Anyone who has ever been in the market for a new home knows that one of the most challenging elements of the search can be the open house experience. From scheduling conflicts to confusing directions, viewing multiple homes for rent or sale can be an overwhelming experience, but the Ellicottville LIVING Tour is about to make the process a whole lot easier.
On Saturday, September 14 from 9am-4pm, the first-ever Ellicottville LIVING Tour, sponsored by PDM Marketing & Media, Inc., invites prospective buyers/renters on a free tour of more than 10 Ellicottville homes for sale or rent. Tour-goers are invited to meet at the Tamarack Club at Holiday Valley, where they can board a free shuttle that will take them to each living space on the tour. For those who wish to start anywhere or take their own transportation, a free pamphlet and map can be downloaded at www.EllicottvilleLIVINGTour.com.
For the past eight years, Paul Maurer, owner of PDM Marketing & Media, Inc., and his business partner Michele Pellette have organized 12 similar tours in the Buffalo area, and are excited to expand the concept to Ellicottville. “My wife had the idea about nine years ago,” he explained. “At that time, there were a lot of old buildings, homes and condos that were being restored in the Buffalo area. ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have this massive open house?’ she said.”
Maurer, whose background is in marketing and sales, loved the idea and has been doing it ever since. “Like the Buffalo area, Ellicottville has a lot of unique living spaces,” he said. “It’s a great way to show off real estate where people feel less encumbered. They don’t have to make appointments or wait for an open house. They can make a decision based on the variety they saw during this tour; it’s just a really fun way to compare different homes.”
ERA Team VP Real Estate agent Melanie Pritchard is showing homes, along with her mother and business partner, Cathleen Pritchard, and realtor Amy DeTine. “Paul and I had worked together in the early 90s for the same radio company,” Pritchard explained. “We’re really excited that he asked us to be part of this tour. This is their first venture outside of Buffalo, and those tours draw hundreds of people.”
According to Pritchard, the housing market in Ellicottville is strong. “Ellicottville has always been a steady market,” said Pritchard, who has worked for ERA Team VP since 2008. “Many people are looking for that second home within driving distance. They can use it more often, rather than a home out of state, like in Arizona or Florida. There are many people looking to move to Ellicottville full-time, too.” Pritchard noted that the village’s unique history, character, recreation, and full schedule of year-round events are a draw for prospective homeowners.
DeTine has worked with ERA Team VP for approximately 20 years, and is looking forward to hosting a few different properties on the tour. “There is a condo above our office at 12 Washington St. that is for sale,” she said. “It’s got great style - a very cool renovation with lots of reclaimed wood, concrete counters and high-end appliances.”
DeTine is also working with Timberbuilt homes, a company from North Collins, that builds timber-framed custom homes in the area. “We’re going to be hosting one model of a timber-built home on 12 Greer Hill Drive; this model is called the Spring House,” she explained.
She noted that the tour experience has so much to offer that a traditional open house does not. “People don’t have to worry about getting lost or parking,” she said. “You can just relax, enjoy yourself and see some beautiful properties!”
Maurer explained that each of the properties is represented by someone closely associated with it, including the owners, realtors, architect or designer. “There will be a property on this tour that was an old church,” he said. “It’s been transformed into a really, really cool place and the owners are putting it up for sale. They’ve lovingly done all the work restoring the bell tower and the stained glass windows.”
In addition to unique living spaces, the Ellicottville LIVING Tour will also feature a luxury car show in the driveway of each property on the tour. “We’ve partnered with Towne BMW who will be putting BMWs, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos in the driveways of these places for people to see,” he explained. “When you see a luxury home, you’ll also see that luxury car parked in the driveway.”
Need another reason to check out the Ellicottville LIVING Tour? “It’s taking place during Ellicottville’s Rock N’ Roll weekend,” said Maurer. “The tour just adds to the weekend’s fun activities, and there’s no cost to participate.”
The Ellicottville LIVING Tour concludes at John Harvard’s Brew House at Holiday Valley. “We’re going to have a fun after-party at the end of the tour,” said Maurer. “It’s just a great way for people to share stories about the places they visited and have fun. This tour is an opportunity for people to get a good feel for where they want to live. There are also great ideas for decorating; a lot of people like to see the creativity that people put into their homes.”