Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

I went back and looked at last year's blog for this week. "I think summer came this week." That was my first line. What a difference a year makes! We've had the warmest July on record, I bet!

There are currently 147 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service, of which 31 are in the village. Two (only) are new, both having been FSBOs before engaging the services of a Realtor. One is in the village and a newer (!) home - only 50 years old! It is listed around the $300,000 level. The other is actually in Spafford, down the East side of the lake, for over $500,000.

Two properties "sold" this week - in other words, were marked contingent but with issues still to be worked out - one for under $200,000 and looking like a good deal, and the other a waterfront in the 1.5M range. When it closes, if it closes near to its list price, it will be the highest so far this year for the area. Another mid-$100,000 property also sold - and sold enough to be marked "do not show." Still another one - new construction - went directly to pending. Things are happening!

We now have 37 closed single family homes in the Skaneateles area. Two are new this week, both closing in the low $100,000 range. One was on the market for a year, the other for slightly less. They came within 15% of their original list price, too.

The Post-Standard has been listing the sales and the average price of homes in the Sunday paper. It shows that Skaneateles is now under the $500,000 mark and has been for a while. I checked the sales - yes, $250,000 is the median. There has only been one sale closing over one million so far this year. Prices are indeed coming down. But a word of caution here - the towns surrounding the lake - Niles, Spafford, and Sennett - post listings in the multiple listing service in the Skaneateles area (much to the dislike of the service). The newspaper posts them to the actual towns.

Bottom line - homes are selling, the rates are extraordinarily low, and as we all know the market can change rapidly - so buy now!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

I opened up our hotsheet today to check on the new listings. I do it every day - to miss one day is to possibly miss a new home that would be perfect for one of my clients. I check several areas - to do them all would not be efficient. Obviously I look at Skaneateles, Marcellus, Elbridge and Camillus. Spafford, Niles, Owasco and Aurelius give me a view of waterfront for Skaneateles, Owasco and Cayuga Lakes. Other places like Sennett, Brutus and Auburn I just like to watch. Dewitt is in there for comparative purposes, plus mutli-families that several of my clients enjoy buying.

The purpose of this rather lengthy paragraph is to give you a sense of what I do, why and to set up what happened today. Today there were 8 new listings since the last time I checked (yesterday morning). But there were 16 revised prices - kind of gives you the idea of how the market is progressing. People are getting anxious and want to sell. This is a signal, buyers, to buy and buy now!

There are currently 148 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Of these, 30 are in the village - a higher number than we've seen in the past since "village" became a separate entity earlier this year. There are also 43 properties tagged as "waterfront." Almost a third of all the listings therefore....

Six new properties came on, of which half are waterfront - or at least lake rights. Two others are "to be built" on town lots. The last is a village home with almost an acre of land. Prices are above the average - ranging from the mid-$300,000 to over 1.5M.

Four homes are marked contingent, continue to show. One new one was "sold" - it had listed in the mid-$100,000. Three are under contract, do not show, while 11 are pended, verging on closing.

So far this year 35 properties have closed. Of these, 4 are waterfront. This compares with 7 each of the last two years and 9 before the market dropped. The number of closings is not as low as 2008 nor as high as 2007. It's fallen off sharply from last year - only one closing in July so far.

That closing was high for not having waterfront or being in the village. Almost new construction (not that old) it closed in the mid-$600,000 range. The owners redeemed what they paid for it which is always good news. Of course a profit would have been nice, I am sure, but right now I will bet they are satisfied.

I have been busy, and I am guessing everyone else has been, too. I have been in the office virtually every night this week attempting to finish everything before going home to a great meal. That Bob will have made, I should add. I do believe the tide has turned and homes will begin selling rapidly - and what sells today will close in September. We'll see!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ramapo for Children

Last Tuesday Bob and I skipped out of town to just outside Rhinebeck, New York. You know Rhinebeck - where Chelsea Clinton will be married in a few days.

We were going to Ramapo for Children, a camp for children with special needs. It has been run for the past twenty-five years by Bernie Kosberg. Last Tuesday the Camp held an official "Hats Off to Bernie" Day. Everyone was invited - the Board of Directors, past counselors, friends of the Camp, and of course the kids and counselors. Bernie's family, too - of which we are proud to be members through marriage. Alex married Bernie's and Susan's daughter in a tent next to the Sherwood a year ago.

By way of disclosure, I must say that Alex is now the Director of Business Operations at the Camp and its New York office. I am also an old special education teacher, with many summers working with kids behind me.

The Camp was incredible and I found myself in tears often at what they had accomplished. Please look it up: From the lake to the cabins, the pools to the new challenge barn - amazing!

Everywhere there were kids, playing, talking, swimming, always engaged with each other and their counselors. They have so many counselors it could be one-to-one. The kids stay for two or three week sessions over the summer. And we're not talking about local rich kids, but kids from the City mingling with kids from the suburbs and even out-of-state. The cost to me seems more than reasonable, too - a thousand or more per week. For what they get...!

As they moved through the day I remembered my days at the Waldorf School in Saratoga. Every step of the way was important - every change from one spot to another. They sang, they danced - no walking in line and getting told to stand up straight - they moved. Yes there were some who had difficulties, but not that many. We sat in an outdoor amphitheater for a brief ceremony - more singing, a skit or two, some talking, a poem. And there were over two hundred kids with special needs like autism engaged. The energy was palpable.

