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Five Figure Fridays! Now Here’s An Idea…

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.

The main building

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.

A smattering of cabin/bungalows

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).

A camping hut!

Brick red siding and all-pine-all-the-time interiors?  A gigantic river stone fireplace?  Sign me up.

A riot of knotty pine

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.

Sigh.

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!

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Five Figure Fridays! “Green” Cabin Breaks the Magic Barrier

For all the years I’ve been trawling Catskills Craigslist looking at properties, this place has been on there, hoping for someone to appreciate its unique charms.  Over the years I’ve watched the price fall from well above $200k down through the upper and then lower $100s.  And today I saw that it has broken through into the purview of this column: $99,000 (as the seller points out in the ad, this is “not a misprint”).

Facade

It has been variously (self-)described as a “green” cabin and a “hippie” cabin, and the ad consistently refers to it as a “handmade one-of-a-kind work of art.”  And therein lies the rub, because Art is subjective.  There’s real design inspiration all through it (rough sawn plank shelves pegged to bark-clad logs, pull-out apple baskets in place of kitchen drawers), but sometimes the execution falls just short.  You look at the bathroom vanity, with a shower head supply pipe instead of a traditional faucet, and you think man, if I’d built that myself I’d be awfully damn proud of it.  But paying for it is something else entirely.  It’s like living in someone else’s hobby.  At the same time, it’s not so bananas that your critical eye is overwhelmed by sheer wacky charm.  So I can understand why it’s been a tricky sell.

Bathroom

That said, it is a truly striking property, with “massive log posts and beams” and lots of lovely flagstones.  Sure, the distribution of doors and windows on the wide front facade is a bit haphazard, but it’s got radiant flooring, a wood stove, solar (!), low-VOC everything, and 1.6 acres with a lake view.  And personally, I’m kind of in love with the charming Hobbit-chic design.  At $229k, the above quibbles seemed like reason to stay away.  At $99k, this is starting to look like a screaming deal.

Log Spiral Stair

More pictures and info after the jump.

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Five Figure Fridays! Double Your Pleasure

This week on Five Figure Fridays we’ll feature properties that are suitable for sharing.  Each one has either two buildings (or, you know, trailers) or at least a 2-family layout.  If you have friends you really, really like, maybe one of these will catch your collective fancy – or, if you’re hoping to rent out your property to defray costs, this could give you more options and eliminate the “I don’t want people touching my stuff” factor.

That said, to stay under 100 grand for two properties requires a compromise or two.  Details and more pictures of each property are after the jump.  From highest to lowest:

West Shokan - 2 Cottages, $99k

Two modest cottages, but for weekenders they’ve got great charm and potential.  Looks like a lovely front and back yard as well.  Some terrific paneling and rustic built-ins.  The real quandary would be fighting with your co-buyers over who has to live above the garage.  $99.9k.

Livingston Manor - Cottage plus Duplex, $99k

Same idea but with noticeably less charm.  Largeish Tudor main house, plus additional duplex for a total of three separate properties.  Need at least major cosmetics, if not more serious work – but the utility-to-price ratio is great.  Livingston Manor has a lovely creekside “downtown” area.  $99.9k.

Kingston 2 Family - $95k

This is a 2-family duplex in Kingston.  Not the best pictures but looks altogether livable.  Fenced yard and in-town location with all municipal utilities.  Kingston, right off the Thruway with easy access to Rt-28, makes a great gateway to Woodstock, Phoenicia, etc.  $95k.

Olive - 2 Mobiles, $75k

Sure, it’s hard to lower your sights from Upstate Jane’s architect showplaces and Lisa’s astonishing stone real estate porn, but I say neither has the Boogie Nights appeal of these two trailers in Olive.  Garage, carport, central deck and a full acre, with taxes still reported below $2,000/year.  Park an orange ‘Vette out front and tell everyone they’re not old, they’re vintage.  $75k.

Liberty 2 Family - $59k

Finally, can someone please explain prices in Liberty?  Is it the taxes ($5,800 for this in-town duplex)?  Is it the proximity of the old resorts now being perpetually flogged on Craigslist as “luxury condos”?  There are a ton of lovely old houses for astonishingly little money.  Case in point, this adorable two-family with beautiful wood floors for just $59k.

After the jump: links and stats for each, plus a big gallery with a bunch more photos.  Happy sharing!

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Five Figure Fridays! Glen Spey Lake Cottage

It’s a light week in FFF as I’m actually going upstate for the weekend (to the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s lovely Sherwood House, in Maplecrest).  Next week will feature five Double Deals, two family (or two house!) properties.  In the meantime, here’s a charming little Glen Spey lake cottage, one road off of Mohican Lake (motorboats allowed, which may or may not turn your crank).

