...surrounded by reality. I'm not making that up - it's a bumper sticker I saw. Just like the "Ithaca is Gorges" one and the "Ithaca is Cold".
I bring this up because Ithaca is almost really in it's own little bubble, especially when it comes to Real Estate. It is impermeable to the 'national trends'. The market in this area is not down. It's simply shifting. Shifting to a buyers market. And prices have not bottomed out. Total sales volume compared to '06 is up. We speculate that Cornell University, Ithaca College and Borg Warner have something to do with the successful real estate market . They continue to draw people to this area. We see a lot of professors, grad students, and other professionals relocating into and out of this area.
This is not to say that Ithaca is cut off from the rest of the world. It just has a uniqueness about it and for a small city there's quite a lot to do here. It actually was declared America's most "enlightened" city by the Utne Reader in 1998. It's also been ranked #2 green city by Country Home magazine. Ithaca even started printing it's own currency call Ithaca HOURs. It started in 1991 by a local gentleman and was "created by our community's need and pioneer spirit". Ithaca also has a Paleontological Research Institute, A nature center, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Sciencenter, The Johnson Museum of Art, and more! And let's not forget downtown Ithaca, the wineries, or the beautiful lakes!
I guess that's what draws people back here and one reason why people (like me) stay here after college. It's got a small town feel but with so much more... The Ithaca Experience.
Written by: Lindsay Hart, Communications Director/Trans. Coordinator on the Melissa Miller Team, RE/MAX In Motion, Ithaca NY