Old Forge NY Home For Sale With Dock On Fourth Lake – 136 Cherokee Road

Looking for an established rental or a great place for group get aways? This furnished, turn-key, open concept home could be perfect! Each of the four large bedrooms has it’s own bathroom and there is plenty of parking for your guests. This off-water year-round home is located minutes from the village of Eagle Bay, close to the trails and it includes a dock on 25 feet of Fourth Lake waterfront. This one is definitely worth a look! 

For more information visit TimmAssociates.com or call 315-369-5434

What is the Difference Between a Manufactured Home and a Modular Home?

It all comes down to the chassis.  If it has a permanent chassis, it’s a Manufactured home not a Modular.  Don’t know exactly what a chassis is?  I don’t either, but I do know you need one to put wheels on a house!  So basically, a manufactured house is a trailer, otherwise known by the terms “Mobile Home”, “Single-Wide” or “Double-wide”.  Since June 15, 1976, manufactured homes have had to meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code and Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.  The HUD Code requires that manufactured homes display a red certification label on the exterior of each transportable section.  Like Modular Homes, they may be transported in one or more sections.

Modular homes are built in a controlled environment (such as a warehouse) to the same state and national codes as stick-built or site-built homes.  These homes usually arrive at the site partially assembled or as panelized wall systems.  Some will argue that a Modular home could be more structurally sound than a stick built home due to the larger floor joists necessary for travel.  The wall and floor components are often glued for additional strength.  Having a modular home built is usually significantly less expensive than a stick built home.  With the assistance of computer aided design and the ability to view dealer models, consumers can select a custom floor plan and design with ease. 

When purchasing a manufactured or modular home please be aware that these homes may not be eligible for all loan programs.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Appointment To View Properties

Here in the Adirondacks it is not unusual for a Realtor to receive an anxious phone call from a party interested in seeing a few properties at the last minute as they head out of town.  When this happens, I do my best to spring in to action but it’s disappointing.  Not because it is mildly inconvenient for me but because I know I am not able to provide the best customer service to these possible new clients.  I am sure many agents feel this way; you aren’t successful in this business if you don’t have a strong urge to please people.  This is a service industry after all.  Most of our clients aren’t from the area and usually they are in town rather briefly, however rarely on a whim.  Why not call a few days ahead of time and let me know what you are looking for?  Since I work in this business full-time, it is likely that after a few questions I will think of several properties that meet your qualifications.  Armed with your wish list and several days notice, I will make appointments, gather information, preview properties for you and take additional pictures if necessary.  Before we head out to look at properties we can touch-base and make sure all the properties in question meet your criteria.  You’re on vacation right?  Why waste your time looking at properties that you would not consider if you had the right information?

Selecting properties is only half the battle, scheduling can also be a challenge.  It is not unusual for a listed property to also be a rental.  Cell phone service in the Adirondacks is still rather spotty, contacting tenants can be a little challenging.  Accessibility in the winter provides yet another challenge and arrangements may need to be made to clear the driveway of snow.  Please keep in mind a vacant/winterized structure can be 10 degrees colder than the temperature outside; high snow boots, gloves and several layers or clothing are highly recommended.

A Few Things to Consider When Hiring a Realtor to List Your Property

“How will you market my property?”  Running a few classified ads in the local paper and listing it on the company website shouldn’t be the only answers.  The majority of buyers in the Adirondacks are second home buyers and your agent really needs to have an idea of how to reach an audience from outside the area.  With so many websites out there, you really can’t afford to be on just one.  To get a good idea of how much marketing an agent is doing you may want to consider Googling the address of one of their current listings, if the property doesn’t come up at least 10 times the agent
isn’t doing nearly enough.

There is a difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate agent, only Realtors can advertise on Realtor.com and the local Multiple Listing Service.  Your property should be listed on the Realtor.com as it is the most well known real estate website in the country, ninety-six percent of Buyers visit Realtor.com.  Your property should also be on the Multiple Listings Services which is essentially a shared database between Realtors.  Your agent should be willing to share their commission with an agent that brings a Buyer; part of this process is providing other agents with the information necessary to discuss your property with the Buyers they are working with.

