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Chautauqua Lake NY FAQ's

Below are the most FAQ's we are asked about Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living 

 

What is deeded lake rights, lake rights, lake access etc?

As you investigate the purchase of a home on or around Lake Chautauqua and the Chautauqua County Lakes you will come across the terms:

Lake Front: Self explanatory and the most valuable of all lake related properties.

Canal Front: Homes located on the canals around the lake. Example: Vukote, Keller Road, Mill Road, Shore Acres. Affordable water properties generally under $200K. Almost without exception you can dock your boat outside your door.

Deeded Lake Rights: Generally means you have in your deed access to an area of the lake that allows you to have a boat slip and possibly a shared or private dock. DLR's are thru neighborhood groups or associations. Sunset Bay on Rte: 430 and Sunrise Cove on Rte 394 are examples of Deeded Lake Right communities. A yearly fee maybe involved. There is value added to a home with deeded lake rights.

Lake Rights: Is interchangeable at times with deeded lake rights. It is best to investigate and possibly put a contingency in the contract for sale asking for a complete understanding of the meaning. Many old homeowners have been surprised to find they have no lake rights they just got along well with the neighbors over the years and developed a camaraderie that allowed a dock, boat slip etc. Only to find when they went to sell the home there was no legal conveyance of that enjoyment. Which affected value.

Lake Access: An overused marketing term. Anybody from anywhere in the world has "lake access" to any public lake. In Chautauqua County Lake terms you are in an area with a cut thru that allows possible pick up and drop off  but, no dock slip. Little value added to the Real Estate.

Deeded Lake Rights does not guarantee you will have a boat slip on a dock associated with the deeded lake rights. Docks are private property and use of them is determined by an individual or formal or informal association. Julia and I know all the Deeded Lake Areas and can advise accordingly.

What is the average sale price of a Chautauqua Lakefront Home?

  • (2016) From  1/1/2016  -  12/31/2016

70 Chautauqua Lakefront sales. The following averages do not take into account lakerights, condos/townhomes, canalfronts or land. The figures reflect single family homes with lakefrontage only. The average LF home sale in 2016 had 91.58 linear ft of waterfrontage

                           Adjusted Price List Price Closing Price Bedrooms Full Baths Acres Est Sq Ft DOM
COMBINED      $453,629         
AVERAGES              
$453,629 $413,436 3.0 2.0 0.5 2,099 154
  • (2015) From 1/1/2015 - 12/31/2015

51 Chautauqua Lakefront sales. The following averages do not take into account lakerights, condos/townhomes, canalfronts or land. The figures reflect single family homes with lakefrontage only. The average LF home sale in 2015 had 76.52 linear ft of waterfrontage

COMBINED
AVERAGES:
Adjusted Price List Price Closing Price Bedrooms Full Baths Acres Est Sq Ft DOM
$391,289 $391,289 $367,508 3.0 2.0 0.4 1,997

117

 

  • (2014) From 1/1/2014-12/31/2014

44 Chautauqua Lakefront sales. The following averages do not take into account lakerights, condos/townhomes, canalfronts or land. The figures reflect single family homes with lakefrontage only. The average LF home sale in 2014 had 79.5 linear ft of waterfrontage.

COMBINED
AVERAGES:
Adjusted Price List Price Closing Price Bedrooms Full Baths Acres Est Sq Ft DOM
$329,379 $329,379 $302,909 3.0 1.0 0.7 1,923 108

 

  • (2013) From 1/1/2013-12/31/2013 there were:

52 Chautauqua Lakefront sales. The following averages do not take into account lakerights, condos/townhomes, canalfronts or land. The figures reflect single family homes with lakefrontage only. The average LF home sale in 2013 had 65 linear ft of waterfrontage.

COMBINED
AVERAGES:
Adjusted Price List Price Closing Price Bedrooms Full Baths Acres Est Sq Ft DOM
$403,815 $403,815 $357,854 3.0 1.0 0.2 1,938 146

 

  •  (2012) From 1/1/2012-12/31/2012 there were:

43 Chautauqua Lakefront sales. The following averages do not take into account lakerights, condos/townhomes, canalfronts or land. The figures reflect single family homes with lakefrontage only. The average LF home sale in 2012 had 85 linear ft of waterfrontage.

