Fall “Into” The Finger Lakes

 

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Driving from a client’s property near Hammondsport on Keuka Lake, I felt compelled to stop and take some photos.  I should have stopped more but had to get to another appointment.  As I looked at the photos, it reminded me of the reasons that have made the Finger Lakes area such a destination area in the Fall.  Folks come from near and far for the fall colors and views and of course the wine trails.  As you drive down the road on a nice warm day with the windows open, the aromas of the vineyards take over your senses. The visual experience is just as powerful.  It becomes difficult to not stop…you become compelled to stop and saturate your senses.  The colors, the smell, the contrast of the bright blue skies against the autumnal colors in the horizon are all there for you to capture if only in your mind.

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Keuka Lake – Closing for Summer …

Your lakefront realtor mary st george

Morgans Marina at night fall…

 

The tubes and skis are being cleaned and put away. the temporary docks are being removed and stored for the next season and the boats have been brought over to the marina to rest until next spring when the warmer weather comes rolling back in.  You will still find a few boats tied up to their docks, permanent docks that is. They most likely will belong to the avid fishermen…you know the die hards, the ones that will be out their in the frigid temps, as long as the lake is not iced up.

Barb Cavaluzzi recorded a video of one of the sea planes coming into Morgan’s Marina in Penn Yan NY on Keuka Lake.  Once the marina has all of the boats in, the docks will eventually be pulled up and it will lay barren until spring. This will most likely mean the end of the sea planes until  next spring as well.

Sea Plane docking on Keuka lake

In the fall many will come back to their second homes to take advantage of the chance to use their vacation home here on Keuka Lake for the last time, they will visit some of the wineries and just sit back and enjoy the views.  Nothing wrong with that, especially if you have a nice glass of wine and a dancing fire  to take the chill out of the air.  Speaking of the air, oh my…how fragrant it is this time of year.  The apples and grapes are being harvested and the aroma is undeniably lovely.

So even though it is hard to say goodbye to another wonderful season, there are still a few things that we can look forward to as the seasons change.  There may not be anymore waterskiing to be done, but there will be fresh apples, cider and chestnuts and you may even find someone roasting the chestnuts over an open fire. The wineries are all introducing their new vintages, and many of the cheese makers will be doing their pairings with the wineries.    This is also the time of the year that the locals, the ones that are involved in the seasonal businesses on the lake like myself ( you know – your favorite lakefront real estate agent on Keuka Lake ),  actually have a chance to enjoy the lake and it’s beauty for what it is.    Things are slowing down for us, at least for me with lakefront sales and it gives me time to catch up with some of the other business owners.

Let me know what your favorite activity is in the fall in the Finger Lakes or at least on Keuka Lake. I would love to hear from you !

 

 

 

 

 

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Seneca Lake Open House – Sunday September 21st 2014

 

 

 

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open houseThe air is getting crisp, the aroma of grapes, apples and other fruits wafts through the air and sweaters are quickly becoming a part of your daily attire.  This is the season for a change in colors, scents  and lifestyle.  Everyone is preparing for the cooler weather and trying to take advantage of the all of the great fall days that are in the offering.  Fall festivals, wine tasting and warming up by a dancing fire complete the day.

Another great activity is viewing lake homes.  Why now?  Considering it takes approximately 60 days to close on a property in New York State once you have an accepted offer.  This puts you in line to enjoy your new vacation home during the holidays enjoying a warming fire and taking in the beautiful quiet and calming views.  Then it is time to make the place yours.  The early winter allows you to think  ahead for spring.  What colors will I use, how and when will we entertain? Will you need more outdoor seating? How about the yard, what and where will you plant for easy gardening?  If the property will be put into a rental program and if so, this is the time to meet with them and finalize last minute details.

The next thing you know it will be Spring and time to open up the windows.  So let us prepare you with a perfect home for either private ownership or to be put into a rental program.  Stop by and visit us on Seneca Lake this Sunday to view an absolutely perfect property. Seneca Lake is of course one of the Finger Lakes and proudly sits in the middle of the Finger Lakes Wine Trail.

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You will find a year round vacation home with three separate floors of living.  On the main floor an open kitchen and dining area greets you off of the front door.  The dining area continues out to the spacious deck that overlooks both the yard and vastness of Seneca Lake.  Just off of the dining area you walk into a cozy living area complete with wood stove, the perfect touch to take the chill out of the autumn air.  And when the air is crisp, you can still take advantage of the endless views while relaxing on your enclosed porch. To the left of the front door you enter the master suite, also to beautiful views of Seneca Lake.  Light fills the room preparing you for a fun filled day on the lake. The master suite also includes an area that could be used for an office, a sitting area or even turned into a sizable walk in closet.

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Allow yourself to feel like a celebrity here with the privacy created on this spacious lot surrounded by trees.  There is plenty of room to store your vehicles in the 2 bay garage.  Plenty of storage room above in the loft.  Of course it is all about the lake.  You can enjoy the most wondrous views from the open porch of the home, the walk out basement patio, the brand new architect designed deck large enough for its own party or on the spacious dock complete with two covered boat hoists. With 152 feet of waterfront, you have room for all of your water toys and plenty of room to walk into the water to swim or take out the kayaks.  Since Seneca Lake is the deepest, widest and second longest, you can comfortably own the boat of your choice.  Or you can just sit back and watch for the various sailing vessels to pass by as you sip your favorite beverage.

