Category Archives: upstate new york

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

Moving Upstate: A Cautionary Tale

Lots of us New Yorkers dream of moving upstate for the fresh air, the nature, the interior space to roam around in. Well, the folks over at the great site Reclaimed Home had the same dream, and, frankly, it was so nightmarish that they are Brooklynites once again. When they switched from weekenders to full timers, they were met with nosy neighbors, a stand-offish community, plagues of insects, the unpleasant reality of car dependency. Yikes. The question is, what can we learn from their journey to the dark side? Hm, I’m not sure yet. Just puts a bit of a kink in my fantasy.

Grants for Upstate Businesses

If you have a dream of moving north and opening up a little shop of your own, here’s some incentive: Sullivan County has started a Microenterprise Program to give grants of between $5,000 and $35,000 to local start-ups. Personally, I’d try to figure out how to reinvent a bungalow colony, which is still my dream.

Permanent Trade: Washington Country Farm for New York City Apartment

Yesterday I was searching for New York City/upstate New York housing swaps and I came across this one: a farmhouse near my old hometown of Saratoga Springs which some family hopes to trade for a pad in the city — permanently.

I can vouch for the beauty of Saratoga, its walkability, its tremendous cultural offerings in the summer. Hope my friends from home won’t mind my saying that it can also be claustrophobic, freezing and a culinary disappointment, especially when coming from the city. This place is actually north of town, in Washington County — not  a three-hour drive as they claim, unless you’re doing 90 with no traffic the entire way. So, a few misleading things in the post, including say it’s Saratoga. But they have another website with loads of photos here, the make up for the Craigslist minimum.

The value of the house, they say, is $500,000, so your junior one-bedroom in a decent part of [New York City ]town will you get this up there: “A 200 Year old Brick Colonial surrounded by 97 acres of pasture and woods. Total Privacy. Fenced for horses or livestock, new 30×80 Morton pole building, spring fed pasture. Beautiful views of Vermont mountains. Pond for ice skating and fishing, and trails for hiking, 4-wheeling, X-country skiing, or riding. Deer and Turkeys right outside your window.

“4 large bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, wide plank pine floors, Rumsford Fireplace, rustic walk out basement with Beehive cooking stove/fireplace. 3 car garage, plus separate 2 car garage/workshop next to a caretaker trailer. Updated furnace and plumbing.”

My personal feeling: looks like the kind of place that’s a full-time job to keep up. Doesn’t seem to have had a cosmetic upgrade in 50 years, but some folks might find that charming — to me it looks like the most updated rooms are the bathrooms. Anyone curious?

Housing Swap: Delhi Farmhouse for Dog-Friendly NYC Pad

This is the one of only other swaps we could find with photos. Sadly, photos don’t offer much info. Nice mountain views, yes, but what’s up inside the house? You can email the owner to find out, of course. Here’s his description: “4bedroom farmhouse with library, WiFi, cable ready.”

No one will accuse this swapper of verbosity! He’s looking for a weekday swap close to downtown Brooklyn that allows dogs. More photos on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Swan Lake Contemporary, $219,000

Here’s the first line of the listing for this Swan Lake contemporary with three beds and three baths: “OWNER SAYS SELL AND WILL ACCEPT ANY REASONABLE OFFER.” Always a nice place to start. I’m feeling a little less gung-ho about Swan Lake since a few have written in to say that the lake itself is not so delicious — more a body of water to look at than to swim in. But if that doesn’t stop you, this is a nice size and a nice price, with a motivated seller. Last purchased in 2002 for $175,000 by a Manhattanite. It’s also for rent, for $1750 a month.  If you can get that, you could cover your mortgage several times a year. Stats on the jump.

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Upstate Jane: The Reinvention of Our Weekend Home

Megan Oldenburger, aka Upstate Jane, is the owner of Dichotomy Interiors, an Interior Design and Style firm based in Woodstock, NY. She writes for Upstater about design, home furnishings, real estate and culture.

For the next few weeks, I am going to tell you the story of how the first two years of owning our humble piece of mod pie has unfolded. I will start at the beginning and take you to the current day if you care to hear a real life version of “taking the plunge” and finding a diamond in the rough. Luckily I have my own blog, which I used to document most of our journey, so I have a fun way to look back at what I wrote and felt now.

Almost two years ago to this day, I was in an unnerving place. I was about to purchase a weekend home upstate, in Woodstock, NY.  You can read exactly what I wrote about that moment here. We had passed the inspection stage,  got our loan, and were waiting to close (hopefully by the end of the year.) Today, I am in the exact same place. This time, I am not just buying a home though. I am also selling a home. I am selling that same home two years ago I sat unnervingly waiting to close on. Two years ago I was dreaming of my new weekend life upstate and the ways I was going to make the home beautiful. Why would I sell then? Over the last two years we fell head over heels with the area so much, that we have decided to REALLY take the plunge, and move full time to Woodstock! We needed a larger space than our weekend home could provide. And even though I love it dearly, and put alot of heart and soul into it, I knew it would start getting a bit tight to work out of together. So that brings me to the point where I sit back and reminisce like Grandpaw over his old golden retriever he had as a boy. Kind of.

I hope that reading about my process will help ease the fears and give insight for people pondering the big decision. Especially when so many places in most peoples price ranges don’t start out looking like they belong in DWELL.  So…we begin. More info, more pictures after the jump! Read the rest of this entry

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.

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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

Chatham Village Victorian, $299,000

Ignore, for a moment, the vinyl siding slathered on this stately home and drink in its proportions and potential. The kitchen at 145 Hudson Ave in Chatham looks lovely, and I think they’ve even gotten away with that salmon-colored dining room, don’t you? The paint job might be a tad much for my taste, but I think they’ve made it work. On a nice street in the village of Chatham, with slightly higher taxes than some of the others I’ve been looking at, in the $5,000 range. Purports to be in excellent condition. Has a heated carriage barn and a nice jungle gym for the kiddos. Stats on the jump.

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