Top Tips for Successful Rental Management

For the busiest rental season EVER!

Ready or not, rental season is upon us! Here in the Finger Lakes we are seeing a 134% increase in bookings compared to 2020 with many summer weeks completely sold out. There is no better time to talk about responsible renting for vacation rental owners.

What are the biggest complaints about vacation rentals?

According to the Rent Responsibly, a national advocacy organization, the biggest complaints of short term rentals nationwide are:

1. Noise

2. Parking

3. Trash

Additionally, with vacation rentals surpassing hotels as the preferred accommodations in our region, the attention on management comes to forefront.

Other rental issues we frequently hear about in the Finger Lakes Region include septic systems and mismanagement.

Many homes in our region reside in rural areas where public water and sewage are not available. Before renting your home, you should always check the capacities of your septic system. Many were systems were installed for smaller families who would not be using the home as frequently. It is likely you will either have to schedule frequent pumps or install a larger system. Also, check with your local Code Officer to see if your township has requirements. There is no bigger damper on your guests experience than having a septic issue mid-stay resulting in refunds, future cancellations, and an overall 1-star experience.

Mismanagement of vacation rentals affects owners, guests, neighbors, and entire communities. This often occurs when a homeowner lists the home on a booking site, rents it, collects the cash, and is unavailable through the booking process. Sometimes guests will take advantage of the situation which then results in the three top concerns noted above. Neighbors are left with an uncomfortable situation, sometimes resulting in a call to authorities. If these situations remain unresolved, it may lead to further investigation by the local town board to then impose restrictions or regulations on all rental homes within the township.

As you begin to consider becoming a vacation rental owner it is crucial to understand how managing the home and guests are the most important factors for having a successful rental business.

How do you overcome these rental issue (and more)?

1. Communication – If you are renting, ensure you are setting the expectations for your guests. Let them know they are staying in a family community, not a resort destination. There will be quiet hours, there is limited space for parking and guests, and there is an expectation for caring for the property during their stay. This should be outlined in your contract with your guests.

There should always be a legal contract with your guests. This contract outlines the expectations, is agreed upon by both parties, and outlines all consequences of infringements of the contract.

2. Management – Ensure you are set up for success for this summer for both you and your guests. Make sure your neighbors know you are renting and provide them with your contact information in case there are any issues.

Make sure your trash pickup is scheduled and communicate the trash days with your guests. Housekeeping, lawncare, and septic pumps are other vendors who are in high demand this summer who will

3. Establish a 24/7 Contact Person – While it is helpful to have your neighbors keeping an eye on your property, they are not responsible for your guests. Do not rely on your neighbors to be the resource for your guests and do not give your guests their contact information. Unless you have a property manager, you should be the contact person before, during, and after their stay.

Some townships also require you to register your rental property to ensure they have a point of contact. Whether or not they require this, it is helpful for you to provide them with your contact information should they ever need it.

4. Welcome to the Hospitality Industry! When you become a rental owner, you are entering the world of hospitality. Keys to your success will be customer service, cleanliness, and did we mention customer service?

Envision your last vacation and the expectations you had. You expected to be welcomed into a clean space with all of the amenities advertised. Was something not working, who did you call and how did they respond? Were they prompt and were you able to enjoy the remainder of your stay? These (and more) will become the expectations of your guests.

With any vacation you likely wanted an understanding of the places to eat, visit, and experience during your stay. Providing your guests with local resources from grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, and attractions will assist them with having a memorable stay and more likely to book with you again.

Want more resources about managing a vacation rental?

As the leading vacation rental management company in the region, we have established national and local partnerships with organizations that assist short term rental owners. Here are some more resources for you to visit:

Finger Lakes Vacation Rental Association

Rent Responsibly

Vacation Rental Management Association

Our local team of experienced vacation rental professionals is also- available to answer questions you may have about renting your home. If you are interested in learning more about our all inclusive services for vacation rental homeowners, you can reach us at 888-414-5253 Option 4 or NewOwners@FLPPlake.com.

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.

