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Sunday, July 19, 2020

ESSEX HOMES BREAKS GROUND ON NEW LEWISTON DEVELOPMENT

July 20, 2020 (Lewiston, NY)
– Essex Homes of WNY is pleased to announce it has broken ground on The Patios at Essex Ridge, a new luxury patio home community located on Upper Mountain Rd. and Bronson Dr. near the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Lewiston, NY. The announcement was made by Philip J. Nanula, president & CEO of Essex Homes.

This comprehensive three-phased development will encompass 88 tree-lined patio home sites upon final completion, with a total of 36 sites included in Phase I, which is now underway. One of the 36 homesites will include an Essex model home that will be open for public viewing. Prospective residents will have the opportunity to choose from five, distinct ranch plans ranging from 1600-3000+ sq.ft., including the Arbor, Berkley, Concorde, Danbury, and Eastbrook. All plans feature open floor layouts, optional second floors (except Berkley) two or three bedrooms, 2 full baths, full basements, rear-covered patios, 2.5 garages and a host of other luxury amenities. Estimated starting prices will begin in the low $320s.

The Patios at Essex Ridge will offer homeowner association (HOA) services for a modest monthly fee, including landscaping, lawn maintenance, fertilization, and snow removal services.

The Patios at Essex Ridge is located near the original Nanula family homestead in Lewiston, formerly owned by patriarch, Savino P. Nanula, a long-time resident businessman and former chairman/CEO of Tops Markets, LLC.  All Nanula sons, Phil, Paul, Steven and former NYS Senator, Anthony Nanula, currently reside and work within Western New York, sharing in numerous business holdings and interests, including real estate. These interests include Essex Homes of WNY, of which eldest son, Philip J. Nanula, has served as president and CEO for over 30 years.

“This 50+-acre development will be home to a private, picturesque community featuring classic architectural designs offering exceptional quality, design and value. The Patios at Essex Ridge offer proximity to an abundance of natural landscapes including the Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Falls, numerous wineries, and the quaint Village of Lewiston, which is bordered by the mighty Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Residents will enjoy convenient access to the Canadian border and the many shops, dining and retail outlets offered via Niagara County to the north, as well as proximity to Downtown Buffalo and surrounding Erie County to the south,” says Nanula.

According to Nanula, The Patios at Essex Ridge will have a projected economic impact of over $30M upon final construction completion. Currently, the firm is in its final phase of development of Essex Greens at Waterford, a 108-lot luxury patio home community with condo status located off Roll Rd., E. of Transit in Clarence. In 2019, Essex Homes broke ground on the Villas at Essex Woods, a 48-unit community of villas with condo status, located off Sweet Home Rd. near the I-990 and SUNY Buffalo’s North Campus.

“Essex Homes chose to build in these locations in response to growing demand for upscale homesites in neighborhoods with prime locations. Given the enormous success of our other patio home projects, we are confident that The Patios at Essex Ridge will be equally successful, attracting a broad cross-section of residents both within and outside of the Western New York area,” says Nanula.

To learn more about The Patios at Essex Ridge, prospective buyers may visit the patio home model at 9072 Bancroft Dr. within Essex Greens at Waterford in Clarence. The model is located off Dana Marie Pkwy. just east of Transit Rd., past the intersection of Shimerville and Roll Rds. Hours are daily 1-5 p.m. (closed Thursday and Friday). For more information, contact Scott Henderson, Regional Sales Manager at 716.725.7577 (Model/Mobile) or  HYPERLINK "mailto:shenderson@essexhomeswny.com" shenderson@essexhomeswny.com

Founded in 1992, Essex Homes of WNY has built over 2000 homes across WNY in communities including Amherst, Clarence, East Aurora, Lancaster, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lakeview, and Orchard Park. To learn more about Essex Homes of WNY and to view available properties for sale or lease, visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.essexhomeswny.com" www.essexhomeswny.com


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Questions and Answers to Your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs

Key insights
  • The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to bring relief to eligible organizations/individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The PPP is a loan through the SBA designed to provide a direct incentive for small business to keep themselves/their workers on the payroll.
  • SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for covered expenses (payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  • “Forgiven loan” means the loan will become a tax-free grant
  • Each individual and business circumstances are different and benefits under enhanced unemployment benefit should be weighed against the benefits of the PPP program
  • Guidance continues to be released.
  • Read through these frequently asked questions for more information.

