Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Smallwood, NY
In response to our piece about Bethel earlier this week, Sullivan County buyers’ agent and blogger David Knudsen posted a detailed comment about the ins and outs of Smallwood, a Bethel hamlet and private lake community. David’s comment anticipates a lot of the questions a city buyer might have about Smallwood’s range of prices and seasonal vs. year-round housing, so we thought it worth highlighting:
We really appreciated David’s inside take, so we gave him a call to get more Smallwood info. David was honest about Smallwood being an acquired taste. Lots of city folks drive up to see Smallwood homes because of the tempting prices and are then disappointed by the size of the houses and lots. Long-distance driver beware: most Smallwood homes are 2 bedroom, 1 bath and 1000 square feet, plus or minus 200 or so, on semi-private 50X100 foot lots. If you want bucolic, look elsewhere. But if you want to throw the kids outside and have them find someone to play with (without having to set-up a playdate), Smallwood might be your spot. And unlike at a traditional bungalow colony, you’ll have a bit of surrounding land rather than just the house the land sits on. At Smallwood, you can find some bigger lots (and higher prices) in the “new” section, on Gina Lane. It’s a little further afield, though, so you’ll need to drive to the lake rather than walk, and note that these homes won’t have the 1930s and 40s period detail.
The most desirable Smallwood homes, and those with the highest resale value, are those that have managed to keep original details—think stone fireplaces and foundations—without getting “remuddled,” as David put it. Keep an eye out for houses that still have “Smallwood maple” furniture, too. Smallwood homes originally came with custom-made solid maple furniture, designed by A.N. Smallwood as part of the whole bungalow package. Sellers will often throw in the furniture with the home sale, and its high quality and smaller proportions make it a nice fit for these little homes. Many old Smallwood families are still around, those who inherited Smallwood houses from the original cops and firefighters who bought in the ’30s and ’40s or the snowbirds who came in the ’50s and ’60s. There was a third wave of city folks who started to buy about a decade ago, and David describes the scene around the Smallwood pool as a pleasant if surprising Tower of Babel: Staten Island meets Boca meets Chelsea. (But who has the best swimsuits?)
Finally, a quick note about the financials of buying a season home. FannieMae and FreddieMac don’t finance homes that don’t have un interrupted water and heat sources. This means that for the less expensive three-season homes, you may need more money down (20-25%, instead of the typical 10% for a 40 year mortgage). The sticker price may be higher for 4-season house, but the financing is more readily available.
David will be guest-blogging for us with an introduction to Sullivan County. Let us know if you have any Sullivan County Qs!
Posted on August 18, 2011, in Bethel, Bungalow Colonies, Bungalow community, Cities, Second Homes, Smallwood, Sullivan, upstate new york and tagged A.N. Smallwood, David Knudsen real estate, Smallwood maple furniture, smallwood NY, Smallwood NY Homes for sale, smallwood NY real estate. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.