Monday, May 2, 2011

Otisco Lake

The View from Glencove
I went out there today to check our camp after the floods and the wind storms.  Patches, our neighbor's dog, greeted Boo and me on the road.  The place looked fit and fine - certainly ready to be opened up and aired out though.  I also went through my listing on Glencove, wanting to make sure that it was sound.  As I put the key in the lock I heard music playing.  No one was supposed to be there today and I was surprised, to say the least.  I opened up and tiptoed in, calling so I wouldn't take anyone unawares.  It was only the radio - sigh!

Otisco Lake is about 6 or 7 miles long, depending on whether you count the south end beyond the old Causeway, or the north end in the narrows.  It's about a mile wide, and only 30 to 40 minutes southwest of Syracuse.  I can attest that Skaneateles is 15 minutes away from the west side.  And yet it is mostly a forgotten lake.

When Alex was little he was upset that Otisco wasn't considered one of the Finger Lakes proper.  Someone must have told him that - not me!  We thought about the legend that a giant had swooped down and with his fingers carved out the lakes and that is why they are called the Finger Lakes.  I placated Alex by saying that there were no rules where giants were concerned - he might have had 6 fingers or even more. 

And if you'd like to own a place...back to the subject...there are only 6 properties available at this time.  The smallest is on the market in the low $100,000 range.  For that you get a very steep access hill to the camp, 50 feet of lakefront, no running water (read also no septic or outhouse?) but it does have electricity and a great view.  The most expensive is my lovely Glencove listing at $494,000.  It's a three story home, rebuilt from the bottom up in 1991, with four bedrooms and three full baths, over 100 feet of lakefront and half an acre of land (double lot).  It's designed for year-round cozy living and in the Marcellus School District. 

The other four are basically camps of all sizes.  The square foot costs range from a low of $149 to $339.  Last year there were 13 camps listed for most of the summer - maybe more will come on the market.

In the past 24 months 17 properties on the lake have closed.  A small one south of the Causeway closed at $55,000 and needed a lot of work, but it at least had a holding tank.  The most expensive closed at $420,000 fairly rapidly and was built new in 2009.  While we don't have the huge houses and lakefronts that Skaneateles boasts, we also do not have the high prices.

As Boo and I left today I went north to drive into Marcellus and put up signs for my open house this Sunday at 1 Orchard Street.  (Just saying.)  Along the west side in the Narrows whole pine trees - five or six? - had been uprooted by the winds and just lay there.  The winds must have swept over and caught them just right, or they were waterlogged from all that rain.  We considered ourselves lucky, Boo and I, that we had no damage and neither did our neighbors.  It wasn't always that way after a major storm....but that's another blog....