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So stop by and see us Sunday 9/21/2014 from 1-3 at 4594 Lakeview Rd Starkey NY 14837 located on beautiful Seneca Lake.  We want to make Lakefront Living Your Reality.  This updated, spacious and private waterfront home is being offered for  $659,900 to serious buyers only exclusively by Mary St.George Associate Real Estate Broker, Nothnagle Realtors, 315-719-8377 mstgeorge@nothnagle.com

 

 

 

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How To Maintain Control With Your Rental Management Company

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Rental management with vacation properties is quite popular in the Finger Lakes even though Home Away and Flip Key are quite popular.  Rental management companies reduce the stress for homeowners in the weekly rental market  Owners are relieved of finding cleaning help, landscaping work and regular maintenance.  But owner beware, it can lead to additional and unexpected charges.

After purchasing your new vacation home in the Finger Lakes and have decided to put it into a rental management company, take your time when working with the representative.  One of the most important things I tell my real estate clients, is to remember it is their property and that they are allowing the rental company to make an income on “their” property.  I can not tell you how many times my clients have told me:

“My rental company does not want us to use the house during that week.”

“They told us we can not have that type of furniture.  ”

” They told us to install that type of flooring.”

“We are not allowed to do our own cleaning or painting.”

All of the above statements are only true if you allow them to be true.  What do I mean?  Read the contract that is presented to you to sign.  If you do not agree with anything, ask to have it changed and then sign the agreement or if you are not sure what you should do contact your real estate agent, one that is not involved with the rental management company and ask them for their advice.  Working in the area and selling real estate in the area, they can usually give you sound advice.

One of the most unseemly things that I have seen precariously inserted into a contract states ” If you decide to sell your property while under contract with us, you have to used out real estate services.  If you use another agency you still be required to pay us six percent commission on the sale of your property.”  This statement is definitely unethical and may potentially be illegal.  This limits you to sell your property with them and then if they do not sell real estate at the time, you are still obligated to pay them a commission.  Of course this would be above and beyond what you have already agreed to pay the listing broker.  This statement was found inserted into a contract and not one person that came to me about it, had any idea it was there until they went to sell the property and found out their limitations from the rental agency.

Maintenance fees can be very confusing .  Be sure to find out what it covers, how much it costs and how it will be billed.  Many companies require a minimum of one deep cleaning each year.  Some companies will go in before the beginning of the season, inspect the property and determine if the cleaning was done properly, even if you did it. Some will just take it upon themselves to go in with their own crew, redo the deep clean and then charge you for it without any communication.  They will then refer to the contract as their defense.

What happens if a water pipe breaks or the furnace will not turn on?  I would recommend that you break down various large utility break downs and hire a specific company to make the repairs yourself.  For example if the air conditioning or heat will  not work, have your own company to call for repairs.  Most of the rental companies have employees that can repair minor issues, but are not really qualified for heating and air conditioning. Do not be afraid to list your preferences…again…this is “your” home.

If the rental company you are working with does not utilize electronic locks, I would recommend you install them.  This keeps a record of every time the door is open and the combination can be changed by you.

By keeping a communication going with your neighbors, you will know if there are issues with your rental property and can quickly call to negate.  The key to a good rental is that you can sit back and easily manage your property from afar either by yourself or through an agency.  Many home owners are testing the waters with HomeAway.com and FlipKey.com.  It is inexpensive to list your property, the portal is advertised extensively and you can save anywhere from 15 to 20 % by taking bookings online.  There are also a few smaller agencies in the area that are offering very competitive pricing that should be on your list of agencies to talk to.

Before allowing anyone to tell you what to install or not install in your property, talk with your real estate agent.  If you decide down the road you want to sell, you want to insure that your property is saleable based on the updates you add to the property.

15426 Mary StGeorge Keuka Lake                                                                                             keuka Lake 15426 Mary StGeorge

Keuka Lake Mary StGeorge Realtor

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The Top 2 Turnoffs For Buyers…

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Pets are wonderful, sweet and most times a significant part of the family. But they can cause odors that make buyers wince and turn the other way.

Dog odors are usually easy to keep to a minimum unless the home is also the place that dogs are bred or wet dogs are allowed in  and out of the house.  If you are thinking about selling your home, there are a couple of things to do if owning a dog.  Insure that the dog is continually washed and groomed.  This will minimize any odors.  Brush  your dogs daily and try to keep the grooming process to a garage or outdoor area.  This will cut down on the hair balls that tend to take over the home overnight.  Check all of their bedding,  wash and clean as needed.  Some dog beds can be filled with cedar inserts to keep down the odors.  If possible remove your pets for showings or keep in a crate for the safety of both the pets and the viewers.

Cat odors can be overpowering and not easily detected by the owners.  If you have cats, ask your realtor for an honest feedback on cat odors.  In some cases, you may actually have to obtain the services of a professional to remove the odors.  This may even involve removing carpets and sometimes furniture.  If a potential buyer walks into a home and is hit with cat odors, they usually do not even want to continue the home tour.  From experience this is so true.  Cats are adorable fluffy creatures but can completely make a home unsellable.  Insure the litter boxes are clean and kept out of the way.  Cat dander is also something that keeps buyers away and the subject for another article.  So if you do not have a cat and are thinking about selling, try to hold off obtaining a cat until you move into your new property.

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