Category Archives: Columbia

Claverack Passive Solar $285,000

I have to admit, I’m kind of a sucker for an open floor plan. Sure, it’s not always the best choice if you have children or you live with someone but enjoy your privacy, but I still love the airiness of it all. But then again, I was born and raised in Alaska, and it’s well known that we Alaskans love our open spaces.

Speaking of space, the property also features a nice and roomy 6+ acres to stretch out in, plus a waterfront view of the Claverack Creek. And although Route 23 is kind of the main drag in Claverack, it’s more of a country-fied main drag, which means less bumper-to-bumper and more farmland views, and it’s set far enough off the road to make this property quite the nice little get-away, either as a second home or a year-round residence.

The exposed posts and beams are not too shabby, either, if you’re into that sort of thing, and I am totally into that sort of thing.

Oh, and another thing: There are organic fruit trees! The land is suitable for keeping horses! The seven year old in me seems to be really excited about that.

The stats:
300 Route 23, Claverack (Beach & Bartolo) GMAP
Asking Price: $285,000
Beds: 2 (if you put up a privacy screen)
Baths: 1
Square Feet: 1300
Land: 6.45 acres
Year Built: 1989
Taxes: $7678
Features: Studio/guest room above detached garage

Friday Real Estate Porn: Claverack Passive House, $675,000

Haven’t heard of Passivhaus? It’s one of the greatest green building innovations since the igloo. Basically, it’s a house so tightly sealed that it hardly needs to be heated or cooled. It uses an air exchanger to help regulate the temperature, as well as passive solar heating (basically, a giant wall of south-facing glass that lets lots of light and sun and heat in during winter months, and an overhang to block it during the summer).

This passive house, a spec house in Claverack built by Dennis Wedlick Architects, is a beaut. 349 Millbrook Road in Claverack is an electric house with an expected annual utility bill of $400. Nice. It has three beds, two baths, 1,650 square feet and seven acres, all a hop-skip from Hudson. The ceilings are 22-feet high, very open floor plan. I think it’s a tad too modern for me, a little on the sterile side, though I’m sure if you furnish it warmly it’ll be amazing. Certainly, it’s a piece of architecture to be proud of.

It was profiled in the NY Times last summer (as well as in Interior Design this fall) and listed at $595,000. So what happened? Turns out the builder’s costs were much higher than anticipated, so they’ve now listed it at $675,000. Harumph.

349 Millbrook Road, Claverack (Gabel Real Estate) GMAP

Claverack Lakefront Cottage, $275,000

Looking for waterfront? Affordable? Adorable? A short walk to a delicious restaurant, library, bookshop? Short drive to train station or to the Taconic? Sorry — I don’t mean to sound like a marketer, but I’m pretty keen on this Summit Lake cottage at 3 Lake Drive in Philmont for a country house. Beautiful water views, fireplace, woodstove, open floor plan. I love the kitchen. Okay, it has only two bedrooms and 1,700 square feet, which limits who’ll want it (someone who craves solitude, has only one kid or doesn’t want to bring lots of friends up with them for the weekend). I would try to outfit that garage as a guest house/studio, if the town will allow it — a big if, I know. It’s on half an acre, not bad for a village lot, but certainly not an estate. You will have neighbors. Built in 1930, with taxes under $6,000.
3 Lake Drive, Claverack (Peggy Lampman) GMAP

Claverack Church, $359,000

Update: Got an email from the listing agent this morning, with more info about the property–a fixer upper, yes indeed. Here’s what she has to say:

“The building is not habitable in its present state. The current owners have done extensive work on the systems and to the main area of the building, i.e. sheetrocking and removing carpet and linoleum to expose the original hardwood floors, making it into a wonderful, expansive light-filled space. There are floor plans showing the space as a residence, plumbed for a kitchen and 1 bathroom in the former Sacristy and for another bath in the front of the building. The idea was to have the bedroom in the choir loft, so the front bath would be for the bedroom.”


