Boat on Keuka Lake with these resources!

After a long winter, the temptation is strong to boat on Keuka Lake and go for that relaxing cruise you have been longing for. Below we have all of the resources of local business’s that can help you get on the water, stay on the water, and make the most of Keuka Lake life.

Lakefront Gas, Food, & Gift Shop

The Olney Place

The Olney Place is conveniently located in the middle of nowhere. They’re open May through October starting at 7 AM daily.  Seth and his staff are committed to maximizing your time on Keuka Lake. So before making that next trip to town, don’t forget they have the following items in stock:

MILK ⋆ CHIPS ⋆ BEER ⋆ ICE ⋆ SODA ⋆ COFFEE ⋆ TOYS ⋆ SUNSCREEN ⋆ CIGARETTES ⋆ CHARCOAL ⋆ COLD CUTS ⋆ DELI ⋆ SALADS ⋆ EGGS ⋆ A SENSE OF HUMOR ⋆ NEWSPAPERS ⋆ DOCKSIDE GAS ⋆ BUTTER ⋆ POSSIBLE CHANCE OF SUN ⋆ WIFI ⋆ SUNGLASSES ⋆ BAIT ⋆ ATM ⋆ BATTERIES ⋆ CLEANING PRODUCTS ⋆ KEUKA LAKE GIFT IDEAS ⋆ FIREWOOD ⋆ BAKED GOODS ⋆ GLUTEN-FREE OFFERINGS ⋆ PUBLIC RESTROOMS ⋆ GIFT CERTIFICATES ⋆ LOCAL/GOURMET CHEESES & CHOCOLATES

Dockside Pickup:

You can get hungry out on the water. So can your boat. So, while you’re fueling up at our gas dock, call up (315) 536-5454 for some sandwiches and groceries. They’ll deliver it right to your boat (or seaplane, if that’s your thing).

Marina’s

Jake’s Boat Livery + Gift Shop

This family run business is located smack dab in the middle of Keuka Lake on the west side just north of The Waterfront Restaurant. Jake offers gas, food, beverages, boat rentals, tube/ski rentals, apparel, fishing tackle/poles, live bait and so much more. Need to launch your boat in Keuka Lake or retrieve it from Keuka Lake that’s $7-1 way. Also, Keep your vehicle parked at Jake’s is another $10/day. What a deal and the owners are the nicest people you will find.

Morgan Marine

Morgan Marine is an authorized Boston Whaler, Premier Pontoons, Hobie Mirage Kayaks Eclipse Paddleboard, and O’Brien SUPs dealership in Penn Yan, New York. Along with a large selection of new models, Morgan Marine also carries a wide variety of pre-owned models. Morgan Marine has a full sales, service and parts department. They also offer boat /kayak rentals and have a pretty large boat store with everything from tubes , water skis, bumpers, lines etc. Come in and visit their friendly, reliable, and experienced staff between the hours of 9am to 5pm Tuesday – Saturday (Closed Sunday & Monday), or call us at (315)-536-8166.

Harbor Lights Marina

Sable family owned for over 48 years.  Non-ethanol gas, snacks, ice cream on the dock, drinks, non-motorized rentals.  New and gently used water sports for sale!  Come see us and become part of our Keuka Family!
Find us right across from the tip of the bluff (next door to Lakeside Restaurant).  You will see our Finger Lakes Seaplane parked at our dock, as this is where the seaplane tours take off from! You can also launch your boat here for a $5 launch fee.

The Boathouse at Keuka

Enjoying a day out on Keuka Lake and need to fill up your boat? Swing by the NEW Marina/lakefront gas station on the west side of Keuka Lake in Hammondsport. They have everything you could want from tubes, life jackets, ice, snacks, gas for the boat and so much more! Rent a boat from them if you don’t have one of your own. Boat on Keuka Lake with one of their rental lily pads perfect for a float-illa.

