This Charming Small Town in Upstate New York Was Just Named the Best Place to Buy a Lake House in 2023

Saranac Lake, New York, has plenty of character and real estate potential.

The U.S. has no shortage of quaint, picture-perfect lake towns, ideal for laid-back vacations. With a plethora of water sports, beautiful views, and cool mountain breezes, it's no wonder lakefront homes are in high demand. And while real estate prices across the country have skyrocketed, you still may want to consider buying in Saranac Lake, New York, because it was just named the best place to buy a lake house investment property.

Located in a historic area in the Adirondacks covered by lush forests and punctuated by waterways, this small town ranked number one on Evolve's best places to buy a lake house investment property in the country. The vacation rental and management company looked at three factors to determine its list; property rental performance, median home values on Zillow, and estimated yearly expenses. These factors were used to calculate each destination's cap rate and return on investment potential. Saranac Lake came on top with $25,294 in median rental revenue and a cap rate of 7.1 %. 

Houses in Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, New York State, USA, during Fall colors.

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"Saranac's charm and outdoor activities in all four seasons make it a great town for investors who want to maximize profits. With a median list price of $250,000, it's a rare gem for investors looking to break into the lake house market," Louis Olds, Evolve's director of real estate services, shared with Travel + Leisure.

The scenic town dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and was named after the Saranac River, which flows through it. It is less than 10 miles from Lake Placid and is close to several other smaller lakes and vacation communities, meaning it's in good company.

Downtown Saranac Lake, New York in Autumn

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"It is an outdoors lover's paradise," Bob Martin, a Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty broker, shared. "We have millions of acres of wild forest land with rugged mountains for hiking or skiing, hundreds of lakes and ponds, and thousands of miles of rivers and streams for fishing, swimming, and boating." 

The area is also notorious for its jaw-dropping fall foliage and proximity to the famous Whiteface Mountain, which hosted the Alpine skiing events at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Another draw is the town's Winter Festival, which Martin explained, started a century ago "to get people together during our long, cold winters." Year-round community events are something this town certainly has plenty of, so you (and your renters) will never be bored. The town is always brimming with activity, from farmer's markets on Saturdays to evening art walks on Thursdays and summer concerts galore.

If you'd like to snatch a home here, you have to act fast. Longtime Saranac Lake resident and Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty agent Corey Iaria Purcell noted homes are selling just moments after they hit the market.

"We still have very low inventory, but if you are patient and willing to move fast when something comes on, you can find something great," Purcell said, adding, "whether it is a waterfront camp, a historic cure cottage, a long-term rental investment property, or anything in between." See what's available for purchase here.

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