 “How many years have you been in the business?” Just because someone’s been in the business for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good at it. You don’t want an agent that’s just been skimming by for the past 15 years.   Has this agent been working full-time or just pulling together the occasional deal for family and friends?  It is in your best interest not to overlook the agent who is just starting out – they can be more excited and motivated, and more willing to give you personal attention.  The question that should be in the back of your mind is “What is the agents level of commitment?” Feel free to ask the following questions: “How often do you do floor time?”  “When are you usually in the office?”  You may also get a better idea of the agent’s commitment level by considering how he or she has behaved thus far; did he or she respond to your initial inquiry in a timely fashion?  Did they provide you with a cell or home phone?

Does this Agent have another career?  Being a successful Realtor is not a part time job, this is a CAREER that often requires working nights and weekends.  Successful Adirondack Real Estate agents can easily put in an average of 60 hours a week between the months of May and September.  We have a very short selling season and you need someone who recognizes the need have your marketing materials available to the public ASAP.  An agent that has other obligations during the busy season might have a hard time pulling this off.

Look at the agent’s current inventory; does your home fit in the mix?  An agent that currently markets homes in your price range and area will be the best fit; they will be more likely to add your home to the list when going out with a Buyer.  When your agent receives a call about something in their inventory of course they should make every effort to satisfy the possible buyers question regarding that property.  A motivated agent will then ask the possible buyer “what type of property are you looking for and what is your desired price range?”  This is when the agent should pitch YOUR property as well.  Most of the buyers we work with in this market are from outside the area and they will be much more likely to make the trip if there are several appealing properties to see.

How much is my home worth? Agents should be able to provide a market analysis and recommend a selling point for your house before you make a decision.  If two agents say $500,000 and the third says $580,000, it’s possible this high number is an exaggeration to attract your business. This maneuver is called “buying a listing”.  The high asking price will likely scare away potential buyers.  We have a short selling season, timing is crucial.  In the end, a house will only sell for what it is worth and your time will have been wasted.  Also ask the agents what repairs, if any, they think need to be made in order for the home to sell in your desired time-frame.  If an agent can not be honest with you about the less-desirable aspects of your home; are they really being honest regarding your pricing strategy?

It may sound like a lot of factors to mull over but careful consideration in this process will be well worth your while.  Please feel free to call me at anytime if you would like to hear about the benefits of listing your property with Timm Associates.  I would be happy to prepare a comparative market analysis on your home or camp.

Does My Vacation Home Qualify for a 1031 Exchange?

It depends.

If you are not familiar with what a 1031 Exchange is here is a brief explanation: 1031 Exchanges allow property owners to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of “like-kind” properties.  The term “like-kind” means two properties that have the same use (for example investment properties can only exchanged for investment properties not personal residences).  Capital Gains taxes are taxes that you must pay on the income you have earned on the sale of property (above and beyond the amount you invested in the property to begin with). The property that you will be purchasing needs to identified within 45 days of the sale of the original property.  Between the time of the sale and the purchase the funds must be held by a qualified intermediary, not in your personal bank account.  Within 180 days of the initial sale, the transaction must be fully completed.  Time limits are calculated in calendar days not business days.

Back in the day, a property owner could sell one property and buy another property using the proceeds from the sale provided that the properties were like-kind (Investment property for Investment Property, Residence for a Residence).  The property owner would not be taxed on the gains from the sale of the original property.  The rules have changed regarding residences.  These days, when you sell your primary residence, you can make up to $250,000 in profit if you’re single or $500,000 if you’re married, and not owe capital gains taxes.  To be eligible for the full exclusion, a taxpayer must have owned the home (and lived in it as a principal residence) for at least two of the five years prior to the sale.  This raises the question – what happens when I sell my vacation home?

A property that has been held for “investment purposes” can be exchanged for another property being held for “investment purposes”.   Here in the Adirondacks, it is rather common for the owners of vacation homes to end up renting out their camps more often then they use them.  The IRS has been kind enough to create a safe harbor for property owners like this.  If the owner uses the properties for personal purposes for 14 days a year or less (or less than 10%of the days that it is rented in a 365-day period) the IRS considers the home a rental property, not a personal-use residence, and the house may be eligible for like-kind exchange.  If you rent out the original property for 2 years before and the new property for 2 years after the exchange (and claim the income) both properties are “investment properties”.