We’ve learned that old schoolhouses pique our readers’ interest, and I’m betting churches get y’all excited, too. This one, at 139 Main Street in the sweet hamlet of Philmont, has loads of potential for the handyperson looking to craft something from scratch. Well, scratch-ish. It’s plumbed and wired and ready for you to make it residential, so doesn’t need a complete gut renovation. But right now it’s essentially one 3,000-square-foot open space, waiting for walls and a kitchen. The condition, per the MLS, is “unfinished.” So you have to use a hot plate for a year, so what? A very short walk to the High Falls Conservation Area and Galapagos Bookstore. The church was built in 1909, and taxes are $6,352 a year.
139 Main Street, Claverack (Gary DiMauro) GMAP

Claverack Saltbox, $199,000

The original house — the good stuff — is from 1860. A century later, it seems, some updates were made, and there are a few choices that I think need reversing: the cabinets in the kitchen, those closet doors in the bedroom, that brick facing behind the woodstove. But none of that would deter me if a saltbox in a rural setting (a rural setting close to the train, that is) is what I was after. Although it seems to be surrounded by farmland, 6 Courts Lane sits on only half an acre. It has three beds, three baths and 2,260 square feet. I love the original beams and the vaulted ceiling. I fear it might not be country enough for some upstate house hunters, but if you’re looking to walk into “town,” this’ll work for you. Taxes: around $4,000.

Agent: Peggy Lampman

Claverack Italianate Mansion, $440,000

Is this enough house for you? I had a hard time choosing what to profile this week, since there were so many great properties for sale in Claverack, NY. But this one, of course, stood out. An Italianate mansion called Catherine Bushnell Mansion, on three acres, just a few minutes outside of Hudson. 361 State Route 23B has seven beds, seven baths, 4,800 square feet, built in 1848. Surprisingly, the taxes are less than $10,000, which is far more reasonable than much humbler properties command across the river in Ulster County, or even down the river in Dutchess. Condition, per the MLS, is “very good,” though the listing acknowledges that there’s “refinished wideboard floors, dine-in kitchen, new roof, new septic and ongoing cosmetic and interior design work.” We’re waiting to hear back from the broker about just what that ongoing work is. On top of it all: seven fireplaces. Should help cut down on the heating bill.

Town of the Week: Claverack

I’ve never hung out in Claverack, though I’ve driven through many times and remarked on the sweet old houses and the great location within Columbia County. And once upon a time I knew someone who was caretaker for Merchant and Ivory’s grand house there, so you know it’s attracted some illustrious residents in the past. There’s not much of a town itself, just the crossroads of 23 and 9H, with a foodmart, a library and Keeler’s Eskimo Bar, for your fries and ice cream. If you want real countryside and want that countryside close to Hudson, worth a look here.

One hamlet within the town of Claverack is Philmont, which a friend visited last week and said it was charming and had a delicious locavore restaurant, so that’s a plus, too. Mostly, this is a quiet area, a hop-skip from the Taconic, 10 minutes from the Hudson train station, a 40-minute drive to swanky Great Barrington.We’ll dig up some great old houses there, too. One thing about Claverack: many a lovely home under $500,000. In the meantime, drool over this modern masterpiece profiled in the NY Times this summer. Oddly, it’s still listed for sale, but now it’s $80,000 more than it was many months ago. Hm. We’ll dig up the story there.

Upstate NY Holiday Rentals

Here are the last few good ones we found on AirBnB. Still available, as of this posting! Happy holidays, all.

City of Hudson Apartment
1 Bedroom
1 Bathroom
Comment: nice location if you want to be in the city


Andes Farmhouse
5 Bedrooms
2 Baths
Comment: What a steal!


Copake Lake Ski Cabin
3 Beds (Two beds and loft)
1 Bath
Comment: Up there last weekend and saw plenty of skiers on the mountain.

Friday Real Estate Porn: Old Chatham Colonial, $725,000

It’s like a little bit of Charleston, right here in Old Chatham. This 18th century brick is a very grand place, on six acres, although at least some part of it abuts a major highway — hopefully the land, not the house. Taxes for your eight-bedroom, six-bathroom, 6,000-plus square foot brick mansion are $14,000. Guest quarters at the rear to rent out. Stats on the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Chatham Village Two-Family Foursquare, $159,000

Hello, bargain! This is a two-family, though I’m sure you could use it as one. Together it has four beds and two baths and 2100 square feet. Nice hardwood floors, at least one nice-looking kitchen. I’m not crazy about that electric baseboard heat, but that’s not a deal-breaker. Lovely porch, half and acre of land. Tiny little mortgage. Stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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