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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.

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, 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

How to Negotiate with Difficult Sellers


Before you submit an offer to buy a home, you don’t know how the seller is going to respond. Some sellers are challenging – they don’t want complications or compromises. They can demand all-cash offers, no inspections and for you to pay over list price. The only thing you can do is make it hard for the seller to be difficult. Ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional to contact the seller’s agent to find out what the seller wants as far as terms, if they’re open to doing any repairs and if other offers are on the table. The Read More

January 21st, 2022

The Real Mortgage Rate – Or Is It?


Advertised rates look tempting, but don’t be fooled into thinking that’s the rate you’ll pay. You have to qualify to receive the best rates with excellent credit and work histories. According to  BankofAmerica.com, interest rates are the annual cost of a loan to the borrower expressed as a percentage. The annual percentage rate or APR, is the annual percentage plus other fees, including mortgage insurance, many closing costs, discount points and loan origination fees. The Federal Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to disclose the APR in advertising and in loan agreements. When you apply for a mortgage loan, the Read More

January 14th, 2022

January 2022 Newest Properties

RESIDENTIAL   LAKE CLEAR CHALET 2 BED  |  1 BATH  |  $329,000 A nice property outside the village with great outdoor yard space and close proximity to all outdoor activities.     UPPER JAY LOG HOME 4 BED  |  1 BATH  |  $425,000 Upper Jay 4 bedroom 1.5 bath Adirondack log home with detached 2 car garage and 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment being sold fully furnished.   BACK ON THE MARKET!  HISTORIC LAKE PLACID COTTAGE 7 BED  |  4 BATH  |  $1,300,000 A historic Lake Placid home in the prestigious Signal Hill area now licensed as a legal B&BS Read More

January 13th, 2022

Add Pizazz to Your Bland Kitchen


Neutral kitchens are supposed to complement any décor, but they can become bland over time. What can you do to make your kitchen more exciting? Make it artsy Art galleries have neutral walls because they don’t compete with the art, so hang a colorful abstract painting in a key location. Have fun with artistic-themed dishtowels, placemats, and dishes, instead of classic motifs like roosters and other farm animals or Italian chefs with curling mustaches. Try a washable rug or runner with a colorful modern pattern. Fold in some color Neutral décor is decorating for the next occupant of your home, Read More

January 7th, 2022

How Much Paint Should You Buy?

How Much Paint Should You Buy Image

Conventional wisdom says that it takes approximately one gallon of paint to cover a room up to 400 square feet, but this is a single-coat estimate is for a small room like a bathroom, according to Glidden.com. But other variables impact how much paint you should buy, such as the size and number of doors to the room, the height of the ceiling, the size and number of windows and whether you have crown molding, wainscotting and other decorative elements. Your favorite brand of paint most likely has a rough online calculation tool, such as BenjaminMoore.com, as well as a Read More

December 17th, 2021

Ways Your Monthly Payments Can Change


This is one of the best times to get a fixed-rate mortgage. Since interest rates have hovered near record lows for years, they’re bound to go up rather than further down. You could get lower mortgage payments temporarily with an adjustable rate mortgage or hybrid loan that employs a fixed rate for five years or so and adjusts to market rates when the fixed term expires. Your payment could reset to a much a higher and less affordable interest rate in the future. A far safer option is the fixed rate mortgage with a rate that never changes over the Read More

December 10th, 2021