Archive for the 'Luxury Waterfront' Category

Attracting Luxury Lakefront Buyers or Not…

The idea for this post came quite easily after attempting to find listings in the Finger Lakes area that represented the best of the best.  First I sorted through the listings based on price and slowly went through each listing, looking at all of the listing photos just as a buyer would do.  Wow ! Was I disappointed ?  Sellers and their agents should open up Read the rest of this entry »

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A Picture Is Worth A Million Dollars In The Finger Lakes

Every company and sales person should know where and how to market their product. 

In real estate besides a great realtor with an even better marketing plan, there are two  additional professionals that a seller should procure.  The first is a professional photographer and the second would be a certified home stager.  After looking at some of the bad examples below, you will understand why.

I was working on a blog entry that would highlight the  top 5 luxury properties on the Finger Lakes.  What I found were some expensive homes, but when you looked at the photos, you could have been looking at a home for $189,000.  This jumped out at me, as being a very serious marketing issue with high-end real estate in the Finger Lakes.  Luxury real estate should command luxury attention.  Look at some of these photos and try to figure out the price range.  You may be surprised.


Would you expect to find the shower being used to store supplies ?   This should show with a spa like feel.

And of course most would expect that  million dollar and up homes would come complete with a wood burning stove right in the middle of the kitchen and a dish drainer to dry your hand washed dishes. No this is not the butlers kitchen.

Of course everyone looks forward to seeing a dark stairwell  – a little scary looking

Here we have a picture that only a professional should have taken, to allow the proper amount of light in.  As is, you really do not know what you are looking out at.   Another faux pas of real estate listings, is to have religious items out.  This picture is dark and does not represent any one area or room.

This is a great home, but you would never know by the table-cloth and chairs positioned to look like musical chairs.  Again, another picture that really needed a professional.  You should see beautiful and tranquil Keuka Lake from this room.

Here we have everyone’s standard kleenex box on the coffee table ! And what is that above the mantel?

A great realtor would not and should not  allow these types of photos to be seen or marketed on high-end luxury properties.  These homes are all currently listed at over $1.5 million dollars but you would never know by looking at the photos.  People are very visual in their needs.  You would never find a Mercedes or a Rolex being marketed with substandard photos, so why would you show your luxury home in a less than deserving light?

I know some of the owners of these homes and I never would have allowed these photos to be published.  You can be assured that your luxury listing with Mary St George, will have a professional photographer taking the photos and the pictures will be staged to present your home  in the most elegant  and gracious setting.  Your home deserves the best, and that is what will attract the best buyer.

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Enjoy nature and snow sports on Keuka’s bluff.

Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, snow sports, biking – you name it; you can have nature your way all four seasons and have room for friends or enjoy the privacy of your own home and rent the other one out!

We are offering two homes on five acres of stunning Keuka Lake bluff property boasting 180 feet of waterfront. Both owner-built homes afford a magnificent, private lake view of Keuka Lake from a highly desirable bluff perch, situated on the west branch of one of the most uniquely-shaped lakes in the world.

Located on West Bluff Road, the lower house features two bedrooms, one and a half baths, and an open living/dining/kitchen area.  The lower deck provides extra outdoor relaxation and entertainment room for the summer months and a sublime lake view no matter what the season.

The larger home sits at the top of the driveway and boasts three bedrooms with two full baths with an open living and dining area, leading to an oversize front porch and lake view.

Truly private, this property holds the keys to any nature enthusiast’s heart.  It is perfect for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.  Traffic and road use is minimal as the bluff has no main thoroughfares. Nestled in abundant trees, the property also backs up to Keuka Lake State Park.  A raised deck and a dock with a boat hoist at water’s edge and there is a state-owned boat launch just minutes away at the park.

This nature lover’s vacation escape is available for purchase via Wine Trail Properties, 315-536-8004

The Quiet Place To Be...

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First Over Million Dollar Sale on Keuka Lake For 2011

Wurtele Houswe







Keuka Lake, is one of the more desirable of the Finger Lakes, not because of its unique Y shape but because of the setting, the ambiance, the tradition, the quaintness, the little hamlets and villages and a little of all above.  Here you can find a $25,000 mobile home in a private park to a multi million dollar home rumored to have been purchased by John Travolta for his wife Kelly.

With homes like those that would attract a Travolta type buyer, you would expect to see many multi million dollar sales on this lake.  Quite the contrary… in fact there have only been 9 sales on Keuka Lake over a million dollars for as long as the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors has been tracking them.

The first and only home this year on Keuka Lake to sell for over a million dollars, just sold for $1,400,000.  It is located at 10219 E Lake Rd in the Town of Urbana, located at the Southern end of Keuka Lake.  It has a great private location that includes 305 feet of lake front, 1.2 acres, a boat house, in ground pool with pool house complete with bath, a 2 car garage with loft above and a traditional home of 2,717 square feet of living space. 

The luxury waterfront home was originally listed by Vang Real Estate for $2,375,000.00 in July of 2009 and a buyer was brought to the table by Mike Hanna of Realty USA in Hammondsport. 

There are not a lot of private and spacious settings left like this on Keuka Lake.  Here is wishing great times and newly developed memories to the new owners.  Keuka Lake is truly a delightful place.  I am quite sure the Wurtelle family will miss this great vacation escape that they have enjoyed for many, many years.




 This information brought to you by your favorite waterfront Realtor, Mary St. George, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, Your Personal Connection to Lakefront Living in the Finger Lakes, 315-719-8377

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How To Keep Your Vacation Home From Becoming a Crash Pad

Your Lakefront Friends ?
Your Lakefront Friends ?


 Each time I sell a vacation lakefront home, I remind the new owners of what I call the “honeymoon year”.  This is when you find out how many friends and relatives you have.  Usually when you make the leap to purchase that long-awaited vacation home, you just have to tell the world about it and why not ?  You should be proud and happy of the fact you have become successful enough to purchase a second home, your new vacation home.  Well now all of your friends and relatives want to see this great place and enjoy it with you.  So the first year, you will be juggling friends and relatives and trying to find some time to enjoy your new place with just your immediate family.  

Yes, I know, some of you have purchased your vacation home in the Finger Lakes to share with family and friends, but just be careful that they don’t attach themselves at the hip.  You really will want to spend some time to relax and unwind without the whole clan around 24/7.

Keuka Lake

Keuka Lake


So become prepared.  Be prepared to say no, be prepared to have a discount amount to charge family and friends to use your vacation home when you are not using it, be prepared to see that your place will not be left to you in the same way it was left for your friends. 

Sorry - No room at the lakehouse !
Sorry – No room at the lake house !

If you do decide to share your vacation home when you are not there, whether you will be charging or not, you should set up some ground rules.  You could do this by making a list, add a little humor to it, and then have it laminated.

For example:


This was just an example of the items you will want to address.  You may have other items to add and some to remove, but the important thing to do is, set the expectations right out of the gate. It will make your lake life more enjoyable and your guests will really appreciate you even more.

One more note: Don’t be afraid to ask your guests what they will be bringing for dinner if they are just visiting for the day.  If they are not sure what to bring, then suggest something.  This will give you more time to enjoy your guests and most will be honored to bring something. 


This information brought to you by your favorite waterfront realtor in the Finger Lakes, Mary St. George, Associate Broker with Wine Trail Properties, Your Personal Connection to Lakefront Living in the Finger Lakes.  When looking to purchase or sell a waterfront home, call the new powerhouse realtor on the lakes.  315-719-8377

fish sign courtesy of Cindy Sullivan Byrne


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