Thursday, November 25, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

Actually, this is the Thanksgiving edition!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Go make pies and devour them, chase the kids around the yard, watch out that the dog doesn't eat the gouda, and sleep in front of the fire (in the fireplace, please!) Visit with your guests and relatives, listen to them tomorrow on National Listening Day, buy the one great thing you want at half price - and enjoy your home or home-to-be dreams!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

I had a wonderful time this Tuesday at brokers' opens. I toured with a friend and saw two new listings. When her money comes in, she promises to buy one of them - probably the gorgeous Village home. We had lunch at Joe's Pasta Garage - the pumpkin cheesecake was marvelous - and then ran through the rain to the Chamber to buy Skanopoly games before they run out. It's always fun to share the lovely Skaneateles homes, good talk, and cheesecake.

Currently there are 125 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Of these, 34 are in the Village. Five "new" listings came on this week - three are actually re-lists with a musical chairs of sorts with agents, plus minimal reductions in prices. The two new ones are magnificent and priced in the upper levels - close to a million and no waterfront, just Village. The one we saw really shows what a solidly built, well-decorated home should be, with excellent use of space throughout. And the price reflects it, too.

There are no new homes marked contingent. Neither are there new "U" and "P" homes. One waterfront home closed in the low $500,000, about 10% under its original list price. It had the most remarkable address, too - "OFF West Lake Road" - because the owners didn't want the usual drive-by viewings. And even with this strategy, it sold!

Houses are still being shown, remember, even though the weather is rainy one minute and sunny (sort of) the next. Today I showed three houses and all were being shown after me. So if you have a Village home, three large or four bedrooms, an open floor plan, and a dry basement built after World War II and it's not on the market yet, please let me know! I have two sets of buyers who might be interested. And I know other agents do, too! Oh yes, one other thing, please keep the price under $500,000...thanks!

Closed in Skaneateles! The Third Twenty!

We have now reached that marvelous time when I can report on the third set of closed homes in Skaneateles. It took us only 79 days to get to this point from the second twenty, as compared with twice that - literally! - for the first twenty. I said in the last blog of listed homes that we were "picking up steam" - we certainly did!

In order of closing, this time:

108 East Lake Road - Village of Skaneateles - $175,000

2969 East Lake Road - Town of Skaneateles - $1,475,000

2629 East Lake Road - Town of Skaneateles - $1,649,000

1014 Ten Mile Point - Town of Spafford - $140,000

54 West Genesee Street - Village of Skaneateles - $380,000

856 Franklin Street - Town of Skaneateles - $264,800

888 West Genesee Street Road - Town of Skaneateles - $88,000

843 Crow Hill Road - Mottville - $345,000

600 Irish Road - Skaneateles Falls - $110,000

2816 East Lake Road - Town of Skaneateles - $265,000

51 Fennell Street - Village of Skaneateles - $155,000

60 Jordan Street - Village of Skaneateles - $230,000

1148 Jewett Road - Town of Skaneateles - $165,000

179 Five Mile Point - Town of Spafford - $500,000

28 Firelane 6 - Town of Niles - $405,000

7 Day Lane - Village of Skaneateles - $460,000

4205 NW Townline Road - Town of Skaneateles - $169,900

27 Griffin Street - Village of Skaneateles - $246,000

79 West Elizabeth Street - Village of Skaneateles - $275,000

1340 Laxton Lane - Town of Skaneateles - $375,000

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The New Trend

I read today on the web that there are several new trends out there in home-buying. The buyers tend to be either empty-nesters who are down-sizing, or first-time homebuyers, generally younger. In both cases they are looking for the same things: smaller homes that are within walkable distance of services and towns.

It all makes sense. The suburbs are not the residences of young professionals or retired couples or singles as much as they are the neighborhoods of families. The two groups cited want to be able to walk their dogs, walk into town (or village) easily to a dinner with friends, go shopping on weekends without piling into cars. Exercise is not found at the gym as much as on the streets of their village, in company with other like-minded individuals.

All you need to do to check out these theories is walk around Skaneateles on a sunny fall day. There they are - the people with their dogs, the older couples entertaining their visiting grown children, the lines at Doug's and the waiting time at Bluewater. The shops are busier than ever, and not just with tourists. (We all know to buy now - Dickens is coming and there will be a lot more people in the village!) Then there are the committed walkers who are able to conduct business on their cells while trudging up State Street.