As organizations, sole proprietors, independent contractors and self -employed individuals start digging into the details of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), many are finding they have more questions than answers. The Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released additional guidance. We’ve sifted through their updates to help bring clarity around the details.  There continues to be guidance issued.
1. What size business qualifies for the PPP loan?
The following entities may all be eligible for the PPP loan: businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed individuals, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, 501(c)(19) veterans’ organizations, and 31(b)(2)(C) Tribal business concerns. General eligibility is based on not exceeding any of the following:
  • 500 employees, or
  • The employee thresholds set by industry in the SBA size standards, or
  • The SBA’s “alternative size standard” as of March 27, 2020:
    • Maximum tangible net worth of the business is not more than $15 million, and
    • The average net income of the business, after federal income taxes (excluding any carry-over losses), for two full fiscal years before the date of the application is not more than $5 million.

2. Is the PPP available to independent contractors and self-employed individuals?
Yes.  The PPP is an SBA loan, and became available Friday April 10, to independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.  This was the first day independent contractors and self-employed individuals could apply for the loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, but they’ve had to do it without guidance that had been expected from the Treasury Department.
To qualify for the loan, you must have been in operation on February 15, 2020, and you must have been harmed by COVID -19 pandemic.   
This includes:
Sole proprietors who report income and pay taxes on a Schedule C in your personal tax return.
Independent contractors who collect 1099-MISC forms.
Gig economy workers who take on-call jobs provided by companies such as Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Instacart.

3. How does an independent contractor apply for a PPP loan and determine loan amount?
  • You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender.  
  • Consult with your local financial institution/lender.
  • It is important to apply through your existing banking/lending relationship.
  • Independent contractors who file their tax returns using 1099 forms – should apply for the PPP using the same loan form that small business use and substitute their own income for the average monthly payroll.
  • For 1099s and independent contractors, your payroll is your net earnings from self-employment,

  • One issue still lacking clarity is whether PPP loans received by 1099 workers can be forgiven. 

4. How should the proceeds be used?
  • Replacement for your normal 1099-MISC or net self-employment income (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee);
  • Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before February 15, 2020;
  • Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020; and
  • Utilities, for which service began before February 15, 2020.

5. What is the maximum loan amount?
The maximum loan size is 2.5 times your average monthly 1099-MISC or net self-employment income for the past 12 months.  That amount is subject to a $10 Million cap.  If you are a seasonal or new business, you will use different application time periods for your calculation.


6. How long is the Program available?

The loan is available through June 30,202.

7. Are independent contractors collecting unemployment benefits eligible for the PPP Loan?

It is important to note that you cannot receive both Unemployment benefits and a PPP loan at the same time.  You should consider the benefits of each program to determine which is the best fit for you.
8. What are the current provisions of unemployment benefits that I should consider in evaluation of the stimulus benefits that are right for me?
The coronavirus CARES Act introduced three main changes to how unemployment benefits work.
1. Additional $600 a week
The first is an additional $600 to the weekly benefit amount an eligible (laid off) employee would otherwise receive. An employee who’s eligible for NY state maximum in unemployment benefits ($504) would therefore be receiving $1,104 total, if they were to be laid off.
Referred to as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provision, this will be available for all weeks of unemployment between April 5, 2020 and July 31, 2020 and will be paid out for any week where the individual receives unemployment benefits.
2. Additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits
The second is an increase to the maximum number of weeks an individual is eligible to receive benefits. As part of the Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PUEC) provision, an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits are available extending what is typically capped at 26 weeks to 39 weeks. These additional weeks will also include the additional $600 as outlined in the FPUC provision so long as they are before July 31, 2020.
3. Unemployment benefits for self-employed individuals and independent contractors
The third change is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision which expands the program to apply to workers who would otherwise not qualify for unemployment benefits. Now, self-employed individuals and independent contractors are eligible for unemployment benefits if they find themselves unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to COVID-19.
Since these programs are state run, it’s best to reference your state’s Department of Labor guidelines to estimate the full amount of unemployment benefits you would be eligible for.
Self-employed individuals also qualify for the $600 weekly unemployment benefit under the Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation provision.

Key insights
- Each individual and business circumstances are different and benefits under enhanced unemployment benefit should be weighed against the benefits of the PPP program.  


