Archive for the 'Real Estate News' Category

Keuka Lake Laughed In The Face Of The Housing Bubble…

Normally when you have more than 5 months of inventory,  that real estate region becomes designated as a “buyers market”.  That has not always been the case on Keuka Lake.

There are currently 99 homes available on Keuka Lake with only 55 homes total selling in all of  2011.  There are a handful of  homes on  Keuka Lake, that have been listed for sale since 2009 .  That really is not unusual.

Many home owners do not have to sell and have pre-determined that if they receive their price, then it is sold.  Until then they either enjoy it for personal use, or enjoy the income derived from the Vacation Rental industry in the area.

Another factor affecting Keuka Lake properties, is that prices did not unrealistically appreciate like most markets.  There was  a subtle increase in prices on lakefront properties during the buying frenzy that will still leave some property owners that purchased around 2008, holding on for a little longer. But for most, they just wait for the right buyer.  With properties on the lake being so distinctively different, that is to be expected.  Because many of these homes are second properties or vacation properties, buyers take their time until the “right” one comes along.

A good example of this, is a home located on East Bluff that just entered into a contract.  The home recently was relisted for $625,000 but has been for sale since July of 2009.    The original price on the listing was $659,000 . In most markets 3 years is considered a long time, but not Keuka Lake.


This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 1750 sq ft, 106 feet of lakefront and built in 1994 has very desirable attributes and has gone under contract.  If you are looking for a similar home on Keuka Lake and want to find out why this lake is such a gem to both locals and global citizens, give me a call.  You can reach me at or 315-719-8377.

This information brought to you by Mary St.George Realtor, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

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Are You Pre-Approved or Pre-Qualified To Purchase A Lake Home ?

The housing market is heating up, the buyers are out, mortgage rates still sit at record lows, housing prices are still grounded, but the market is moving from a buyers market to a seller’s market.  It seems like we went to sleep to a buyers benefit and woke up to a sellers dream, that is literally how fast the changeover occurred.

In the past you made a decision to purchase a property, then you started looking at all of the real estate ads.  Then realtors told you to have one leg up on another buyer, you needed to get pre-qualified.  This would at least give you an idea if you really can afford the home of your dreams. Now to bid on a home ( submit an offer to purchase ), you really should be pre-approved.  The difference ?

  • Pre-qualification – basically a mortgage broker asks simple questions of the buyers, such as income level and current loan commitments such as car loans and possibly a current mortgage.  This helps to determine how much of a home you can purchase ( the dollar amount )

*  Many times with just a prequal letter, the lender puts you at their mercy knowing that time is of the essence.  Basically once you sign the contract, you need to find a lender immediately to  meet contingency commitments of the contract

  • Pre-approval – this is where you actually submit proof of income and all financial obligations  and a credit report is pulled.  With rates still so low, many buyers also start here to move towards a commitment quicker, allowing the buyer to lock in to a specific rate.   With the change in times – this is the way to start.

* Pre-approval saves time spent looking at homes you can not afford

* Buyers can normally close quicker since most of the paperwork is done

* When multiple offers are placed on a home you like, a pre-approval letter just may give you the edge you need


As one attorney just told me ” The best offer on the table is not always the highest  offer.”  We were talking about a couple of offers that were presented on a property.  The first offer has a large down payment and the buyer already had secured a pre-approval on the balance.  The second offer  was cash for a couple thousand more.  ( I know you think the second offer was much better. ) The sellers attorney recommended that a stipulation with the second offer be presented.  Just because someone says they have funds available does not necessarily mean they are liquid ( available on short notice ). So instead of an acceptance of the offer from the second buyer, a counter was given that stated ” Buyer must have funds put into escrow within two business days.”   As things turned out, the first offer was the one that actually worked out.

Many times cash buyers assume because they can put cash on the table, the seller will just turn over for them.  However, if the seller has a highly desirable property, it may be financially strategic for them to take a higher offer with a mortgage contingency.  the buyer is indeed pre-approved, the process between the two offers can be as little as two weeks in time.

