Top Insights for Selling Finger Lakes Waterfront Homes in 2021

If you’ve been watching the lakefront market in the Finger Lakes, you’ll notice it resembles the weather this time of year, nearly frozen. There has been little to no movement along most of the Finger Lakes since the new year. The standstill of new listings creates both opportunity and frustration depending on which side of the market you stand.

The Best Time to Sell is…

For those who are considering selling their lake home in 2021, as your lakefront experts we cannot stress enough that now is the best time to list. New listings are likely to continue selling in record time as prospective buyers have been patiently awaiting new inventory. In 2020, lakefront homes across the region sold 11.83% faster than in 2019. Some markets, such as Keuka Lake, reduced its average days on market by 48% in 2020 while increasing the average sale price by 12.45%. Click here to read the 2020 Lakefront Market Report.

These quick sales were a result of pure demand. In fact, in 2020 our agents alone experienced a 167% increase in qualified buyer inquiries specifically looking for lakefront homes. This surge combined with our 27-year database of prospective waterfront buyers allowed us to match new listings with the ideal buyer to result in fast, easy sales for both parties. With the lack of inventory in 2020, many of these home shoppers are still waiting to be matched.

As summer gets closer, these buyers will be more anxious to secure a home. Spring is typically when listings pick up for any market, especially lakefront. The key will be to list prior to this influx of new inventory for maximum exposure and highest return.


What Does Selling Look Like in 2021

When you are ready to list your lake home, we advise our clients be prepared for a quick sale. If you’re currently living in your lake home year-round, we do advise you to have housing lined up. It isn’t only the Finger Lakes market that has a lack of available listings. According to a recent Inman article, across the US, “January sales had actually declined 32 percent month over month, the greatest monthly decline since the start of the pandemic.” The nation is at an all time low for listings, which can make moving especially difficult.

For those who are ready to sell, the good news is it will likely be a quick process. Our homes can be staged, photographed, listed and sold in less than a week. Our marketing department assists clients with optimizing the spaces in their homes so in one day the photography, videography, and virtual tours are complete and ready for online walkthroughs. Once the home is listed, be prepared for our team to communicate multiple and competitive offers for your home. This will be a clear indication that we priced the home correctly and connected you with right buyers for your particular home.

Another popular option that many second homeowners are looking at is utilizing the home as a vacation rental. To many this idea seems daunting. However, demand for vacation rentals, especially in the Finger Lakes region has soared. As the leading vacation rental management company in the region, we provide exclusive insights into the rental market for the region. But here’s a clue, only six weeks into the year and we have 54% more nights sold for 2021 vacation homes than this time last year. Our full circle of management services allows homeowners to reap the financial benefits of the rental demand without managing the day-to-day activities of listing, booking, guest services, and housekeeping. For more information about our rental management services, click here.

How to List Your Home

In 2020, our real estate team put together the ultimate package for our sellers to innovatively attract the most buyers while physically reducing the number of people in their homes. Our team utilized every tool in our digital marketing toolbox from professional photography, videography, virtual tours, and live video chats and walk throughs. These all-inclusive techniques combined with our database of qualified buyers allowed us to sell lake homes 23% faster than the regional market average.

First steps to selling your lake home is to reach out to our real estate team and identify if selling your home now would achieve your goals. Many who previously purchased a second home along the lakes specifically as an investment property jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of the 2020 seller’s market. However, those who expected higher than reasonable selling price were not always rewarded. A differentiator with lakefront buyers is they are more patient to find the right home, even in the midst of a pandemic. They are savvy buyers who are not about to overpay an exorbitant price tag. Our experienced lakefront real estate team provides comparative analyses before marketing to strategically list the home at the optimum price for the desired results.

If you have any questions about the real estate or rental marketing in the Finger Lakes, our sales team would be happy to assist you. Contact us today at 855-666-7812 or at sales@flpplake.com.

