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?
As our regular readers know, I have a longstanding obsession with bungalow colonies. I went to visit one this weekend that had a unit for sale (it was also having a group tag sale, a big part of the draw).
The house above is divided into four units, and folks bought the two in the front and tore down some walls to make it one. They’ll sell it as two, for $29,500 each–you’ll have to get a licensed contractor in to restore it, but I think it will only run you a few thousand bucks–or you can take it whole. I got to see someone else’s freestanding bungalow, replete with 50’s minty green tile in the kitchen, so I know how adorable these places could be. This bungalow leaves something to be desired in the cuteness factor, and it also faces the road–though it’s a pretty mellow road. It still feels like two tiny units, with two sleeping lofts and two tiny living rooms and one long skinny kitchen–a little unfinished-feeling, but easy enough to repair.
In addition to your tiny slice of heaven, you get access to the pool, playground, eight acres of land and your very sweet neighbors, most of whom are New Yorkers, of course. Yearly fees, including taxes, are $3,600. The owner is willing to rent it to a party seriously interested in buying. If interested, email the
owner’s friend and fellow colony-er, who’s helping out since the owner has moved out of the country. owner.
But I also got a taste of the downside of bungalow life. Read the rest of this entry
I could almost get excited about this house for sale in Boiceville, N.Y. First, I’m crazy for bungalows. Second: waterfront property in the Catksills (okay, yeah, the water is a creek, but that’s good enough for me!). Third: two studios with electricity, for novel-writing and for stashing visitors! Plus, a wrap-around screened in porch big enough for a ping-pong table! My beef with upstate listings, as opposed to NYC listings, is that they rarely include floorplans or maps, two things that would greatly influence whether or not I want to go the next step and actually make the schlep to see this place.
I talked to some folks at FreeStyle Realty, based in Phoenicia, N.Y., who pointed out many of the property’s attributes: it’s had only two owners, and much of the original furniture remains in the house and will be for sale–separately–as well. It has a two-car garage and three-and-a-half acres of property. It has a stone fireplace and sits 1/10 of a mile from tennis courts, also plusses.The listing has few interior pictures, which raises my suspicion, and the word “charming” can mean “needs renovation” in real estate speak. The MLS listing notes the condition of the place as “very good,” so nothing structural, but we can assume the kitchen is vintage–and not necessarily in a cute, kitchy way.
A minus: The road that runs along the Esopus Creek is Route 28, a highway that cuts west from the Interstate deep into the western Catskills. The broker says a row of trees separates the property from the road, and you can’t see the property from the street, so that’s good. Another minus: the one bathroom… although perhaps one of those studios could be turned into a freestanding bathroom!
So what’s the vote, folks? Is this one worth a look? At current mortgage rates, with 10% down, that’s about $1400 a month with taxes, an amount that might be recoup-able with weekly rentals.