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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

Country House with Curb Appeal in Hunter for $279,000

This one looks so pretty with those stone walls and established flower beds and the terrace overlooking the mountains. I’m already imagining all the sunset cocktails I’d drink. Plus,  it’s on 6.1 acres and located in the village of  of Hunter, so it would work well as a four season escape and occasional ski rental. Home sales are have been on the decrease for the past two years in Hunter, and this house is well below the average listing price of $384,00.

The inside has it’s pluses, too: four fireplaces, hardwood floors, a claw foot tub in one of the three bathrooms, but we didn’t love the interior as much as the exterior. It seemed a little too Twin Peaks ski lodge, not enough airy country house. How do you all feel about the wood paneling to regular walls ratio? At this price, I’d find a way to work with it, or renovate.

Village of Hunter, Google Maps

Distance to NYC: 114 miles; 2 hours, 30 minutes
Transportation: Adirondack Trailways to Hunter
Land: 6.1 acres
Neighbors? No
Water: No
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 3

Caretakers’ Cottage with Snob Factor Appeal for under $300,000

My real estate fantasies generally don’t involve gated communities, but the Onteora Club is a worthy exception. I have to drive through gorgeous, wooded, Gilded-Age mansion-speckled Onteora Park en route to my own little house. I’d use the cliche and say exclusive Onteora seems a world away, but it doesn’t, quite. Even the humbler towns in Greene County have lush mountain views, winding roads, black bear sightings and Lyme disease. Onteora Park, though, is home to some of the most beautiful homes in the Catskills, and residence also offers you the opportunity to join the private club, which sounds like a cross between a Cheever short story and Dirty Dancing: private lake, heated pool, tennis and golf, and an “enchanting Tudor-style library.” Nearby is the wonderful Mountain Top Arboretum, a beautifully maintained 23-acre foliage sanctuary that’s free and open to the public.

All of the above is a long way of explaining why I was so excited when I saw this listing with Gordon Realty. Most of the “cottages” (ahem) in Onteora are well out of the second home price range of most folks I know. This cottage is actually a cottage, and it’s lovely. Built at the turn of the century and recently updated, it offers great outdoor space as well as beautiful details inside. I’d happily care take this one. Check out the interior photo on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

A Shack to Call Your Own, $190,000

If an old Upstate New York farmhouse seems intimidating in size and price, Upstater has another suggestion. Catskill Farms, a Sullivan County-based builder (actually, a former New Yorker, absconded after 9/11),  creates what he calls “new old houses,” inspired by American vernacular architecture. They come in a variety of sizes and styles and are quite beautiful, full of light and have the appearance of something sturdy and liveable and homey and architecturally simple and just a little sleek. I likes.

But the one that caught my eye was Shack 2, the “single most revolutionary concept in housing to hit the region ever,” goes their humble copywriting. “How’s that for hyperbole?  Hopefully we can sell these for $150k.” Read the rest of this entry

Who Wants To Share This Place With Me?

Here’s an idea we’ve been batting around: buy a spectacular, slightly unaffordable place in the Catskills with, say, three other families. Each of us gets it for 13 weeks a year, with the option to rent it out any of those weeks to cover the mortgage. Yes, we know it’s rife with possibility for disaster, not to mention surfing the complications of tenancy-in-common. And who gets it for Christmas and Labor Day weekends?

All those details aside, this place is dreamy (sorry you can’t see much of it without registering on the site, but we’ll describe it for you here). It’s right at the bottom of the Shawangunks, south of Ellenville. Seven bedrooms, 7,000 square feet and 28 acres, all for $335,000. Did we mention the part about needing a fairly serious renovation? Well, yes, that complicates things, but even with $165,000 of work, it’s a fairly reasonable deal for four families. I mentioned the idea to several folks who said having it 13 weeks a year meant they wouldn’t feel guilty about occasionally vacationing elsewhere. We’re curious if other folks have tried this, where, and how it’s working out. Let us know.

Oh, and, right: wanna split this place with me?

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