Lakefront Housing Market – A Review of 2020 and Forecasting for 2021

Just as the market was about to boom in the Spring of 2020, the novel coronavirus swept the world and closed its doors. For the lakefront real estate market in the Finger Lakes, this interruption was brief and bounced back into a record-breaking year with some of the most unusual trends we have ever seen.

2020 Finger Lakes Lakefront Real Estate Report – January through December

2020 Lakefront Market Report for the Finger Lakes Region, NY
Statistics above are provided by Finger Lakes Premier Properties Real Estate Department.

Let’s Talk About Growth

We started 2020 discussing the seller’s market and how it would be a stellar year for those looking to cash in on their lake homes. Turns out that was a massive understatement! Across the lakes the average sale price shot up 18.33% and the Average Days on Market (ADM) reducing by 11.29%. When you look at specific lakes, you’ll notice the localities with the lower average price show the most success year over year. Part of that could be attributed to those who originally purchased the home as an investment were quick to cash in and reap the benefits. But you’ll notice, overall, there were not nearly as many transactions in a year when the conditions were so perfect to sell.

The lack of lakefront inventory in 2020 did not surprise any realtor. Those who had their slice of Finger Lakes paradise were not easily persuaded. With the sudden switch to work remotely, and many companies being slow to return to the office, homeowners and their families had the added luxury of finally being able to utilize their second home for longer periods of time. Additionally, if they were not enjoying it themselves, it was easy to find someone who would.

In 2020, the demand for vacation rentals across the nation exceeded that of traditional hotels. As the leading property management company across the Finger Lakes we can attest that our region has thrived as a popular family destination in this unprecedented year. Our full-circle of property services allows homeowners both near and far to enjoy the financial benefits of renting, without the endless hassle of self-managing.

Competing for Lakefront

It’s no secret that the past couple of years have been a seller’s market both on and off the lakes. But throw in a global pandemic, and the demand for personal and private shoreline in an established tourism destination raises the stakes, and the offers. In fact, our real estate team saw a 167% increase during last 8 months of 2020 of qualified buyer inquiries specifically looking for lakefront homes.

Not only were there more buyers, but they were more competitive. Typically, lakefront buyers are willing to wait for the perfect home that checks all of their boxes. This past year they were willing to sacrifice some of their must-haves in order to secure a home for them and their families to simply have a destination of their own.  And fast.

As you can see from the market report above, across the region homes sold 11% faster than the previous year. Some lakes, such as Keuka Lake, have consistently been in high demand selling almost 74% faster than in 2019. Thanks to technological advances including virtual tours and video-chat walk throughs, the playing field was leveled as it was no longer a matter of who could visit the home first, but who could get a competitive offer in and accepted. These trends are continuing to push through the first months of 2021 as available listings remain low and the pandemic prolongs families and professionals to return to “normal” life.

Forecasts for 2021

The lakefront real estate market in 2021 is going to continue to be a seller’s market. The first quarter is usually a slow period for selling homes, but if we continue at the pace we are seeing, it is nearly standstill with no new inventory.

As mortgage rates continue to stay low buyers are willing to push their budgets a little more. Many buyers will consider renting as another opportunity to offset the cost of buying. However, until the economy is more stable and (hopefully) the pandemic subsides, buyers are still not going to be willing to overpay for any home, even lakefront.  

Homeowners who are ready to sell will see multiple offers, if priced right. Typically, an owner will know they’ve priced too high if their home doesn’t move within the first couple weeks of listing. That timeframe with the increased demand will be dwindled down to just days. In 2020, our real estate team was able to sell lake homes 23% faster than the regional average. We have developed a successful process to match the right buyers to new listings, easing the property transfer for both parties.

Want more information?

Whether your considering buying or selling a Finger Lakes waterfront home in 2021, our real estate team is here to answer any questions you may have. Our 28 years of lakefront experience combined with our focus solely on lake living, we are best suited to provide you an easy experience to achieve your real estate goals this year.

Contact us today at 855-442-7285 or email Sales@FLPPlake.com.

Start start looking for your next lake home, click here to browse all lakefront listings in the Finger Lakes.

