depths of the oceans to the edge of the universe. Push the limits of your imagination to create never-before-seen inventions. All at the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. During the summer months, there are even “Curiosity Camps” that offer hands-on fun for children aged 2-15. Click here for additional information.

Hike, Bike, and More: If you really want to enjoy nature that hasn’t been overdeveloped, you’ll enjoy hiking and biking at Tyron Park. The park’s 82 acres are largely undeveloped and afford great opportunities to take in some spectacular natural scenic areas. Located off Tryon Road off of North Winton Road between Browncroft and Empire Boulevards, Tyron Park is great for Birdwatching; Fishing; Geo-caching; Hiking/Running; Off-road Cycling; and

Cross-Country Skiing (on ungroomed trails), and Snowshoeing (although we recommend you wait for the winter months for the last two activities!) Click here for a view of the trail map and other information.

If you’re wondering what there is to do in and around Irondequoit, this is just a sample of what’s in your backyard!

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Topics: Selecting a Home Site, Irondequoit, NY

Niagara Falls: One More Reason Living in the Rochester Area is Great

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Apr 1, 2017 @ 20:04 PM

Niagara-Falls-One-More-Reason-Living-in-the-Rochester-Area-is-Great.jpgOne great advantage to living in the greater Rochester area is that we’re just 85 miles from one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world. Nature lovers, honeymooners, daredevils from all over the world travel to Niagara Falls to experience the thundering roar of 600,000 gallons of water falling right before their eyes.

Because of its close proximity, it can be easy for those of us in the area to take the Falls for granted. But here are a few fun facts (courtesy of www.niagara-usa.com) that you may not be aware of—even though the Falls are in your own back yard!

  • Niagara Falls is comprised of three waterfalls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls.
  • Niagara Falls' vertical height is over 176 feet in some sections.
  • The American and Bridal Veil Falls were turned off in 1969 by the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers to study the effects of erosion—and will be turned off again soon to allow the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to rebuild two, 115-year-old bridges.
  • The first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel was 63-year-old school teacher Annie Edson Taylor.
  • The Cave of the Winds attraction at Niagara Falls is torn down and re-built every year.
  • Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest State Park in the United States.
  • At one time, P.T. Barnum wanted to turn Goat Island (inside Niagara Falls State Park) into a circus ground.
  • Energy from the Niagara River has been harnessed for hydro-electric power generation as far back as the mid-eighteenth century.
  • More than eight million people visit Niagara Falls USA every year.
  • Fish travel over Niagara Falls and most of them survive because of their ability to flow with the water and fall into the pool at the base of the Falls (most people aren’t so lucky!).

There is much more to do around the Niagara Falls area than just gaze at the incredible sights. Along the lower banks of the river (beneath the Falls) you’ll find the Niagara Wine Trail, USA where you can explore and sample a delightful variety of New York wines. There are wine tours and events year-round that provide opportunities for wine tasting. You can even opt for a limo or bus tour package. 

And while Niagara Falls is a great day trip from the Rochester area, you may want to linger a while for some adult fun at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino. Spend the night, visit the casino for some gaming, enjoy a fine meal, or catch a show. And you can still catch one more glimpse of the fabulous falls on your way back home!

Easy access to Niagara Falls is just one of the things that people love about living in the Finger Lakes region. I invite you to click here to check out the homes we’ve created for families in the area to help them enjoy life in the Rochester area more fully—for years to come!

 

 

Topics: Rochester NY, Selecting a Home Site

Take Your Pick of Places, Plans, and Properties for Your New Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 06:06 AM

Take-your-pick-of-places-plans-and-properties-for-your-new-home_copy_2If you’ve begun the search for a new home in the Rochester area, you may occasionally feel as if your options are awfully limited. There are times when it seems that the choices builders offer you are: “My Way” or “The Highway.” That’s not much of a choice! 

When you’re selecting your new home, there are a few things that are really important: The Place (location), the Plan (design), and the Property (surroundings). You should be the one who gets to pick what fits your preference and your family’s lifestyle. 

Places

Where you live matters—a lot. You may want to be close to work. You may like the schools in a certain area. Maybe you have family or friends in the area and you want to stay close. Or you just may like the feel of a certain community. Whatever your reasons, you need to be the one to choose what’s right for you. That’s why Gerber Homes has communities in Webster, Canandaigua, Perinton, Ontario, Macedon, Mendon, Sodus, Ionia, Williamson, Farmington, Penfield, Victor, Marion, Huron, East Bloomfield, Rush, and Fairhaven. You get to choose. 