The Best Ways to Spend Spring in the FLX

Spring is often overlooked as a time to visit the Finger Lakes, but for many travelers it’s the perfect way to cure cabin fever lingering from the long winter months. Plan a wine tour, fishing trip or weekend getaway with fewer crowds, lower rates, and our 3for2 Discounts. Our vacation rentals still feature the same great views and gorgeous sunsets, and are often equipped with cool weather activities, like billiard games and hot tubs.

In addition to spending quality time at your lakeside home, here are some suggested itineraries for your spring stay:

Canandaigua Lake

The Naples area is full of glens and gullies with beautiful waterfalls to experience – the best and easiest to access being in Grimes Glen State Park. Post hike, head into Naples for a tour of the old Witmer Wine Complex, home to Hazlitt’s Red Cat Wine Cellars. Your spring visit should include stopping at Monica’s Pies for a famous grape pie. Head north for dinner at Brew & Brats at Arbor Hill Winery and enjoy dessert back at the lake house!

Recommended Rentals: Cliffside Sunrise, Livin’ on the Edge

There’s something for everyone in Downtown Canandaigua! Spend all day discovering your new favorite shops and restaurants or plan your spring visit around one of these attractions:

  • Stop and smell the flowers at the Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show at Sonnenberg Mansion & Gardens. Celebrate the arrival of spring with guided tours, educational talks and family activities. A true history buff will want to continue onto the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum and the Ontario County Historical Society.
  • See what New York Kitchen has going on during your stay. This culinary center is home to a tasting room, restaurant, and food truck and holds events year round, like cooking classes, Beer Bingo, comedy nights and more.
  • Let your favorite wineries come to you! Spend your evening strolling around downtown and sampling local wine and food on the Canandaigua Wine Walk.

Recommended Rental: Lake Vista


Cayuga Lake
North

A day of hiking and bird watching at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge is naturally followed by a spirit tasting at Hidden Marsh Distillery at Montezuma Winery. Bring home a bottle of your favorite to make craft cocktails next to the lake.

Recommended Rental: Cayuga Sunshine

Experience the real “Bedford Falls” – Seneca Falls is dedicated to being the inspiration for Its A Wonderful Life. This small town is also home to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and countless museums and historic landmarks. Take a sunset walk along the canal and end the evening with small plates at 84 Fall.

Recommended Rental: Lakeview Landing

Many Cayuga Lake Wine Trail stops are clustered at the northern end of the lake – take a whole day and try them all, from Swedish Hill to Thirsty Owl. For the craft beer fan, there’s Fleur de Lis Brew Works, a French inspired beer parlor, and further south, Lost Kingdom Brewery and Firehouse Distillery, which has an actual firetruck mounted to the wall – the perfect Instagram photo op!

Recommended Rental: The French Cottage


Cayuga Lake
South

A hike to the iconic waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park is a must for any Cayuga Lake stay. While near the town of Trumansburg, stop into Americana Vineyards and Bacchus Brewing for tastings or lunch at the Crystal Lake Cafe. Schedule your stay during Maple Weekend at Wellspring Forest Farm to take a sugar bush tour and taste local sap and syrup made right on the farm while enjoying live music and food.

Recommended Rental: A Shore Thing

Ithaca is a city like no other. Be sure to check out the Ithaca Farmers Market in the morning, then hike the roaring spring rapids of Buttermilk Falls. Head across the street to Ithaca Beer Co. for pub fare and tasty brews or over to the Commons for a unique shopping and dining experience.

Recommended Rentals: The Lily Pad

If you’re staying on the East side of Cayuga Lake, be sure to check out the village of Aurora, home to Mackenzie-Childs – take a tour of the Farmhouse and shop their collection of eclectic home décor. Get lunch at the Fargo Bar & Grill, then head up to Long Point Winery and Aurora Ale & Lager Co. for libations. End your day at Treleaven Winery for their Barrel Room Music Series or Trivia Nights.

Recommended Rental: Aurora Escape

Spring Travel Tip: April and May offer the perfect conditions to fish for Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, Perch, and northern pike on all the Finger Lakes and its tributaries.


Honeoye Lake

A day trip along Route 20A will bring you to Golden Oak Alpaca Farm and Store for local goods and alpaca products, Wizards of Clay for handmade artisan pottery, then land you at Noble Shepherd’s Brewery for local craft beer tastings and live music every Saturday night.

