Monday, January 27, 2014

Skaneateles Real Estate Update - December 31st to January 27th

So it's been a while.  But as you will see not a whole lot has happened.  I am sitting at my desk looking out on the deck and yard.  The sun is brilliant - I wouldn't venture out without sunglasses!  But the wind is howling, the birdfeeders are swaying, and the temperature has dropped from a 7:00 AM high of 30 to 19.  I think that's why there has been very little happening.

We are starting the year with an extremely low amount of listings - only 65 (total!) in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service.  Of these, 12 are in the Village - so many were sold last year!  Eighteen are considered waterfront.  It's becoming - dare I say it - a sellers' market.  We may be back to the old days of showing everything that exists that remotely fits the buyers' criteria.  Ah, but they have to buy, then, don't they?

There have been 9 "new" listings during this time period.  Of these, 5 were that hadn't sold and needed refreshing, or a change in agency or price rather than a mere reduction.  The four really new ones range in price from $225,000 to $550,000.  Three are in the town portion and only one in the Village.

Properties under contract have only 11 remaining, waiting to close or clear contingencies.  Not a lot, but then ... (see paragraph 1).

Only four houses have been brought under contract in the past month.  Despite the weather, one is waterfront.  Another is Village and the remaining two therefore come from outside the Village.

Two properties have sold and closed!  One was in the Village and the other outside - and both sold for under $200,000.  An agent remarked to me the other day that "here we go again....starting over, building up our sales.  It seems like such a long way to go!"  The same can be said of the sale of Skaneateles properties...we have a lot of work ahead of us in the new year!

Year-end Review - 2013

It was a great year once again!  Not record-breaking like 2013, but a continuation of sales of all sorts of homes.  Why?  Need to buy and sell, low, low mortgage rates, homes coming on the market for less than owners paid for them a few years ago.  We also have great houses of course!

According to the multiple listing service, there were 116 homes sold and closed in the Skaneateles area.  Of course some were in different towns, but because of either the lake frontage or school district were listed in the Skaneateles area.  In 2013 there were 129 homes closed.  Truly a banner year!

Of these 116, 46 were in the Village and 20 were considered waterfront.  This is a break from the usual percentages....generally Village and waterfront are closer.  For example, in 2012 there were 41 Village properties and 24 waterfront, not as great a discrepancy.  Going back to 2011 - when there were only 71 sold and closed houses (imagine!) - the numbers were 21 Village and 15 waterfront.

Why Village?  As the school district will confirm, people are aging out and moving on.  Homes are being sold and people are buying....and yet the population continues to age.  The people coming in - in part - are looking for a quiet Village experience, and despite what has been written about New York State taxes our home prices are good and Skaneateles has the lowest rate in Onondaga County.

More numbers:  the lowest priced home was listed at $39,000 and closed for $30,000.  The highest priced home sold for 2.8M (plus).   Nine homes listed over a million dollars sold, while three under $100,000 also closed.

The median price was $300,000, staying steady from the year before.

As I predicted, I doubt we will have the same numbers this year.  Fewer houses are on the market, the rates have gone up, and this winter weather hasn't helped in the least!  I only hope it will be an early spring, a brilliant summer, and the houses that are on the market will all be sold by the end of the year!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Two Open House Alerts! Skaneateles Village

Next Sunday, January 26th, I will hold two of my Skaneateles Village homes open.  Mid-winter, snow festivals - why not an open house festival?

I will start with 54 Onondaga Street between 11:00 and 1:00, then move on to 50 West Genesee between 2:00 and 4:00.  Then go home and collapse!  Actually not, because I love holding homes open and meeting people who are also interested in the houses.

The home on Onondaga is essentially a large cape with a mostly finished basement that adds another 600 square feet of living space.  The first floor - ground level with the street - contains a bedroom, full bath, kitchen, family, living, and dining rooms.  Sliders open to a deck that overlooks the back yard.  It is a house intended for entertaining - two fireplaces, an extra bar sink, peninsula with stools...the overflow in the summer can spill out onto the deck.

Upstairs there are another three bedrooms and another full bath.  Sweet dormers bring in light and really make the bedrooms adorable.  The ML# is S299999, price is $315,000.  The house is at the corner of Teasel...Onondaga branches off Genesee Street when you go east from the center.  I'll have signs out to show the way!

The 2:00 to 4:00 open house is at 50 West Genesee, just a short walk from the Sherwood.  It's again four bedrooms but has three full baths.  Built in 1904 it's been remodeled and updated several times but retains its beautiful woodwork and Victorian character.  It's a joy to show - the last time I went through a gentleman remarked that Harry Potter must live in the closet under the stairs!  It captures your imagination.

Instead of a finished basement, it has a finished third story.  Not a bedroom, it could be a play room, media room or someone's getaway office.  These days you can can see the lake from the ornate window in the front.  ML#S280791, and currently priced at $390,000.

As always, please tell me you read about these opens here....I love knowing that I am reaching people.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Open House Alert! Amidon Drive

I held this Marcellus home open before the holidays and was thrilled with the number of people who came to see it.  Holidays being what they are, several said they had to put thoughts of moving forward on hold. Hopefully they did so until now!

You will notice that I didn't put the number of the house - no need!  Once you get onto Amidon, from either Bishop Hill or South Street, you climb the hill and look towards the Village of Marcellus - the house sits on the edge of the hill and the 2.6 acres actually encompasses part of the cul-de-sac.  Think evergreens...views...privacy!