East Bluff Harbor

East Bluff Harbor is a full service marina that has been operating on Keuka Lake for over 40 years. They are located half way down the bluff on the east side and have two gas pumps. One at the end of their floating dock and the other on shore for your convenience. They sell 89-octane gas, as the engine manufacturers recommend that you use it for your boat.

Tubes, skis and wakeboards are necessary accessories to get a true sense of a day on the lake. Don’t forget the rope and the life vests. They can also special order any water toy that is not stocked at their store. They carry all the safety equipment necessary to comply with Coast Guard regulations. When is the last time you checked your flares or fire extinguisher? Both expire and need to be replaced!  It is always good to have extra rope and fenders to tie your boat up safely at the restaurant or at a friend’s dock.

North End Marina

They offer trouble free and clean boat rentals, newer models as well as well maintained older models. They keep their prices low to keep you coming back! Located on the north west branch of Keuka Lake in Branchport. Daily, multiple day, & weekly rentals available. Spend a few days or a week relaxing, fishing, boating, swimming, sightseeing, or wine & beer tasting. They also sell ice on the premises & have non-ethanol high octane gas available.

Basin Park Marina

Proprietors John & Karen Wheeler, along with their crew offer customers: *Clean restrooms and showers. *Shore power for their slip customers. *Picnic area with tables and grill. *Ice machine.*Ample Parking and a great view of Keuka Lake’s only naturally protected harbor! Rent ski, pontoon, or fishing boats from them. Make sure you call (315) 595-8808 ahead to reserve your boat rental.

Boat Storage, Repair + Showroom

Mike’s Marine

Mike offers exceptional boat storage and repair services. He has been in the business for over 30 years and is a local favorite. You can reach him at (607) 868- 3308. This one man operation doesn’t lack in customer service or quality of work, give him a call today!

Keuka Watersports

Keuka Watersports is an authorized Centurion, Starcraft and SunChaser dealership serving the Finger Lakes area of New York state. They are proud to carry a large selection of new and pre-owned inventory. Therefore, When you are ready for a new boat, their friendly and knowledgeable service departments are prepared to make sure your experience is outstanding. From assisting while you’re making your choice to ongoing maintenance and customization. Keuka Watersports values the opportunity to create a long-term relationship with their customers, and do that by giving you the best customer service available.

Over the years, our customers have become our extended family by coming back to us year after year. We enjoy and look forward to seeing our growing extended family every year and hope that you too will become part of our extended Keuka Watersports family. Keuka Watersports is Keuka Lake’s premiere boat and jet ski rental source. Offering the best ski boats, pontoon boats, deck boats, jet skis & kayaks. They offer daily, multi-day, and weekly rental rates along with waterskies, wakeboards, and tubes. Give them a call at (607) 569-2889 today!

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Keuka Lake Association

In order to create boating memories on Keuka Lake we all need to make sure their is a Keuka Lake to boat on. The Keuka Lake Association aims to preserve and protect the natural beauty of Keuka Lake for future generations. You too can be a part of maintaining our beautiful lady Keuka.

Keuka Lakefront Rentals

Many of our rentals have permanent docks and or boat hoists to keep your boat or your rental boat secured safely overnight.

Click Here To Book Your lakefront Rental Today!

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!

A Helpful Guide for Relocating to the Finger Lakes

Are you ready to start a new adventure? Whether you want a completely new start or an investment property to frequent seasonally, Finger Lakes Premier Properties has all the resources you need to start your journey relocating to the Finger Lakes! The Finger Lakes region of Central New York State boasts 11 charming lakeside towns. Finger Lakes Premier Properties has lakefront listing from Canandaigua to Cayuga and beyond, so you can select a property in your desired Finger Lakes region.  

For more information on relocating to or purchasing an investment property in the Finger Lakes region, please reference our Finger Lakes Property Management Services. This page is filled with important information for every type of buyer! 

Everything You Need to Know About Relocating to the Finger Lakes 

How to Begin Your Search 

So, you want to purchase a home in the Finger Lakes. Where’s the best place to start? Begin by searching our lakefront listings! Finger Lakes Premier Properties features a diverse inventory of homes for sale across all 11 Finger Lakes communities. You should also browse our buyer’s guide. This helpful resource is a great place to begin your search and get acquainted with our services! 

