Cairo Farmhouse for $115,000, with studio and paddocks

This 1890 Cairo farmhouse, in the hamlet of Purling, has a tempting price tag for the amount of space and interior detail. It’s not quite big enough to be called “rambling”—a quality I love in an Upstate farmhouse—but with three bedrooms, two baths, a separate studio, and a horse paddocks, it’s certainly roomy from a city dweller’s point of view. The house is in “town,” but set far back from the road, and Purling has a decidedly country feel.

The house has some nice original detail—wavy glass windows, original moldings, plank floors—plus a deep front porch and an antique wood stove. The condition is listed as “average,” though we’re not sure what sort of work would be needed here, other than updates.

The biggest drawback seems to be the off-the-beaten-path yet not-quite-rolling-countryside location. If anyone takes a look, let us know.  Stats, additional pics, and map after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Stuff You Should Do: Go Rollerskating in Kerhonkson!

The first time I discovered Skate Time 209 was when I was invited there for a birthday party.  It was my boyfriend’s daughter’s 8th birthday party, and I hadn’t been skating in ages.  Naturally, it took me a while to get my rollerlegs back under me, and my 7-year-old daughter Madeline was positively apoplectic because she couldn’t stay upright on her skates. Nonetheless, we had a marvelous time at Skate Time.  And when we could no longer stand upright from the amount of skating we did, we played a whole bunch of video games, the kind with the ticket dispensers so you could walk out the door with some pencil erasers, whistles and plastic dinosaurs.

There was also a huge indoor skate park attached to it, filled with teens and tweens doing half-pipes and ollies and gleaming cubes or whatever it is that skaterfolk do, but that was a little outside of my abilities.
Skate Time comes completely out of the blue as you head east on route 209, surrounded by auto body shops and farms.  The interior is immaculately clean, and the roller rink itself is an old-school wooden floor.  It’s the type of place that I would hang out in all day and blow all of my allowance on video games…and I’m 36 years old!  Our kids loved it and beg to go back there all the time.  And we would love to, but there’s the thing:  It’s not cheap. Just to walk into the building costs you $8, and if you don’t own your own skates, you can expect to pay another $3 for rental.  If you’ve got two kids (like we do) and need to rent skates for all four of us, that comes out to a hefty $41.  And, if you’re anything like me, you need to have some fries with your skate, so expect to spend another $20 to feed everyone.  And that’s before you hit the skee-ball and air hockey tables.
Nevertheless, it’s a really nice place and definitely worth the money for a once-in-a-while special treat for the family.  Or just leave the kids at home and spend your date-night there.  Because nothing brings a couple closer than watching each other fall down a lot before splitting a giant pretzel and racing each other on the driving games in the arcade.
Skate Time 209 is open Thursday-Sunday, and they have tons of special events.  Times and admission prices, as well as a list of activities available can be found here.

Kerhonkson Contemporary, $129,000

A bounty of affordable country houses in these parts! I happen to like the look a little more on the outside than on the inside, but ripping out that blue carpet in the TV room will go a long way. 46 Dymond Road in Kerhonkson was built in 1960, but you can see some upgrades since then, particularly the subway tile in the bathroom. Looks like it could use a bit of modernizing (change the cabinets in the bathroom, perhaps the kitchen, too), but with a price like that, you could probably afford to upgrade. This one, too, has a condition of “good,” so if you go see it, bring a skeptical eye and a really good engineer.

The stats:
46 Dymond Road, Kerhonkson (Freestyle Realty) GMAP
Asking Price: $129,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Square Feet: 1,712
Land: 1.83 acres
Year Built: 1960
Taxes: $5,608
Features: mountain views

Kerhonkson Waterfall House, $649,900

Can you imagine snuggling into your bed at night after a long day at the office, being lulled to sleep by the sound of a waterfall in your backyard?  I had to get five aquariums AND download a waterfall sounds app for my iPod just to get that effect in my apartment.  Having a swimming hole in your back yard in which to languish on sultry summer days would be pretty great also.

Oh, and we like the house, too.  It’s pretty, but the first thing I would do if I bought this home would be to pull up the carpets.  I always assume that under every hideous carpet lies a beautiful hardwood floor.  I have no basis for this assumption, except that one time, I lived in a house that had nice hardwood floors hidden by barf-green shag carpeting.  Long story short:  It doesn’t hurt to pull up the corner of the carpet, just to see what’s under there.

The house is set back from Boice Mill Road, secluded, and surrounded by farm land all around.  And if this was our yard, we’re not sure we’d ever be able to leave the property ever again.  Looks like the perfect place to go for a bit of an afternoon ramble, don’t you think?

205 Boice Mill Road, Kerhonkson (Murphy Realty Group) GMAP
Asking Price: $649,900
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Square Feet: 2500
Land: 3.9 acres
Year Built: 1900
Features: Cathedral ceilings, waterfront

Car-Free Country House in Beacon $274,500

 

It doesn’t get much better than this (and believe me, I looked HARD): This home is a brisk ten-minute bike ride to the Beacon Metro-North station, yet set back just a wee bit out of town and right on the edge of a more rural landscape.  The lovely Madam Brett Mill Park is a breath away, and the Dia Art Foundation and the waterfront are nearby, too.

