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Big Bethel Porch for $275,000

Wow, that’s a big porch you’ve got there. I can’t decide if this porch plus house in Bethel looks fun or ostentatious. I’m sure most second homers could make good use of a 400 square foot wrap-around porch, but the proportions seem just a little bit off to me. Is there such a thing as too much porch?

Located in a new-ish gated community, The Birches at Bethel Farms, this 3 bedroom, 3 bath home also comes with 5+ acres, pond views, and the possibility of finishing off the lower level into more living space. The interior is tasteful, if a bit generic, with granite counters, high ceilings, hardwood floors throughout and lots of light. How would you make this one your own?

Stats and pics after the jump.

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Town of the Week: Bethel

Bethel got on our radar when a reader alerted us to its offerings — not just on the nature front but the cultural front as well. Most famous for being the real home of the Woodstock festival, that concert site is now a cultural center within walking distance of many of Bethel’s offerings. The town encompasses the hamlet of Smallwood (a former Christian community that several folks have written in to ask us to cover), as well as Black Lake, White Lake and a few other teeny hamlets. Lots of good water in the area, but we find it a little light on the architectural charm, unless you’ve got a couple of million for a gated estate — there are plenty of those for sale, built at a more hopeful time in the American real estate market.

Our Bethel correspondent purchased an adorable cabin here which she now rents out, and has written in to sing the hamlet’s praises.

Weekending at the Real ‘Woodstock’

West of the Hudson and far from the more popular upstate destinations of New Paltz and Rhinebeck lies the best kept secret of the Catskills: Bethel. Blessed with varied real estate, swimming and boating lakes, historic sites, and beautiful scenery, Bethel is full of family activity all year ‘round.

When we purchased our cabin in the fall of 2010 we thought of it as nothing more than a quick and inexpensive getaway from Brooklyn.  Our place is in a hamlet within Bethel called Smallwood.  Most of the cabins are nearly identical due to the popularity of cabin ‘kits’ from Sears in the 1930’s when most of the places in Smallwood were built as part of a private vacation community. Of course, most of them now have additions of porches, screen rooms, and lots of cobbled-on additions. Most of the cabins here are seasonal, meaning they run on town water which is only turned on from April till October, after that its pretty impossible to stay unless you have your own well. Our street is half and half; partial summer residents and part year round residents. We’re the rarity, weekend people who come up all year around. My husband is a fan of the fall foliage season, while the kids can’t get enough of the peaceful calm of winter (oh, and the sledding, snowman building and skiing!).

There is so much to do in Sullivan county for families of all ages. At the Woodstock concert site they’ve built a gorgeous outdoor concert facility where family pak lawn tickets can be had for as little as $60 per family. On the immaculate lawn where the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin once played you can now enjoy the sounds of Elton John, Selena Gomez, and the New York Philharmonic. The annual July 4th family Philharmonic concert complete with fireworks is always a hit for all ages. Kids play and roam while adults enjoy the music and a picnic dinner.  The museum is also really a class act and thoroughly air conditioned for a humid or rainy afternoon.

Most communities up here have some sort of lake. Read the rest of this entry

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