Archive for the 'Keuka Lake' Category

Is a Chicken Coop Right For You ? Check Out This Houzz Article

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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 you 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 unseemingly 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 when it comes time 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 from the company of your choice.  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 and  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.

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The Magical Appeal of Keuka Lake


There are pages on Facebook for everything and most likely every lake. And there are several pages for Keuka Lake.  The one that seems to be the most popular is ” I ♥ Keuka Lake”   Many of the posts talk about longing to get back to the lake.  People follow the current weather conditions, look at pictures as the seasons change and talk about the cottages they have been brought up in and could never leave.  There seems to be something very magical about Keuka Lake.


Is it the friendly faces?  Or is it the quaint little villages and hamlets that surround the lake?  Maybe it is the natural charm of it’s setting, surrounded by a landscape dotted with trees, vineyards and rolling hills of hay.  It could be the casual settings of the various lakeside restaurants where you can visit via boat or car.  Is there something in the air or maybe it all starts in the water.  There is something that captivates folks and maybe it is just a combination of everything that is and surrounds the lake.


Many love to come here because once here, they are compelled to slow down and relax.  Yes, you can still get internet service and cable around the lake, but most seem to forget all about it and just concentrate on being happy and enjoying the lake.  It is easy to do with so many restaurants serving locally produced goods, wineries uncorking enough blends to satisfy every palate and even craft breweries with enough choices that will have you bringing home a growler of your favorite.


The “lakers”, those that have a place on the lake or live on the lake refer to it as the “Keuka Lifestyle”.  When the lakers come back, you can find them in the local deli on the east side, The Olney Place ordering a fresh sandwich and checking the condition of the docks after the winter ice or find them at the Trading Post enjoying an early to mid day breakfast talking with their summer friends.


I am always looking to find what that magical ingredient is, so when you come to visit or stay, I will be looking for your answer to the magical appeal.  Maybe it is just sitting by a relaxing and warming fire by the lakeside after a day in the sun, and watching the fireflies dancing against the black of the night.

Of course if you come to visit and decide to stay, you know to contact the most engaging lakefront Realtor® on the lake to purchase your magical place on the lake… just call me.


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Keuka Lake Wine Trail Celebrates 30 Years !

keuka lake wine trail winterWhen I first located in the Finger Lakes region from Rochester, I was of course impressed with the landscape colored with vineyards, rolling hills and the blue lakes that these wandering hills surrounded.  The lakes became a huge source of enjoyment to my two young boys.  They played in the water, swam and eventually ventured onto the lakes with their own boats.  There have been lots of lakeside parties with friends and fun days out on the boat.

Through all of this, I have watched the Keuka Lake Wine Trail grow with the addition of so many great wineries.  The most recent addition that I am familiar with, is Vineyard View.  I have the luxury of knowing the young men and woman that own and run this winery.  My sons have been friends with this family since their school days here in the area.  My youngest son also held his rehearsal dinner at the winery recently.

When family or friends come to the area, there are a few wineries that are favorites on our tour for both the wines and views.  Each is unique in their offerings.  Some even have wonderful restaurants or cafe’s for an added experience.  No matter which winery or wineries you choose to visit, you will be graciously welcomed.

Keuka Lake Wine Trail Celebrates 30 Years

Through the years this lake has supported me in my business of selling lakefront properties.  And for that I am additionally thankful.


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Keuka Lake – Closing for Summer …

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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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