There’s a glut of lovely real estate in Beacon, ripe for the picking.  Frankly, a lot of it is fancier and therefore pricier than this home.  But I’m spoiled.  I want it all.   I want sufficient space inside the house (look at the size of that bedroom in the picture to the left there), but I need to have some outside, as well.  In the summer, I treat my yard like another room, and I want to be able to walk or ride my bike to at least 50% of any given place I want or need to be during the week.  That’s why I like this place.

Oh, and there’s a really cool store in Beacon called Dream In Plastic.  I don’t get to Beacon a whole lot these days, but when I do, I make a bee-line for this shop.  I won’t spend a lot of time talking about how awesome it is, because I think that’s pretty evident from the website.  Just be prepared to spend some ducats, for their wares, though quite irresistible, are not cheap.

Long story short, you should live in Beacon.  You should live in this house right here, and then you should go buy some cool stuff at Dream In Plastic.  After that, you should grab your spouse/significant other/dog/tolerant cat and take a walk on Long Dock park, and then you should have some pad thai.  You can thank me later.

The stats:
70 Howland Avenue, Beacon (Kristie Alexa Difrancesco – Prudential) GMAP
Asking Price: $274,500
Beds: 3
Baths: 1.5
Square Feet: 1400
Land: .44 acres
Year Built: 1925
Taxes: $5241
Features: 2 car detached garage, wood burning fireplace, hard-wood floors

Rental of the Week: Hopewell Junction A-frame, $2000/month

I might as well come clean (so to speak) and admit that I chose this adorable 3-bedroom rental because of one of the two bathrooms. There, I said it. As soon as I saw the photo of the gigantic walk-in shower with all the bells and whistles, not to mention the big bathtub with jets, harps began to play the dream music, and I imagined myself spending hours in that shower, asking, “What does this button do?” But hark!  Is that a cute, red spiral staircase?  Swoon!  I find it slightly suspicious, however, that the listing contained no pictures of the kitchen.   Considering how bright, fun and modern this place is, though, I’m willing to look past it and just assume that the kitchen is as cool as the rest of this house.

This is a lot of rental for $2,000 a month (plus the listing says it has 600 sf studio over the two-car garage), and while it’s fairly secluded, this 1,432-square foot A-frame still sits conveniently close to the Taconic Parkway. And how many BBQs would you throw if you had a patio like that?  If you answered, “As many as humanly possible,” then you win! It also sits pretty near the center of Hopewell Junction, which is a nifty little hamlet situated in East Fishkill. There’s plenty to do around there, like hiking, winery tours, shops, just in case your fancy spa bathroom gets a little boring for you.

Agency: St. Lawrence Properties, LLC
GMAP 

UPSTATE JANE: Keeping Warm and Keeping Modern, In An Upstate House

Why is it always such a difficult process to merge form and function? Since moving into my new home Upstate full-time, I have discovered an ugly fact. I was aware that this new home heats with oil (much to my chagrin and irritation) and I assumed down the line I would have to make the necessary environmentally friendly and energy-efficient changes for our budget and my peace of mind. What I didn’t realize, is that to fill my 275 gallon tank of oil, I would pay $800.00. I also didn’t realize that this 275 gallon tank would last me a month. This is not cranking the heat, but keeping the indoor temperature around 65 degrees. My last house had 3 smart heating solutions. It had a propane back up for creating instant heat when coming inside, it had zoned baseboard heat (rarely used, but on thermostats, convenient and efficient) and it had a wood stoves.  All this combined to a very inexpensive heating source. We were also weekender’s and the old home was 1100 square feet as opposed to 2000. It is something to seriously consider when looking for a home, especially larger homes than 2000 square feet. I just think back to the old mansions I had been pondering!

Fast forward to full-time living and working from home, with a more expensive oil based central heating system, and you are slapped with $800.00 a month during the winter. Well considering our mortgage payments are not much more than that, we cannot “wait” to make the changes, we have to do it…well…NOW. I needed to get a woodstove insert for our large fireplace to act as a furnace/primary heat source.

 

I recently visited a local shop, and was quite disappointed by the lack of modern or contemporary wood stove inserts for your fireplace. I assumed I may have to pay more for a design that would aesthetically work in our modern home- but I assumed there would at least be one option.  Though not at this store, there are some cool modern free standing wood stoves and fireplaces, see my URBAN JANE post) At this local store I found country wood stoves (great for a different style home) heavy cast iron stoves that protruded far out of the fireplace, and then typical wood stoves with scrolling and ornate details. The salesman suggested I just place one of these wood stoves in front of my fireplace. These solutions are fine for a farmhouse, or an older home- but a home that is about clean lines and modern minimalism an ornate wood stove sitting in front of a linear limestone fireplace, just can’t work.

