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Lake Placid Real Estate Updates Tips For Buying in the Adirondacks

Margie Philo, Real Estate Broker & Owner

Margie Philo, Real Estate Broker & Owner

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Adirondack Premier Properties

Welcome to “The Brokers Suite,” our blog with updates about new listings, real estate buying and selling tips, and more real estate topics updated regularly. Stay up to date with the latest Adirondack and Lake Placid real estate market information. Find insider advice and tips to assist you in selling or buying a residential or commercial property in the Adirondacks.

"Where Experience Isn't Expensive, it’s Priceless."

Lake Placid Real Estate Market Expert

See below for our latest blog posts. Some posts are republished as part of the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services collection of real estate education content.

Is It Worth Buying A Townhouse? Exploring How To Value A Townhouse

Bluff 10 Townhome - Exterior

Is it worth buying a townhouse? Is it really worth buying a townhouse? Townhomes have pros and cons just like any other style of real estate. In the Adirondack region most of the townhomes are part of a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), so they have extra features and living benefits compared to a standalone single family home. Additional benefits of living in a townhouse may include maintenance, lake or other waterfront access and direct access to a golf course. While these potential features are nice, many come with a monthly fee, so the buyer will have to consider this in their Read More

April 26th, 2022

Decreasing Demand Or Supply Constraints?

Decreasing Demand Or Supply Constraints

Decreasing Demand Or Supply Constraints? In 2021, existing-home sales rose 8.5% during 2020, the highest level since 2006 as supplies of homes for sale fell to an all-time low of 910,000, equivalent to 1.8 months of available inventory. In December 2021, housing sales declined 7.1% over December 2020. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) explained that the dip was likely due to supply constraints over decreasing demand from homebuyers. Employment in December rose by nearly 200,000 and the unemployment rate was 3.9%. Also favoring homebuyers, salaries rose 4.7% year-over-year, even while those gains were countered by the highest rate of Read More

April 22nd, 2022

Ask The Broker – 4 Main Categories Of Commercial Real Estate

What Are The 4 Main Categories Of Commercial Real Estate? The 4 main categories of commercial real estate are: office space, industrial, multi-family rentals & retail.   Office Space – This would be business style buildings that are used as office spaces for employees. Industrial – This would be any buildings that are used to develop, manufacture, or produce goods or products. Multi-family rentals – Apartment buildings or homes that are focused on housing for people. Retail – This would be storefronts for businesses.   While these are generalized, you may find commercial real estate where it is a mixture Read More

April 21st, 2022

Ask The Broker – Own Land And Not Pay Taxes

Pork Bay Camp - Aerial of lot and Upper Saranac Lake from far away

How Can I Own Land And Not Pay Taxes? Generally, when you own land you will have some sort of taxes that you will have to pay. There are a few cases where you may be able to be tax exempt like being a non-profit organization, using it for agricultural use or having a third-party tax payment.   Non-Profit Every state allows you to own property tax-free if you are a non-profit organization. While your property is tax-exempt they do expect you to provide for the public good and reduce the governments financial obligations. As a non-profit you must rely Read More

April 19th, 2022

April 2022 Newest Properties

RESIDENTIAL CABIN NEAR TITUS MOUNTAIN 1 BED  |  1 BATH  |  $298,500 A newly built one bedroom (with sleeping loft) off-grid cabin situated on 15 acres w/ beautiful mountain views.   LEGENDARY ADIRONDACK HOME 7 BED  |  4 BATH  |  46.8 ACRES  |  $3,550,000 An Adirondack Legend with spectacular mountain views and the nerve center for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Built by the Chairman of the Board of Weyerhaeuser Lumber with custom paintings by a former US Secretary of State. CLICK HERE to view more information and photos.     NEWLY RENOVATED ON CORTEZ LANE 3 BED  |  1 BATH  Read More

April 15th, 2022

Blended Paint Shades For 2022

Blended Paint Shades For 2022

Blended Paint Shades For 2022 Paint color palettes for 2022 seem to lean toward soothing neutrals or bright, cheerful tones. Gone are the dark, moody colors of the past few years, as people cope with COVID and its variants, rising inflation, and political uncertainty. The trend this year is blended colors that offer serenity and good cheer in one perfect shade. The most-watched Color of the Year is Pantone, the leader in digital, industrial and graphic design color mixtures. Instead of choosing a hue from its vast library, Pantone created a new color called Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri – a Read More

April 15th, 2022

Ask The Broker – What Does It Mean To Own A Condo

Lakeside Units - Aerial Exterior view with Lake Whiteface in background

What Does It Mean To Own A Condo? Owning a condo means that you own everything within those four walls. Buying a condo is full ownership compared to a timeshare or fractional where you are a partial owner. Generally owning a condo comes with an HOA so you will have to plan for the additional cost. The HOA normally covers ground maintenance and general building maintenance. Some HOA’s may also include golf, tennis courts & beach access on lakes.

