I've been spending the last week or so in the company of people from outside the U.S. Our fall weather has been perfect - 60s and sunny, that wonderful wind that stirs up the leaves, warm nights and a full moon. Our area is so rich with colors now and everyone remarked on them. We are different here - and until you have experienced the Finger Lakes region in the fall I don't think it can be fully imagined. I remember being in Seattle and traveling out into the mountains in a long, long line of other foliage seekers, only to see yellow and more yellow - where were the reds and oranges I had grown up with? There's no place like home!
Currently in the Skaneateles area as designated by the multiple listing service there are 131 active listings, of which 34 are in the village. This may not be totally accurate - some agents place listings in both the village and the town so they won't be overlooked. Of these 131, 31 are noted as "waterfront." I would think lake, but this also encompasses anything on any type of water - the creek, a pond, like the listing out on Mandy Rue - but I believe there are only 2 like this currently.
Four new listings came on this past week - all brand-new. The number of homes being re-listed has dropped considerably in the past couple months, as has the number of listings, possibly due to people just waiting for spring. A large Village Victorian came on listed under $500,000. Another large home with lake rights was also listed, but well over $500,000. A third house - Village and just built out of the old foundation - is selling now for over $500,000. The last new listing is a tiny little house on a pretty lot in the Marcellus school district marketed for - wait for it - under $50,000.
There are no new contingent homes, leaving three in this category. Five are listed as
"under contract, do not show," which generally means that the owner is satisfied and doesn't want to be bothered, but they do not have a mortgage commitment as yet. The ones with mortgage commitments are tagged "P" for pending - and there are 11 of them at this time.
The good news is that we now have 55 closed single family homes for the Skaneateles area, and three of these are new. As a matter of fact, all three have waterfront! All of them came on in the past 12 months, they all sold in the $400,000 range, and all dropped their original prices considerably from the $500,000 level to make the sales. It's interesting that the quicker the house closed, the more the price was dropped...but the others still paid taxes and presumably mortgage payments while they waited for offers closer to their list prices. Interesting to see all three at the same time.
Of the 55 closed properties this year, 13 are waterfront. This is over 25% of all the sales in the area. Last year, the number was 16% and the year before 30%. I think the lesson here is that waterfront will always sell, even in a recession - and possibly for less - but it will still sell.
So take a trip around the lake this weekend. Choose one of those remaining 31 lakefront properties. Think about spring and next summer - and put in an offer. There is nothing like being on the lake in July or August - or seeing it crystal clear and glass-still come the fall, reflecting all those colors!