Lakefront Real Estate Market Trends

Finger Lakes, NY | Quarter 3, 2020

The year of 2020 is one of extremes. And for the Finger Lakes’ lakefront real estate market, this may be a massive understatement. Never before have we seen the demand, the number of quick and uncommon sales, and the pure rush for homeowners to sell now to take full advantage of the seller’s market.

real estate trends in the Finger Lakes NY

Highest Demand in History

For everyone, the first quarter going into the second was rough as the state shutdown to avoid massive spread of the pandemic. Then on April 1, 2020, the Empire State Development Agency deemed specific real estate brokerage activities essential. The real estate market was officially open and our theoretical doors swung wide with floods of prospective buyers looking for lakefront homes.

In fact, year-to-date our lakefront sales team has seen a 167% increase in buyer inquiries specifically looking for lakefront property in the Finger Lakes. That is in addition to the buyer leads we have from our 27 years of managing lakefront properties.

This interest in Finger Lakes waterfront homes was evident by more than the pure volume of calls to our real estate team. The lakefront real estate section of FingerLakesPremierProperties.com, the top listing site for regional lakefront homes, has seen a 61% increase in pageviews when compared to 2019. Specific landing pages show impressive interest such as Keuka Lake Real Estate with an 82% increase in page views, Owasco Lake with a 138% increase, and our featured lakefront listings page up 273% over 2019.

Inquiries to Sales in Quarter Two

These inquiries quickly led to sales in the second quarter. The Finger Lakes Region saw a year-over-year 40% increase in lakefront sales volume, 13% increase in the number of lake homes sold, and an impressive 23% increase in the average price all in quarter two of 2020. As the summer moved in, so did more lakefront renters who expressed urgent interest in owning a piece of Finger Lakes shoreline.

Quarter 3 Lakefront Market Trends – A Frenzy of Eager Buyers

As we look at the Quarter 3 Lakefront Real Estate Market Report below, there are trends left untold by these stats.

Quarter 3 Finger Lakes Lakefront Real Estate Market Report
January 1 – September 30, 2020

While it is encouraging to see the sales volume for the region as a whole increase by 15%, it is surprising to see the Average Days on Market also increase. In the third quarter, our Lakefront Real Estate Team experienced a frenzy of eager buyers. A single new listing would have multiple showings in the first day, cash offers, buyers putting in offers sight unseen, and a range of atypical offers resulting in new listings selling within days. So how is it that the Average Days on Market increased? Likely due to inventory that has been on the market, even since 2019, selling. Everything is selling. Our Real Estate Department at point had 100% of the lakefront listings sold. It’s just a matter of finding the right buyer for the right house.

Our Lakefront Seller’s Specialist, Dave Luchessi, remarked how he “continue[s] to write site-unseen offers because the buyers are afraid to lose out on the competition. These offers come with significant risks but to get the property the buyers are willing to take it. The buyers are there, however, the inventory is not and it has not increased as it normally would have this time of year. “

The reduction in the number of lakefront homes sold this year does not surprise our Real Estate team. With COVID-19, use of Finger Lakes waterfront homes was at an all time high and homeowners were less willing to sell their piece of shoreline. This year owners were more likely to use the property for self-quarantine, extended family vacations, or to take advantage of the vacation rental demand. In fact, our vacation rental management program has seen a 64% increase in rental demand and a 39% increase in nights booked year to date compared to 2019.

Additionally, as we see from the average sale price, appreciation rates are up year over year. Our Real Estate team is seeing lakefront homeowners taking advantage of the market and receiving top dollar for the value of their home. With mortgage rates also at a historic low, buyers feel more motivated than ever to make a competitive offer within their price range. This year our real estate team has exceeded expectations for both parties by easing the process, resulting in quick, successful sales for both the buyer and seller.

Our years of experience combined with the influx of leads this year gives us the ideal captive audience for each listing that comes to the market. Between our Seller and Buyers services, we are able to quickly identify the right buyer the day a lake home is listing. The result, our real estate department has sold new listings 23% faster than the regional market average. In fact, in quarter three we sold 70% of our listings sold in 3 weeks or less, many within days of hitting the market, whereas the Finger Lakes market average was only able to sell 43% within the same timeframe.

