Ask Your Agent: Purchasing an Investment Property

Lakefront living has its perks – gorgeous views, a place to cool off, an escape from everyday life – but it can come at a cost. As a result, many homeowners are looking to short-term renting to pay taxes or generate extra income.

If you’re in the market to purchase a lakefront home and are interested in making it an investment property, here are a few questions you should be asking your agent:

Has this home been rented before?

This is a great place to start. Homes with vacation rental history have the advantage of past and repeat guests, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Knowing a home’s rental history will also give you a better understanding of rates to set and revenue generated by the home, helping you know if this is a solid investment.

What are the local vacation rental regulations?

Working with a real estate agent that’s also in property management is a huge advantage. They will be up-to-date on any local vacation rental laws in place that might limit the return on your investment. For example, you could purchase a 6 bedroom house with a potential occupancy of 14 people, but a local law may limit you to renting out only 4 of those rooms. That effects your rental rate and your bottom line.

How close is this home to attractions?

The Finger Lakes region is a tourism destination, host to numerous festivals, graduations, weddings, and well-known events. The demand and rate for your vacation rental is directly impacted by your proximity to attractions and venues. While some guests may come to spend time on the lake, most are here for a specific experience and will pay more to be close to the action.

Can this home be used year-round?

Many lakefront homes are seasonal – they may lack heat or have a driveway that’s impassible in winter. While demand and rates peak in the summer months, there is still potential to profit during the off-season. Consider a location near a popular winter festival or ski resort, or transition to long-term renting to college students or professionals outside of peak season.

Do you have property management experience?

Work with a real estate team that has property management experience and leverage that expertise! Our Owner Services team works closely with our real estate agents to provide an analysis based on the criteria we use for homes in our vacation rental program. This helps you to compare properties and make the best financial decision. Plus, you have already have a team in place to help you manage your investment.


Our Real Estate team has over 25 years of experience in vacation rental and lakefront property management. Call (877) 211-5917 today to discuss your revenue goals and real estate investment options with our team!

Things to Do For the Best Seneca Falls, NY, Experience

couple in museum

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Seneca Falls, NY, you’ve come to the right place! Seneca Falls is known as the “Historic Gateway to the Finger Lakes,” so you’ll find an abundance of fascinating sites to visit. Seneca Falls is located right between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake. Its convenient location makes it close to so many activities around Finger Lakes. After you scope out Seneca Falls, venture out to the other lakes and use our complimentary Vacation Guide. It lists all the best places you need to experience during your vacation in the Finger Lakes region!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Seneca Falls–the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement–offers several educational attractions perfect for the history buffs! After all, it’s “the Historic Gateway to the Finger Lakes!” Visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame or the Women’s Rights National Historic Park to find artifacts, exhibits, and information about the fearless ladies who helped define our country!

Other Historic Sites in Seneca Falls

History buffs will love the Seneca Falls Heritage Area. You’ll learn all about the local and regional history, including how significant the Cayuga-Seneca Canal was for the industry. The visitors center is located downtown and will take you through the stages of the Women’s Rights Movement. Then, be sure to check out the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry. You’ll see the water pumps from the canal that helped power several factories! 

Speaking of the canal, you can hop on a boat at the Canal Harbor at Seneca Falls to see the waterway for yourself. Float down the river in a kayak or canoe, or enjoy a picnic by the water!

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls

When you think of New York state, wildlife might not be the first thing that crosses your mind. New York is typically known for city life, but you’d be surprised to see our abundant wildlife habitats. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge has an array of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. It serves as a resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for birds as they migrate. You can participate in annual hunts as long as you follow regulations and get a daily permit before heading out. 

Visit Film Sites for “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Do you love the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life?” It was filmed in Seneca Falls, and you can pretend you’re in “Bedford Falls” by visiting some of the film locations! If you come in December, you can attend a holiday festival that’s jam-packed with festive events, including getting autographed items from some of the movie’s cast! 

