Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. Roughly 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City, Albany developed on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River. The population of the City of Albany was 97,856 according to the 2010 census. Albany constitutes the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs. With a 2013 Census-estimated population of 1.1 million the Capital District is the third-most populous metropolitan region in the state and 38th in the United States.
Albany was the first European settlement in New York State. It was settled by Dutch colonists who in 1614, built Fort Nassau for fur trading and Fort Orange in 1624. They formed successful relations with both the Mahican and the Mohawk peoples, two major Native American nations in the region. The fur trade attracted settlers who founded a village called Beverwijck near Fort Orange. In 1664 the English took over the Dutch settlements, renaming the city as Albany, in honor of the then Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland. The city was officially chartered in 1686 under English rule. It became the capital of New York State in 1797, following the United States gaining independence in the American Revolutionary War. Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States. Its charter is possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere.
During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of trade and transportation. The city lies toward the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal connecting to the Great Lakes, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world. Albany's main exports at the time were beer, lumber, published works, and ironworks. Beginning in 1810, Albany was one of the ten most populous cities in the United States, a distinction it held until the 1860 census. Albany is one of the first cities in the world to have installed public water mains, sewer lines, natural gas lines and electricity, infrastructure and utilities that attracted and supported substantial new industry to the city and surrounding area during the 19th century. In the 20th century, the city opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, the precursor of today's Albany International Airport. During the 1920s a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party arose in the state capital, connected to politics in New York City as well. It marshalled the power of immigrants and their descendants in both cities.
The city's skyline changed in the 1960s and 1970s with the construction of office towers around the Empire State Plaza and at the uptown campus of SUNY Albany, mainly under the direction of Governor Nelson Rockefeller. While Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl and suburbanization, many of its historic neighborhoods were saved from destruction through the policies of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd, the longest-serving mayor of any city in the United States. In the early 21st century, Albany has experienced growth in the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector.
Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services. The city has rebounded from the urban decline of the 1970s and 1980s, with noticeable development taking place in the city's downtown and midtown neighborhoods. Albany is known for its rich history, commerce, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. Albany won the All-America City Award in both 1991 and 2009. Fortune 500 companies with offices in Albany include American Express, J.P. Morgan and Chase, Merrill Lynch, General Electric, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, International Paper, and Key Bank. In the 21st century, the Capital District has emerged as a major anchor of Tech Valley, the moniker describing the technologically-focused region of eastern New York State.
A total commission of 6.0% is typically asked for by “full service” Agents working for the big national real estate firms in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, New York. 70% of Sellers list with the first Agent they speak to, and we find that most Sellers who agree to pay a full 6.0% commission do not realize that real estate commissions are NEGOTIABLE!
The national average total real estate commission in 2015 was 5.26% *
In Albany, Schenectady, Troy, New York, you will find the following real estate commissions charged*:
Typical Asking Commission: 6.0%
Competitive Commission: 5.0%-5.5%%
Very Competitive Commission: 4.5%-4.99%
The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast rose 3.2%, to $282,300, in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the the second quarter of 2016. Median sales prices for existing homes in the state's Major Metropolitan Areas are as follows:
In the State of New York, median home prices are as follows*:
|Metro Area||Median Sales Price||% of Annual Change|
|Dutchess County-Putnam County||$274,700||3.80%|
|Nassau County-Suffolk County||$466,700||5.40%|
|New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ||$384,500||4.90%|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$414,000||4.70%|
Real Estate Commissions are split between the listing Agent (who works for you to sell your home) and what will be offered on the MLS to any Agent that brings a Buyer to buy your home. In a typical 6% total commission, the listing Broker is paid 3% and 3% is offered on the MLS to all Agents working with Buyers (so they can see what they will earn if they bring their Buyer to your home and complete the sale).
In a competitive commission structure, ranging from 5% to 5.5%, the listing Agent agrees to a listing commission of 2% to 2.5%, and they will recommend that they offer, on the MLS, a commission of 2.5% to 3.0% to the Buyer’s Agent. Your Agent will usually tell you that if they offer less than 2.5% on the MLS that your home “won’t be shown”. This makes sense, in that, all things being equal, the Buyer’s Agent will want as big a payday as possible when they find the right home for their client. This is also especially true if market conditions favor Buyers in a so-called “Buyer’s Market” (high inventory levels in a period of unstable prices).
When you meet with your listing Agent, also remember that, unless they are a “Broker/Owner”, they will have to split their commission with their employing Broker. High producing Agents can work up to getting 90% of the listing commission from their Broker, but typically less experienced Agents may only receive 50% of the listing commission.
