Your Real Estate "Fashionista"
April 10, 2020
COVID-19 and Social Distancing
No school for at least three weeks, only 50% of work force is required to report, then things changed to only essential workers … WOW this is real! But those who know me, know I stay positive! So let’s look at the silver lining of COVID-19. Ok I think this could be cool?!! It’s kind of like time is standing still; no schedules, no appointments, and a pause on business meetings and personal to do’s. Truly time for me and what I want to do. This is truly a time to value what we all really need and have … Shelter, food, family, pets, and friends. This could be a blessing to stay home and social distance. That also means no events to attend. OK, I like this! Now we get to go with OUR OWN daily routine and flow for the next few weeks maybe even month(s). (I like to think outside of the government’s target date on which it comes to when we can be back to somewhat of what our lives used to be). Let me share how I processed COVID-19, social distancing and quarantining; as a wife, mother, small business owner and chemo patient.
There are people that I have to care for and guide during this time. Rae, my youngest who is a sophomore, and my oldest daughter, Dezaray, who lives on her own. But you really couldn’t tell based on the amount of time she spends here at our house, and my husband Ray. When my youngest (Rae) expressed to me her concerns about the corona virus and how it’s affecting her lifestyle as a student she said “Mom! No school for two weeks… I’m gonna be so bored oh my goodness! Mom, what about jr. prom? It’s not going to be canceled right? I need to get back into school for my Regents and AP exams, I need the classroom environment and one on one time with my teachers especially! Mom! I can still play sports right? That’s social distancing right? … well it could be, they can have a practice but also be 6 feet apart? Will I be able to practice softball and soccer?” Then it hits me … how do I keep my youngest daughter from not stressing out and my oldest to keep her butt at home, and reassure my husband that I’m taking all of the precautions on my end? As he has an essential job, he has his own worries about not having any PPE at his job, and not getting himself into a situation where he may have to self-quarantine due to him being in contact with a person who may have the corona virus. My family will drive themselves crazy if they don’t get out of their heads and back to a free-range atmosphere. How can I help them to go with the flow and stop over thinking so much? I am the captain of our ship (when it comes to caring for the family and being sure we all are safe). I am thankful that I have raised my family in the church and that we all have a great relationship with God. We’ve all seen his miracles and blessing on many many situations and challenges we’ve been through. But I still have to keep the water steady during the next few weeks here in Rochester NY. I have to guide our ship and keep it afloat during this new lifestyle. We all have to adapt and do so quickly!
I know that I have to be the one able to keep them on the path of “every little thing is gonna be all right.” But how do I get it into their heads? Having to be socially distant as well as hunker down at home. Due to the past five years of me having to go through this marathon of a recovery with my cancer journey. I think I have this in the bag! I started reflecting on what I did to keep my mind and thoughts positive through out my journey with no medication for stress or gasify, put all my faith at God’s feet. Now how do I get my family to truly not stress and put 100% of your faith within the Lord?
At first I looked at this time as an opportunity to organize my real estate firm. Such as creating new goals, as well as marketing and advertising strategies, and finish up all those business related tasks that I’ve pushed aside due to the always adding new priorities to the top of my daily tasks. Then I focused on my home let’s clean it … Like really clean it; organize and get rid of clutter and other items that we don’t use and put away certain items that are no longer in season at this time. That worked out great for the first week and a half but I kind of like my home to be a bit messy. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not a slob but I like a little mess. I guess I like to have a sense of … it’s ok to not be organized and orderly all the time. It gives me a sense of it’s fine to chill even when everything isn’t done. So yeah cleaning and dancing around the house was short lived and that didn’t go well for the girls. I now have Dezaray calling me talking about she is about to go here and over there with this person and I have Rae bugging about no damn junior prom and should she order a dress because she is going to stay positive and just keep planning for the prom as if all will be back to normal. Now my family has me bugging and all I can think to myself is Carmie, you’ve got to get your family out of their own heads so they can stop messing with mine! Keep busy that’s what I tell myself I’m gonna keep busy.
Then I get to thinking … this is a great time to just spend time! When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Myloma I prayed to God for more time, more time with my family. As I was getting more and more concerned about the mental well being of my family and not wanting their personal fears and thoughts to become more positive and look at things we can all be thankful for, God was like have them lean on me like you did and still do in your times of need as well as support. “Right! You right my G!” Time with my immediate family just the four of us. But with Dezaray it was such a challenge. She’s very social and likes to be out and about with her cousins and friends so having to reel her in and understand when I say stay your behind in the damn house I’m just trying to help her and also protect myself. I had to constantly explain to her no game night, wine or dinner. Just keep your ass at home, lol. She may be an adult but she’s still my baby. So we all have time, OK let’s make it MY time. I also started thinking what a blessing! Come on girls let’s go out! No mom you can’t you have to stay home! No I don’t have to stay home but I have to social distance. Let’s go!