Test Your Luck at the Del Lago Resort and Casino

Ready to test your luck? Del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo has 2,000 slots and nearly 100 table games. If you’re not the luckiest, you might want to go to the comedy shows and concerts, instead! Then, dance the night away on Fridays and Saturdays when the live DJs play!

Visit a Winery and Distillery in Seneca Falls

If you’re looking for a fantastic wine tasting experience, head over to Montezuma Winery and Distillery. What began as a beekeeping hobby for the Martin family evolved into a full-blown business. Today, there’s a winery and distillery! There, you’ll taste honey-based wines. You can visit their 14,000-foot production facility and gift shop in Seneca Falls. They’ve earned numerous awards for their variety of wines. Make sure to try their cranberry bog wine as it’s their most popular!

Discover History When You Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

After exploring all the historic things to do in Seneca Falls, New York, take it easy and wind down in one of our luxurious vacation homes! Finger Lakes Premier Properties has beautiful homes spread out across seven of the 11 lakes! You’re sure to find one close to the historic sites that interest you!

Wonderful Lake House Life is a gorgeous rental in Seneca Falls. This 3-bedroom dream house accommodates you and seven of your closest friends and family. Take a moment to admire the captivating lake view, go kayaking off the dock, or cast a fishing line! This property is close to the Cayuga Wine Trail and the Del Lago Resort and Casino so you’re sure to have a great time! Check our availability and book your stay today!  

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FAQ Friday: Managing the Guest Experience

When you own a vacation rental, you aren’t just responsible for maintaining a home. You become the key person that oversees reservations, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance calls, marketing – everything that when combined, creates the guest experience. When you host a family or group looking to make memories on vacation, you take ownership of their experience before, during, and after their stay in your home.

The bottom line: owning a vacation rental is WORK. And if you’re not interested in being the Director of Hospitality for your own home, working with a vacation rental management company may be the best option for you.

Here we’ve answered some frequently asked questions on how we manage the guest experience for you:

Q: What type of communication do you have with guests leading up to their stay?

A: We have a team of local reservation agents that are constantly responding to inquiries coming in from booking platforms, our website, social media, email, and phone calls. Our team is available to answer any questions a guest has leading up to and throughout their stay. In addition, we send out pre-stay email communications that provide quests with information about their upcoming trip and a key-less entry code to enter the home.

Q: What happens if there is a guest emergency?

A: Our team is available and responsive to guest needs 24/7. During office hours, our centrally located team of professionals should be able to dispatch and resolve the issue quickly. After hours, guests are provided an emergency contact number, where they will reach a manager on duty.

Q: Do you provide the guests with any supplies for their stay?

A: Yes, we stock homes with clean bed linens, bath towels, and a starter kit containing 2 rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, sponge, garbage bag, and a dishwasher tab, if needed. Our pet-friendly rentals are provided with waste bags. In addition, we include small touches throughout the home to welcome guests, from bed-made cards introducing the home’s housekeeper to locally sourced gifts for our returning guests. We also provide a spice jar for all guests to use during their stay and to take home.

And this is just the minimum provided! Our team will work with you to customize the level of hospitality you want your guests to receive, whether it’s a bottle of wine with every stay or a list of professional chefs that service the home.

Q: What if my neighbors are uncomfortable with a guest during their stay?

A: We make it a priority to ensure that the communities we manage vacation rentals in feel safe, respected, and heard. All neighbors are notified that the home next door will be used as a short-term rental and we provide them with a magnet containing our contact information, so that they can reach out any time with concerns.

We’ve built a courtesy to neighbors section into our rental agreement, so that guests know not to enter neighboring properties without permission and that quiet hours are to be observed between 10:00pm and 9:00am. However, we receive few complaints, as we maintain a family atmosphere at our rentals and all guests are vetted before arrival.

Q: How do you gather feedback from guests regarding their stay?