Outlook for the Finger Lakes Real Estate Market

Typically, this time year we start to see the Real Estate market slow down. Summer is behind us, lake homes are being closed for the winter months, and neither buying nor selling are immediate goals to achieve. However, 2020 is the exception.

We continue to list lake homes and sell them within days with our proven processes for the buyer and seller. In October, 4 of the 5 homes we listed sold within the first day of going on the market. With each new listing we receive more inquiries from buyers who are ready now to purchase in order to have a home secured for 2021. We do not see this slowing down this year, and likely into the spring of next year. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that nothing can be predicted.

If you are considering your options for either buying or selling a lakefront home in the Finger Lakes, don’t wait to contact our Real Estate Team. By working with our Buyer’s Specialist, it increases your opportunities to be matched to your ideal lakefront home when it comes available. For those wondering if now is the right time to sell, work with our Seller’s Specialist to receive a complimentary market analysis and discuss how we can help you achieve your real estate goals.

To reach our Lakefront Real Estate Team, either call 833-502-8901 Option 2 or email sales@flpplake.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Reasons Why You Should Prepare Your Vacation Rental NOW for 2021

Finger Lakes travel trends for 2020 showed a significant shift in accommodation preferences. Demand for private vacation rentals has soared above traditional hotel stay by travelers. As the year progressed and our reservations inquiries swelled by 61% year-over-year, one thing was clear, people still want to vacation.

What is the outlook for vacation rental demand in 2021?

Demand for Finger Lakes vacation rentals continues to soar. In fact, our bookings for next year (2021) are up 56% compared to this time last year! Our private rentals have become the preferred choice of accommodations for travelers seeking comfortable, clean, and dependable lakeside spaces.

Our guests and owners value the services included with their premier property. Such services include our 24/7 guest services, professional housekeeping standards, keyless check-ins, and travel planning assistance by our local agents. As we continue to accommodate inquires for our short term rentals, we want to ensure our owners and prospective rental homeowners are optimizing our partnership for the 2021 season.

Why list your home for rent now? Isn’t the season slowing down?

Many assume this is the time when we are winding down for the year. Not true. Yes the rush of peak season is behind us, but with arrivals still 88% higher this fall than last, the momentum continues. Plus, our inquiries for 2021 bookings are flowing in! Now is the time we work with our owners in preparation for next year with optimizing their home, online listing, and rates for the next year.

If you are interested in joining for the 2021 season, now is the best time to get the most out of our partnership for three reasons:

  1. It’s all about the photos! Joining now will allow us to optimize your listing with premier photography before the leaves fall. We will send our staff photographer to your home to get interior and exterior photos PLUS a virtual tour. Photos are one of the most important assets to your listing and will help generate demand for your home.
  2. Take advantage of expert recommendations. Our partnering owners have full access to our team of industry experts. When you join, talk to our Owner Services team about possible upgrades. From remodels, furniture upgrades, to bonus amenities, these will help secure bookings, enhance your guest’s experience, and capture more revenue. If you join this fall, you’ll have more time to make these enhancements before your first guest checks in.
  3. Secure 2021 revenue now! With demand up 56% for 2021 vacation rentals, joining now will get more traffic to your listing and secure more bookings for next year. Secure revenue now for 2021 at the best rates possible.

Want to learn more about partnering with us?

Whether you are currently renting your home, looking to purchase an investment home, or are just starting to explore what it means to be a vacation rental owner, we’re here to help.

We have a dedicated Owner Services Team ready to answer any questions you may have about renting your lake home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties. Contact us today for more information by calling 855-585-5877 Option 4 or by inquiring here.

Vacation Rental Meal Prep Tips

What is one of the top advantages of staying in a vacation rental? The kitchen! Our homes come will all of the appliances you’ll need to create a delicious vacation in the Finger Lakes. From pots and pans to the dishware, our kitchens are ready for you to cook, bake, and grill away. Oh… except for the food!

Grocery Delivery & Curbside Pickup Options

When you stay in the Finger Lakes there are options for getting groceries without stepping into a local store. We’ve provided some resources below depending on where you are staying in the region:

Conesus Lake:

Canandaigua Lake:

Keuka Lake:

Seneca Lake:

Cayuga Lake:

Roadside Stands: Throughout our region you’ll see roadside stands offering fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits, eggs, or sometimes even baked goods. Be sure to have cash on hand to drop into their honor-system registers.