Recommended Rental: Riesling Rod & Reel

Start your Sunday with the ultimate Bloody Mary from The Honeoye Boathouse Grill. This over-the-top cocktail comes complete with a giant lobster tail and half a cheeseburger! Walk off brunch with a spring hike through Harriet Hollister Spencer State Park, offering the most breathtaking and instagrammable views of Honeoye Lake.

Recommended Rentals: Heart of Honeoye, Good Vibe Getaway


Keuka Lake

Penn Yan is filled with modern amenities and old world charm. Start your day with breakfast at the Penn Yan Diner followed by a tour of the historic Oliver House Museum. Take a stroll through Downtown and shop stores stocked with locally crafted goods, like Staving Artist Woodwork – they use the staving from wine barrels to create home décor and furniture that is uniquely Finger Lakes. Travel just outside the town’s limits for a tasting at Abandon Brewing. Take in unobstructed views of Keuka Lake for as far as the eyes can see while the trees are just starting to bud.

Recommended Rental: Crooked Lake Lodge , Sailfish Cottage

A day trip to Hammondsport, the “Coolest Small Town in America,” is a must this spring. Venture out to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum and Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum before stopping into the Brewery of Broken Dreams for a tasting. If you prefer wine, no worries! Nearby wineries include Bully Hill Vineyards, Heron Hill Winery and Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars. Stop into Crooked Lake Creamery for a sweet treat mid-day.

Recommended Rental: Pinot Point

Spring Travel Tip: Travel by boat once OnKeuka Water Taxi starts their Spring 2021 season!


Seneca Lake
North

Go fishing! Geneva is the “Lake Trout Capital of the World” and host to the National Lake Trout Derby on Seneca Lake – plan your stay in May to get in on the action. For excellent fishing anytime this spring, cast off the dock of your lakeside rental or charter a fishing boat for the day with an experienced guide.

Recommended Rental: Lake Orchard View

Take a day to explore walkable downtown Geneva – stop into the quirky shops that line the streets, see what’s happening at Smith Opera House, or taste your way through the diverse dining options, from English-American Beef and Brew to The Elephant Thai restaurant. Walk to downtown breweries, like Lake Drum and Twisted Rail, then cross the street and watch the sunset over Seneca Lake at the newly reconstructed waterfront park. The lake view goes on for miles!

Recommended Rental: Five Gates

You can make a day out of tasting at the northernmost Seneca Lakes wineries, including Three Brothers Estates, Zugibe Vineyards, Ravines Wine Cellars, and White Springs Winery, to name a few. Make Ventosa Vineyards your final Sunday stop for live music, crispy oven-baked pizza and gorgeous views from their Tuscan villa style patio.

Recommended Rental: Lakeside Lookout


Seneca Lake
South

Watkins Glen State Park is worth seeing in any season. Water levels may be higher than usual due to winter snow melt, creating more intense cascading waterfalls. Don’t miss the Spring Run of Rainbow Trout on Catherine Creek this spring for some of the best fishing of the year! Spend the rest of your day in downtown Watkins Glen – pick up locally roasted coffee for the morning from Seneca Sunrise Coffee or stop into Babcha’s Pierogies, a hidden gem serving meals you swear were cooked by your grandma!

Recommended Rental: Merlot Bungalow

Stretch your legs and dirty some paws with a spring hike through Finger Lakes National Forest. Nearby is a pocket of some of the Finger Lake’s best breweries – Lucky Hare, Two Goats, Grist Iron, and Scale House Brewing, all within minutes of each other and each with their own stunning views of Seneca Lake. Best of all, many of these places welcome your furry friends!

Recommended Rental: Gracie’s Place

Just west of Watkins Glen sits a 175-acre Farm Sanctuary. Opening back up in May, you can take guided tours and spend the day with happy, healthy farm animals. They also offer helpful resources for cruelty free dining during your stay.

