Upstate NY has various different soils throughout it's region. Most home owners are unaware if they a living on sand, clay or even slate. When thinking of not only cost but logistics of any type of dirt work, keep in mind not all dirt was created equal.
If you live near Schodack, north of Albany, you have a good chance of being on top of slate. That area is notorious for it, and with that comes drilling and blasting. It simply isn't enough to just use an excavator or back hoe to work in this terrain, you'll need something a little extra.
Excavating in Latham NY can be a completely different story, this are is rich with sand, which makes for great drainage, some more settling on new homes occurs, but overall the soils lend themselves to better water proofing of your foundation.
And clay can be a nightmare, certain parts of upstate NY located closer to body of water will have a clay mixture that tends to shift over time and hold water. It is when your home sits on top of clay that you're going to need to pay a bit more attention to how you include french drains, retaining walls and proper slope and grade to your site.