April 14th, 2022

Ask The Broker – Is A Townhouse Worth More Than A Condo

Is a Townhouse Worth More Than A Condo? Generally, townhomes are more valuable than condos but this is not always the case. At the Whiteface Club you are able to find townhomes and condos. In the current market, the townhomes at the Whiteface Club are generally selling for over a million dollars while condos are under the million dollar mark. While there are some larger condos at the Whiteface Club that have sold for over a million they are generally closer to the $800,000 or below range. The reason townhomes are more coveted are privacy, square footage & views.   Read More

April 12th, 2022

About Earnest Money Deposits

About Earnest Money Deposits

About Earnest Money Deposits When a buyer and seller agree on a purchase price and terms, the buyer shows the seller a sign of good faith in the form of earnest money. This money, typically 1% to 3% of the sales price or whatever is customary for the local market, is deposited with an escrow agent or title company, a neutral third-party that serves to finalize the transaction for both sides. Earnest money is designed to protect the seller. It shows the buyer is serious, but if the buyer doesn’t follow through with the contract, the seller could lose valuable Read More

April 8th, 2022

Ask The Broker – Cost To Build A Home In The Adirondacks

Architecture Blueprint

What does it Cost To Build A House or Cabin In The Adirondacks? The price to build a house or cabin can vary quite a bit. Below are some factors to consider when building a home in the Adirondacks:   Price of land Different areas in the Adirondacks vary drastically on prices. From a smaller community with a lot under an acre offered for approximately $10,000 and up to a larger community, waterfront or large parcel being offered for over $400,000. Stick Built or Pre Fabricated Pre-fabricated homes can have more standardized pricing as the company has set styles, size Read More

April 7th, 2022

Ask The Broker – Is It Better To Buy Land First

Aerial Of Lot

Is It Better To Buy Land First And Then Build? This question really comes down to the buyer. If you have the funds to buy land and build, it will be a quicker process. If you only have the funds for land and find the piece that you really want, then purchasing the land is what you should do. Just purchasing the land may cause the process to take a little longer but there is always time to build funds to build. It is hard missing out on the perfect parcel and may only come along once.

April 5th, 2022

Ask The Broker – Buying Land In The Adirondacks

Private Acres In Harrietstown

Can you buy land in the Adirondacks? Yes, there are many vacant lots throughout the Adirondacks. In our region of the Adirondacks the price points can drastically change depending on location. Waterfront and large parcels in the right area can start over $400,000 while smaller parcels can vary from $10,000 and up. In our current market there are over 50 listings in the Tri-lake region (Lake Placid, Saranac Lake & Tupper Lake) and over 120 listings when you extend the area just a little further. Our offices currently holds 19 of these listings  but we are happy to provide information Read More

April 1st, 2022

Ask The Broker – Is There A Difference Between A Townhome And Condo

Lakeside Units - Aerial Exterior view with Lake Whiteface in background

Is There A Difference Between A Townhome And A Condo? While many people may use townhomes and condos terms interchangeably, they are different. While you may find them in the same complexes, they are two separate living spaces. Townhomes are normally multiple floors where no one lives above or below you and the homes are share at least one wall. These properties also have separate entrances. They are generally in lesser groups like 2 residences together as seen above. Condos can be multiple floors but there is someone who lives above or below you. If you think about a big Read More

March 29th, 2022

Ask The Broker – Can You Build a House In The Adirondacks

House Being Built

Can you build a house or cabin in the Adirondacks? You can build a house or cabin in the Adirondacks. When you purchase land, you will have to look in the deed to see if there are any restrictions for the piece of land. Some of these restrictions can vary from size of house to different setbacks based on the APA or regional requirements. In our current market buying land is a very viable option to find exactly what you are looking for. We like to suggest to our buyers to look into how you would like to have your Read More

March 24th, 2022

Five Home Décor Trends for 2022

Five Home Decor Trends

The way Americans use their homes has changed since the advent of the pandemic and has encouraged interior design trends for 2022.  These ideas are so smart, they’re likely to stick around even after the pandemic is over. Smart furniture – According to Puffy.com, the smart furniture industry is on track to reach $244 million by 2024. Televisions can double as artwork when turned off, couches, beds, and chairs offer charging ports, but most exciting are coffee tables that come with refrigerator drawers so you never have to leave the game to grab a cold one. Muted but colorful décor Read More

March 18th, 2022

Built in, Outdoor Bar-b-que Grills

Outdoor Grill

Building an outdoor grill in your backyard can help you enjoy pleasant weather while providing your family with delicious meals. Whether you do it yourself, hire a landscape architect, or get a kitchen specialist to design your outdoor kitchen, you’ll take full advantage of your outdoor space and the comforts and entertainment it can provide. There are many items to consider when installing a built-in outdoor grill, including location, ventilation, type of grill, and features. Will you need to install a gas line to the grill? Will there be water available? Do you plan to have other kitchen functions such Read More