I love the odd little dresser built right into the wall.  This comes with a double lot and lake communities are usually tightly packed, so while acreage isn’t listed, assume it totals out to about a quarter or a third of an acre.  Fireplace!  Laundry!  This little charmer has it all, for half a hundred thousand.  Plus the town name sounds like a single malt scotch.

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Five Figure Fridays! Spotlight on Saugerties

Saugerties has a lot to offer – easy Thruway access, an Esopus/Hudson riverfront downtown area with sheltered marinas, and a lovely woodsy sprawl of well kept residential outlying areas that manage a nicely hybridized suburban/rural feel.  And fifteen or twenty minutes away is the lovely and ski-y Tannersville/Hunter/Windham area, just up the steep and twisty 23A past Kaaterskill Falls or the closed-every-winter, butt-clenchingly hairpin Platte Clove Road (pro tip: do NOT drive down this road in a 1984 camper van with lackadaisical brakes).

That said, in a lot of cases staying under 100 grand in Saugerties requires some imagination and some courage.  So with dauntless, fixer-upper spirit, here are five five-figure Saugerties properties.  Details and more pictures of each property are after the jump.  From highest to lowest:

Dock Street 3BR - $89k

A true “handyman special,” this waterfront (!) village home has, according to the broker, been in the same family since 1890.  Which is amazing and also somehow a little mournful.  Fifty feet of frontage on the Esopus, just below the dam, which means constant white noise for extra deep sleeping.  Attention kayakers: your backyard water access here is a couple hundred yards from the Hudson River.   There are no interior pictures (whuh-oh) so assume you’re buying the location and the water. $89k.

Church Rd. 3BR - $89k

This is a mobile but looks well-kept and turnkey.  Pretty front lawn on 2.4 acres.  Half the property is across the street and consists mostly of bluestone quarry, which is either depressing or exciting depending on how you feel about stone, I guess.  Imagine the patio you could build, with ulra-local materials!  $89k.

Kate Yaeger Rd. 2BR - $65k

Adorable and affordable, this little blue cottage has the distinction of being the first property in a long time that made my wife say “yes, I want it.”  Of course, she also looked at the picture of the on-property stream and said “oh look, it even has its own puddle!”  $65k.

Manorville Rd. 1BR - $65k

Another fixer for the staunch of spirit, but my sakes could this be striking when it’s done.  A 1965 contemporary with interesting bi-level design (the Zillow link has even more, and more interesting, pictures than the listing agent does) but, since this changed hands for $150k just eight years ago, you have to assume there’s something badly wrong here.  Still, it has tremendous potential.  $65k.

Band Camp Cir. 2BR - $37k

Lastly, the bargain of the bunch – an estate sale that hasn’t been occupied in over a decade (what is it with Saugerties and mournful backstories?).  There’s certainly lots to do, but at this price you can probably afford the reno.  Best of all, it’s on Band Camp Circle, so you can spend your out-of-town weekends endlessly repeating “This one time?  At Band Camp?”  (NSFW).   $37k.

BONUS BARGAIN:

This isn’t in Saugerties, though it’s just up 23A, but it’s a Craigslist ad and not listed on Realtor or Zillow which means it may disappear any time.  It’s an inoffensive, 20ish year old doublewide on an acre of land and it would sorely benefit from some tree plantings to mask its slab-sided doublewideness.  The killer here, though, is the proximity to the gorgeous Kaaterskill Falls.  To wit:

Haines Falls 3BR - $79k

Amazing.  Just reduced from $130k to $79k and described as “must sell.”  Go, waterfall-loving bargain hunters, GO!

After the jump: links and stats for each, plus a big gallery with a bunch more photos.  Happy bargain hunting.

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Five Figure Fridays! Spotlight on Sullivan County

Welcome back to Five Figure Fridays!  Today we’re turning our bargain-hunting eye westward, to Sullivan County.  Not as mountainous or foresty as the Catskill Park/Greene County area, not as homogeneously pretty as Dutchess/Columbia, Sullivan has clearly felt the financial downturn severely and real estate prices show it.  Taxes seem to be on the rise – properties in Liberty (which will get is own FFF spotlight in coming weeks) look like they’ve seen taxes jump 300%+ in the last three years.  You’d want to get to know the areas to see if they fit your preconceptions of an upstate getaway, but the values are spectacular compared to Sullivan’s tonier cousins.

Details and more pictures of each property are after the jump.  From highest to lowest:

Callicoon 3BR - $99k

First, a cedar-sided village charmer in the wonderfully-named riverside town of Callicoon.  Three bedrooms and some recent renovation work – shake siding, architectural shingle roof – plus a non-tiny .6 acre lot.  Adorable rocking chair front porch (complete with rocking chair!), although you’re right up against the road in true old-school neighborly fashion.  The realtor’s listing includes an attic photo, which is kind enough to show there may have been some leakage around the chimney.  $99(.9)k, so this one just makes the cut.