COMBINED
AVERAGES:
Adjusted Price List Price Closing Price Bedrooms Full Baths Acres Est Sq Ft DOM
$385,811 $385,811 $347,325 3.0 2.0 0.9 1,971 127

 

 

Click here for Sales Data on 2004-2011 Single Family LF Sales

DOM refers to Days on Market. This is from the time a home is listed till it closes. A home can get an accepted offer day one on the market and take 4 months to close because of complications with financing, title etc. The average closing time for an accepted offer is 60 days. If you would like a more detailed breakdown that would include all sales associated with the lake not just lakefronts contact us.

Are there any waterfront lots available?

Yes, they are getting harder to come by because Chautauqua Lake is being built out or being purchased for conservation land. Expect to pay 6 figures for a lot. Lake Erie offers more opportunity for buildable land.

2016 Three Lake Front lots sold: 5358-5516 Bootey Bay Stow with 661' of lakefront, 22.4 acres. Listed for $909,900 closed 6/17/2016 for $775,000. DOM 108

Trolly Stop Lane Ashville with 150' of lakefront, 2.2 acres. Listed for $375,000 closed 9/26/2015 for $350,000. DOM 541

5752 Magnolia Ave Mayville with 28' of lakefront, 0.41 acres. Listed for $69,900 closed 1/11/2016 for $50,000. DOM 118

   

2015 One Lake Front lot sold : 5358-5516 Lot # 5 Rte. 394 Bootey Bay Stow with 305' of lakefront, 6.8 acres. Listed for $440,000 closed 11/30/2015 for $400,000.  DOM 155

2014 One Lake Rights lot sold: Rte 430 Bemus Point 232 x 200 with lake rights at the end of Yost Rd. with 135' of lakefrontage and an association dock with boat slips. Listed for $77,500 closed 6/9/2014 for $72,000. DOM 200.

2013 One Lakefront lot sold: Lakeside Drive  Bemus Point 33 x 35 with 33' of LF Listed for $129,000 closed 3/18/2013 for $100,000. DOM 427. This was a two parcel sale with the buildable 91 x 125 lot across Lakeside Drive on 5 Liberty Street.

2012 Two Lakefront lots sold: Lighthouse Point Road, Mayville 50 x 126 with 50' of LF Listed for $60,000 closed 4/21/2012 $35,000 DOM 134. 

4058 West Lake Road Mayville 3.6 Acres with 100' of LF Listed for $550,000 closed 9/10/2012 for $550,000  Zero (0) DOM 

Click here for Sales Data on 2004-2011 Chautauqua Lake Lot Sales

If you read the above sales data for SF and Lot sales we used just single family homes because they are the leading edge of the market what happens in that market affects the Canal, DLR's, Condo/Townhome market etc. We could fraction numbers to infinity by location, price, size, lakefrontage, condition etc. The purpose of the data is to show a longview history of unit sales, pricing and stability. Number of houses sold is highlighted in red. We work with only Closed Property. A number of houses went under contract in the fall of 2015 but won't close till 2016.

What about Bear, Cassadaga, Erie, and Findley Lake?

Interested in another lake other than Chautauqua? We service all these lake areas as well. Please see the following links to each lake and be sure to ask if your question has not been answered. Click the Lake Listings button to the left for purchase opportunities.

Bear Lake

Cassadaga Lakes

Lake Erie NY 

Findley Lake

Is purchasing a lake home a good/stable investment?

Yes, They don't make it anymore. No one is digging a hole and filling it with water. We are within 2-4 hours from 5 major metropolitan areas. Land on the lake is getting developed or being purchased for conservation. Appreciation is gradual with occasional dips and spikes, over the years your investment in fun and memories will pay off. 

Are there better locations than others?

There are NO bad areas. As with any real estate market there are more affluent locations than others. The whole lake is nice and each community has something to offer. As Julia and I help you guided by your preferences we will explain the pluses and minuses of each location your interested in. All the lakes in Chautauqua County are desirable to someone, somewhere, for some reason. All have many attributes to the right buyer. You will find the way to your vacation home, with our knowledge and assistance, based on your unique likes, dislikes and your budget.