Dining Curbside Pickup

In addition, most restaurants, wineries, and breweries are also providing contact free curb-side pickup. If you have a favorite venue from a past trip, we highly recommend calling them ahead and ordering takeout to enjoy in the comfort of your vacation rental.

If you’re a first-time visitor, here are some links to help you find restaurant options near your rental:

  • Restaurants: Click here for our interactive map to help you find nearby restaurants to your rental. Please call ahead for information on their curbside offerings.
  • Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries: In New York State beer is sold in groceries stores by wine and liquor are not. Click here for our interactive map to help you find nearby venues to your rental. Please call ahead for information on their curbside offerings.

Tips for Cooking at Your Rental

If this is the first time staying with us, first of all welcome! But there are some tips for planning the ultimate vacation in a Finger Lakes Premier Property:

  1. Meal planning is EXTREMELY helpful! Grocery stores are not around every corner in our region. Make sure you have every ingredient (including spices and condiments) on your list or packed to bring. We do provide a sealed spice shaker for every reservation that includes salt, pepper, garlic salt, cayenne, curry, and paprika.
  2. Yes, we provide cooking utensils, pots, pans, bakeware, and grilling utensils. But if there are certain kitchen tools or utensils that are must-haves for the chef in your family, bring them along!
  3. In our kitchen welcome tote we provide: 1 roll of paper towels, 2 washable dish towels, 1 small bottle of dish detergent, 1 sponge, 2 dishwasher tabs, and 1 box of laundry detergent. If you think you will need more than this, depending on the length of your stay, please plan accordingly.
  4. Staying in a pet friendly rental? Don’t forget the dog food and water bowl!

For those who are still planning their next vacation in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, click here to begin your search for the perfect home to host your next vacation.

If you need assistance with finding the right home for your next trip, contact our local vacation planners who would be happy to assist you by calling 888-414-5253.

Finger Lakes Lakefront Real Estate Report – August 2020

Through this summer the lakefront market has been highly competitive for buyers. The Finger Lakes region has become a prime location for those looking for investment properties, a family vacation destination, or a new residence outside of urban area. With homeowners valuing their lake life more than ever this year, and an increase in appreciation, lakefront owners are more interested in holding onto their home rather than getting top dollar for selling right now.

We have seen an extremely high buyer demand with very low inventory in the $300,000 to $500,000 range across all lakes. The lakes in highest demand are Keuka Lake followed by Seneca, Cayuga, and Canandaigua Lake. You can also see from the stats above how on most lakes the average days on the market have reduced, such as Keuka Lake that is nearly half of what it was in 2019.

Tips for Selling Your Home This Year

The days on the market stats reflect homes that have been priced appropriately. For sellers, just because the market is in your favor doesn’t negate the fact that buyers understand the worth of a home. Lakefront home buyers are different, they are willing to wait for the right home at the right price. When listing your home you should still be competitive with other listings that have sold recently in your area.

For those who are considering selling, now is the perfect time. Not only will you take advantage of the high buyer demand, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the last days of summer before officially moving out. There is such high demand right now that the number of days you’ll have to show the home will be reduced if you are priced right. Above all, buyers will still see the attractiveness of lake life in the summer, resulting in competitive offers for your home.

Tips for Buying a Lake Home This Year

Our Lakefront Buyer’s Specialist, Dave Luchessi, commented that “This year we have had more demand from buyers than I can ever recall. There is huge demand for properties in the $300,000 to $425,000, often resulting in bidding wars and multiple offer situations in record time of homes being listed.”

Luchessi also offers his advise to lakefront buyers, “Do not wait to buy a lake home. Now is the time. We may not see the usual inventory increase in the fall that we traditionally see. And with inventory being at an all time low, properties will sell fast. If the buyer sees something that works them they should buy and hold at the best price they can get it for. Also stay competitive with your offers. Additionally, we see an above average increase in lake home appreciation in the Finger Lakes with no apparent end in sight. I firmly believe that the Finger lakes region is currently the hottest selling market in the country right now for lake front sales.”