Hortonville 3BR - $89k

Sitting on a big, manicured 1.4 acre lawn is this unassuming Hortonville 3BR.  It could use some refreshing of the interior design but everything looks relatively clean and ship shape.  There’s even an “outbuilding” which could serve as the world’s most bootleg guest cottage!  $89k

Parksville 48 acres - $79k

This one requires some imagination and a rugged, outdoors-y mentality, but: 48+ acres for less than $80k.  I know.  I can’t believe it either.  It’s right up against Rt-17 (the future I-86) but with almost 50 acres to work with you can find a spot far from the highway.  Bring your friends!  Erect a yurt!  Buy an Airstream (here’s one for $4750 on Craigslist) and camp off the grid!  The possibilities are endless.  $79k.

South Fallsburg 2BR Lake Cottage - $69k

Here’s a lake cottage in South Fallsburg which has had some renovation work done recently (which, if we’re being honest, has a pretty DIY vibe).  It’s part of the Pleasure Lake Hunting Club, with deeded lake access, and if GMaps is accurate then this is pretty darn close to lakeside.  It’s a tiny lot, at .11 acres, but the seller is offering (always potentially sketchy) owner financing!  Has been on Zillow for more than a year and a half.  $69k.

Fremont 3BR on 2.7 acres - $39k

Finally, I know.  I know.  It doesn’t look like much, but stay with me here.  First of all, it’s on 2.7 acres for less than forty large.  BOOM.  Second of all, visit the gallery to see the rest of the pictures – this place is actually really cute inside.  Biggish at 1300 sq ft, with three bedrooms, a 70s-tastic kitchen (please, nobody renovate this kitchen) and big living room.  The outside may be more Breaking Bad than Gilmore Girls, but a place with some offbeat charm on a real plot of land at this price is impossible to dismiss.  $39k (I mean, really).

After the jump: links and stats for each, plus a big gallery with a bunch more photos.  Happy bargain hunting.

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Five Figure Fridays! Upstate for cheap(er).

Hello and welcome to Five Figure Fridays!  I’ll be your faithful correspondent from the bargain basement of upstate real estate.  We’ll cover anything that gets your price of admission down below 100 large: a big wooded lot with an Airstream, a 3-season cabin, an off-grid retreat, or any of a wide array of handyman specials.

To kick off this new column, we have not one but 5 properties – all available for five figures.  Depending on your financing, that’s less than $500 a month (plus taxes, insurance, maintenance, travel, etc. etc.).

Details and more pictures of each are after the jump.  From highest to lowest:

Wurtsboro 4BR - $99k

First up, a rare bird: an affordable, presentable house within the 2-hour “golden circle” of driving time from NYC.  Specifically, Google maps claims you’ll make it to this one in 1:53 from Park Slope (ahem).    Nice woodwork, a cute front porch, a stainless steel fridge and a remarkably peach-colored whirlpool bath!  Just $99k.

2 Cottages Arkville - 2BR/1BR - $95k

Next comes a 2-cottage property, one with 2BR and one with 1BR, plus garage.  Backs right up on a pretty steep rise, so it doesn’t look like there’s much yard, but the stone around the patio is awfully cute.  At $95k for both, you can share with a friend for only $47,500 each!

Woodbourne 3BR - $74k

The Craigslist ad for this 3BR in Woodbourne called it “Arts & Crafts,” which might be stretching a bit, but this is a cute as a button cottage with some original woodwork and a fireplace.   Grey wall-to-wall and a wonderful 70s tulip light fixture in the kitchen (don’t worry about the ceiling tiles falling down – that’ll fix right up).  $74k.

Pine Hill House and Barn/Garage - 3BR - $69k

Downtown in Pine Hill (the town the Trailways bus line is named after!) is a 3BR/2BA with a barn (workshop/2-car garage).  Commercial zoning means an artist/craftsman could swing a live/work situation.  The interior has gone crazy with paneling, which as a child of the 70s I appreciate.  Just $69k.

Smallwood "Handyman" - 3BR - $29k

Finally, the bargain of the week for those who don’t scare easy.  A seasonal Smallwood cabin which, to put it gently, has some needs.  It also has 3 bedrooms, a somewhat scenic creek, and an existing well – which could mean it’s winterizable.  The realtor assures us that “Seller will consider all offers!” and will offer a $1k bonus if it’s sold by the end of the year – which brings the total to (drumroll) $28,900!

After the jump: links and stats for each, plus a big gallery with a bunch more photos.  Happy bargain hunting.

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