I was then shown gas fireplace inserts to use propane with. Now propane is the more environmentally friendly option over wood (to some)since it burns cleaner and less carcinogenicity, but it is not necessarily a renewable “green” resource.  It costs about the same to heat as with wood, (Unless you scour for your own decent fallen trees and cut it all yourself and stack 50 cords out back for years down the road.) These models were much slicker looking, and granted they come with no muss or fuss, less maintenance, and can be controlled by a thermostat and timer just like a regular furnace. However, you don’t get that real fire feeling or sound or smell. Is it worth it?

I decided there must be a more attractive wood stove insert out there than this shop was showing me (even though they claimed there was not) When I asked him  about Wittus (whom they did not carry)  he claimed they did not make a wood stove insert like that, and that in Europe they will heat with 3-4 free-standing wood stoves. I then realized I needed to do more of my own research since I knew for a fact that there were some great models in Europe, and there must be some available here to purchase in the U.S.

Below are a few models I have found that are contemporary to modern and offer a high BTU output. They should be able to heat a 2000-2500 square foot home in the winter. However, remember they will not heat your water, so you are still left with your oil heater if you don’t replace it for a propane or electric hot water heater.

The first model is a Wittus wood burning insert- and though expensive (I have read approximately $4,000.00) At $800.00 a month for oil, it would be worth it.

The Optifire Zero Clearance Fireplace (up to 50,000 BTU and heats up to 2500 square feet in the greenest manner possible)  and the H530 insert (up to 30,000 BTU and heats up to 1500 square feet respectively)

The next is Morsø 5660 NA woodstove Fireplace Insert (up to 50,000 BTU and up to 2200 square feet) The viewing window for the fire is smaller and the surround is larger, but this is also a more environmentally friendly stove. It runs approximately $3100.00

They also make another less expensive model which has the same BTU and space heating qualities but it slightly smaller for $2750.00

The last woodstove insert is the FPX 33 Elite Plus Wood Insert wood insert (heats up to 2000 square feet) but does not seem to display all the green qualities. The price seems to be a bit lower though, in the $2000.00 range before add on’s.

Now for the Gas Fireplace’s. These typically cost less money but depending on whom you speak to are more environmentally friendly, are more fuss free, yet also don’t kick out the jams like the wood stoves do, although they claim the same BTU and square foot coverage.

The FPX 34 DVL GSR Insert (up to 40,000 BTU and heats up to 2000 square feet)

two different surrounds with decent looking fronts, both the same fireplace

The next is the Avalaon 33 DVI Gas Fireplace- heats up to 2000 square feet and 40,000 BTU’s

Avalon Gas Fireplace

The last is the Napoleon Inspiration GDI44 heats up to 2500 square feet at 44,000 BTU’s- Remember these are just the inserts you see (not the “fireplace hearths”)

Kerhonkson Farm House, $145,000

Ah, for the price of a parking spot, you can get a lovingly painted farm house on an acre of land in Kerhonkson. This one caught my eye because of the exterior paint job, though I’d wash over much of the interior colors with hues that don’t evoke a package of Smarties. Yes, the interior needs some love.

There’s only one bathroom at 145 Samsonville Road, which explains some of the price (of course, I really like that bathroom). So does the fact that the MLS lists the condition as “good.” That said, I love those kitchen cabinets and their deco-ish door pulls (are those original, you think? Or from the ’40s?). Nice views, although you’re perched right on the road, sitting on your porch to look at them. Nice expanse of backyard and adorable outbuilding. A good starter upstate home, you think?

The stats:
145 Samsonville Road, Kerhonkson (Exit Welch Realty) GMAP
Asking Price: $129,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Year Built: 1926
Square Feet: 1,496
Land: .98 acres
Taxes: $3,135
Features: mountain views, outbuilding

Still for Sale: The Kerhonkson Dome, $375,000

Inspired by the New Paltz dome (now on the market), we spent some time last year looking at dome houses for sale in upstate New York. And since we’re concentrating on Kerhonkson this week, we peeked in again on this super-green monolithic dome. 105 Dymond Road hasn’t gone down in price, but, heck, it hasn’t gone down in originality either. Been listed for about six months. Three beds, two baths, 3.2 acres, 3,200 square feet. For the hippie in all of us. Some estimates I saw of sale prices were in the $325,000 range.
105 Dymond Road (Westwood Metes & Bounds) GMAP

Introducing our New Blogger, Kandy Jo!

Folks, we are super excited to announce the newest member of the Upstater team. We interviewed lots of folks to write for Upstater, but Kandy Harris — a writer, musician and mother who could spend all day looking at real estate listings — stood out. Not only is she a great writer and a cool chick, she’s a local (lives in Saugerties) and travels extensively around Upstater territory. So, she’ll be writing about houses, cool stuff to do and insider, Upstater tips. We’re so glad to have her on board.

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