The water temperature of Geneva Lake is currently 42 degrees. I’m pretty sure that last year the water had not warmed to that level until the end of April. This is absurd, but I will adjust by doing my May fishing in April, assuming I ever get my boat in the water. And I will do my morel hunting a month early as well. This early, benevolent spring isn’t making only me crazy, it’s making many home sellers crazy as well. The usual refrain is something along the lines of how the weather should make people want to buy homes. This is true, but only sort of. Warm weather does make people think of summer, and when people think of summer they think of summer spent in their boring suburban backyards. Yes, even the ones with trampolines are boring. But does warm weather really make buyers buy?
No, not really. It’s easier to justify a trip to the lake to look when the weather is warm, as it promises to be this weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily trigger some sort of primal buying urge. While buying activity is on the rise, it would always be on the rise in mid-March, just as it was on the rise last mid-March when the weather was dreadful. The weather was dreadful during April and May too, but buyers still bought and sellers still wondered if somehow, someway, the rain might make buyers want to buy.
The market today is curious. There is plenty of inventory. Lakefront inventory has increased considerably over recent months, with many new offerings but also many old offerings that have come back to market with different brokers or the same brokers. Some have come back at new prices, others at the old prices. And still others are in the process of being reduced. In spite of the increased activity and the insane weather and the lowest of low interest rates, some sellers are actually reducing their prices.
Consider just this week, two lakefront homes have been reduced. One in the 700 Club down to $3.15MM and another in Loramoor down to $3.499MM. These are still lofty prices, but I still like the 700 Club property if the price is right. Off the lake, the lannon stone cottage that I love in the Loch Vista Club was just reduced again- down To $719k now. This seller is obviously looking to actually sell this time around, and I’d pay close attention to this property if I were a buyer in the $600k range and I valued a view and proximity. If you’re a buyer in the $600k range and you don’t value view or proximity, then I am outwardly questioning your value system.
This weekend I’ll be at many open houses. Saturday around 11 am you’ll find me at the South Shore Club, basking in the eternal glow of N1621 East Lakeside Lane. I’ll be there until 1 pm, or so, and then I’m swinging over to 6 Bayview in Williams Bay. This lakefront at $2.29MM is quite pretty, and I have little doubt that you’ll find it as attractive as I do. After that I have some sort of Irish inspired dish to create, and a birthday party for my daughter May, who turns six on St. Patricks day. I remember being quite fearful of having a daughter. I had only brothers and no close girl cousins, so as a kid I knew nothing of the behavior of little girls. Now I know nothing of the behavior of grown girls, but that’s different. Without my daughter I would have no willing boating partner on those days when my 8 year old son is too cranky to join me. Without my daughter I would have no one to jump off the gunwale of a boat with, and without her I’d have no idea how much a father could ever love his daughter. See you at the lake.