Not willing to rent?  Do you use your property more then allowed by this rule?  Remember, you will only be taxed on the difference between the adjusted basis and the sale price of your home.  The adjusted basis is what you originally paid for the property, including debt, closing and settlement costs, plus any qualifying home improvements you’ve made.  I hope that you have kept receipts for your home improvements because they might just be your ticket out of paying Capital Gains Tax.  Those major improvements add up quickly!  The next question you should ask yourself is “Do I really need to make a profit on the sale of this property for it to have been worth while?”  You’ve used it, and hopefully enjoyed using it.  You may find that the current market value of the home does not exceed what you paid for it, a 1031 exchange may not be necessary.

Still have questions?  You may find this link interesting.  1031info

How To Sell Your Property Quickly In The Current Economy

Even though this economic rough patch started several years ago the real estate market continues to change.  Today, differences in market conditions are evident in rather close proximity.  The Old Forge real estate market varies greatly from the Raquette Lake, Kayuta Lake or Forestport markets.  The differences between these markets come down to the simple principles of supply and demand.  Those properties listed for sale in the slower markets have a two pronged problem.  Not only is there an over abundance of competitive selling properties, there is also a Buyer perception problem.  Possible Buyers are left wondering:

Why hasn’t someone else bought this house, is it a poor investment?  It has been listed for a while.  If I wait six months, the price will be lower. This place isn’t going anywhere.” 

These perception problems keep Realtors awake at night.  It doesn’t matter if we show a Buyer several properties that meet every one of their requirements.  It doesn’t matter if we show them the property of their dreams!  With unresolved concerns and so many options on the table, Buyers are simply not motivated to purchase.  How do they know that an
EVEN BETTER property won’t come on the market a month from now?   It sounds pretty hopeless doesn’t it?  Hang in there, the strategy is rather simple.  The one thing that will sell your property is the perception that your property is a reasonable value and that it might not be available tomorrow.  Perception is often reality.

Don’t overprice your property coming out of the gate.  Use that “new listing momentum” to your advantage in an effort to receive competing offers.

List your property at the price you would sell it for.  This is the most important piece of advice I can give you!  Everyone, I mean everyone, used to believe that you had to leave a gap for negotiations.  There is no reason to overprice your property; your price does not need to be negotiable.  When Sellers price high assuming that every Buyer is a ‘wheeler dealer’, they are just chasing off the Buyer that isn’t.

Nothing reinforces a Buyer’s belief that they have found the right property more than seeing another possible Buyer pull up the driveway!  The worst thing a Buyer can do is wait until they have to compete in a bidding war.  Buyers are cautious in this economy; they have a lot of options and they aren’t willing to overpay.  They are, however, still buying.  Most properties that sell in this economy have multiple interested parties because
somewhere along the line the property was priced appropriately.  Price your property competitively and use the stir to your advantage.

Current Comps don’t lie.  Before you list your property, ask your Realtor to review several comparable recent sales with you as well as the properties that will be your competition.  Whether you like what these numbers tell you or not, the recent sales are the best gauge you have of the offers you will receive.  Your property is only worth what a willing and able Buyer will pay.  The Buyer, their appraiser, and their bank are all going to look at this information – you can’t hide it.  If the comps don’t justify the sale price the Buyer won’t be able to obtain financing and the entire exercise has been a waste of time for everyone involved.  The tail doesn’t wag the dog.
If your property isn’t being shown during your peak season, your property is probably over priced.

Let go of the notion that your home or camp needs to turn a profit in order to have been a worthwhile venture.  Your home or camp has served a purpose and you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy it; don’t expect to get back every dollar you’ve put in to it.  Please keep in mind that your upgrades may not be appealing to a Buyer.  Not everyone has the same taste.  These upgrades have a value in use for you that may not result in an increase in the property’s value.  In addition to upgrades, you may have endured the expense of replacing the roof or furnace.  Unfortunately, maintenance and repairs rarely increase the value, they simply protect the investment.  It is unlikely that you will completely recoup these costs.

Hire the Real Estate Team that will give your property the best exposure!  Print advertisements are great but most buyers look for properties online these days. Hop on the internet and Google real estate for sale in your area.  What websites come up?  Does your agent have properties listed on these sites?  Is your Agent a Realtor and a member of the local Multiple Listing Services (MLS)?  This is a second home market, most Buyers are not local, the large websites like Realtor.com will give your property the biggest audience.

Last, but not least, don’t forget the reason why you want to sell in the first place!  Is your property keeping you from moving on to the next phase of your life?  Are you missing another opportunity because you need to unload this asset first?  You only get one shot at this life (as far as I know).  Are you putting your life on hold for a higher offer that you might not receive?

