Category Archives: Greene
It’s always fun to stumble across a listing that you’ve seen in real life. Even more delightful is finding one that you’ve ogled repeatedly in the real world, and discovering that it costs less than a hundred grand. So imagine my delight at running across the listing for this property, which I eyeball every time I drive up Route 23A in Palenville.
Less than ten minutes from Exit 20 on the Thruway, this compound sits right at the base of the steep pass that leads up past Kaaterskill Falls to Tannersville and Hunter. There’s a main log cabin house/lodge, a recreational building, and six (!) cabins with en suite bathrooms on 1.5 acres.
The condition is handled with a terse “It needs work.” Fair enough. With that out of the way, it’s a terrifically retro-charming place. It looks like somewhere my grandparents would have stayed on their 1949 drive across the country (in their Oldsmobile sedan with three kids and two dachshunds).
Brick red siding and all-pine-all-the-time interiors? A gigantic river stone fireplace? Sign me up.
Best of all, with all those buildings it feels eminently shareable. So I started back-of-the-napkin brainstorming: six like-minded folks or families kick in enough to buy the place and fix the big issues in the lodge/rec building. Everybody gets their own cabin, to fix up as they please. Weeks in the main lodge are split up timeshare-style – everybody would get eight weeks a year.
Load up the rec building with foosball, pool, skee-ball, etc. and turn the kids loose. Did I mention there’s a stone fire pit in front of each cabin, and a koi pond? The pitch writes itself!
Of course, on sober reflection, an acre and a half is close quarters for six families, especially when the tiny camping cabins probably don’t have, um, kitchens. And it’s right next to a busy trunk road – like, RIGHT next to. And who knows what shape the main systems are in.
Still, it’s a fascinating property. Anybody been dreaming of running a rental cottage business?
After the jump: property stats, plus a bunch more photos. Enjoy!
This abandoned Athens schoolhouse gives new meaning to the term “handyman special.” Still, the term does have the word special in it! I’m pretty sure you can get this one for less, considering the average price of real estate here and the fact that this sits on a pretty busy route. But it has great views and great potential for the This Old House devotee. Right?
I was just going to write this place up for Athens week when I remembered that Alia had already done so. As she noted, it’s all about the kitchen. Actually, no, it’s not all about the kitchen. It’s about the acreage, the water views, the beautifully outfitted guest house. As she pointed out, the former mushroom far was featured in Saveur a while back. Taxes are $8,060 — pretty good for 16 acres.
156 Washington St Athens (Gary Di Mauro) GMAP
Asking Price: $549,000
Beds: 2 + guest house
Land: 16.2 acres plus 10.4 additional acres available for purchase.
Features: River views, barn, guest house.
This downtown Athens home might not appeal to New Yorkers looking for weekend homes, but if you’re considering a weekend move and want to try out the village, well, this does seem pretty cool. It’s furnished — and tastefully so, I think — and has a great kitchen and cool-looking deck. Two blocks from the water and from the Stewart House, the heartbeat of downtown Athens. Four beds and two-and-a-half baths. You have to pay a realtor fee, but nothing like what you cough up in Brooklyn. I wonder what the story is — perhaps someone intended to move in and then got called away? Sabattical? Fellowship? Downsizing?
Imagine how much this Athens row house would cost in the city! Well, in Athens, a three-story, four-bed, two-family brownstone of sorts, on one of the main commercial drags (albeit a quiet one) will run you less than two-hundred-grand. It has some updates (tin ceilings, exposed brick, new bath fixtures) and some original details. It’s narrow, but could make a very cool live-work situation for the right buyer. Taxes are estimated at around $2,500, which is very reasonable.
Ah, it’s a beautiful house. If your dream is to own such a work of art and you’re of modest means, Athens is the place for you. This Athens second empire is in town, but has three quarters of an acre so not too claustrophobic. The cool part about being in town is that you’re so close to the river — go ahead and row over to Hudson for your entertainment. The less cool part is that Franklin is a relatively main drag, though this is a bit out of the way so won’t feel like you’re in the thick of it. I love the outbuilding in the back — a great writing studio. The listing says it’s waiting for a final layer of polish after 30 years of restoration by the owner, which translates, per the broker, into this: “needs new mechanicals: furnace, electrical, HVAC, plaster repair, carriage house repair.” So, a fixer-upper ish.
Athens, just up the river from Catskill in Greene County, has a lot going for it by the way of charm. Or potential charm. It’s right on the Hudson River, with incredible views and water access. It has loads of beautiful old buildings, and a real, walkable downtown. The problem is that there’s not a whole lot to walk to — the town is itching for more amenities, and, of course, more jobs. As this 2008 article from the Times points out, the town was once a ferry stop, and since its long gone days as a transportation hub, it has struggled to find its footing. Still, plenty of second home owners have chosen it for its beauty and its prices. At the time of this writing, the average listing price is around $320,000, far less than many other towns we’ve visited. The median sales price for September to November 2011: less than $150,000. So, we’ll go bargain hunting in Athens this week, but I’ve got my eye on a few moderately priced places, too.
Ok, the $549,000 price point on this country house is more than I usually allow for my Greene County cheapies, but I couldn’t resist this kitchen. It looks so Tuscan, and not in that cheesy Sopranos-way that usually shows up in American interpretations of Italy.
I’m not alone in my love of this home’s entertaining spaces: the house, built on a former mushroom farm, was featured in Saveur a few years back. The home is new, but it doesn’t quite look it. I think the builder did a great job of using the barn inspiration. The property comes with a ton of land as well as the option to buy an additional 10.4 acre building site. My main quibble is the bedrooms look tight—and I’d like more of them at this price. There is a guest house, but I love having house guests and sleepovers and the feeling that we’re all in it together if a serial killer comes …
Stats and map on the jump. Read the rest of this entry
Um, is this the coolest place we’ve ever featured on Upstater? I’m pretty sure it is (and my thanks to Peter Aaron for pointing it out!). You hardly need me to explain its coolness to you, although I will point out that even though it’s on two “park-like acres” it’s between two pretty busy roads, and on the other side of the creek from the increasingly charming part of Catskill. Still, where else but Catskill can you pick up a renovated architectural, octagonal masterpiece from 1860, one that has a media room, for $459,000? Taxes are reasonable-ish, at $6,282. It has four beds, 1.75 baths, 3,700 square feet, and a spiral staircase that leads to what they call the sky lantern. Absolute and total heaven, if you’ll pardon my effusiveness.
This Palenville property is the kind of listing that always catches my eye. A graceful white farmhouse, ideally built before women had the vote, is basically my platonic ideal of an Upstate property. I sometimes feel like Victorian vernacular builders knew how to market to me even better than those geniuses behind the Anthropogie catalog.
While I think this one has such nice curb appeal, I wish the listing included more interior photos. The outdoor space isn’t large but it has some good selling points, too. It’s on a relatively quiet street, across the road from Kaaterskill Creek. The realtor points out that the yard is big and flat enough for a pool. The location is village-seeping-into-country: not totally private, but plenty of trees as well as that creek. Note that Palenville really doesn’t have much of a town center, so Catskill would be the closest town. You’d be close, too, to Kaaterskill Falls and some good hiking, though a good thirty minute drive from skiing farther up the mountain so it would be harder to make this one into a ski or winter rental.
Stats and map on the jump. Read the rest of this entry