A: We encourage guests to provide us with feedback regarding their stay! We send out a guest satisfaction survey via email and constantly request 3rd party reviews from guests on Google, Facebook, Yelp, The Knot, and VRBO. We compile this feedback, so that owners are always aware of how their rental is perceived and performing. Owners are also welcome to leave their own review cards and surveys in their homes for guests to fill out.


If you need help with managing the guest experience or simply want to work less and enjoy your lakefront home more, call our Owner Services team today! (866) 317-2109

Rainy Day Activities in the Finger Lakes

We know how to have fun in any season here in the Finger Lakes! From snow to falling leaves to gorgeous, sunshiny days, we have beautiful views and lots to do no matter the weather. But if you experience a dreary day during your vacation, don’t fret – we have some tips for making the best of a rainy day, at least until the sun comes back out!

Learn

The Finger Lakes are rich in history. We have the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement, Underground Railroad historic sites, Native American culture, and so much more! In addition, the region is home to some fantastic family- friendly science museums that blend education with involvement. Here are a few of our favorites:

Corning Museum of Glass

Strong National Museum of Play

Sciencenter

Glen Curtiss Aviation Museum

William Seward House

Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Shop

Malls offer an easy solution to cabin fever. We have malls that can cater to any shopping preferences, from high-end shops at Eastview Mall to outlet bargains at Waterloo Premium Outlets. If you’re looking for a more local shopping experience we suggest:

The Olde Country Store and More

Sauder’s Country Store

Oak Hill Bulk Foods

Taste

You can taste your way through the Finger Lakes, rain or shine! From award winning wine and beer to sweet treats and cheeses, there’s tasting adventure for everyone to embark on. Check out:

Finger Lakes Cheese Alliance

Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail

Red Jacket Orchards for Fruit Tastings

Finger Lakes Beer Trail

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Play

Our local communities are host to numerous bowling alleys, movie theaters, libraries, and more to explore. They’re ready to welcome you on even the dreariest days! For those who just want to have fun, here are some kid-friendly and adults-only ways to play in the Finger Lakes:

Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center

Cascades Indoor Waterpark

Del Lago Casino

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack

Stay

We’ve prepared for this! Most of our homes are well-equipped with streaming services, movies collections, board games, billiards, cooking supplies, and more to make staying in just as fun as heading outside. Cuddle up for a movie night, cook a meal together, or enjoy a glass of wine and watch the rain from a covered porch.


Our local reservation agents are experts on making the most of your Finger Lakes vacation, even on rainy days. For more tips and activities, call (844) 359-5317 now!

3 Finger Lakes Day Trips You Need to Take This Year

The Finger Lakes are full of exciting activities for everyone, with so many nearby day trips you can take. Whether you’re looking to spend the day outdoors, entertaining the kids, or wining and dining, you’ll find everything you need to know below. Before you head out for the day, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide. This nifty tool will give you a helping hand when it comes to planning your trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York! Download the guide for all the best restaurants, sights, and attractions in the area.

Download the Guide!

There are 11 lakes in the area. With that being said, imagine how many activities there are to do around here! It’s impossible to squeeze everything into one day or even one week, so you should definitely make a Finger Lakes vacation an annual tradition. Take a look at some of our favorite things to do and start planning your getaway today!

Explore Rochester, New York

Rochester is the perfect place to take the kids. Let your imagination run wild at the Strong National Museum of Play. The little ones can explore history and artifacts through interactive exhibits. The museum encourages families to get a fun, hands-on learning experience.

Who knew your trip to Rochester, New York. could bring you face-to-face with a lion? Visit the Seneca Park Zoo and you’ll feel like you’re on an African safari, in a Brazilian rainforest, or wherever your imagination takes you! You can experience this zoo year-round.

Explore the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

No matter where you’re staying in the Finger Lakes, it’s worth it for wine lovers to head over to Cayuga to explore the wine trail. The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is America’s first wine trail! Travel through 14 wineries, tasting some of the best wines in the country! Along the way, you’ll find fantastic restaurants, museums, shops, and theatres! We should also mention the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. Nothing goes better with wine than cheese! Plus, it conveniently runs along the Cayuga and Seneca Lakes so you can travel both of the trails at the same time.

