The Heart Of The ROC… Location! Location! Location!
March 12, 2020
My childhood home is located on Flower City Park in the 10th ward aka the Maplewood neighborhood. To me, the 10th ward was the best neighborhood to grow up in! My dad was spot on picking this one even though his main concern wasn’t a great neighborhood for us kids but more so a neighborhood that was suitable for his lifestyle at the time. At the time of my dad’s house hunting he didn’t have a car, he was employed at KODAK, and had a family of 5 to support. I would assume that he needed a place close to work, in an area that would allow his children to attend a good school, and be in close proximity to a church that was of a Catholic faith.
As I have learned through my 16 years as a Realtor, “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION” ! This is always number one when looking to buy a home. But what does that really mean? At the beginning of my real estate career it was so hard for me to understand that whole concept.
LOCATION ,LOCATION ,LOCATION??? It took me many years to figure out that there really isn’t one answer that suits everyone. The best location is different to each person. Yes! It IS about the “location” but that is based on the buyer’s needs!! Once I understood the location concept on that level I was able to help my clients find their homes based on their life style as it coincides with their location needs.
To help you understand me a bit more let’s get back to my Dad finding the best home for our family. Our house was in a very close proximity to my Dad’s job at KODAK Park (like less then a 10 min walk). I know my dad would of been fine with having a longer walking commute to work. I remember he and my mom would tell us kids how back in Haiti they would have to walk miles to school, back home for lunch and back again to school then finally back home again!. I’m pretty sure many of you also have heard that from your parents too, lol! As my dad was an immigrant from Haiti, I also think that my Dad’s great friend, Dr. Miller, may have also helped my dad find our home. In my experience, it’s great to have anoth
er set of eyes and thoughts when making such a decision. Sometimes when you’re looking for something, it may be best to share your goals/plans with those close to you and ask them to be part of the process as they often have valuable insight!
Dr.Miller helped my Dad to see that he should look for a home very close to KODAK because in the US it’s not the norm to walk miles back and forth for his daily commute. Being that Dr. Miller and my Dad were friends for some time before my dad purchased his first home, he had a good understanding of my Dad’s lifestyle at that time which was simple: Legliz, Travay, Lakay, (translation…Church, Work, and his family.) My family was raised in strong faith household and I know for a fact that having a church within walking distance was a must!! For us kids it was the 3 L’s Legliz, Lekòl, Lakay (translation… Church, School, Home) True story this is a being raised in a Haitian household #facts !! lol. My siblings and I all attended Sacred Heart School, Nazareth, or Aquinas and our whole family attended Sacred Heart Church EVERY Sunday rain, sleet, or shine! My brother (Sonny) and I were the last of the kids in the house and we went to church throughout our early teenage years. Our church was like 5 houses away from our home along with Sacred Heart School being right across the street from the church. Nazareth and Aquinas were less than a 15 minute walk. Yup, my dad’s life style was all within a 15 min walk for him and then some!
The Maplewood community not only had my dad’s needs, but the needs of us kids as well. I know when he was house hunting he wasn’t thinking about us kids being close to the two things that he held so dearly; church and school. But to our enjoyment the 10th ward, aka Maplewood neighborhood, also had multiple parks. These included the Genesee Riverway Trail, Seneca Park(and zoo), and Rose Garden. There was also a YMCA, multiple corner stores and small bakeries, a Wegman’s, a movie theater, and most importantly, the best childhood friends and memories that still last to this day! Yes the times have changed in the hood (Maplewood) that I see. Like a lot of city neighborhoods, there aren’t as many kids doing what we did: riding bikes , playing football/kickball in the streets, racing, playing tag and hide and seek!
I have memories from each and every park here in my hood. Some of my fondest memories would have to be ice skating at Maplewood Park over on the frozen pond. We would skate for hours it seemed like each and every weekend during the winter time. I remember I was too hyped when, while shopping at Kmart as a child, I saw a pair of ice skates. I just knew my mom would say “No” to buying them but she said yes!!! You couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t the coolest kid on the ice as I had my own pair of ice skates…no rentals for this girl anymore!!! LOL!! Then sledding over at the Rose Garden!!! All of us neighborhood kids would meet up and go sledding down that crazy hill. Even though we were all scared of sliding too far and going off the cliff, we still had a blast and that thought didn’t stop us. We would all have a plan that if you passed the last big tree, you would just jump off your sled so we didn’t end up dead going over into the river. Now I have noticed that they have a break in the grass and a fence up so kids don’t end up going over… I guess the city didn’t have that much love for us kids back in the day lol!
But As an adult I find Maplewood to be an even more beautiful and spectacular ‘hood. I still love the many amazing parks… Maplewood Park, The Rose Garden, the tennis courts on Maplewood Dr. That is my go to park for my dog Jax to run around. I find myself relaxed while I’m there, in times that I am stressed and just need the Earth to encourage me and to rebuild my strength. The trees there are beautiful and HUGE and looking at their size amazes me! The Rose Garden park is oh so beautiful and the smell from its roses can be detected for miles. They are many different colors and the soft, sweet, smell of the roses is my place to just spark that great vibe!! Every summer my husband and I enjoy the Rose Garden Festival. The Rose Garden is even where my hubby and I had our wedding pictures taken over 15 years ago! Trust me we aren’t the only ones who admire this park . During Spring, Prom and the summer time…it’s almost a guarantee that a weekend doesn’t go by that pictures aren’t being taken there as its beauty draws many near and far.
My absolute favorite spot in the Maplewood would have to be the Genesee Riverway Trail. I had a ball on the trail as a teenager and through my adulthood. This trail itself is over 24 miles long and is very scenic! Offering waterfalls, boardwalks, parks, nature and stunning city views!! I must say the board walk in Turning Point Park is my favorite part as well… Along with the part of the trail that takes you down past the Seneca Zoo. If you time your walk right, you can enjoy the sounds of the lions roaring at the Zoo. It’s a sound of astonishment to me because the bass from their roars shakes the ground!!! and my soul lol! I am still making memories here in the Maplewood… I too, purchased my first home in the Maplewood over 19 years ago and I am still there.
When shopping for your home, I feel that its not about the house but it’s more so about your needs along with your lifestyle at the time. Try not to get too caught up in “this home is beautiful, it has everything we’ve been looking for!” Try to also look at the neighborhood along with the amenities within. Take the time and be sure that it matches up with your life style and include those needs into your house hunting; they’re just as important as your amenities within the home. Ask your family and close friends home buying questions whether it’s your second home or your dream home purchase. They may give you feedback that you totally needed but never thought of. Attend a home buying workshop! Realtors are professionals of buying and selling real estate so trust them! A little education can save you some equity!