11. Can I apply for other assistance?

SBA Disaster Loan
There is a second important coronavirus-related business loan: the SBA Disaster Loan (or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan—EIDL). The qualifications for the EIDL are based on your sales revenue, cost of goods sold, and your being financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike the PPP, the EIDL doesn’t have any payroll-related conditions or restrictions.

9. What is the potential forgiveness amount of the PPP?
The PPP loan forgiveness is based upon the eight-week period beginning with the origination of the loan. The sum of the following enters the forgiveness computation: payroll costs (described above), including group health care benefits and retirement benefits, mortgage interest payments, rent, and utility payments. The mortgage, rent agreements, and utility agreements must have been in place before February 15, 2020.
After computing that total, there may be reductions for non-payroll costs and for items mentioned in question 15. Non-payroll costs are limited to 25% of the forgiveness amount.
10. How is the reduction in the loan forgiveness determined?
The maximum forgiveness of the loan is reduced based upon employee retention and average pay.
The maximum loan forgiveness amount is multiplied by a fraction that measures employee retention based on the average number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). The borrower chooses which fraction to use. The numerator of both fractions is the average number of FTEs employed during the eight-week period. The denominator is either:
  • The monthly average FTEs for February 15, 2019, through June 30, 2019; or
  • The monthly average FTEs for January 1, 2020, through February 29, 2020.
In addition, the maximum loan forgiveness amount is further decreased if any employee’s pay has declined by more than 25% during the eight-week period, relative to the most recent completed quarter (this should be the first quarter of 2020). Employees who earned an annualized pay of more than $100,000 during any single 2019 pay period are excluded from this computation.
In the event you had a reduction of employees during the period from February 15, 2020, through April 26, 2020, as long as you rehire those employees no later than June 30, 2020, the FTE calculation for the number in the fraction will treat those rehired employees as if they were included in the FTE for the entire 8-week period. Please note that while a delayed rehire date won’t cause issues with the employee retention fraction, it may cause you to spend less than the required 75% threshold on payroll costs, and therefore would result in a reduction in the amount of loan forgiven.
Both the average reduction in FTE and reduction in pay must be restored to eliminate the reduction in loan forgiveness.
Most guidance from the SBA and U.S. Department of the Treasury has been related to matters associated with loan sizing thus far, and we expect significant guidance on the forgiveness calculations will be forthcoming.
11. What is the interest rate on the PPP loan?
SBA has set the rate at 1.00%.
12. What is the maturity date of the PPP loan?
The maturity date is two years from date of funding. No payments are due for the first six months; interest will accrue from the date of loan funding.

Friday, April 3, 2020

ESSEX HOMES OF WNY ADVOCATES FOR “ESSENTIAL BUSINESS” DESIGNATION IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AMIDST CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, CHANGING NYS MANDATES

April 3, 2020 (Clarence, NY) – Essex Homes of WNY, one of the area’s largest, privately owned custom homebuilders is advocating for a return of “essential” business status for home building and other low-rise construction businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic. The announcement was made by Philip J. Nanula, president of Essex Homes of WNY. 

Governor Cuomo is providing bold and determined leadership in this time of unprecedented crisis caused by the current COVID-19 epidemic. The governor has a difficult and often thankless task of changing the most basic of human traits — socializing with others, in order to prevent the spread of the killer coronavirus. 

All citizens and businesses in New York must affirmatively respond to Governor Cuomo’s efforts to enforce social distancing. The residential construction industry has worked diligently with the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) to arrive at new stringent safety protocols to respond to COVID-19. Single-family home construction is uniquely able to provide social distancing. Limitation on the number of workers committed to working at one time is necessary 2 and easily implemented. A single-family worksite contrasts starkly with the closed quarters found in high-rise construction. 

The Empire State Development Corporation’s recent determination on construction found “affordable” (undefined) high-rise construction is essential, but single-family home construction is nonessential. A number of businesses have recently moved from nonessential to essential by adopting appropriate social distancing methods including car dealers and realtors. 

Residential single-family home and low-rise construction needs serious consideration because there are many home construction sites throughout the state which are in various states of being unfinished. The construction sites provide an attractive danger for children who are now home. These sites are especially attractive for vandalism. These sites are also zombie homes in the making, especially if contractual obligations and building loans are defaulted on. There are many unanswered questions surrounding what work is required to make a house safe in order to comply with the recent shut down of residential construction. 