To search for lakefront homes currently on the market, click here.

Purchasing an Investment Property

For those looking for an investment property, now is a great time to buy. The vacation rental market has experienced the largest growth in demand out of any hospitality industry, especially in the Finger Lakes Region. We project this trend for seeking private accommodations for travelers will continue in the coming years, making it the perfect time to invest. Purchasing a lake home now, preparing it and marketing it for the 2021 peak season is ideal for top dollar and a filled calendar. Contact our sales team for information about joining the rental market and complimentary analysis of prospective vacation rentals.

For more information on selling or buying a lakefront home in the Finger Lakes this year, contact our lakefront sales team. At Finger Lakes Premier Properties over 85% of our sales are strictly lakefront. Additionally, we have 27 years of experience managing lakefront property.

Contact us today at 888-599-4810 or sales@flpplake.com

Lakefront Real Estate Update for June, 2020

The first quarter of 2020 seems like a blur as COVID-19 took an immediate hit on every industry, including the Finger Lakes lakefront real estate market. What was surprising, however, was it did not stop. In fact, across the region there were more lake homes sold this quarter than in 2019.

Lakefront Real Estate Market Report for Quarter 1, 2020


Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes for January through March of 2020. Statistics aggregated from MLS.

The number of new listings decreased dramatically. This allowed additional exposure for homes already listed or any homeowner willing to take the innovative virtual solutions to list their home. This resulted in a slight increase in the number of total sales as we ended the first quarter.

Typically, lakefront buyers for our region are willing to wait for the perfect home at the right price. This, combined with the average time online increasing dramatically through March, meant that prospective buyers were searching more and ready to commit as soon as listings came online. The real estate section of our site, FLPPlake.com, saw a 50% increase in traffic year-over-year from March through May. We continue to see online trends with new listings and virtual tours being the most sought-out content.

The circumstances around the untypical spring real estate boom proved to be lucrative for sellers. With the decrease in the number of listings available and the favorable interest rates for buyers, average sale prices increased across the region. We are continuing to see this in the second quarter as there are still a limited number of listing.

Lakefront Sales Update for June, 2020

The demand continues to swell the quarter for the Finger Lakes lakefront market. The unstable stock market turned the attention of investors to safer options, including real estate. These investors are keeping their eye on the Finger Lakes. Our region has been highlighted as a more affordable waterfront market. Additionally, the Finger Lakes continues to thrive as a picturesque travel destination with easy access to multiple urban markets. And these investors are not just looking for a second home to shelter with their family. They see the surge in the vacation rental industry as a safer choice for accommodations and vision a new lake home investment as a sure-win situation. Our rental management team confirms this trend with demand for vacation rentals being the highest we’ve seen in our 27 years of lakefront property management.

Finger Lakes Premier Properties sold this Seneca Lakefront home in just 1 day in May!

As of June 1, 2020, Finger Lakes real estate services have fully reopened with New York State Governor Cuomo’s phased plan. Our agents are now able to resume in-person home showings with responsible social distancing. We historically have and will continue to provide innovative virtual services to out of town buyers. The biggest challenge for our team is showing homes before they sell.

For more information on current lakefront trends on any of the Finger Lakes, contact our sales team today. They are ready to help you achieve your real estate goals this year by taking advantage of this unique market opportunity.

To contact our sales team either call 888-599-4810 or email sales@flpplake.com.

Celebrating July 4th in the Finger Lakes – 2020 Edition

Most of the annual July 4th celebrations including large events, parades, and firework displays have been canceled in the Finger Lakes region due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate our pride for the USA.

For those seeking greater experiences, we’ve provided our recommendations for creating new patriotic traditions in the Finger Lakes.

Booking the Perfect Lake House

The dates surrounding the July 4th weekend are the most popular of the year for booking a lakefront vacation rental. With family travel plans being diverted this year because of COVID-19, you may still have a chance to secure the perfect home to enjoy a Finger Lakes Independence Day, but book soon!