March 11th, 2022

March 2022 Newest Properties

Adirondack Chalet In Lake Placid - Aerial Mountains and Olympic Center

RESIDENTIAL TWO HOMES IN SARANAC LAKE 7 BED  |  6 BATH  |  $790,000 Situated on a very private park like setting of 4.1 acres are two architecturally designed homes that blend traditional and contemporary Adirondack styles.     BEAUTIFUL RANCH IN JAY 3 BED  |  2 BATH  |  $399,000 Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Ranch with a partially finished basement in a quiet residential neighborhood. Close to Whiteface Mountain for skiing and Lake Placid Village only 20 minutes away. CLICK HERE to view more.   ADIRONDACK CHALET IN LAKE PLACID 4 BED  |  2 BATH  |  $799,000 Location, location, location Read More

March 7th, 2022

Late Payments and Credit Scores

Late Payments And Credit Scores

Consumers who make late credit payments have no idea how badly their credit scores can be affected or how long it takes to repair the damage.  According to Nerdwallet.com, a late payment of 30 days or more can knock as many as 100 points off your credit score and stay on your credit report for up to seven and a half years. FICO scores, the credit-scoring system used by the Fair Isaac Corporation, help banks and other lenders determine a borrower’s creditworthiness. Your scores can change with every new report from a creditor, but nothing impacts credit scores like a Read More

March 4th, 2022

Three Home Trends That Will Stay Around

Side table with chair with three home trends that will stay around written over the top

The way Americans use their homes has changed since the advent of the pandemic. Once many activities were significantly curtailed or eliminated, from going to the office or school, travel, and other entertainment, homeowners spent more time at home. Here are some home design trends for 2022 that may stick around after the pandemic is over. Smart furniture According to Puffy.com, the smart furniture industry is on track to reach $244 million by 2024. Televisions can double as artwork when turned off, couches, beds and chairs offer charging ports, but most exciting are coffee tables that come with refrigerator drawers, Read More

February 25th, 2022

Outlook For 2022 Housing Market

House With Outlook For 2022 Housing Market written on top

Housing was one of the strongest sectors of the economy for 2021, but rising interest rates and inflation are causing many to wonder if sales will continue as strong in 2022. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, believes the number of home sales will decline in 2022 but will still outpace pre-pandemic levels, based on continuing demand from homebuyers. More inventory is becoming available from home builders and from homeowners who will no longer receive loan forbearance and may decide to sell their homes instead. Goldman Sachs economists predict that home prices will climb another 16%, reports Read More

February 18th, 2022

How Inquiries Impact Your Credit Scores

Person checking credit score with how inquiries impact your credit scores written over

Mortgage lenders depend on the information found in credit reports and credit scores. One of the numbers that cause fluctuations in a consumer’s credit scores is inquiries. Inquiries, according to Equifax.com, are “entries that appear on your credit report when your credit information is accessed by a legally authorized person or organization (including yourself).” Inquiries can include “an application for credit, goods or services; an account review made by a company that you already do business with; or a pre-approved offer of credit.” Inquiries can be either hard or soft. Soft inquiries such as account reviews, pre-approved credit applications, and Read More

February 11th, 2022

The Most Critical Period For New Listings

Person looking at map on computer with the most critical period for new listings written over the top

Your home’s marketing begins when your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional submits your listing to the local multiple listing service, or MLS. Brokers share their listings with other brokers in the MLS, making it the best chance of selling your home quickly and for the most money. During the critical first two weeks of marketing, your listing agent will schedule your home on the MLS tour for other agents to see as well as contact their network to let them know your house is coming on the market. The MLS distributes data about your home on the MLS website, your Read More

February 4th, 2022

February 2022 Newest Properties

Ranch On Norman Ridge A Exterior Mountains 1

RESIDENTIAL RANCH ON NORMAN RIDGE 3 BED  |  1 BATH  |  27.45 ACRES  |  $399,000 Magnificent views from this 27.45 acre parcel of land for building a new beautiful home. Located at the top of a scenic knoll with excellent mountain views. CLICK HERE to view more   TOWNHOMES/CONDOS/TIMESHARES HERON #5 TOWNHOME AT THE AMPERSAND RESORT 3 BED  |  3 BATH  |  $675,000 The Heron # 5 Townhome of beautiful Ampersand Resort is a year round fully furnished 3 bedroom Townhome on Lower Saranac Lake with a large sandy beach, marina and part of Phase 1 offerings.   LOTS & Read More

February 4th, 2022

Renting Out a Room in Your Home


We’re living in a sharing economy, says Realtor.com, so it should be no surprise that 69% of homeowners in a recent survey would rent out part of their home if it had a separate entrance, kitchen and bathroom and 32% have already rented out a room, space or outdoor feature on their property. You can generate extra income by renting out a space in your home, but the price is a loss of privacy. You’ll be a landlord, so you’ll need to know about renting as a business, your community’s regulations and fair housing laws. Rentprep.com recommends finding out about Read More

January 28th, 2022