Where to Look 

The Finger Lakes region consists of 11 lakefront towns. Each have unique qualities, while maintaining the laid-back lake life that most people who relocate to this area are looking for. Across the Finger Lakes region, you can find world-class wineries, championship golf courses, unlimited ways to spend time on the lake, and more. Not sure which area of the Finger Lakes is right for you? Take a look at this interactive map that shows you where all your interests lie! 

What You Can Expect  

There’s no shortage of amazing things to do in the Finger Lakes region! Whether you’re a retiree looking for a place to spend each day on the lake or a family looking for a quiet vacation spot, there’s something for every buyer’s needs! Download our free Finger Lakes Vacation Guide for a comprehensive look at all the activities our area has to offer. With more than 9,000 square-miles of property surrounding the 11 lakes, there are endless ways to explore! Here are a few of our favorite things to do in the area as locals: 

5 Questions to Determine If a Finger Lakes Investment Property is Right for You 

What area of the Finger Lakes do you want to invest? 

As we previously discussed, there are several areas to choose from when it comes to purchasing an investment property in the Finger Lakes. As we know all too well, sometimes it’s hardest to make a choice when you have a lot of options. Make sure you narrow your search to a couple of your top lakes before moving forward with your investment property journey! 

You can filter homes for sale by lake using this search tool

How much are you comfortable investing? 

We understand that everyone has a unique budget. Determine how much you’re comfortable spending before you begin your search. This will help narrow your choices and give you peace of mind that you’re remaining financially responsible!  

What are your goals in owning an investment property? 

It’s important to have a goal in mind when purchasing a vacation rental as an investment property. To set a goal for your property, first decide how your family is going to use it. Will you rent it out most of the year? Will you relocate to your rental home for an entire season? Decide how you plan to use your property, then let us know so we can create realistic, sensical goals for your investment property!  

Our knowledgeable agents will put together Rental Analysis Projections on any homes you’re interested in purchasing as an investment property!  

When do you want to invest? 

Game play is important when it comes to purchasing an investment property. It’s important to keep an eye on real estate market trends for each lake before you decide to make a purchase. We’re dedicated to making sure you get the most return on investment! Our team will also keep you up-to-date on the latest vacation rental trends in the Finger Lakes as well as across the entire industry. It’s important to us that our owners are in the loop about the latest happenings!  

Become a friend of our newsletter for consistent industry updates! 

Do you have a realtor you can trust? 

Purchasing an investment property can be stressful. It’s a big commitment, and you deserve to work with a realtor who’s transparent and communicative throughout the entire process. Our team of knowledgeable, experienced agents are here to make your home buying process seamless. We understand that everyone’s journey to an investment property is different, so we pride ourselves on being adaptable and doing whatever it takes to make your dream of a home in the Finger Lakes come true! 

Choose Finger Lakes Premier Properties 

Ready to begin your journey relocating to the Finger Lakes? Whether you’re looking for a new, permanent homestead or an investment property in the Finger Lakes region, we’re here to help! Our helpful staff is here to answer any questions you may have about our area, listings, and owning a home in the Finger Lakes. We’re dedicated to making your home buying process to be as seamless and stress-free as possible!  

Visit our Finger Lakes Property Management Services page to get started. We can’t wait to welcome you home! 

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.

Financing Your Lake House in 2020

You’ve decided to dive in and buy your dream house on the lake, but how do you finance this life changing decision? From vacation rental income to second home mortgages, you have many options when it comes to affording your lake house in 2020.

Here are some tips to make buying a lake house a sound financial decision.

Finance during a year of stability.

mortgage interest rates to consider when financing your lake house

The real estate market experienced a year of declining interest rates in 2019. With few economic risks and low inflation, borrowing costs are expected to remain low, making 2020 a great year to take on debt for a long-term purchase.

