Thursday, September 30, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

I write this as rain pours down outside. I let Koko out for a minute and realized that our small fish pond is higher than it's been in a very long time. The downspouts are streaming water - and have been for at least a couple hours. Check your basements, everyone! Beware of water on the road! This is a gully-washer!

The other night was vastly different as I drove home late from an appointment. Yes, I was showing houses in the dark again, I'm afraid! I caught part of a discussion on NPR about micropolises - not megalopolises, but the opposite. The idea was that small areas with all the amenities would flourish in the new age to come because of energy concerns primarily. People would want to walk to the grocery store and buy locally, doctors and lawyers would be nearby as well as private homes. "The wave of the future!" I drove down Route 20 right about that time into Skaneateles. I think the definition of micropolis must include "village."

There are currently 152 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Of these, 33 are in the micropolis. Five new listings came on this past week - two are re-lists with new prices, one going up (new construction) and the other coming down. The three new ones include waterfront, lake rights across from a home in the town, and a lovely village property for under $300,000.

We still have only 4 homes marked contingent and there are 21 listed as "U" and "P," which means they are just waiting to close. Forty-seven homes have closed this year, a number we've had for almost a month now.

I was asked how sales are going several times this week, specifically in the surrounding areas. "Is it picking up?" is the general question. One of the best things about writing this blog is that it forces me to learn and know the statistics of the area.

My theory, as I started, was that Skaneateles is higher end so there will be fewer sales, as I already knew, but the other towns would have held fairly steady in the past three years. Here is what I found:

Elbridge - In 2008 there were 45 closed properties by the end of the third quarter. In 2009 there were 35, and this year there are only 23. (That's a 49% decrease over the three years.)

Camillus - In 2008 there were 220 sales; in 2009 there were 193, and this year there are 156 homes that have sold. (29%) I smell a pattern.....

Marcellus - In 2008 - 50 homes. In 2009 - 40 homes. This year - 53! So much for patterns! An increase of 6%!

Auburn - 147 in 2008, 138 in 2009, now 128. (13% decline) Okay, back to the pattern.

Syracuse - 699 in 2008, 610 in 2009, and 570 this year. (19% decline) Same pattern.

Skaneateles - In 2008 we had closed 35 homes by the third quarter. In 2009 the number was 61. This year that pesky 47 is our number....but wait! That's actually an increase - 26%?! Wow! (Sort of, because I'd rather it were the 61....)

And all this goes to show that Skaneateles is different, there is no predicting - however I will predict that next year the numbers will shoot up again because some of these homes will just sell because they need to and others will buy because they need to. But aren't statistics interesting?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

Ah, the moon! I was up early this morning to walk Koko and as I got to the end of the driveway I looked down the hill and saw the moon. It took my breath away. Absolutely full, with clouds drifting past, seemingly closer to earth than normal. As we walked down the hill and the sun came up it receded. But I told Bob at breakfast that I don't think I've ever seen it like that, in the morning. We live in a wondrous place!

Then I went out to see a house way out on the country with an old friend. Nine years we've known each other and he still hasn't bought a house! But we see plenty of places, he leaves my card at open houses, and we've been involved in each other's families. Bob reminded me I haven't made a red cent off him yet - but so what! Today we saw the most beautiful view - and I've been seeing many beautiful views of late! The opposite hill seemed unreal - so close you could almost touch it, move the tiny tractor and tiny cows around the hillside. The green of the pastures, the surrounding color in the trees - unreal. No, he didn't buy this house and its 10 acres with a pond, either. Some day.

But there are currently 150 single family homes listed for sale in the Skaneateles area. One is new - out in the town for around $200,000. Two village properties were re-listed also. (I sent my friend two now that he is seriously looking again.)

There were no new properties marked contingent, but there are 22 homes listed as "U" or "P" which means they do not need to be shown any more. Of these one small house is new as is a waterfront home.

We still have 47 closed single family homes - I don't see how that figure would go down but I would certainly like it to go up. There seem to be too many choices - good choices - and it's difficult to make that decision. But it's time - before the rates go up again. Remember the old adage: "You snooze, you lose!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Help Needed, Please!

Over the past few weeks I have been searching for property for my clients. I've talked about it before - the log cabin on acreage, the stream with acreage, the acreage without a gas lease, homes for parents and children on the same property - all dreams that people have that within their price ranges I don't think they will find. But they do - and when they do it is amazing.

Recently people who have been looking for two years have found their dream home. We moved swiftly and secured it - but of course, we know that it isn't closed until it's closed, so I am sorry but I can't tell you more. There are happy endings to tales - and the happy endings are still continuing.

But I need help, and as I have in the past, I will put it out there to see if someone has or knows of a property that will make a family - and an agent, I admit - quite happy. It's not listed, I do know that.