The key to creating the perfect lakeside getaway is finding the home that checks all your boxes. Unlike hotels, vacation rental homes are not all created equal, but that is also part of the fun. Some families require open layouts with bedrooms on the first floor or level lakefronts for easy access for children. Many of our homes also offer virtual tours allowing you to tour the home before you book, ensuring it fits your vacation style. Identifying these needs will be key for an enjoyable getaway for everyone in your group and will also help our local vacation planners find the right home for you.

It’s all about the amenities

Get more out of your vacation by taking advantages of the additional amenities that come with most vacation homes. Many of our homes come with perks such as kayaks (non-motorized watercraft) and hot tubs. These are searchable features on our website. Some other key features include game rooms, lawn games, fire pits, and bonus lake houses. These amenities can be found in the property descriptions or the amenities section on the property pages.

More ways to get on the lake

Motorized boats are not included with any of our rentals. However, local marinas can help you get out on the lakes during your stay with rentals of boats, kayaks, and any accessory you need to enjoy the water during your stay. Like our rentals, these will also be reserved well in advance for the busy holiday weekend so please plan accordingly.

For expert help on creating the perfect Independence Day getaway, contact our local vacation planners who are familiar with all of our 280+ homes across the Finger Lakes.

Plan Ahead for Easy, Delicious, and Festive Meals

One of the best advantages of staying in a vacation home is you have a fully equipped kitchen and grill for making your favorite meals throughout your stay. But again, planning ahead is key especially with new COVID-19 guidelines in place for shopping.

In today’s digital world it is easier than ever to order groceries online and have them ready for curbside pick-up. Reduce the need to go into stores by using these methods to pick up all of the items you need for a delicious getaway. Search your route to your rental beforehand then see what options are offered or check out the list below:

  • Conesus Lake: West’s Surfine Food Mart,
  • Honeoye Lake: West Wise Honeoye
  • Canandaigua Lake: (North) Canandaigua Wegmans, Tops, Aldi’s, Walmart; (South) Rennoldson’s Market
  • Keuka Lake: (North) Tops, Morgan’s, Aldi’s, Oak Hill Bulk Goods; (East Lake) Olney Place; (South) Hammondsport Grocery
  • Seneca Lake: (North) Geneva Wegmans, Walmart, Sauder’s; (South) Top’s, Walmart
  • Cayuga Lake: (North) Waterloo Tops, Waterloo Walmart, Cayuga Corner, Sauder’s, Auburn Wegmans, Auburn Walmart; (East side) Union Springs Shurfine Supermarket, the Produce Place; (South) Ithaca Wegmans, Tops, Target, Aldi’s, Anabel’s Grocery, Green Star Food Co+op

Need some festive inspiration for what to serve through the July 4th weekend? Check out our Pinterest Board while you are creating your shopping list!

Creative Ways for a Memorable Lakeside Holiday

There is no doubt this will be one of the most memorable Independence Day’s in our Nation’s history. Make the most of social distancing by celebrating with a small group of your closest family and friends at your lake rental. Here are some of our guest’s favorite ways to celebrate at their lakefront vacation rentals:

  • Bring your favorite (most competitive) lawn game and plan a tournament
  • Create a Patriotic Picnic
  • Decorate your boat/kayak in red, white, and blue and create your own water parade
  • Patriotic Kid Crafts and Games
  • Watch a patriotic movie (Have a projector? Make an outdoor theater)
  • Create your own Finger Lakes wine/beer tasting by picking up similar styles from different tasting rooms (see below)
  • Spark up the sparklers at night
  • Lakeside campfire with s’mores

Explore the Finger Lakes Responsibly

If you choose to leave your lakeside rental this July 4th weekend and explore some of the natural wonders of our region, please plan ahead.

Parks, Trails and Waterfalls

Be aware that without the annual festivals and events, our popular parks will likely be busier than usual with locals and travelers all seeking a memorable holiday weekend. If you are staying through the week, planning on visiting these locations during a week day may be an option for less traffic. And although most parks have reopened, there are restrictions and new guidelines. Always research the venue prior to getting into the car to avoid closures.

