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
I first spotted this little ranch while visiting my favorite swimming hole, Mosquito Point. (The name doesn’t do it justice, I swear.) The house itself is on a winding road leading up from Schoharie Creek. Said swimming hole is also found in the creek, at the deep spot under the Mosquito Point Bridge. Swimming hole highlights include swinging from a rope swing into the nippy waters and jumping from the bridge, while being taped by family members for YouTube.(I don’t know anyone in that video and I’m not responsible for the camera work, just for the record.) Or you can just paddle around, as I do, knowing it’s cool and fresh and clean and deep.
In any case, you may have heard of Schoharie Creek thanks to Irene. The banks around Mosquito Point were quite torn up and a lot of work was being done on the road. That didn’t stop us from swimming, though, or from house-hunting. (Unseemly, perhaps, but hopefully the owners of this house will appreciate this post-Irene spotlight.)
Anyway, this vintage-y ranch appeared undamaged by the floods and the lovely road leading to it is still accessible. Read the rest of this entry
I think there’s something quite elegant about this gray lady in Cairo in Greene County. I love the deep-set porch, the mature plantings, the well-oiled woodwork and the sense of proportion. This 4+ bedroom home could use some updates, particularly in the tight-looking bathrooms, but overall, I’d say this is an understated, well-maintained class act.
Cairo is on the sleepy side, with a quiet Main Street, a few antique shops and plentiful mountain views. It’s relatively accessible compared to the other relatively inaccessible towns in Greene County, not far from the Saugerties thruway stop. This house is rather close to Route 23, a major highway, which is great for getting things quickly, but not so great if you want that off-the-beaten-track feel. All in all, though, Cairo is so undiscovered that I imagine you’d feel plenty country here
More pics and stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry
So I’ve decided that Durham/Cornwallville is the Greenpoint of the Catskills, or at least of Greene County. It’s kind of inconvenient, but has its own discrete charms, and it’s reasonably close to the stuff to do in Windham/Hunter (aka Williamsburg?) or even Woodstock/Saugerties (East Village/LES?). Because of the inconvenience—no easy public transportation, a longer drive for groceries, etc—the prices are considerably lower than in prime ski country or more famous hippie country (see previously mentioned towns). This makes buying a home in Durham (and its hamlet Cornwallville) much like buying a place in Greenpoint, ten years ago. It’s a bit of a hike to the bigger draws, but you can get a deal and the off-the-beaten path nature has it’s own sort of guarantee of wildness. (My analogy does not allow for massive high rise developments alongside polluted bodies of water, but I’ll work on that.)
This cheap farmhouse on Cornwallville’s scenic main drag is representative of the deals in the area. As mentioned, my former real estate agent raves about the sense of community in little Cornwallville. This 1800’s farmhouse looks spacious, if a bit low-slung, with plenty of hardwood floors and exposed beams and a wood stove for cold nights. The property extends beyond the fenced in backyard, with a view of woods and mountains. That fence gives it a slightly suburban feel that just screams “put a pool in it!” to me.
Asking Price: $134,500
Square feet: 1800
Land: .3 acres
Distance to NYC: 138 miles; 2 hours, 48 minutes
This $399, 000 former church is called Mission Grange Hall. That sounds like something out of the Wind in the Willows or Game of Thrones, either of which would be fine by me. I think all country houses should have names, and the name of this one doesn’t even seem particularly aspirational. It has a bell tower, after all. And who wouldn’t want to have their bed placed on altar?
The interior still offers the vaulted ceilings and stained glass of its former life, as well as the open floor plan. Mission Grange Hall is basically two huge floors—one with a catering-size, galley kitchen–plus a choir loft. This set-up could work very well as live/work space, and while the listing doesn’t specify dual residential/commercial zoning, it has been used as a gallery. Alternately, you could create rooms (and with 8,000 square feet, they could be spacious), but that sort of seems like a shame. When I was house hunting, I looked at a beautiful converted church with a similar set-up. Realizing I’d never have the proper attitude for such a place—I like doors—was one of the moments where I also realized my own limitations. I’ll never live in a converted church (or be an Italian movie star), but I hope someone quite fabulous and deserving scoops this one up.
The price seems a little steep to me, especially as such a specialty property would be challenging to resell, but the town of Hudson is experiencing a long boom, and this property offers country views along with access to the town’s galleries and restaurants. A city of 7,500, Hudson is well-known for its antique shops and charming, recently restored downtown. Plus, it has its own Amtrak stop, which makes this an easy commute for second homers.
Update: A Hudson-dwelling reader has reported that the church is “is next door to the city’s high rise projects, which makes the price completely insane.” If you go to see it or submit a bid, let us know!
Hudson, NY Google map
Distance to NYC: 126 miles; 2 hours, 35 minutes
Transportation: Amtrak to Hudson station
Land: .93 acres
Water: River views