We need:

Skaneateles Schools
Acreage, or access to acreage from the property that can be used for recreation
Home in good condition

I can be reached through

And by the way - if you come across 100 acres - no less! - that could be developed for a camp, I could use that too!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

So I spent a couple days last week de-cluttering. It was marvelous! I found old photos I thought had been misplaced, Alex's great Garfield tape from second grade, and let go of tons of things that didn't measure up to those findings. We made barely nothing on the garage sale and took a load to the Thrifty Shopper store in Sennett on Grant Ave. They keep a clean and neat place, and I felt good giving things away. But after 48 hours with some time to rest I only made it through our bedroom, my bathroom, the "Adirondack room" guest bedroom and closet, and the kitchen. That was it. I will have to do the rest another time.

On to what else happened this past week! There are currently 148 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. The village has 31 of these listings, and there are 35 waterfront properties. Five new homes came on the market this past week. Two are in the village - a sweet 2-bedroom for the mid-$200,000 and a pretty 4-bedroom for slightly above $400,000. An over a million dollars waterfront also came on the market and another one was re-listed, well under a million. I put on an absolutely adorable not-as-little-as-you'd-think cottage for $218,000. Open this Sunday, 11;30 to 1:00!

Six homes are marked contingent with one new one that was previously commercial space. We have 21 marked "U" or "P" which means they are ready for closing, or almost. Of these, 7 are in the village and 6 are waterfront.

So far this year we have 47 closed homes. One is new - a rare foreclosure on the edge of the village which sold for above its low listing price. Five of the 47 closed properties are in the village and 8 are waterfront. That makes the waterfront percentage about 17%. Last year it was similar (10/60 or 16.6%). In 2008 even though there were only 34 closed homes by this time, 9 of them were waterfront - approximately 26%.

I've been showing and showing all week, and as I speak with other Realtors they tell me that indeed, showings are up. Interest in one house sparks interest in others - and there are a lot of houses out there! Go see them this weekend! Buy them next week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

I am so looking forward to de-cluttering the house in the next few days in preparation for a garage sale this Saturday. When I placed the ad, Lisa asked what I had for sale. All I could say was "stuff" because I really don't know. I know some items - clothes, furniture, the ubiquitous "collectibles" - but I do not know what I'll find as I start the grand rummaging. And I am talking only about the house - not the apartment (probably won't get there) or the basement (that's another three days!) or the garage. But it will all be pulled out, looked at, organized, thrown out or given away or stored as nostalgia I can't part with - yet. It's de-nesting, and it feels good.

So, short and sweet - a tweeted update blog? - and we are off and reading!

There are currently 147 active listings in the Skaneateles area, 29 of these in the village. There are two new village listings - one that is re-listed (and I think a pretty good deal) and another that has been reclaimed over the course of a few years. It's beautiful, and at close to $900,000 (no waterfront, sorry!) it really should be. The kitchen is now open and huge, you don't get lost in the rear bedrooms, plus it feels light and bright. The third listing is in the town and is being marketed around $200,000.

Two new properties were marked contingent - a large one over $500,000 and a small village property at half that price. Nothing appears to be new in the pending category, but there are 19 there either pended or not being shown any more because of contracts. Bodes well!

Forty-six have now closed so far this year. Two are new and both were listed within the past five months. A tiny waterfront closed at about 80% of its original price, and a town home closed within 10%.

I know buyers are out there - and it's September, a very good time of year to buy a home (as if any other time isn't good, too!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

This is the "hot" edition. I do not remember another summer as warm as this one, ever. I remember pockets of heated days when it seemed to stay near 100 degrees and then would break with incredible thunderstorms, and the world would be fresh again. I always thought I liked the heat, but I feel as if I am bathed in an least it's cool here in my office at home, Koko curled up on the rug next to me, Boo stretched out on the kitchen hardwoods. If we keep the windows closed the heat stays out. But not the way I want to live in the summer!

Enough whining, on to important matters! There are currently 147 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Of these, 29 are in the village. One-third are under $280,000 in price, the second third climbs to $495,000, and the last moves up from there to three million, or thereabouts. Interesting exercise. I'll do it again with the closed properties.

Two new single family homes came on the market in the past week - one is a re-list under $250,000, another is waterfront under 1M, and one I particularly like at that. Not my listing, unfortunately, but I will certainly attempt to sell it.

Nothing new has been marked contingent, but one property - waterfront under 500K - has been pended.

We now have 44 closed properties in the area, two new ones just this week. One was waterfront listed in July of this year closed at about 70% of its list price. Another village property that listed two years ago just closed about 24% under its original price. Both are cautionary tales of listing competitively right at the start or willingness to negotiate.

Applying the same divisions as I did in the active listings, I can say that the first third list price of sales was $194,000. The second third went up to $350,000, and the last stopped at 1.5M. Those are interesting ratios, frankly - the first two come in right around 70% of the active list thirds. I always wonder what is happening when numbers collide like that - must be the heat!

Soon it will be fall - crisp days, new apples, cool evenings - and this long hot summer will be but a pleasant memory.