Hike Around Beautiful Waterfalls in the Finger Lakes Region

Take a break from all the crowds and trek some hiking trails to magnificent waterfalls. These flowing masterpieces can be found all over Ontario County. Fun fact: the Finger Lakes were carved out by glaciers millions of years ago. The waterfalls flow into streams and rivers, eventually leading to some of the Finger Lakes. Some standout waterfalls are Grimes Glen in Naples, High Falls in Rochester, Taughannock Falls near Ithaca, and Letchworth State Park near Conesus Lake.

Return to a Luxury Vacation Home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

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After a day of exploring the Finger Lakes region, unwind in a beautiful lake house! You can choose from seven of the lakes including Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Keuka Lake. Create memories at Good Times on Conesus Lake. It can accommodate you and 13 of your loved ones. Lay out on the dock or play some water sports and paddle away in one of our complimentary kayaks! Make sure to check out all of our vacation rentals and book your vacation today! We can’t wait to have you!

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Why You Need to Add the Sonnenberg Gardens to Your Finger Lakes Itinerary

Complete any stay in the Finger Lakes area with a stroll through the Sonnenberg Gardens. The picturesque garden is one of two in the New York State Park System and is located on the edge of downtown Canandaigua! You’ll feel relaxed as you take in the beautiful 50-acre estate. Before you arrive at your Finger Lakes Premier Properties Vacation Rental, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide. You’ll discover all the best places in the area to dine, things to do, and sights to see.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

What You’ll See at the Sonnenberg Gardens

Sonnenberg Gardens Mansion and State Historic Park is home to nine internationally inspired gardens. While exploring the grounds, you’ll discover a Lord and Burnham greenhouse complex, which is one of only five open to the public in the country!

The Japanese Garden has been around for more than 100 years! It’s a tranquil area with water cascading through a tea house and under several bridges. You’ll feel peace and serenity as you walk through this garden.

A must-see is the Italian Garden! You’ll see 15,000 red and gold annuals spread throughout four flower beds. It almost resembles a carpet made of flowers!

Take a magical stroll through the Moonlight Garden at night! It’s the smallest of all the gardens but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful! Come on Friday nights in July for an experience like no other! “Moonlight Strolls” is an annual series with enchanting lights and great music!

The Sonnenberg Mansion in Canandaigua, New York

Tens of thousands of people visit the gardens every year as it’s one of the few Country Place Era Estates in the country! You’ll find beautiful architecture, statues, themed gardens, and a greenhouse complex. The flower-filled gardens are surrounded by fascinating history and culture!

The History of the Sonnenberg Mansion

Over the past century, the mansion has had its ups and downs. A New York City bank financier named Frederick Ferris and the daughter of a New York governor, Mary Clark Thompson, bought a farmhouse in 1863. Over time, the couple purchased more land and replaced the brick farmhouse with a 40-room Queen Anne-style mansion.  

Frederick died in 1899 and that’s when Mary decided to dedicate the mansion to him by redesigning and growing beautiful gardens on the property. Mrs. Thompson later traveled the world for inspiration and created beautifully themed gardens. She then recreated Medieval, Renaissance, English, Japanese, and Victorian gardens back at the mansion.

The federal government bought the property in 1931, which lead to a road of neglect and vandalism. In 1966, a local citizen’s movement worked together to preserve 50 acres of the property. This was an amazing turning point for Sonnenberg Gardens as the garden was completely restored and open to the public in 1973!

Stay With Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Are you ready to discover the best things Canandaigua, NY, has to offer? After exploring the beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens, return to one of our luxurious vacation rentals on the lake! Peaceful Sanctuary in Canandaigua is an elegant private home that accommodates 12. Spend time with your family and friends at the wet bar or unwind in the hot tub. This is the perfect home for making great memories!

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