According to Bankrate, the rate on a 30 year note fell from an average of 4.68% at the beginning of January 2019 all the way down to 3.9% by Christmas. This is really good news for homebuyers.

The lakefront real estate market ended on high note in 2019, with average sales price for lakefront homes projected to continue increasing this year. If you haven’t read our analysis of last year’s lakefront market, start hereand learn why 2020 is the year to finance your lake house.

Consider your use and classify appropriately.

how will your lake house be used?

When financing your lake house, you will need to classify your property based on how it will be used. Typically your lake house will fall into one of three categories for financing: primary residence, secondary residence, or investment property. The type of home you buy will affect your interest rate and may require you to have a higher credit score.

Secondary Residence vs. Investment Property

If you plan to use your home as a short-term rental, you can still classify the property as a secondary residence instead of an investment property, taking advantage of lower interest rates and qualifying for mortgage interest tax deductions. This will vary by lender, but typically your lake house can remain a secondary residence if your home is rented no more than 180 days a year and you occupy the home at least 10% of the time you would rent it. You will have to report rental income on your taxes if you rent for 15 or more days. Learn more about mortgage classification here.

Look for niche lending options.

Niche lending options for financing your lake house

With vacation rentals gaining popularity over the last few years, most lenders should have a base level of knowledge when it comes to financing your lake house for short-term rental use. If possible, seek out a finance professional familiar with the vacation rental industry. You lakefront sales specialist may have recommendations for you.

If you don’t intend to rent out your lake house, there are plenty of lending options to meet you where you are financially. Many banks, such as M&T, offer bridge loans to help you purchase a new home before your existing home sells. You can also tap into the equity of your primary home to fund the down payment for your second home (cash-out refinance). Learn more about your lending options here.

Determine your Vacation Rental Income Goals

If your lake house is a second home or investment property, vacation rental income could factor into what kind of lake house you can afford. Your rental rate is determined by the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, amenities, and updates your home has. The larger and more modern the house, the higher the sales price – but also consider that you’ll most likely be able to rent it out more often and for a higher rate.

Our real estate team can provide a vacation rental income analysis for any lakefront home in the Finger Lakes. We provide income projections for the lake houses you’re considering and you can compare side by side how much each will earn, making it easy to determine the level of financing you’ll need.

Consider the extra costs.

Costs to consider when financing your lake house

Your lake house will incur higher costs than a traditional or primary home. Here are a few expenses to budget for when determining how much lake house you can afford:

Flood Insurance

Being so close to the water might warrant purchasing flood insurance. Though not required by New York State, your mortgage lender may mandate that you purchase a policy in addition to homeowners insurance. Flood damage isn’t typically covered by homeowners insurance and less than 50% of flooding incidents are covered by federal disaster assistance.

Maintenance

You’ll likely need a larger maintenance budget for your lake house, especially if it’s a second home or investment property. Lakefront property components, such as docks, decks, boathouses and beachfronts, will need routine maintenance, pressure washing, replacement, clean up, and more.

If your lake house is a secondary residence or investment property, consider hiring a management company to perform these tasks for you. In addition, property managers having a year-round presence at your home can reduce the chances of a break-in and quickly address storm damage or pests to avoid long-term issues and higher costs later on.

Lifestyle

There’s a reason you’re buying a lake house – you want the lake lifestyle! You’ll want to set aside some funds to buy that boat you’ve always wanted, and don’t be surprised when the family asks for a couple kayaks and a jet ski! Prioritize which gear you’ll need once the house is yours – and plan for more fun purchases later on.


What’s the best thing you can do when purchasing your lake house? Work with a professional that specializes in lakefront real estate. With 95% of our sales being on the water, our team is ready and excited to answer your questions and find the right lake house for you! Call us today (855) 683-8429.

2019 Lakefront Real Estate Report

Each quarter, our sales specialists analyze real estate trends across the region’s lakefront market. We compile our findings into a complimentary report to make your decision to buy or sell an easy and informed one.