For resources on finding trails and parks, visit:

Beverage Experience Seekers

Our region is hoping to be in Phase 3 of New York State’s reopening plan by July 4th, which includes tasting rooms across our wine trails and craft brew trail. However, each day is different and we cannot guarantee the availability of visiting tasting rooms. One thing is certain, tasting room policies, procedures and experiences will be much different this year with new protocols in place to keep staff and patrons safe.

As of right now, most tasting rooms are offering pick up and delivery options of your favorite craft drinks. While we understand it isn’t the same experience, perhaps picking up bottles of fresh vintages and enjoying them lake side may not be the worst way to savor the flavors of the Finger Lakes.

Below are links to the beverage trails for you to get the most current information on what will be available during your visit to the Finger Lakes.

Plan a Lakeside Celebration for Another Time

Without the organized parades and fireworks this year, who says you can’t create your own festive vacation on a different weekend of the summer. This will also provide you with more flexible dates with possible lower rates to get more out of your next vacation.

Don’t forget to take a peak at our specials page which includes Mini-week specials (stays of 6 days or less depending on the property) or deeper discounts on select lake homes.

If your reason for visiting the Finger Lakes includes must-have experiences such as wine tasting, museum touring, or sitting down at your favorite restaurant, stay up to date on the New York State’s Phases for reopening by visiting our COVID page.

Quarantined in the Finger Lakes

Creating memorable experiences in the Finger Lakes isn’t only for the out-of-towners. Here at Finger Lakes Premier Properties, we strive to be a resource for everyone to enjoy their time in the our picturesque region. During this period of social distancing and limited travel, in order to #flattenthecurve, we’ve provided some inspiration for making the most of our time apart.

Take A Breath of Fresh Air

Local and New York State Parks are still open, but visit responsibly. As Spring weather welcomes warmer temperatures, you’re bound to see more people stretching their legs at public parks. Luckily for us, there is a plethora of parks with great trails for hikers of all levels.

The New York State Parks have only closed access to playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To explore a park near you, visit their website.

Another one of our favorite resources for creating new adventures is GoFingerLakes.org. You can download the app or visit their site to find the best spots for hiking, biking, paddling, and outdoor recreation across our 6,000-square-mile area. On this site, you can even use their advance search for the best locations for waterfalls, pet-friendly trails, bird watching, and more.

The Lake is Open!

It may be obvious, but the lakes offer great activities for responsible social distancing. Take advantage of the free entertainment they provide from paddling to fishing.

No matter what species of fresh water fish you’re looking for, the Finger Lakes has it. For family outings you can cast from most public and state parks for a lakeside activity. For the serious anglers, different lakes are better for certain types of fish. For example, Seneca Lake attracts fishermen for its Perch and Trout and hosts tournaments each year. In addition to the lakes, the ponds and streams throughout the region also offer plentiful opportunities for casting a line or net, which can be brought home for a fresh dinner. For more information about fishing in the Finger Lakes, click here. Before you grab your fishing pole, take a look at New York State regulations and licensing by clicking here.

If you own a kayak or canoe, take advantage of your extra time and get paddling. If you don’t live lakeside, you can launch from parks scattered along the shores of each lake. For fresh scenery and the chance to view wildlife, paddle an inlet where you can also find some great fishing spots. Click here for resources on where to launch.

Savor the Flavors

Just because you can’t sit down in your favorite restaurant doesn’t mean you have to fend for yourself at every meal. Create a special evening or make a picnic out of it by ordering take out from local restaurants. Below you can review menus of favored venues around our region offering to-go or delivery options.

Canandaigua Restaurants with Take Out:

Naples Restaurants with Take Out:

Penn Yan Restaurants with Take Out:

Hammondsport Restaurants with Take Out:

Geneva Restaurants with Take Out:

Watkins Glen Restaurants with Take Out:

Seneca Falls Restaurants with Take Out:

Ithaca Restaurants with Take Out:

(check back as we will be updating this page with more options)

Don’t forget the wine and beer!

You may not be able to do a tasting on site, but you can still purchase your favorite bottles and growlers while supporting our local beverage industry. Find complete lists by visiting the wine trail and beer trail links below.

We hope everyone stays healthy, safe, and connected during this unprecedented time. Join us on Facebook as we will be posting live photos, videos, and updates from our picturesque region.