So for serious buyers, make sure that you are pre-approved or have qualified funds that can be withdrawn on a short notice. And when you are serious about purchasing your lake property, give me a call to start looking at the lake homes for sale on Keuka, Canandaigua or Seneca Lakes.

This information brought to you by Mary St. George Realtor, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

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Choosing Your Keuka Lake Real Estate Agent To Find Your Lakefront Property


When looking for a realtor to find your vacation or year round home on Keuka Lake, there are a few things to think about.

  • Find a Realtor that will show you all of the listings that fit your wants and needs.  In New York, Realtors should work cooperatively with other brokers and agents
  • A Realtor that has their name all over, might just be too busy to work with buyers
  • It is best to find one Realtor versus just calling and looking by listing.  A Realtor that has signed on with you as a buyers agent, is the one that will best represent your interests.
  • Find a Realtor that is willing to work  around your schedule, because after all we will be working for you – if they are to busy, it might be  a sign to look for another agent.
  • When you find Realtor that you are comfortable with, sign a Buyer Agency Agreement with that agent – after all, they will be spending a lot of time with and for you.  They only get paid when they help you find a property and it closes.  The seller will then pay the commission, not you, unless you have made other arrangements.
  • The Realtor should be very familiar with the area and can give you lists of stores, schools, restaurants and any other service you need .
  • The Number One or Best Producing Realtor may also not have enough time to spend with you, or at least quality time.
  • Ask your Realtor about the best ways to stay in contact.  Some folks like email or text messages, while some still like to use the telephone..  If you have a cell phone, make sure your Realtor has that number as well. Your Realtor should be willing to obtain information for you, run a list of comparative properties against any you are interested in, move information between parties engaged in the contract such as attorneys, listing agent, banks and surveyors.

If you are not sure who to call, the safe bet is to talk to myself or any of the other agents in our office.

This information brought to you by Mary St. George Realtor, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

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Finance Your Equity To Purchase Your Lakefront Home In The Finger Lakes


If we have equity in real estate and can move the equity into another piece of real estate, we are minimizing vacant homes, creating new sales streams and generating confidence in the market.

For the fortunate individuals that have an equity base, they have the opportunity to reinvest their monies into real estate that will both benefit an economy and their personal enjoyment. Extend this idea to a lakefront home,  and you are creating revenues for a small town or village as well as the luxury to be able to create amazing memories for both family and friends.

With prices still very competitive, and rates low, borrowing against your own money is sometimes better than an outlay of cash.  Talk to your tax accountant and see what benefits may be in store for you and what options are available.  Then call me to look for that perfect lakefront property.  You deserve it, right?


This information brought to you by Mary St. George, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

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The Bridge Is Open ! The Bridge Is Open ! The Bridge Over Keuka Outlet…

 It has been well over a week and how wonderful and easy it now is to get to the other side of Keuka Lake.  The long-awaited bridge opening actually occurred on schedule.  And how rare is that for a road program ?

Strangely, I still find myself following the detour rate occasionally such as getting in the lane that goes straight across Rt 14 A instead of making the left turn to cross over the bridge.  It is funny how we can really develop new habits in a short period of time.

The timing could not have been any better.  Yates County is now seeing its normal surge in traffic with thenow open and the various lakefront owners coming into town to open up their lake homes. The Windmill brings in between 8- 10 thousand additional people into Yates County every weekend.

The Wine Trails are also now busier than ever with the wonderful Spring weather the Finger Lakes has been experiencing.

So if you are driving through Penn Yan this summer and the traffic seems a little slow, just be happy the bridge has been replaced.  It could be a lot worse…just ask the locals.

Enjoy this great area and if you decide to stay, give me a call.  I will help you find a great property in Yates County or on Keuka Lake.


This information brought to you by Mary St.George, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

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