Here is our analysis of the 2019 lakefront real estate market:


Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes in 2019.
Statistics aggregated from MLS.

Overview

The lakefront market experienced smaller gains in 2019, compared to 2018. This can be attributed to the average sale price for lakefront homes continuing to tick up, while the number of sales decrease.

Lakefront homeowners are holding onto properties longer, riding the wave of YOY value increases and the popularity of operating short-term rentals. Investors continue to enter the market, looking for homes not only for personal use, but for profit. Our region has seen a 25% increase in vacation rentals over the last few years.

Challenges

On lakes where the number of homes sold dropped 50%, we saw a correlating drop in total sales volume. Honeoye and Owasco Lakes were challenged by algal blooms and low inventory this year, but homes on both lakes continue to sell faster. Lower price points could transition these lakes deeper into a market that favors buyers in 2020.

HAB’s and Red Tide continue to challenge the nation’s lake and oceanfront real estate markets. Educating new homeowners on lake friendly living practices will be a focus in 2020, to ensure the health and safety of our waters for years to come.

lakefront market real estate agent

Successes

Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes saw the greatest increase in overall sales volume last year. High-end buyers are attracted to Canandaigua Lake for its luxury amenities and close proximity to the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. We expect the upward trend to continue in 2020, as transportation options, like seaplane routes, lakefront development, and amenities continue to expand.

Seneca Lake enjoyed a 33% boost in sales volume last year, with the highest overall gain in average sale price and greatest overall drop in days on market. Seneca is the largest of the Finger Lakes, and arguably the lake with the most opportunity. While Geneva revitalizes its downtown and gains national attention for its dining and tourism, Watkins Glen continues to yield some of the region’s largest events. Seneca Lake home prices still come in below the regional average, but with an 18% price gain last year, don’t expect the lakefront bargains to last. 2020 is the year to buy on Seneca!

Seneca Lake Real Estate

Market Trends to Watch

Mortgage rates are projected to continue trending downward in 2020. This is particularly great news for those looking to purchase a vacation home or income property. With low inventory and no pressure from the fed, lakefront buyers have the luxury of waiting for the right house to come on the market.

In general, the heat is off, with bidding wars at a 10 year low across the nation, but a limited inventory of starter homes is pushing first-time buyers into new territory. Rather than pour their assets into a primary residence, first-time buyers are investing in vacation homes in less expensive destinations, like the Finger Lakes. These homes have the potential to pay for themselves with vacation rental income or allow buyers to save up for their next investment.

Family saving for real estate

Focused on Lakefront in 2020

While the lakefront market flattened out in 2019, the Finger Lakes Premier Properties team experienced a 58% increase in lakefront sales. Our team led purchasing sales on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes and continues to be the leading real estate team servicing the entire region. Lakefront sales accounted for 95% of our 2019 sales, higher than any other real estate team in the Finger Lakes.

Our 2020 focus is lakefront real estate. If yours is too, call us today (888) 441-0079.

How to Maximize Your Finger Lakes Vacation Rental: 5 Tips You Need to Know

Want to know how to maximize your Finger Lakes vacation rental? Read on to learn our best tips and tricks to help you keep your VR booked all-year-round!

How to Maximize Your Finger Lakes Vacation Rental

1. Be Hospitable

Hospitality is a major part of the guest experience. That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile and created a complimentary Vacation Guide for all of our guests to use. It includes the best FLX attractions such as the Finger Lakes wine trails, state parks, restaurants, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. This handy guide is useful and helps our guests plan out their entire trip with ease! We strive for all of our visitors to have the absolute best guest experience while renting your vacation home!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

2. Quality Photos Are Everything

Would you want to stay in a vacation rental with blurry, low-quality pictures? The answer is probably not. Photos are one of the first things a potential guest looks for, and you do not want to disappoint. The truth is, people are probably not going to read about your property unless they like what they see.