Recommended Rental: Falling Waters

Spring Travel Tip: Available through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, the Wine passports allow you to explore wine country during the off-season without breaking the bank. Learn more!

Spring events on Seneca Lake:  Pasta and Wine Weekend, National Lake Trout Derby, Spring Run of Rainbow Trout


For more recommendations and a complete list of all there is do in the Finger Lakes this spring, contact our local vacation planners.

3 of the Best Reasons to Plan a Finger Lakes Staycation

Who says you must travel far to plan a dream vacation? We know that travel can be exhausting, overwhelming, and expensive. Between making travel plans, figuring out where to stay, and mapping out what to do (and keeping the whole family happy), you have a lot on your hands. Save yourself the trouble and opt for a Finger Lakes staycation instead! 

Read on to learn more about the benefits of planning a staycation. Then, download our free Vacation Guide to make planning your getaway even easier!  


What Are the Benefits of Planning a Finger Lakes Staycation?  

There are so many amazing benefits of planning a staycation rather than a cross-country vacation. Some of the most noteworthy perks include:  

  • Save time and money: When you choose a staycation over more intense travel plans, you save so much money on transportation. Buying plane tickets, renting a car, and spending so much time traveling can wear you and your pocketbook down.  
  • Experience your hometown from a fresh perspective: Now is your chance to be a tourist! There is something to be said about taking a step back to view things from a new perspective. Get to know the region in a new light and discover hidden gems while you’re at it!  
  • It’s more sustainable: By nature, opting for shorter travel times is more sustainable than traveling far. This concept of a “staycation” has grown popular during a time of more ecological awareness. Go green! 

3 Reasons to Plan Your Staycation with Finger Lakes Premier Properties  

1. The Views Are Unparalleled  

Regardless of which property you choose, you can expect spectacular lake views! All our rentals are waterfront! Wake up to the sound of birds singing and look out over the water. It’s the perfect way to start your day. Take in the large stretches of lake vistas and admire the way the clouds reflect over the water on a sunny day. In the evenings, spend quality time with your friends and family while admiring the scenery. There’s truly nothing like it!  

2. The Amenities Are Top-Notch  

You can search for your dream vacation home based on the amenities you prefer! Maybe you’re planning to bring your dogs along for a getaway. We have plenty of pet-friendly options that can accommodate you and your furry family members. Perhaps you’re searching for luxurious features such as hot tubs, fireplaces, and non-motorized watercraft access. Regardless of what your preferred amenities might be, rest assured that our selection of homes will meet your needs.  

3. The Accommodations Are Unbeatable  

Now that you know about the benefits of planning your Finger Lakes staycation with Finger Lakes Premier Properties, it’s time to book your stay! Our properties sit on Canandaigua, Conesus, Honeoye, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes. Unplug, slow down, and take in the natural beauty from your own private vacation rental. In the future, you’ll think twice about making big travel plans when you know just how memorable a Finger Lakes staycation can be.   


Plan the Perfect Getaway from Washington, DC, to the Finger Lakes

Make time for a vacation this year! It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Don’t forget to stop and breathe. Unplug and get away from it all when you travel from Washington, DC, to the Finger Lakes region for a quiet retreat. Take in the beauty of nature, far away from the city. Read on to learn more about planning the perfect getaway. Then, be sure to download a free copy of our Vacation Guide for thoughtful local insight on what to do during your stay.  


3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Getaway from Washington, DC, to the Finger Lakes  

1. Determine the Best Mode of Transportation for You  

Planes, trains, and automobiles! Deciding on your mode of transportation is the first step to planning your getaway to the Finger Lakes region. Here are some of the most common of methods for travel for guests arriving from DC:  

By Car | Travel Time: 6 hours 

Whether you’re driving your own car or a rental, you can expect this 332-mile drive to take you about six hours before you reach your destination. One of the best perks of traveling via car is that you’ll be able to stop wherever you like on your way up here!  

By Train | Travel Time:  

Amtrak has service to Ithaca, NY! Once you arrive in Ithaca, the Finger Lakes are just a quick 45-minute drive away. This is an excellent option for anyone that is planning to rent a car during their stay but wants to experience a little train travel.  


