Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

I'm writing from the office tonight, the sun glaring in at me so strongly even my sunglasses don't help. Who cares? It's sunshine - and after a day of snow I am ready for sun! A dear friend stopped in with her husband and kids, just after eating at Johnny Angel's and before going for a walk on the pier. Village life....ah.....

There are currently 127 - same as last week, the same number! - active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Four new ones came on this week, two as re-lists and two brand new ones. The new ones are in the $300,000 range. One of the re-lists is the gorgeous brick on Onondaga Street and the other is a marvelous ranch/contemporary home down West Lake Road, not too far from the village. Having spent a great deal of time there, I can tell you that lake views are possible from the kitchen and there are windows everywhere! It really is a lovely home in need of a family - or single person - or retired couple - to love it.

Three houses have sold this week, one a village property that hasn't been on very long and was never reduced. Unfortunately the other two were reduced tremendously, by 30% to 40%. As I say, there are bargains to be had! But the good news is that homes that have been on the market and whose owners are willing to price aggressively are succeeding.

That hypothesis is born out by the number of closings, so far 19 year-to-date. The latest is a village home that sold for about 15% under the original list price, but it sold! Last year we only had 14 closings by this time. This year is really looking up!

If there are conclusions to be drawn from the homes that have closed, the one startling number is in new construction - only one sale (in the MLS). I have to say I have heard many times this year from agents "Oh, they'll probably build." This is after seeing multiple homes and checking construction prices. I am guessing that several homes are under construction.

The world has changed. I had several conversations with mortgage people today. My bank quoted me 4.6% for a 15 year loan. Time to refinance! Others require 20% down, unheard of a year ago. But then there are the FHA loans with only 3.5% down for qualified buyers. They still exist, and in many cases have better rates than conventional loans.

But the office has been booming, the sun is out, and I am looking forward to another sale by the end of the week! In the meantime I will order takeout - black bean nachos for Bob from Bluewater - and maybe for me, too. It's time to celebrate. But before we eat, on the way home, I will show - no, SELL - a house!