20 Questions: Senator Ritchie Looks to 2018

CHRISTOPHER LENNEY / NNY BUSINESS Patty Ritchie in Ogdensburg City Hall talked with NNY Business about the year gone by and plans for the year ahead.

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July 2016: Real Estate Roundup

Top real estate questions and answers

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

I recently spoke to the Watertown Rotary Club about a number of real estate issues, including housing statistics and took questions from those assembled.

Is cash is king?

There is an expression that “cash is king.” However, is that true in real estate? During my talk I noted that cash transactions normally make up about 25 percent of residential sale transactions nationally. For 2016 so far, 35.7 percent are cash. Locally, this year Jefferson County cash sales have accounted for 33.3 percent of residential sales (22 percent in 2015), 35 percent in Lewis County (26 percent in 2015), and 25.8 percent in St. Lawrence (22.6 percent in 2015). While St. Lawrence County as not followed the national trend, why have Jefferson and Lewis counties? Looking at the median price — the price where half the prices are lower and half higher — the cash sale median is $50,000 while the median for non-cash properties is $140,000. Many of the cash sales were due to foreclosure. In fact, about 55 percent of the residential listings that sold for $50,000 or less were foreclosure sales. [Read more…]

New north country agricultural academy secures $200,000 in state funding

State Sen. Patty Ritchie looks at sheep with Natalie Chambers, left, a senior at Heuvelton Central School and president of the Northwest Tech FFA chapter, Thursday during a tour of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm in Canton. Ms. Chambers spoke to the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee in Albany. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

State Sen. Patty Ritchie looks at sheep with Natalie Chambers, left, a senior at Heuvelton Central School and president of the Northwest Tech FFA chapter, Thursday during a tour of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm in Canton. Ms. Chambers spoke to the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee in Albany. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

Starting next school year, 15 to 20 high school seniors from St. Lawrence County will have the chance to attend a full-day agricultural program at the newly-created North Country Agricultural Studies Academy. [Read more…]