2. Map out Must-See Stops Along the Way  

Corning 

Corning is a charming small town just an hour away from the Finger Lakes region. While you’re there, we recommend checking out the fascinating Museum of Glass! It’s the largest museum of glass art and artifacts in the world.  

Elmira  

Elmira is just a short 25-minute drive from Corning. Here, you can do many things ranging from visiting Mark Twain’s grave to strolling through Eldridge Park. While you’re in town, grab a bite to eat from the Turtle Leaf Café!  

Wine Country  

The Finger Lakes is known for its surrounding wine country. There are three major wine trails that you can discover! Wind and wine your way through the Cayuga, Keuka, and Seneca Trails. Get a taste of the best wines the region has to offer.  

Ithaca  

Ithaca is just 45 minutes outside of the Finger Lakes region. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love stopping here for an adventure! Visit Robert Treman State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Cayuga Lake, and the Cascadilla Gorge Trail to stretch your legs in nature. You can also stop to check out Cornell University!  


3. Settle into Your Waterfront Vacation Rental  

Now that you have an idea of how to plan an unforgettable vacation from Washington, DC, to the Finger Lakes, it’s time to decide on the most important part of your getaway: where you will stay! Make the most of your experience in the area when you stay in a beautiful waterfront vacation rental through Finger Lakes Premier Properties. Our beautiful properties set the scene for a restful retreat. Make your dream vacation a reality, and check out our rentals today!  


3 Reasons Why You Should Book Direct This Year

Book Direct Day 2021 is February 3! It’s a day when vacation rental owners and managers from around the world promote a common message: bypass third-party channels to book your vacation directly at the source.

There’s a misconception that when guests book from a third-party site, like Airbnb and VRBO, that those companies are responsible for the rental. In reality, these sites act as a middleman while a local owner or management company oversees your stay from booking to departure. It creates confusion when policies don’t align or when guests don’t know who to call when problems arise.

Here are 3 more reasons why you should #BookDirect this year:

Save Money

Third-party sites tack on extra fees that can add up at checkout. When you book directly with a vacation rental management company, you can be certain you’re getting the lowest price guaranteed on the rental you’ve selected.

While third-party sites may display many rental options, not every owner or manager uses them. Only a fraction of our 270+ professionally managed rentals are on VRBO or Airbnb and 70% of our bookings come directly from our website or reservation agents. If you can’t find the right rental on a third-party site, contact a vacation rental management company in the area you’re traveling to see what they have available.

As an added bonus, vacation rental managers send out exclusive promotions and special discounts that can only be used when you book direct. Join our mailing list so you don’t miss an opportunity to save!

Local Experts

When you make the decision to book direct, you’re booking with a team of local experts in the hospitality and tourism industry. Our reservation agents, housekeepers, maintenance techs, marketing team, and more are all members of the local community. Our on-the-ground teams can quickly and easily respond to guest issues and requests. Plus, our local vacation planners provide the best recommendations for your trip based on their intimate knowledge of the area.

Services You Can Trust

You don’t always know what you’re getting when booking your rental on a third-party site. With numerous reports of scams and safety issues for Airbnb users, its more important than ever to know you’re renting from a reputable source. Vacation rental managers hold themselves to high standards with a focus on education, advocacy, and professional services. They elevate the industry and articulate best practices for others to follow.

With high standards and hyper-localized services, comes the ability for vacation rental managers to guarantee services many independent hosts cannot. Our team is available 24/7 for emergencies and has a fully staffed office during business hours to accommodate special requests. In addition, we have a housekeeping guarantee that promises your home will be clean upon arrival. If for some reason our services are unsatisfactory, a housekeeper will return to make it right, ensuring guests are comfortable in their rental.


To join in on #BookDirect Day, visit FLPPlake.com! Finger Lakes Premier Properties is largest, full-service vacation rental company in the Finger Lakes. Our team has been managing lakefront properties locally for 28 years.

Browse our selection of over 270 lakeside vacation rentals here or call our reservation agents for a personalized booking experience – (800) 897-8161