What is the minimum amount I can purchase a second home for?

Some of the best lake views on the lake come from the Burtis Bay area on the Southern Basin south of Lakewood it is also the least expensive location. A property with lake rights (not directly on the water) could sell for as low as $55,000. You should typically budget at least $150,000 if you are shopping for a modest lakefront home with a very small lot located south of Interstate 86. North of I-86, or "north of the bridge" prices typically start to rise. These figures should serve only as a guideline and are subject to market conditions at the time of your search.

How much of a down payment should I expect?

Most buyers should expect to put down 20%+. There are some lenders that may only require 10% for buyers whose credit score is 730+ and debt-to income ratio is excellent. We are always trying to find the best, most reasonable lenders and will give you the name of lenders we have worked with. If you do not have a lender GO LOCAL your purchase will be much smoother. Ask us for Info.

What are my closing costs?

Below is a brief outline of the most common closing costs that a buyer may encounter.

This outline is for estimate purposes only and there may be different or additional charges necessary.

Mortgage Tax: 1.25% total of mortgage amount (1% paid by borrower, .25% paid by lender)

File RP-5217: $125 for residential property & farm property.

$250 for commercial property & vacant land. (document to accompany deed recording)

Title Insurance: $299+ (Covers mortgage policy only). Rates based on a "Schedule of Rates" sheet provided by the attorney. Rates determined by amount mortgaged.

Recording Costs: File Deed: $40 + $5 cover page + $5 per page  (depending on length of document).

File Mortgage: $40 + $5 cover page + $5 per page (c/be $130 + depending on length of

document). Markers are additional $.50 for each.

Your Attorney Fee:  Generally,  $450 - $1,000 -- will be different with each attorney.

Chautauqua Institution Transaction:

Capital Improvements Service Charge - 2% Tax: Paid on the agreed upon sale price.

1% paid by seller and 1% by buyer. Refer to Institution by-laws for details

Bank Related Charges:

Bank Attorney (separate from your attorney fee)

Check with bank mortgaging the property for additional fees

Other Adjustments at closing may include:

Sales Tax on Personal Property

Bank Real Estate Tax & Home Owners Insurance  Escrow

Real Estate Tax Pro-Rated Adjustments (Town, County, School & Village if applicable)

Any Pro-Rating of Association or Condo Fees

Flood Insurance maybe be required by your lender

Special assessments

Seller Closing Costs

Can I purchase a foreclosure or get a "steal"?

Foreclosures are typically unheard of in this market. Every lake related property sells eventually, and you should expect to purchase a home for Fair Market Value as you would expect to sell for same. All properties are negotiable. As you view properties you will quickly educate yourself on value for $.

Is there a better time of year to purchase a lakefront home?

Inventory typically spikes in the spring, summer and fall, on the other hand, there is less competition in the winter. The asking prices do not vary season to season. If you like a home in the winter you will love it in the summer.

Why Do Sellers Sell?

There are basically 3 reasons why sellers sell. They either need or want a larger vacation home, they change their preferred vacation location or they do not use the house with the frequency they once did.

Why are some houses on the Market for so long?

There is no ONE answer but, I'll give you our experienced response: Pricing and Market exposure sell houses. These are 2nd homes (toys) generally purchased for all cash or with considerable equity. Nobody has to sell, the tendency to overprice a home can be greater than on a primary residence.

We sell lake homes year round the prime selling season is April thru October. If not sold in that time many owners withdraw the house for the off season and put it back on the following season/year.

Because our clients live outside the area weather plays a part, no snow buyers come out, snow they stay home.

Because nobody has to purchase a second home buyers can be slower to respond to opportunities. We work with many buyers for a number of years before they purchase. Some buyers continually think something better will come along. Some sellers think a better offer will come along and turn down a good offer.

We run into everything, houses are rented and can't be shown, seller using it and doesn't want it shown. The stock market is up, the stock market is down. The media announces the world is ending.

Many properties are on for 2-3 seasons and sell for list price or within 3-6%. Just waiting for the right buyer.

