Real Estate


When you begin the process of buying property on the Silver Lake Institute grounds, you need to know that you are buying into the membership of the Silver Lake Institute and automatically subscribing to the annual dues.* The "dues" are called taxes because (1) they are tax deductible and (2) they are based on 6.5% of your assessed valuation from the Town Assessor. This annual payment is due June 30th of each year and you receive a bill. This is in addition to County, Town and School taxes. SLI taxes cover road maintenance, snow plowing, lawn mowing of SLI properties, historical buildings, Big Blue Dock, general maintenance and under 10% of the annual budget goes to the programs of the Institute which are mandated by the charter and must continue in order to maintain our tax exempt status and lower tax rate than a profit making corporation. 

Buyers should also be aware that the Institute owns the waterfront property.  Although part of the deed, properties with waterfront are leased from the Institute and have an annual fee based on footage.  There is an annual inspection of the  waterfront and it is up to those with waterfront leases  to maintain their designated footage.

This is a special community by what it offers in arts, music, culture, education, and spirituality. We assume you have been drawn to the community because of its unique offerings and may want to participate in one or more ways, as any member of an organization would having joined it. If your real estate agent is unable to answer any or all of your questions with regard to life at the Silver Lake Institute, be sure to request an "Orientation/Welcome Meeting" from the Institute LRPC before signing your final sales and purchase papers. All sales are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees prior to completion of the sale. Knowledge of the Institute is assumed at the time you sign your application for the legally required Silver Lake Institute property Deed. 

The very best example of who we are and what we do is found in our biennial "Silver Lake Experience" mini-Chautauqua 4-day event. Happening every other year (the next one is August 8-11, 2019), it  is filled with excitement, entertainment, fascinating workshops of your choice, swimming, boating, fishing, eating together, and big concerts each evening. During the rest of the summer season, concerts are on Thursday evenings and "Coffee House" concerts are on several Saturday evenings throughout the summer. Worship is weekly during the summer season at announced locations with guest vocalists and instrumentalists.

Although our 169-year history is steeped in staunch, old fashioned Methodism and we were a branch connected to the Genesee (and later the WNY) Annual Conferences of the Methodist Church, we obtained a complete and legal separation from the Upper NY Conference of the United Methodist Church on February 2, 2016. Our central purposes were no longer the same. As far back as 1900-1905, we were already allowing the still "gated, religious community" to take in people of a much wider spectrum of backgrounds and thought. Today, spirituality continues as one of several of our prime purposes but is no longer the sole purpose of being; we now look for the good of the total human being which includes arts, music, culture, education, reading, performing, and dancing. We are returning more to our Chautauqua roots (1886-1896) than that of organized religion.

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We are a diverse community of many and various backgrounds. Some families whose older generation was fully engaged in the activities of the Institute, have had their cottages past down through the younger generations who are often not nearly so engaged or even informed, creating a sub culture of sorts of those who have "grown out" of Institute life and benefits and yet still own and live within Institute Grounds, paying their annual taxes but not attending any functions or events. 

A smaller number find themselves owning Institute property and living within the bounds of the Institute because they claim they were uninformed at the time of their purchase about what the Institute was. They thought they were just purchasing a home in a Castile, NY, community, despite having signed closing papers to the contrary. They remain, even though some say they would have never purchased here had someone "leveled" with them. That is a priority of the Institute today--that no one should find themselves in a community in which they had no intention of being. Thus, this page of information serves to inform you of the "Orientation/Welcome Meeting" which is your right to request and enjoy prior to completing your purchase. Please help us to help you to be an informed purchaser. Ask questions, attend events, meet the people, and request your orientation/welcome! You may just discover that we are so unique that you don't want to be anywhere else!

The above statement is an unofficial construction of the Silver Lake NY News.Blog to assist persons looking to purchase property or cottages within the bounds of the SLI. Even though unofficial, volunteers are already willing to talk about life at the Institute should you request an "Orientation/Welcome Meeting." Please Note: All sales are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees before the legally required Institute Deed will be issued. Also Note: Even though houses and cottages in SLI are listed as "Castile, NY" at many of the real estate companies, there is no United States Postal Service home delivery of mail. If you request it, you will be issued a free US Post Office Box at which you can pick up your mail daily at the United States Post Office located at the NE corner of Wesley and Perry Avenues, one block north of Bishop Burt Park.          -–Editor

* The Subject of Membership from the Re-Stated Charter of February 2, 2016:
"The corporation [Silver Lake Institute] will have members. Every person 18 years of age or older owning real property upon the grounds of the corporation shall be a member."  . . . "(E)very person of age owning any real estate upon the grounds of the corporation shall be a voter [at the Annual Meeting]. Only a person owning real estate upon the grounds of the corporation is eligible to be elected a Trustee."

This two page information sheet was added to 
The News.Blog in the Spring of 2017.

See Also "Events Calendar"                    Video of SLI Photos:
Click HERE                                         Click HERE

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