And that’s what we did I took them on a journey of mother nature’s beauty. We chilled y’all!!! At several parks within the city of Rochester (Highland, Maplewood, Charlotte beach) we were all over the Genesee river way trail. From the Maplewood, to the U of R, to just gazing at that muddy Genesee river and it’s amazing beauty. We drove around in neighborhoods that, my kids looked at as ghetto. I showed them the art and beauty of those neighborhoods and the community members and now they’re looking forward to more of us just riding out and about the ROC. I haven’t drove around within the city with nothing to do other then just ride and waist gas in years… (Like my early thirties.) Now to have the time with my girls to do just that was the bomb!! I showed them how I fell in love with art. We seen amazing art murals in some places of the city that they felt didn’t seem to offer much of an inspiration and with each outing I seen the stress of COVID-19 dissolve. I see them enjoying the moment in this time! Asking me many questions on how did you know about this and that.
That sparked up many memorable cover stains about myself, my child hood, and the great things about many of the city’s neighborhoods. We also went driving around looking at these luxury homes and even giving me the “Ok. Mom you were right, this trail is cool, this neighborhood is dope! Wow the water is beautiful even if it is muddy and dirty!” I showed them how I see it as God and his beauty in all things! At this time of uncertainty going on in the world I realize that my community in my neighborhood has helped on so many levels to keep myself and my family positive. It helped to get my kids out of their heads and help to share the joys of our community. When we were reflecting we realized we all had smiles on our faces we weren’t complaining or we weren’t asking concerning questions about what if‘s of COVID-19. I shared with them many childhood stories and had moments to go places that I haven’t been in years. I really think they understand how our first home may not be one of those luxurious homes that we drove by, but our community has so much to offer. My daughters were so grateful for our time that day and for that I’m forever thankful! I also feel that they understand that when you are hunting for your first home, dream home, or apartment home, the community and location plays a great role too and not just the amazing kitchen, number of bedrooms, and baths… #theheartoftheroc !!
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!
February 11, 2020
My siblings and I will always have much love for Kodak! Kodak is the REASON we are here! My parents were both born and raised in Haiti; my dad in Port-au-Prince and my mom in Jacmel, a smaller city south of the capital. When I was younger, my father used to always talk about this man Dr. Miller and how good of friends they were. He spoke highly of him and their friendship meant a lot to him. My dad really respected and loved him.
When I was in my late teens, my dad took me to Mt. Hope cemetery and showed me Dr. Miller’s tombstone. I was in awe and did not pay attention to what my dad was saying! I was overwhelmed with the beauty and history of the cemetery. That was my first time inside Mt.Hope Cemetery and if you haven’t done so yourself I highly recommend that you go on a tour! It is one of America’s oldest active municipal burial grounds. There is a wide variety of trees and plants on the grounds, some of which date back to the 1850’s when the adjacent Ellwanger & Barry Nursery donated many of its hybrids and specialty plants to the cemetery. Click here to learn more…
But I wish I had paid attention to what my dad was saying, because now as an adult, I really want to pay my respects to Dr. Miller for all he has done for my self and my family. I have tried to research more about him and what he has done for Kodak and other immigrant families.
Back to my roots! By the age of 12, my father had lost both of his parents and was an orphan in Haiti. Around 1969, Dr. Miller was in Haiti to bring immigrants to work for Kodak using a lottery system. My father heard the news in the community and went and got a ticket. He was one of the lucky ones to win this lottery and come to Rochester to work for Kodak. Winning this lottery meant he had to leave his wife and his four children behind in Haiti to come to America and start working. He did all this to make our lives better! Like most Haitians, my Dad was a devout Catholic. Over the next four years he built a connection with his church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, where our family would later also become involved with. Dad worked to established himself at work and in the community . He purchased a home and brought our family here to America. While in America, because of Haiti’s poor infrastructure, it was difficult for my parents to maintain communication. One day (Early in 1973.), my dad arrived in Haiti and brought them to America; home…Rochester, NY. Once in America, my mom became pregnant twice, in 1974 and 1975, giving birth to my brother then me. We are the only children born in this country! Life just went on for us with my dad working diligently, for Kodak headquarters and Park, from 1971 until his retirement in 1991, never once missing a day of work and on time… every day. Showing us kids consistence, hard work and always focus on providing for your family.
