Your Real Estate "Fashionista"
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!
July 18, 2017
Looking for top dollar when selling your home? The mechanics of your home play an important role when gaining a great return on your real estate investment.
Renovations to your windows and roof can provide an 80% return rate when selling your home.
Replacing the siding on your home can earn you a 92.8% return rate.
Kitchen improvements can boost your return rate by almost 93%.
It is important to understand these statistics before deciding whether or not to give your home a face lift.
Call your trusted Real Estate Advisor at ROC City realty when considering to do so!