New York State Realtor - May/June 2012 - (Page 16)
New York’s vacation destinations:
for busy season
By Erin Clary NYSAR Communications Coordinator
Spring is typically a busy time for the housing market in New York State. The weather is mild and buyers are stepping out into the light. Spring is also a particularly busy time for the vacation and second-home market in the Empire State. With everything from log cabins in the Adirondacks to lake-front homes in the Finger Lakes, and multimillion-dollar, ocean-front mansions in the Hamptons, New York REALTORS® in the second-home market are gearing up for their busy season.
he six-million acre Adirondack Park is home to more than 3,000 lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, making it a nature lover’s playground. It is the largest temperate forest in the world, and also home to many national parks and historic sites. Saranac Lake, in particular, is often referred to as the “cultural hub” of the Adirondacks. Located two and half hours from both Albany, NY and the Canadian border, Saranac Lake is a popular vacation destination for a variety of buyers. Chris Covert, broker/owner of Guide Boat Realty in Saranac Lake, said the lake’s location draws people in from the New York metropolitan area and Boston. “We are starting to see more Canadians now that their dollar is so strong.” Covert, who said 75 percent of his business comes from the vacation home market, said now is the time for buyers to start looking. “Buyers start to come in to look for homes after Easter,” he said. “From then until about Fourth of July, it’s fairly busy and then again from Labor Day until about Columbus Day, people come back to see what’s still on the market.” Covert said his brokerage is boosting its marketing initiatives in magazines such as Adirondack Life and local real estate guides. Likewise, REALTORS® in the Hamptons and the North Fork area of Long Island are also seeing things begin to pick up. John Nickles, broker/owner of Lewis and Nickles Real Estate in Southhold, NY, located on the North Fork of Long Island, said that the vacation and second-home market really starts to pick up in spring, so that families can get into a home in
time for summer and out in time to get their children back in school in September. “Starting right now is when the rubber starts to hit the road,” said Nickles. The North Fork, where Nickles does most of his business, is a popular area for families looking to purchase a second home for summer vacations; retirees, many from Long Island, looking to retire near their children and their families; and renters. In addition to the world-renowned beaches, the area is also a rich agriculture district. Spring is the time when vacationers start looking for homes to rent, which means agents need to make sure their listings are updated and gather additional rental listings. Nickles said having a relationship with the homeowners who rent their properties in the summer is a smart idea because they’ll remember you if they decide to sell. Likewise, renters often become buyers and it’s important to keep in touch with them. “We had an agent who had a $2 million house and she just couldn’t sell it,” said Nickles. “However, she could rent it and eventually she sold it.” He went on to explain that agents must realize they may spend as much time showing rental properties as they do trying to get buyers, but eventually it can pay off. Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, draws in second-home and vacation buyers as well. Amy Wood Gonzalez, broker at Warren Real Estate in Ithaca, NY, said many of her buyers are retirees whose children went to either Cornell University or
16 MAY/JUNE 2012
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