During the time my mom was telling me about the lottery system and our journeys, she was ill and suffering with dementia. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more and verify her stories. I reached out to the George Eastman Museum here in Rochester and learned that what she said was true and I was so so happy! I learned that George Eastman sent representatives to many less developed counties to get workers who would come to the US for employment and citizenship! George Eastman was visionary far beyond his time and his philanthropy is often overlooked! Before his death, he gave away almost all of his fortune and set up charities and endowments for the rest. One thing I learned, which is overlooked was the fact that he was also the largest donor to the African American schooling system. Eastman’s roots provided a strong commitment to philanthropy from before his birth, starting with the participation of his grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles in the Underground Railroad. Eastman also built the county’s first free dental clinic in the United States! read more about his work here: https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/eastman-george Eastman’s home is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives. The museum holds unparalleled collections—encompassing several million objects—in the fields of photography, cinema, and photographic and cinematographic technology, and photographically illustrated books. The institution is also a longtime leader in film preservation and photographic conservation. Eastman lived in this mansion for almost 30 years, featuring opulent gardens, finely decorated rooms, rare art, and a huge collection of taxidermy from his big-game hunting trips ( the elephant head being the highlight). George Eastman’s house offers daily tours and on April 4th, 2020 you can check it out for free! The George Eastman Museum is another amazing piece of history and a must visit location here in Rochester. https://www.eastman.org
So I have laid down the foundation of the Myrthil’s journey from Haiti to Rochester, NY. Thank you George Eastman as you where such a visionary far beyond your time here on earth! My Papi, from all of his struggles and hardships that he endured as a child and adult, he MADE IT!!! WE MADE IT!!! The location of the home that my dad purchased for our family here in Rochester, NY, where I was raised, is in the Maplewood Community. When choosing our home, my Dad chose it based on our family’s needs… What was my dad’s living lifestyle?
Stay tuned… “The Heart of The ROC!”
January 8, 2020
The Heart of The ROC!
I’m a girl that was born and raised in Rochester, New York. I’m also the real estate broker owner of ROC City Realty, a locally owned small business real estate firm. I grew up in the 10th ward aka the Maplewood neighborhood. Since becoming a realtor, I’ve always felt that buying a home isn’t just about the home and it’s features; it’s also about the community and it’s people. That’s why I want to share my love for the Rochester community with you starting from MY beginning, to the present, and then the future, all from eyes of a real estate broker.
I’ll highlight my fondest memories of this city, my family, small businesses, renting versus owning, investment properties, Kodak, being a young mother, becoming the broker owner of RCR, and many other hidden gems of Rochester. I have so many memories of the City of Rochester and of my hood (the maplewood community) that always fill my heart when I reflect on my childhood. The memories are so warm to my heart because not only was I raised in the maplewood neighborhood, but I still live there and I have raised both of my children just a few blocks away from my childhood home.
My journey in the maplewood community began before I was born; I was raised in our first family home in Rochester being that my parents immigrated from Haiti. My family was brought over by a man named Dr.Miller , who recruited immigrants from Haiti to work for Kodak. My father has always held Dr. Miller in such high regard as he was the one who made my father “Charlie!” . Yup…papi won the golden ticket… and I’ll explain that more in our next blog post for a new life in the ROC. Rochester has provided my family and I with so much that I’ve decided to share it with you all #theheartoftheroc.
I’ve been wanting to share my blog for such a long time and I’m finally ready! As we canvas the Flower City together I’m going to show you how the Roc has helped to shape me into the person that I am today, and how I know it’s doing the same for my daughters in a more colorful paint. I’m entering 2020 saying thank you to God, my family, my haitian culture, and lastly the Roc for all the love the past 43 years. I hope you all enjoy!
ROC City Realty.llc… The Heart of The ROC!
July 25, 2017
The first thing someone sees when they drive by your home is the exterior upkeep. This is known as a curb appeal.
One way to attract buyers is to throw a fresh coat of paint onto the exterior of your home.
Another way to attract a buying audience is by adding mulch/ flower bed to the front of your home. This makes your home look friendly and leaves it with clean, put together look.
To learn more ways to get your home ready for selling, contact your trusted Real Estate Advisor at ROC City Realty!