Plans

The style of the home you build and the specific layout of your home is also really important. Sometimes, however, you may run into situations where a builder only builds a few styles of homes—and doesn’t offer much in the way of differing floor plans.  Gerber offers a wide variety of styles and plans, including: Colonial (more than 50 plans), First-floor Master Bedrooms (5 unique plans), Patio Homes (9 different plans), Cape Homes (7 great choices), and In-Law Layouts (10 distinct options). Again, it’s your choice. 

Properties

The location of your new home is much more than just the address. You want to live in a place that feels right for you. Not everybody has the same desires, however, when it comes to their surroundings. That’s why our selection of lots and communities includes: Lakeview and wooded homes, Meadows, Walkouts, Patio homes, country settings, established communities, golf course communities, open space and walking trails, acreage, open space, and park views. 

When it comes to deciding on your new home, choice is a beautiful thing. It’s your home and your future, so make sure you get to make the choices you want about the place you want to live, the plans you want, and the property you’ll live on.

 

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Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Building a New Home, Home Design, Selecting a Home Site

Want the Perfect Rochester-area Home? Plan For It!

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Dec 26, 2014 @ 19:12 PM

Want-the-perfect-Rochester-area-home-plan-for-itDream homes don’t just happen—you have to build them. And before you can build them, you need to plan them. So if you want the perfect Rochester-area home for your family, you’ll need to find the perfect plan. Ah but how do you select the perfect plan for your home? 

One way is to review floor plans to see if they match your lifestyle.  For instance, the Chelsea in Briarwood Estates (pictured here) is one of our featured floor plans. It’s a 1707 square foot 3 bedroom, 2-bathroom single-level home with an open floor plan. 

The open plan means you can entertain guests in the dining room/great room without being hidden away in a closed-in kitchen. You’ve got two bedrooms for kids (or guests) and the master bedroom (with walk-in closet and master bath) is conveniently located on the same level. The attached garage (with extra storage) is ideal for those cold and snowy Rochester winters. It’s a great plan for people who want single-level living (a real plus for folks who want to stay in their home longer). 

But is this the perfect plan for you? That all depends on your wants and needs. Obviously, the “perfect” floor plan for one family isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. That’s why it’s a good idea to think through your lifestyle before deciding on a floor plan. 

Do you do formal entertaining, or are most of your events more casual? Do you need a lot of storage space? Is having a separate room for children to play in important? Will you be working from home? Is having a separate craft room a plus. What if you want more space? What if you’d prefer a larger kitchen? What if you need space for a home office? Or what if you want your children’s rooms on a second level—away from noise and guests? 

You get the idea. Figure out what things are important to you first. Make some notes. Then begin looking for a floor plan that matches the lifestyle described in your notes. Even then, you’ll want to have a variety of options. 

We have dozens of floor plans from which to choose. Take a look and find one that’s perfect for your specific lifestyle. The perfect Rochester home begins with the perfect plan.

Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Building a New Home, Home Design, Selecting a Home Site

3 Things to Think About Before You Decide to Build in the Rochester Area

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 06:12 AM

3-things-to-think-about-before-you-decide-to-build-in-the-Rochester-areaOne of the main reasons people consider building a custom home instead of simply buying an existing home is that they want to make sure they get the home they really want. But there are three particularly important things to think about before beginning a building project in the Rochester area. 

Property: Choosing the property on which your new home sits is a really significant decision. And there’s a lot more to “location” than simply an address. Plus you can’t always tell everything you need to know about a piece of property just by “eyeballing” it. In addition to locating the land, you’ll need to do a site cost evaluation (is it suitable for building). You’ll also need to make sure that the floor plan you have in mind works with the lot. And you’ll need to ensure that you have access to septic, water, and other utilities. 

Plans: We already alluded to the importance of the right floor plan. But you also want a plan that fits your personality and lifestyle. Many builders have just a few from which to choose. We think you ought to have dozens of floor plan choices. And if you don’t like one of ours—bring yours in for review and we’ll be happy to work with that. 

Place: Choosing where you want to live is a bit more involved than just picking out the right parcel of land. It involves picking the right community and surroundings, whether that’s in Webster, Canandaigua, Ontario, Perinton, or other communities in the Rochester area. 

Building a custom home means building it your way: And that means choosing the property that’s right for you, building according to the plan that fits your lifestyle, and living in the place where your family will feel most at home.

Topics: floor plans, Custom homes, Home Design, Selecting a Home Site