We highly recommend getting a professional photographer, but if that’s not possible, make sure you take your photos with good natural lighting. Also, make sure you have plenty of updated photos to show off just how amazing your property is! Don’t forget to include pictures of your unique amenities like the fire pit, hot tub, and gorgeous lake view.

3. Know What Potential Guests Really Need

Imagine staying in a vacation home with a full kitchen, stocking up on groceries, and getting ready to cook a gourmet meal, only to find out there are no kitchen utensils or supplies in the house!

Make sure your home is equipped with all the necessities like kitchen supplies, clean linens, toilet paper, soap, and towels to make it easier for anyone staying in your vacation rental.

4. Create The Best Guest Experience

Maximizing your vacation home means creating the best guest experience. Make your visitors feel at home by showing that you care! By providing all of the material items they may need during their trip, Finger Lakes recommendations, and a clean vacation home, you can expect to see your guests return year after year.

Not only does an amazing vacation experience create returning guests, but you can also expect fantastic reviews. And, excellent reviews lead to more bookings and more income!

5. Choose Finger Lakes Premier Properties as Your Vacation Rental Management Company

We’re more than just marketing tips. We’ll talk the talk as well as walk the walk. Your rental property will be in great hands when you let Finger Lakes Premier Properties manage your home.

finger lakes vacation rental with waterfront view
070213Mandi

We understand the frustrations of taking care of a home, and we know you have other things to do with your time. Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers a turn-key full-service housekeeping option. We’ll also make sure to use the best marketing practices to reach potential guests, including social media and email.

We can also determine and update rental rates on your home to drive revenue and occupancy. We want to make your home rental experience as stress-free as possible!

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Why List Your Lakefront Home in Winter

The weather outside is frightful, so no one’s buying a home this time of the year, right? Think again. In the last 60 days, 35 lakefront homes went under contract in the region, including 33% of our available inventory. The market is trying to stay warm just like the rest of us, but lakefront homes are in short supply.

While winter may seem like a more challenging time to sell, the same rules don’t always apply for homes in a vacation destination. There are plenty of reasons to buy in winter, but here are some of the pros to selling your lakefront home in the off-season:

Higher priced homes see more action.

According to our listing agent, Cynthia Emerling, homes priced above $500,000 are seeing more interest. “The higher priced market starts to pick up in November, when people start evaluating their finances from the year and are motivated to take advantage of tax breaks.” Listing ahead of or during this surge of high-end buyer activity that your home sits on the market less time. “I tell high-end listings to hold out for this time of year, regardless of when they listed. This is when their buyer is in the market,” says Emerling.

Your home stays ready-to-show.

Selling in the summertime has its drawbacks. While it may be the time of year when your lakefront and landscaping look their best, it’s also the time when your lake house sees the most use. With family, friends, and guests in and out all summer, it can be difficult to ensure your home is ready-to-show when it needs to be. To maintain a staged, clean appearance, list your lakefront home in winter. As an added bonus, a light blanket of snow will cover any less-desirable features outside the home.

You’ll get the most out of your last summer on the lake.

There’s only a short window of summer weather here in the Finger Lakes. Showings can make it more difficult to schedule and enjoy your time at the lake. If your home is a vacation rental, constant showings can interfere with the guest experience. Guests who book in the peak season pay a premium for their stay and would prefer not to be interrupted by your agent.

Investment buyers have extra motivation.

On the vacation rental side, we see higher volumes of booking activity around the holidays. It makes sense – the whole family is gathered in one area, making it easy to plan their next vacation. Investment buyers don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to fill their calendars ahead of the new year. This is a huge motivator for short-term rental owners to buy ahead of the new year.


Even if you decide to hold off on listing until after the holidays, don’t wait too long. We see the spring market ramp up long before winter’s end. Lakefront buyers want to close have plenty of time to get their new home ready for summer.

Ready to list your lakefront home this winter? Start here!

Our real estate team will provide an assessment of your lakefront home and a rental analysis, free of charge, to attract buyers to the income potential of your listing. Call our lakefront listing experts today (888) 976-4981