As I stated there is no direct answer, all of the above and more keeps the DOM clock ticking. If a property is priced right and many times even if it isn't (buyers are not shy about offers) ALL houses sell.

We have been fortunate that we never had over building, speculation or flipping. Our market was affected by 2008 like every market but, to a much lesser degree.

Can I rent my Chautauqua Lake home? How much will I get?

Rentals are a large part of the economy in the lake market. Real Estate Advantage, as well as some of our competitors, offer extensive vacation property rental services.

Rental rates are determined by the type of lake property you have, how many people you can sleep in the house, what amenities you offer your renters, whether or not you give your renters access to a private dock, and other factors. Waterfront rentals with a dock can go for between $800 and $3,000+ per week or more on peek weeks or unique properties.

The town of Ellery has certain lake related neighborhoods that prohibit weekly rentals.

 

What about 1031 Exchanges for a Chautauqua County Lake home?

They are done, we have done them, we know people who can act as an independent intermediary.

Who owns these lakefront homes, and where do they come from?

The typical Chautauqua Lake vacation home owner is 54 years old, earned just over $220,000 last year. They come from the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Erie and on occasion Canada. All professions are represented with a large segment of business owners and upper level executives. The Chautauqua Institution attracts  people from all over the world.

Are homes being built?

New homes are being built around Chautauqua Lake and the other County Lakes. More common is the tear-down and rebuild or extensive renovation. This should help solidify to any potential lakefront buyer the desirability and stability of our area and how much people love being here.

How much does it cost to build?

You can use an average of $125.00-$200.00 per sq ft and up plus the cost of the land, well and septic if required. We would be happy to put you in touch with local contractors and or architects who can discuss your options.

Do I need a building permit if I want to add on or renovate?

Best advice ask the local town or village building inspector for specific answers. Generally, if you are changing the footprint of the home you should expect to get a building permit. Your contractor can also provide you with guidance.

Can I hire people to maintain my home?

We would be more than happy to provide you with references for just about anything you need done at your home. There is a whole cottage industry that services the second home market.

Are home inspections common or necessary?

Yes, they are common. No, they are not necessary. Julia and I highly recommend to all of our clients that they have one done. New York Home Inspectors must be state licensed. Realtors can only refer NYS Lic. home inspectors. You can expect to pay between $250.00 to $400.00 for a basic inspection.

If the house is serviced by a private well we highly recommend a flow test by a well company in addition to the HI. The fee is on top of the Home Inspection cost.

Chautauqua County Health Dept. will test the well for potability and the septic system for function generally at the sellers expense prior to closing. FYI: Some houses in Lakewood, Bemus Point, Mayville are on public sewer most houses are on private wells and septic.

Do I need an attorney to close my transaction?

Yes, We highly recommend using an attorney from this area. You will find that any problem occurring with closing will be handled much more efficiently when you are working with local professionals who have established relationships with every party involved in getting the deal together. We can refer competent real estate attorneys to you.

Does the lake flood?

There is no experience in recent history of the lake causing any property damage due to flooding. The lake depth is controlled by the Jamestown BPU (Electric Generating Plant) in Jamestown on the Chadakoin River. During the spring snow and ice melt, the BPU on occasion will open the gates to regulate flow.

Do I need flood insurance for my lake home?

The entire lake is considered a flood zone according to FEMA as are most shorelands in the United States. Your lender may require it. No state, local regulation or Federal law mandates it. We have a very qualified insurance agent for flood insurance who can help with your purchase.

 How can someone find out what a property’s full risk rate will be?

Answer: Of the many factors that determine the full risk rate of a structure, the single most important is the elevation of the structure in relation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) indicates the area of the community that has a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding. That area is called the Special Flood Hazard Area, or high-risk zone. Put another way, the BFE is the elevation where there is a 1% or greater annual chance of flooding. For a property in the high-risk zone, you need to know the elevation of the structure in relation to the BFE. Generally, the higher the elevation above the BFE, the lower the flood risk. The information is shown on an Elevation Certificate, which is a form completed and signed by a licensed engineer or surveyor. Generally paid by seller. So to determine the premium for a property in a high-risk zone, you first need an elevation certificate. Then, the buyers insurance agent can calculate the premium based on the amount of coverage desired.