At ListingBidder.com, we first negotiate on your behalf a competitive real estate commission structure with HIGHLY EXPERIENCED, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Agents who know your LOCAL market (even YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD); each ready to bid for your business. These Agents are not just ordinary Agents as many of them are broker/owners and they have the best ability to negotiate their commissions and be competitive, in part because they do not have to share their listing commission with the brokerage firm. This is a direct benefit to you and will save you thousands of dollars in real estate commission fees over the typical fees in New York.
Sellers who are also buying a home in the same local market have a volume discount advantage. ListingBidder can use this opportunity to negotiate an even better real estate commission rate fee on the sale of your home because the Agent will be more willing to give a deeper discount (a very competitive rate) knowing there is additional commission being earned on the purchase of another home. Be sure to check the box that you are also buying a home locally to receive these better rates.
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Historically, Albany's population has been mixed. First dominated by the Dutch and Germans, it was overtaken by the English in the early 19th century. Irish immigrants soon outnumbered most other ethnicities by the mid-19th century, and were followed by Italians and Poles. In the mid-to-late 20th century, the African-American population increased with thousands of people from the rural South, as part of the Great Migration. As historian (and Albany Assemblyman) John McEneny puts it,
Dutch and Yankee, German and Irish, Polish and Italian, black and Chinese—over the centuries Albany's heritage has reflected a succession of immigrant nationalities. Its streets have echoed with a dozen languages, its neighborhoods adapting to the distinctive life-style and changing economic fortunes of each new group.
Until after the Revolution, Albany's population consisted mostly of ethnic Dutch descendants. Settlers migrating from New England tipped the balance toward British ethnicity in the early 19th century. Jobs on the turnpikes, canals, and railroads attracted floods of Irish immigrants in the early 19th century, especially in the 1840s during the Irish potato famine, solidifying the city's Irish base. Albany elected its first Irish Catholic mayor (Michael Nolan) two years before Boston did. Polish and Italian immigrants began arriving in Albany in the wave of immigration in the latter part of the 19th century. Their numbers were smaller than in many other eastern cities mainly because most had found manufacturing jobs at General Electric in Schenectady. The Jewish community had been established early, with Sephardic Jewish members as part of the Beverwijck community. Its population rose during the late 19th century, when many Ashkenazi Jews immigrated from eastern Europe. In that period, there was also an influx of Chinese and east Asian immigrants, who settled in the downtown section of the city. Many of their descendants have since moved to suburban areas. Immigration all but halted after the Immigration Act of 1924.
Albany was also a destination of internal migration, as many African Americans moved north in their Great Migration from the rural South before and after World War I to fill industrial positions and find new opportunities. In the early years, they lived together with Italians, Jews and other immigrants in the South End, where housing was older and less expensive. The black community has grown as a proportion of the population since then: African Americans made up 3 percent of the city's population in 1950, 6 percent in 1960, 12 percent in 1970, and 30 percent in 2010. The change in proportion is related mostly to middle-class white families moving to the suburbs, and black families remaining within city limits during the same time period.
Since 2007 the number of Burmese refugees has increased, who are mostly of the Karen ethnicity; an estimated 5,000 reside in Albany as of January 2015.
Albany's economy, along with that of the Capital District in general, is heavily dependent on government, health care, education, and more recently, technology. Because of these typically steady economic bases, the local economy has been relatively immune to national economic recessions in the past. More than 25 percent of the city's population works in government-related positions. The current recession has been more difficult to deal with because of the many issues on Wall Street, from which the state government receives much of its tax revenue. In March 2010, the Albany area had the lowest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in New York, at 7.8%, compared to 9.4% in New York as a whole. Albany's estimated daytime population is more than 162,000. Companies based in Albany include Trans World Entertainment and Clough Harbour.
Since the 2000s, the economy of Albany and the surrounding Capital District has been redirected toward a high technology focus. Tech Valley is a marketing name for the eastern part of New York State, encompassing Albany, the Capital District, and the Hudson Valley. Originated in 1998 to promote the greater Albany area as a high-tech competitor to regions such as Silicon Valley and Boston, it has since grown to represent the counties in the Capital District and extending to 19 counties from IBM's Westchester County plants in the south to the Canada–US border in the north. The area's high technology ecosystem is supported by technologically focused academic institutions including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute. Tech Valley encompasses 19 counties straddling both sides of the Adirondack Northway and the New York Thruway, and with heavy state taxpayer subsidy, has experienced significant growth in the computer hardware side of the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector, digital electronics design, and water- and electricity-dependent integrated microchip circuit manufacturing.
In 2012, the Albany-Schenectady area was listed fourth on Forbes Magazine's annual "Best Cities for Jobs" list, noting that job losses in state and local government were overcome by expansion of the high-tech field.