Never Trust a Zestimate.

If you spend much time on-line looking at properties you have probably stumbled across a real estate website called Zillow.  There are abundant real estate websites out there, the three biggest are Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow.   All three sites have their merits.  I’m partial to Trulia myself as I find the site to be user friendly.  There are a few companies in the area that do not have listings onthe Adirondack MLS or Realtor.com which makes these collaborative websites a bit of a life saver.

I am often amazed by how well informed my Buyers and Sellers are as a result of the internet.  I appreciate working with well informed clients but it makes me a little sad when someone mentions a property’s “Zestimate” (Zillow’s opinion of the property’s value).   I understand that Zestimates aren’t meant to be misleading and in some markets they are even in the ball park of being accurate.  Unfortunately, the Zestimates for Adirondack Park properties can be downright comical.  It is not uncommon to find a custom waterfront home directly across the street from a seasonal hunting camp here.  Obviously the two properties can not be compared.  Zillow doesn’t understand the difference and averages the sales prices together creating a messy mathematical algorithm that is truly worthless.  Over the years I have read quite a bit of criticism of Zestimates on Realtor Forums and I was relieved to hear that Zillow has finally “Manned Up” and released their Zestimate Accuracy Data.  For Herkimer County, Zillow has a 16% median of error and over 59% of their Zestimates are 20+% higher or lower than the actual market value.  For Oneida County, Zillow has a 14.3% median of error and over 58% of their Zestimates are 20+% off the correct market value.  (Click this link to see the results for yourself).  

If you are interested in finding property data your best sources online are the Town of Webb Assessor’s Real Property Database or the Town of Forestport Assessor’s Real Property Database.  Please keep in mind that there is usually a healthy gap between the assessed property value and the true market value of a property.  Often the data used to arrive at the assessed value can be several years old.  

What is Selling in the Adirondacks?

Surprisingly enough we actually had a pretty busy Summer and Fall in Adirondack real estate.  EVERYONE is looking for a deal in this market!  Unfortunately, deals are few and far between and often receive multiple offers.  While our market has and is still adjusting, I would hardly say we are having the “fire sale” that some Buyers have been hoping for!  The idea that this may be the lowest market the Adirondacks will see in the foreseeable future has increased demand in several segments of our market; namely year-round waterfront and mid-range year-round lake rights properties.  In my personal opinion we are at the “low” for waterfront real estate.  Going forward, the sale prices fetched by those properties currently under contract will have a large effect on the asking prices of new inventory for the next year or so.  It is possible there will still be some adjustment necessary for off water properties.

The properties that are selling rather quickly are year-round waterfront properties (on motorized lakes) in the $350,000 – $500,000 range; if there were more of these available I would have several very pleased clients!  There is also a high demand for properties with lake rights (on motorized lakes) in the $200,000 to $275,000 range.  I have had quite a few calls from individuals looking for off water properties with deeded dock space.  The first four lakes of the Fulton Chain Lakes and White Lake receive more inquiries than the Old Forge Pond, Otter Lake or Sixth and Seven Lake.  Raquette Lake lakefront properties sell rather quickly, however they are rarely available.  Waterfront properties on non-motorized lakes and rivers do sell for quite a bit less than those on more navigable waterways.  I usually ask Buyers a little bit about their hobbies; sometimes a non-motorized lake or river suits their needs and may have been overlooked.  If you are into paddle sports and enjoy peace and quiet then a non-motorized lake might be a budget friendly alternative to the popular motorized lakes.

Seasonal property sales are very slow.  The rising popularity of snowmobiling has changed the demand for Seasonal properties; many Buyers will not even consider them.  For year-round properties, I have noticed a high preference for those with garages and/or convenient trailer parking.  Quite a few investors are interested in properties that can be rented one season and used as a personal vacation home in the other.  My concern is that this possible increase in rentals will flood the rental market, perhaps lowering revenues for those properties currently offered as rentals.

In regard to purchase prices, several years ago low offers were often completely rejected; in this economy Sellers have entertained/countered offers 15-20% below asking.  We advise our Sellers to at least counter an undesirable offer.  When the opportunity to sell presents itself versus continued maintenance and tax bills, sales prices can be rather surprising.  If you would like to purchase Adirondack Real Estate don’t wait for the bottom or you may miss it.