I am proud that Alex has found a way to combine his degree and interests with the not-for-profit world of special kids. I am happy to be extended family with the Kosbergs who have given the Camp so much over the years. I wish there were a way to send kids from Central New York to the camp - two weeks of fun and learning and total acceptance. Outside! How wonderful. I'm told that kids come back year after year and some progress to being junior counselors. How lucky they are.

So hats off to Bernie and what he has accomplished!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

Such a lovely day! It's hot outside as it's been most of the summer, but inside Boo and Koko and I are enjoying a quieter day than it has been recently. I ran out this morning and heard a presentation by an architect, managed aspects of a sale, put Open Sunday signs on 2 Green Street in Camillus for this weekend (1:00 to 3:00!) and then placed a most glorious SOLD sign on 109 Snowberry. The commitment came through this morning - thanks to fellow RE/MAX agent, Don Gendron - and we are getting ready to close!

But there are currently 144 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service that have no offers on them and are ready to be explored. Of these, 28 are in the Village. Seven new ones - well, sort of - came on this week. Actually 6 are new and one is a village property that will now be sold because, in part, of its reduced price - I hope! Two others in the village are priced around $200,000 and offer pretty streets and front porches. Two waterfronts ranging from $800,000 to 1.6M ae also new to the market. If you want new construction you can find it in a "to be built" in Butters Farm for around $400,000. Another property in the J-E school district has been one I've admired - mid-$100,000 with acreage, too!

Sorry, only 7 single family homes are marked contingent and none are new. However, there are 12 pending properties. Two are new - one for under $100,000 that was just listed last week and another that has gone from above $300,000 to around $200,000 over the course of time.

Nothing new has closed - too darn hot, I think!

My Seitz person is back, wondering about those condos - nothing new to report, I'm afraid! But Moro's has opened in Auburn at the former location of Bistro One and hopes to someday open in Skaneateles. Besides the Seitz building, there are 5 other condos in the village, ranging in price from just under $200,000 to just under 3 million. Oh BTW, Seitz friend - we can change the numbers if you'll only come and buy one!

But there are sidewalk sales to peruse - and gorgeous weather to do them in!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In Case You Missed It -

It's been a very tough week around Skaneateles for the Chamber members and friends.

I was stunned to hear of Karen Foltz from Pomodoro Too's passing. I knew she had been sick, but I always believe people are on the recovery track or there will be another new drug or trial. Thursday afternoon at the Sherwood friends and family celebrated what Karen had meant to them. It was a very important occasion, I believe, for everyone to get together, and I'm glad they did.

John Yuhas' calling hours were Tuesday in Marcellus. He was a real estate attorney for years, brother and son of Ann and Babette Yuhas, both Marcellus Realtors. When I bought my house in Skaneateles 20 years ago he had been my attorney. I remember he congratulated me on getting a 9.5% home loan for it. He fought through ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) for years and years, but the fight, not the disease should define him.

Jan Loveless from the Kreb's and Bob Herman from the old Skaneateles Savings Bank also passed away in the past week. I thank Sue Dove from the Chamber for keeping us all updated - it's been a difficult task for her so give her a hug. Hopefully her e-mails can stop now.

On a lighter note, Andy Ramsgard, one of the fine architects from Skaneateles, purchased a castle in the Adirondacks that had been featured in the Post-Standard a year ago or so. He is amazed at the engineering of it - concrete block and solid - that the untrained builder accomplished. I can't wait to see what Andy will accomplish there, using the core structure. It will truly be a castle!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update has been having issues, so I'm going to get this in while I can! I know it's the heat!

There are currently 139 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service, of which 25 are listed as village properties.

Only one new listing came on this past week - and it's a "three-for." It's listed as a single family home (which it could be, with a great carriage house) or a multi-family, or as it's zoned, commercial. All this in the village for under 400K.

There are only 5 properties listed currently as contingent, continue to show, but three of these are newly contingent. One each in the village, the town and on the water. Nothing new in the "under contract, do not show category" though - 4 in all waiting for a new status.

Pended is another village property that has been out there for a much higher price for a while - congratulations to them!

We now have 34 sold single family homes, year-to-date. Two are new - one of my favorite properties in the town that I have swooned over and shown many times and which deservedly came close to the list price when it sold, and a cute little thing in the town which closed around $200,000. It was available years ago when I came to Skaneateles and was one of the properties I considered. And no, it was not listed anywhere NEAR that number - Skaneateles is a good investment, I tell you!

Stay cool - this heat will pass - last year we were all griping about how rainy it was! And if you see my son, Alex, tell him a very Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update (Busy,Busy Edition)

Synopsis time! Buyers everywhere, making choices - listers listing. Home after dark! Visitors coming for the weekend - camp not cleaned yet - yikes!

There are currently 141 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Twenty-four of these properties are located in the village.

Eight new ones came on this past week - three are re-lists for similar pricing as before. There's also new million dollar plus waterfront, a village one-level for mid-$300,000, a small older home in the low $100,000, a distressed home in the mid-$200,000 and a very pretty country home above the half million mark.

Two newly contingent properties came to light - one in the village and another in the country. Nothing new in the do not show or pending categories.

There are now 32 closed properties this year - the halfway point. One is in the low $100,000 and has come down tremendously over time, the other two came in close to their list price. We are getting there!

Have a happy and safe Fourth! Enjoy the lighting of the lakes on the Third!