The residential construction industry wants to continue to provide quality housing to New York residents in a way which ensures the safety of its workers. There are unfinished single-family homes and low-rise rental properties that are unavailable for occupancy based on the current stop work requirement. This is a public appeal to Empire State Development to work with the residential construction industry to ensure the safety measures combined with social distancing are implemented so that residential construction can be essential for all housing not just affordable housing.

At a minimum new safety protocols should enable open worksites to be safely shut down, so the building is enclosed if residential construction is not otherwise permitted to continue under strict work rules. A comprehensive definition of a safe closure should be implemented on a statewide basis to avoid the current situation where there are differing measures applied by local building code officials. The residential housing industry remains ready to work diligently at this difficult time to provide innovative ways to respond to this crisis by continuing to provide employment and shelter for New York State’s residents. 

Founded in 1992 and ranked among the area’s top five homebuilders, Essex Homes has built over 1500 homes across WNY which includes communities in Amherst, Clarence, East Aurora, Lancaster, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lakeview and Orchard Park. To learn more, visit www.essexhomeswny.com. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

HUNT Real Estate Launches Open House Connect App

Digital visitor registration app automates customer lead capture and follow-up for all HUNT sales professionals

February 12, 2020 – Buffalo, NY  – HUNT Real Estate ERA has partnered with Spacio by Homespotter to provide its real estate professionals with Open House Connect, a custom-branded open house registration app that digitizes guest registration and automates the follow-up process to the customer.

Open House Connect replaces outdated paper sign-in sheets with digital forms and helps convert more open house visitors into customers. The app elevates the open house experience by improving the accuracy of visitor data collection and reducing labor for the agent by importing the customer’s information directly into their HUNT Real Estate CRM platform.

“Open houses are the most effective way to show and sell a property, but being able to analyze the visitor data has always been challenging,”  said Charlie Hunt, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HUNT Real Estate Corp. “With Spacio powering the technology behind our Open House Connect app, for the first time, we will be able to get visibility into a vital component of our sales process that has been nearly impossible for us to track.”

"It's a pleasure to work with strong real estate brands that leverage technology to drive value for clients,” commented Aaron Kardell, Founder and CEO HomeSpotter. “We are excited to partner with HUNT Real Estate ERA to bring open houses and agent productivity to the next level." 


About HUNT Real Estate ERA
HUNT Real Estate Corporation is the parent company of HUNT Real Estate ERA and operates over 50 branches throughout New York State, Massachusetts, and Arizona. Founded in 1911, HUNT is the most successful family-owned and operated real estate company in New York State, and is ranked the 35th largest real estate firm in the nation for closed transactions by REAL Trends. HUNT also operates a commercial brokerage, mortgage banking firm, insurance agency, and title agency. HUNT’s mission is to build its presence through successful sales professionals, to grow profitably, and to provide the highest quality of real estate and homeownership services. For more information about HUNT Real Estate, visit www.huntrealestate.com

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Jay Teresi Joins HUNT Real Estate as Growth Consultant

BUFFALO, NY – February 5, 2020 – HUNT Real Estate ERA announces the retention of Jay Teresi as a Growth Consultant for the company. Teresi has extensive experience in real estate, most recently having held Regional Vice President roles for over 10 years at two large independent brokerages in Rochester, New York. 

In his consulting role with HUNT, Teresi will work with the organization’s leadership team to implement and execute the company’s growth plan. Teresi will also work individually with the members of the management team to hone their business development and leadership skills.

“At HUNT, we have a growth imperative, which requires that we attract the very best people in the industry,” said Peter Hunt, Chairman and CEO of HUNT Real Estate. “Jay’s track record speaks for itself and speaks to the expertise we need to move our organization through this new decade and beyond. We are excited to welcome Jay to the HUNT Real Estate team.”

“After getting to know the HUNT organization and its people, it is clear we share the same vision to offer the best consumer and agent experience in an evolving industry, and I am excited to be a part of that team,” said Teresi.


About HUNT Real Estate ERA
HUNT Real Estate Corporation is the parent company of HUNT Real Estate ERA and operates over 50 branches throughout western and upstate New York, Massachusetts, and metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 1911, HUNT is the most successful family-owned and operated real estate company in New York State, and is ranked the 35th largest real estate firm in the nation for closed transactions by REAL Trends. HUNT also operates a commercial brokerage, mortgage banking firm, insurance agency, title agency, an award-winning relocation division, residential building company, and a fee-for-service brokerage. HUNT’s mission is to build its presence through successful sales professionals, to grow profitably, and to provide the highest quality of real estate and homeownership services. For more information about HUNT Real Estate, visit www.huntrealestate.com

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

HUNT Real Estate Posts Record 2019 in Western New York

HUNT sold nearly 6,000 units and surpassed $1.1 billion in sales volume in Erie and Niagara Counties combined in 2019.

