Friday, March 15, 2013

Chamber Luncheon

First let me say Mirbeau is marvelous, a real gift to the area.  The luncheon was held in a small room, large enough for just three tables and a presentation table.  I asked Sue if I would know anyone, and she said "about half."  What she didn't say is that three Realtors from Williams, two from Finger Lakes Partners, three more from RealtyUSA were the "half."  Hah!  And one of the presenters was from John Arquette, a young woman I've known through her father for a few years,

Lunch - salad with goat cheese, carmelized walnuts, blueberries...braised beef over potatoes (both were so smooth I wasn't sure which was which), then a slim piece of chocolate cake that kept me buzzed for several hours afterwards.  Sublime!

The young Realtor, Leslie Chave, spoke about the reasons people come to Skaneateles and the reasons they don't.  (Basically she stole my thunder, but did it very eloquently.)  She shared a comparison of two houses, one in Skaneateles for $329,000 and another in Manlius for $279,000.  It is difficult for new buyers to afford these, she asserted, but went on to say that she loved Skaneateles and felt it had a great deal to offer (as it does.)  She said young people who have returned to the area have formed a group to promote Skaneateles.  "Skaneateles is a great place to visit, and a great place to live!"  (I paraphrase.)

Ron Miller, the Assessor, spoke about the statistics.  Our homes are generally older and more unique.  The average price is $271,000 (or so.)  He compared the tax rates of the different areas with of course poor old Elbridge coming out sadly high, while Skaneateles is the lowest in the county, a little known fact.  (More thunder-stealing.)

My turn.  As I got up, Kathy Walton from RealtyUSA knew my plight and said "just affirm what they said."  So I did, adding the piece about how a comparably-priced home in Skaneateles when mortgaged has a smaller monthly payment.  I showed two homes at $175,000 - in Skaneateles, the payment is $176 less than Camillus.  That matters to first time home-buyers.  (Thanks to Carol Alger at Paragon Home Loans for the comparisions.)

All in all, an interesting lunch.  Kathy Pastel, interim Superintendent for Skaneateles Schools, said that we need younger families to round out our aging population.  The graduating class this year will be 140.  The entering kindergarten class at this point is only 81.  Yikes!

So I think I will continue to attend these gatherings, just because it's a good way to connect.   The next meeting is at Anyela's - even more reason to go!

Speaking of "going"'...."  Go Orange!