I thought it would be interesting to see which houses meet the criteria of the article. I looked for village homes between 1700 and 2100 square feet, their limits. Five existed, all represented by different agencies. Prices ranged from a low of $279,000 to a high of $405,000 - not that wide a range, and dependent on the condition of the homes for its variability. Two are listed as four-bedroom homes; two have only one-car garages. But all are easy walks to the village and the lakeside shops and restaurants.

The article also stated that people want fewer bathrooms because they "don't use them all." As anyone knows who has searched for homes in Skaneateles, enough bathrooms are hard to find. Two of these homes have only one - all have half-baths though.

I wish there were more homes in Skaneateles that met this criteria. Going slightly higher to 2300 sf nets two more homes, and between 1500 and 1700 sf brings in four more. Using these calculations, there are 11 homes that basically meet the criteria of this article....not such a bad thing for a beautiful village that is highly walkable, liveable, affordable and has a magnificent lake as its backdrop. Nice to know that we are part of a trend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

Too busy! I just got off the phone with a friend I haven't seen in months. We made plans for lunch next week and both of us agreed that we had been too busy - she with family obligations, me with real estate and family also. How does it happen? The time flies by and we don't take the time for important things, like Zumba with Lisa, or walking Koko in the Village, or going to India House with Bob in the convertible. Camp isn't closed yet for the winter - the grass needs one last mowing because it had the audacity to grow some more - my database needs updating to accommodate my new buyers (wait! that's business related!) I must learn to smell the flowers - some day.

Currently there are 125 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service waiting to be sold, so no rest here! Thirty-two of these are in the village - and I plan to sell at least one this weekend. Four new listings came on this past week, and one re-list, a pretty renovated farmhouse with a slightly reduced price. A gorgeous home overlooking the lake with acreage but no waterfront came on at over 1.5M. A lovely old farmhouse was also listed at less than half a million. Another older home with 3 acres seems like a bargain at just over $200,000. A modern edge-of-village home was listed at over $400,000.

Two properties were marked contingent. A farmhouse in need of some work and priced accordingly (and one my people were interested in seeing, mind you!) can still be shown as well as a lake rights property. These are two potential closings before the end of the year - well done!

Now the very good news. Two more homes closed and brought the number of closings to 60 for the year. This means that at some point in the next week I will write about the third twenty homes, reporting addresses and prices which are matters of public record.

One of the properties was a village home in the high $200,000 range, closing within 10% of the original price. The other was waterfront, closing (as pointed out by an agent in another office) after four years at one of the largest discrepancies between assessed value and sale price - from under $700,000 (original price) to under $400,000 (sale price). I can also report that the new owners are thrilled with their camp and eager for next summer to start.

And I guess that explains in part why I've been so busy - because I enjoy this so much. I get to see lovely homes, settle families where they want to be, make new friends and yes, keep the old.
Not such a bad life.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

On this grey day with the rain coming down I'm reminded of winters in Seattle. It wasn't always like this, and it was nice to not wear boots and winter gear, but I missed the snow. I remember sitting with friends from North Dakota and our pining for the brilliant days of winter, when there's new snow and everything sparkles. But not yet, please!

There are currently ONLY 122 active listings in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service. Of these, 31 are in the village. This is good news for home-sellers - fewer houses to choose from makes the choice easier for people who have to buy. Also, since the inventory is down it will take less time to deplete it - properties will move faster and be replaced by new ones. There was only one new listing in the past week, and that was a re-list of a village home, but with a $30,000 reduction.

There are four new properties marked contingent. One was in the village, another has lake rights, and a third is suitable as a single family, commercial building, and a multi-family dwelling. Also, a small one that got a lot of attention in the Marcellus school district because of its very low price was included in the "continue to show" list.

Under the "we're all done mostly" list is an old beauty that has been on the market for a few years and now has a potential new owner plus a new construction home in the village. Another one that was listed both as a lot and as a home in need of major repair is pended.

Think of it - that's 7 homes that may close before the end of the year!

AND - three new ones have closed! A small village home that sold almost immediately closed not far from its original asking price. A home in Marcellus schools but Skaneateles township did the same, but under $200,000. The third one had been on and off the market for years with renters in-between, and that finally sold about 10% under its current price. We now have 58 homes closed this year.

So even if Skaneateles is doing its Seattle imitation today, you really should think about buying and selling once again. I know my clients are determined to be settled by winter - so please put your homes out there for us to see!