Buffalo, NY – January 28, 2020 – HUNT Real Estate ERA has announced that 2019 was a record year for the company in its Western New York market. The company sold 5,977 units, totaling $1.169 billion in sales volume in Erie and Niagara Counties combined. The sales data was provided by Collateral Analytics for the time period of January 2019 - December 2019. The data also shows that HUNT Real Estate finished 2019 as the top real estate brokerage in both counties combined for the most units sold and the highest total sales volume.

“Our Real Estate Professionals have responded to the challenge of mergers among our competitors and sales of companies to out-of-town interests,” according to Peter Hunt, Chairman and CEO. “Through their exceptional team effort, 2019 was our best year in 108 years, putting us on top of the Western New York region. I am grateful for their self-confidence, enthusiasm for service and loyalty.”

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About HUNT Real Estate ERA
HUNT Real Estate Corporation is the parent company of HUNT Real Estate ERA and operates over 50 branches throughout western and upstate New York, Massachusetts, and metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 1911, HUNT is the most successful family-owned and operated real estate company in New York State, and is ranked the 35th largest real estate firm in the nation for closed transactions by REAL Trends. HUNT also operates a commercial brokerage, mortgage banking firm, insurance agency, title agency, an award-winning relocation division, residential building company, and a fee-for-service brokerage. HUNT’s mission is to build its presence through successful sales professionals, to grow profitably, and to provide the highest quality of real estate and homeownership services. For more information about HUNT Real Estate, visit www.huntrealestate.com

Monday, January 20, 2020

2020 VISION – THE CHOICE IS CLEAR PROMO OFFERS CUSTOMERS UP TO $15,000 IN SAVINGS


January 17, 2020 (Clarence, NY) - Essex Homes of Western New York is pleased to announce “2020 Vision – The Choice Is Clear,” its first promotional savings program of the new year. For a limited time, qualified customers can save up to $15,000 on various options when they build a new Essex home in select communities across Western New York.  

We are beginning 2020 by passing on incredible savings to our customers, enabling them to fully customize an Essex home that is perfectly-suited to their individual preferences and lifestyle. We want the Essex buying experience to be enjoyable, flexible and hassle-free. These promotions are just one of the many ways we bring value-added savings to our customers each year,” says Philip J. Nanula, president of Essex Homes. 

According to Nanula, buyers of a “Hallmark” series home are eligible to save up to $12,000 through the promotion and those purchasing an Essex “Premier” series home are eligible to save up to $15,000. Promotional monies may be allocated toward any number of options ranging from a floor plan expansion, to the addition of a sunroom, inclusion of granite countertops, a glamour bath and more. This promotion is available for a limited time across select Essex communities and some restrictions may apply.

   According to Nanula, one of the best ways to begin the process of creating your Essex home is to visit one of the firm’s many model centers throughout WNY. 

We take great pride in providing our customers with a number of ways to customize their homes and maximize value. Our professionally decorated and furnished models showcase various floor plans and selections, allowing the buyer to see how different layouts, products, colors and textures work together, all of which will assist them in the design selection process. In addition, all our customers receive professional interior design selection services, a Home Buyer’s Guide, professional mortgage assistance, a market analysis of their current home and a closing kit as part of our standard professional services, along with a Triple 24 Warranty – one of the best in the business. We want your Essex home to be the reason you and your family are in the home you’ve always dreamed of at an affordable price,” says Nanula. 

Essex Homes has fully furnished and decorated models available for viewing at 9072 Bancroft Dr. (Clarence), 72 Tranquility Trail (Lancaster) and 52 Knoche Way (Orchard Park) which are open daily 1-5, closed Thursday and Friday. Within the Clarence area, two additional model homes at
5379 Briannas Nook in the Northwoods ($499,900) and at 5367 Glenview Drive in Spaulding Green, are open every Saturday/Sunday from 1-5. Interested buyers may visit these models or contact their respective Essex Regional Sales Manager as listed on the company’s website to learn more about the current promotion. Visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.essexhomeswny.com" www.essexhomeswny.com to view all available Essex homes and promotions throughout the year.