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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

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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

Check Out This Sweet, Cheap Greene County Farmhouse

I fell in love with this eighteenth-century farmhouse when I was house hunting last spring, and it looks like it’s still on the market. I vaguely remember it was somewhere around $175,000 then, and the price has tumbled even further, to $159,000. It’s a lot of house for not much money, or at least a lot of bedrooms at a sweet price. There are five upstairs and one down, and the layout is a bit odd throughout: bedrooms opening up onto more bedrooms, a teeny bathroom under the front stairwell, an oddly situated servants’ staircase in the back.

While the upstairs was impracticable for privacy-loving twentieth-first century families, this house seemed like a blast for kids (and not surprisingly, the longtime owners had a bunch).  The tiny rooms, nooks and crannies, and endless wrap-around porch fit all my Anastasia Krupnik childhood fantasies of a creaky, beloved, bohemian old home.

We ended up deciding it was just too much house for us at this point in our lives, and we had reservations about Durham being too far from things to do, especially as we wanted year-round rentals. But I hope this house finds a family who can fill it. What would you do with this one?

Favorite Local Bar: Currans of Tannersville

I’m a sucker for DIY liquor infusions, which is why I instanly fell in love with Currans in Tannersville.  Brock , the affable bartender, infuses many of the bar’s gins and vodkas at home, and at his urging, I tried the ginger-spiked gin martini. It had a substantial fresh ginger kick but went down smooth and icy. There’s something about the simplicity of liquor + ingredient, sans mixer, that makes a house-infused liquor seem almost medicinal. I’m convinced those martinis were good for me.

Brock was eager to tell us about the history of Currans and the gorgeous hand-carved showstopper of a bar. “The longest continuously licensed Ale House in the Catskill Mountains, ” Currans used to be a local watering hole run by a church-going grandma who would periodically kick out regulars for cussing on a Sunday. After a three-year renovation, it was reopened last February by Sean Byrne, the grandson of the original owner. The bar itself was shipped up from New York City via railroad during the Civil War and miraculously survived the Prohibition. The restaurant and tavern are laid-back country elegant, and the menu mixes pub food and New American, with a heavy emphasis on local ingredients. I loved the bar scene, too: an old guy playing a guitar, two neo-hippies in knit caps who would have annoyed me in the city, a nice mixture of generations that one rarely sees at bars in Brooklyn. It reminded me of the best bar ever, the long-gone Stony Creek in Tivoli in the late ’90’s.

If you have a favorite local bar, let us know—or share with us any memories of our dear, departed Stony Creek.

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