What about the weeds we hear so much about?

Weeds are being addressed on many fronts by private and goverment agencies and continuing success is being made. It is an indepth subject with many view points. Our experience as Realtors over the past 24 years of being associated with the lake is that there are many good people working hard to address the weeds and other quality of life issues that affect the lake and local economy. The subject is much to broad to cover on this page. Please refer to

Chautauqua Lake Association or Chautauqua Watershed  or ChautauquaAlliance.org 

The attached short files will give you an excellent overview of the success in defeating Chautauqua Lake weeds. Published by the Chautauqua Lake Association and Cornell University Research Ponds. 

Page 1    Page 2   Page 3   Page 4

Get on Board For A Healthy Lake!

The economic impact Chautauqua Lake has on the local economy is enormous and getting bigger. The tourist dollars and real estate taxes generated are in the millions upon millions of dollars. It serves everybody to have the lake as healthy a recreational area as possible.

The Weeder's Digest was developed for the benefit of those who are seeking new and innovative ways to address problematic aquatic issues.

Are the roads around the lake plowed in the winter?

The public roads are very well maintained in the winter. Private roads are a case by case basis. Most are plowed by a resident or a formal or informal association of neighbors. If you want a driveway plowed there are countless people who will do that for a very reasonable fee. Ask us for referrals.

BOATING, DOCKING & MARINAS

How Big is Chautauqua Lake?

The mean elevation is 1,308 feet, and the lake has an area of about 20 square miles. The distance from Celoron to Mayville is 14.7 miles. From the boat landing at Jamestown through the Chadakoin River (known locally as the outlet) to Mayville is 17.7 miles. The width varies from about 1,000 feet at the Bemus Point-Stow ferry to two miles wide at three places. The upper, northern end of the lake is the deepest section from 20 up to 75 feet in the Long Point-Maple Springs area. The lower lake runs from 30 feet deep near Bemus Point to less than 10 feet near Celoron. The lake has approximately 45 miles of shoreline.

Where can I purchase an aluminum or wooden dock and boat lift?

You will probably have the most luck at Chautauqua Iron Works, 5239 West Lake Road, Mayville, NY 14757. Their phone number is 716-753-3163 they have a complete dock line.

When can I put my dock in?

When you can stand the cold water. You can either put it in yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Ask us for referrals.

When should I take my dock out?

You will definitely notice docks coming out by October usually no later than the very beginning of November.

How big of a boat can I safely put on the lake?

As big as your pocketbook will allow. Most house docks should accommodate a boat up to 30 feet. Any larger than that and you may want to dock at a marina where the water level is typically higher. Pontoon boats are very popular.

Is there winter storage available for my boat?

Marinas can handle your boat bow to stern. There are also building and barn owners who store boats for the winter. Costs are generally determined by length of boat and services desired.

Are there public boat ramps?

Almost every town or community around Chautauqua Lake has at least one public boat ramp.

There are public docks in Bemus Point and Mayville there are no public docks in Lakewood.

How many marinas are there?

There are 9 marinas around Chautauqua Lake 6 do upkeep and repairs. The two biggest are Holiday Harbor and Smith Boys. Holiday Harbor and 3 others are located on the Chadakoin River.

What does a boat slip cost at a marina?

Some marinas charge by the season no matter what your boat size. Some charge based on boat size and amenities you wish to have at your dock space (water, electric). Some charge per foot based on boat size. If you are paying by the linear foot you can expect to pay in the range of $22-24 per foot and up.

RECREATION AROUND CHAUTAUQUA LAKE & CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY

How is the water quality?

Chautauqua Lake is stream and spring fed and closely monitored for water quality.

Can you swim in the lake?

There are a number of good places to anchor your boat and go swimming around the lake where the water is 3-4 feet deep so you can relax and the kids can have fun. You'll hear some of these places referred to as "Sandy Bottom". There are also a number of local lakeside parks that are great for wading and splashing on a hot day. Many of them offer playground areas, picnic tables or pavilions, and places to BBQ. Click Tour Chautauqua for a complete list of all the beaches on all the area lakes.