The house itself has three bedrooms and a full bath on the "west" wing.  On the "east" wing is another bedroom, another full bath, and a sitting room or sunroom or it could even be an office overlooking the yard.
Yes, the pool is gone, but the flat yard is larger for it.  And that 2-car garage you see on the right side of the photo?  Huge!

The price is $199,900...the open is from noon to 2:00...and there will be plenty of time to get home for the Broncos-Patriots game...we could even write an offer before the Seahawks blitz the 49-ers (I hope!)  ML#S302817 for more photos.

Come and see - and as always, please tell me you saw this on my blog or Facebook page!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Open House Alert! 51 Calemad

What a great house and a wonderful opportunity to move into (or around in) the Skaneateles School District!

The house is located in Parcell Woods, a small community in the Town of Sennett, just west of Skaneateles.  It's on a cul-de-sac, and has over two acres.  The house sits back from the road, making it quite private.  The backyard opens to woods.

Built by Kevin McCormick (Colin Homes) in 2007, it has four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a two-car garage, and well and septic.  These are the second owners, and they've added a huge Trex deck, new water system, paved (long) driveway, and their own touches.  Granite is in the kitchen and baths with cherry cabinets. Special features include the second floor laundry (with laundry sink and cabinets), two walk-in closets in the master, and a walk-in pantry with natural light from a window.  The basement is unfinished, but it has a bank of windows on the south side as well as a second walk-up stairway into the garage.  Like most of Colin Homes' houses, the mud room allows for the removal of boots and coats before entering the house.

Come see it - Sunday the 12th (as in this Sunday) between 12:00 and 2:00.  It's an earlier than usual open house to allow everyone to see the football games.  I suppose we could turn on the TV there, bask in the warmth of the fireplace in the family room...but I think the owners would rather do that in privacy!

For more photos, please see ML#S302817 - and when you come, please tell me you read about it in this blog or on my Facebook page:

Directions:  From the Village, go north on Route 321 (State Street) about a mile to Old Seneca Turnpike - turn left, towards Auburn.  That becomes Franklin Street Road...After County Line Road crosses it, the next right hand turn is onto Parcell Road - then left into the community and left again to #51...but drive around the circle and see the homes there, and the woods, the ponds.  It's a great place to live!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Predictions and Resolutions

I love doing resolutions, and then looking back to see if I accomplished them all...monitor and adjust, what works and what doesn't, reflections...all so important to always moving upwards.

Last year I resolved to go to more brokers' opens.  I am not the most social person, and getting out and meeting people is surprisingly difficult for me.  I like having a purpose - then I am fine!  Show a house, sell a home...yes, definitely.  But mix in a crowd...not me...  I went to more broker opens (Tuesdays for the west side of Onondaga County) and took a friend usually.  But then I sold her house and she moved!  I still went, but I will do more this year.

Open houses on Sundays are easy and I love to do them!  Last year I devoted 20 Sundays (and a Saturday) to holding houses open to the public.  I believe in them, and like anything you truly believe in, it works.  The houses are advertised, there is an opportunity for people to come through casually, and the house is shown more.  This year I want to combine opens...I have listings in the Village, and they can be done two in a day. Not easily, but I want my listings open, so I will do the work.  Watch for them, starting January 11th!

I wrote to a friend this morning who was lamenting the fact that she still had three more years until she could retire from teaching.  I told her that I never regretted leaving education early, and that real estate has been absolutely wonderful even though it was a great leap of faith when I started.  I still feel that way, and the resolution that comes out of this declaration is to appreciate it every day.  Getting Christmas cards this year from past clients was so wonderful - they update me on their kids, their lives....and yes, I am a part of their lives.  I want to enhance that, cherish it, never take it for granted.

Predictions...the market will slow with the increased mortgage rates, the lack of inventory.  We simply can't have over 100 houses selling in Skaneateles when there are so few on the market.  Buyers have been coming in and picking up the houses that are there because they waited for years for the economy to change, for prices to come down.  We may be entering another phase of slow-down, of waiting for prices to increase again.  I wish I were a brilliant soothsayer...but under 100 homes sold and closed in 2014 is my educated guess...

One last resolution:  I resolve not to resolve for 2015 to lose those nagging 15 pounds because they will be gone!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Holiday Update - Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas

So not much happens this time of's been almost seven weeks since I wrote last,
and while there have been a few listings and a few contracts, only closings have taken off...more on that later. I hope your holidays were merry and bright - ours were certainly characterized by chaos.  Wonderful chaos, with the two babies here plus Alex and Rachel.  Who knew it could be this much fun!

Currently there are only a few listings (67!) in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service.  Of these, 13 are in the Village and 18 are considered waterfront.  Six new ones came on in the past seven weeks...they range in price from just under $300,000 to just over $400,000.  The latter (see photo above) is my new listing at 51 Calemad in the Town of Sennett but Skaneateles Schools.  It will get its own "new listing" blog, deservedly so, if it hasn't sold before I get to it!

In the "just waiting to close" category there are 11 homes.  I've been there at the end of the year, trying to get something closed either right before Christmas or the new can be hard!  So who knows how many of these will make it.  Six are new to this category, one Village, 2 waterfront, and 3 in the town.

As promised, the "sold and closed" area of the MLS was busy.  Thirteen homes closed in the past 7 weeks - 13!  We now have 114 closed sales this year....I am looking forward to analyzing trends in mid-January once all the closings have been reported.

A last minute reminder!  If you haven't re-registered for your STAR tax exemption, you must do it by December 31st - as in TOMORROW!  It took virtually less than 5 minutes...and we will save a bundle on school taxes.

Happy New Year to all!