Category Archives: Bungalow community

Two Spring Glen Bungalows, $6,000 each

Update: Word from the colony-dwellers, post-Irene. “I just got word that though Old 209 in Spring Glen now has some issues, our colony was not flooded and I think Spring Glen as a whole faired pretty well. We are still without power and we had a couple of downed trees, but not an abundance of water. Apparently there are some dry (and sunny) patches in this region.”

Folks have been writing to us pretty steadily, telling us about their lovely and undiscovered little upstate New York bungalow colonies–as our frequent readers know, a longstanding obsession of mine. Pretty soon, we’ll be having a listings feature on Upstater, where you can add your own properties for rent or sale. In the meantime, I thought these Spring Glen bungalows were worth a mention, entirely because of the pricetag: yep, six-thousand-bucks for a country house, perhaps the most affordable country house in upstate New York. The yearly fees come to less than $1,800.

Sadly, we don’t have pictures of the insides. These photos were sent by fellow colony-ers who are handling the sale for their former neighbors and have an interest in finding like-minded, community-oriented folk to inhabit them. The colony is called Sunrise Cottages (one we didn’t know about back when we made our initial list of rentable and buyable bungalows in colonies). It has 16 units altogether in Spring Glen, a small, rural town in the western part of Ulster County, which houses a bunch of other bungalow colonies, too. This one has a pool and four acres. On the jump, you’ll find a complete write up from the folks handling the sale; you can email them here if you’re interested in taking a look. I’m personally holding out for one of the larger colonies that has a day camp for the kiddos, but I’d love to hear if anyone goes to see these. Let us know.

From the colony-folk: The first unit stands alone and has no stairs. The screen porch is enormous  There is a large eat-in kitchen, a single full bathroom with shower & tub, an enormous closet and two large built-ins and a single large living/bedroom.  Formerly, the people had large card games and parties in the screen porch and had roll-aways in the kitchen and porch when needed.  The house comes with furniture, pots & pans, dishes and this unit was loved and well kept. Additionally, there is already a spot on the property adjacent to the house set aside for a shed. Read the rest of this entry

Smallwood Cottage with Lake View for $199,000

This tidy waterfront cottage  is big for Smallwood. While the lot, like most in the private lake community, is only half an acre, the cottage packs in 4 bedrooms, plus an office, and 2 baths.

The house has been in the same family for over thirty years. It’s not “vintage Smallwood”—this one was built in 1972, which helps to explain its slightly bigger dimensions—but there are updates throughout: bamboo floors, new roof, Anderson windows, and a working fireplace. It’s zoned for residential (rather than just seasonal) usage and owners would have access to the Smallwood lake and pool . I think the bedroom count and the handicapped access make this one really feel multi-generational.

Catskill Castles  GMAP

Asking Price: $199,000
Square feet: 1234
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Land: .500 acres
Distance to NYC: 124 miles; 2 hours, 3 minutes

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:

“[A]bout prices .. Yes, you will see some seasonals occasionally listed or selling as low as $35,000. But a more realistic range for a ‘seasonal’ (on community water, not with a drilled well to permit year round use) is probably $55,000 to $80,0000. Something priced ‘too good to be true’ most likely will have either wood rot in sill plates, floor joists or structural members; foundation support issues or problems with old septics or cesspools. Any of those items can be very costly to repair even in a very small house.
In Smallwood, buyers need to pay particular attention to a house’s ‘private sewage system’ (septic or cesspool). Quite a few are old and in not great shape. The lot sizes are also small (seasonals are typically on 50 x 100 foot lots), so if you have a problem septic you may have to put in a fairly pricey aerobic system.
One question I’m often asked is can you convert a ‘seasonal’ to ‘year round’ use by drilling a well (so you have a year round water source.) The answer in almost all cases is ‘no’. The reason is that there are now minimum distances required in code between a well and a septic, and not just between a septic on your property and your proposed well, but between your proposed well and the septic on any adjoining property. On these small parcels, particularly with adjoining houses and septics, you can’t meet the minimums to drill a new well.‘Year rounders’ (houses with already drilled wells) generally start around $90,000 and go up to $140K or so. (More for houses ringing the lake with lake views.)Smallwood can be a great, affordable getaway — particularly for city folks that are looking for more summer use, and content themselves with a ‘seasonal.’


We really appreciated David’s inside take, so we gave him a call to get more Smallwood info. Read the rest of this entry

Vintage Log Cabin in Smallwood/Bethel for $90,000

Taken out of context, I wouldn’t have guessed that this two bedroom log cabin in Bethel’s Smallwood community was built in 1936.  Given the size I might have thought “house trailer,” but like many of the homes in this Sullivan County lakeside hamlet, this little guy has some cute period details.  The stone fireplace is original and there’s a stone basement as well. The fenced-in lot is small and only semi-private, like most of the tiny lots in Smallwood, though it does claim a free-standing gazebo. There are two screened-in summer porches, including one off the back that looks spacious enough for snoring guests. Love the striped shutters!

The cottage is currently used for three seasons, so it would need to be winterized for year-round use. Some homes in Smallwood only have running water from October through April, but this house has its own well, which means all year water access.

The $90,000 asking price puts at the high-end of the middle range for Smallwood. You can pay less for a bungalow that would need more work or find something above $100,000 that’s fully updated and winterized. This cabin is in move-in condition, but I can also imagine doing an update and some decorating that would play up the 1930s bungalow vibe. Goodbye poker-playing puppies, hello waterfall furniture and lucite bowls?

Smallwood Cabin (Baer & McIntosh Real Estate) GMAP

Read the rest of this entry

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