Can I rent a boat?

Chautauqua Marina in Mayville is going to be your best resource for boat rentals. There are no Jet Ski rentals.

How is the fishing?

Some fishermen and sportsmen that visit our area call Chautauqua Lake a hidden treasure. Visit the following website for an extensive view of fishing and regulations on Chautauqua Lake. Chautauqua Lake Fishing

How is the golfing?

We were voted "The Best Little Golf Town in America" by Golf Digest. We are told you can play 30 days straight within a one hour radius of Jamestown and never repeat the same course.

Follow this link for very detailed golf course information in Chautauqua County.

What is the floating stage?

The Italian Fisherman Restaurant, lakeside in Bemus Point has a large stage that floats. From Memorial Day thru Labor Day they host weekly concerts of all types that can be viewed from land or boat. Italian Fisherman 

Is the Casino in Bemus Point really a Casino?

The Village Casino in Bemus Point is actually a lakeside restaurant that can be accessed from land or boat. They offer casual dining, banquet facilities, and entertainment. If you wish to go to a gambling casino, you may be interested in visiting the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel located at Exit 20 off  Interstate 86 about 30 minutes from Bemus Point.

What is the Summer Wind?

Looking for a fun and unique way to tour Chautauqua Lake while relaxing during a great meal? Charter a cruise on the Summer Wind during your next visit here between May and October. Check out their website Summer Wind for a complete list of their schedule and events.

Can I ride my snowmobile on the roads?

Snowmobile roads are posted with green signs that have a white snowmobile on them.

Please visit the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club's website for detailed information about trails, rules, DMV requirements, etc.  Another great snowmobile area is Allegany State Park.

What is the Chautauqua Institution?

The Chautauqua Institution was founded in 1874 and is located on beautiful Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, New York. You can visit for a day, a week, or the entire season. Their website is invaluable for planning your Chautauqua Institution event.

Chautauqua Institution is great place to spend time and invest in Real Estate the Chautauqua Institution is a nonprofit organization that serves as a community center and resource where the human spirit is renewed, minds stimulated, faith restored and the arts valued. It has performance venues, hotels, golf courses, tennis courts, boat docks and educational and recreational facilities. For nine weeks each year, from late June through late August, the Institution offers a rich blend of arts, programming and recreational activities.

If you decide to purchase in the CI you will have a annual $1.47 per K of property assessment for a service charge. Garbage collection $206.00 per season and if you rent your place a rental fee of $15.00 per bed. Plus you will pay parking and gate fees.

Sundays are free. The rest of the week requires a pass purchased at the main gate ticket office.

What about Long Point State Park?

Long Point  juts peninsula-like into Lake Chautauqua, is one of the moraines left long ago by a retreating glacier. The park and marina comprise a day-use area with thickly-wooded areas of beech, maple, spruce, poplar and oak. The park's boat launch is the most modern on Lake Chautauqua, which, at 1,308 feet above sea level, is one of the highest navigable bodies of water in North America. Located just around the corner from Bemus Point or Maple Springs, this state park is convenient for everyone.

What about Allegany State Park?

Allegany State Park 65,000 acres is known for its primitive forested valleys, un-glaciated landscape, fall leaves and wildlife. The two developed areas, Red House and Quaker, make this the largest state park in the system. Both areas offer sandbeaches, picnic areas, museums, hiking trails and naturalist walks. Walkers and bicycle riders take advantage of the 5 miles of paved trails around Red House. The Art Roscoe Ski Touring Area has some of the finest groomed cross country skiing and mountain bike trails in the Northeast.

How far are Peek'n Peak, Holiday Valley, Holimont ?

Average 30-45 minutes from the Rte 86 Bemus Point on/off ramp

 

agent photo
Rick & Julia McMahon
Associate Brokers and
Partners in Real Estate Advantage

Direct Line: 716-483-3300
Office: 716-484-2020 Ext: 252
Ricks Cell: 716-665-8972
Julia's Cell: 716-485-3202
Email: rickandjuliarealtors@yahoo.com

800 Fairmount Ave
Jamestown, NY 14701
16 Main Street
Bemus Point, NY 14712

 

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