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Millerton Ranch, $289,000

Well, look. I love Millerton, but the real estate options are dry. Thus, I’m putting up this fella, which could probably be nice with a decent renovation. Built in the Reagan era, not known as a glorious period of residential architecture. Conspicuous absence of interior photos, yes? The good parts: great views, close to town. The bad parts are a bit of a mystery. Let us know if you go see it. Reduced $10,000 in April. Stats on the jump.

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Lakefront in Millerton, $429,00

This place is more than I want to spend, but if your budget is up to a half-mill and you want water, proximity to NYC and to be close to lovely Millerton, I would definitely take a look at this. It says Buckminster Fuller-inspired, and perhaps by that they mean it has a triangular window? Not huge, with 1,900 square feet and two beds plus sleeping loft, but it has over an acre of land. And it’s just NICE. I’d happily curl up on a couch in that living room. What about you guys? It’s gone down $70,000 since it was listed in August. Stats on the jump.

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Friday Real Estate Porn: 1793 Saugerties Frame House, $765,000

Oh, this is sweet. Another low-ceiling with beams pad, but 815 Blue Mountain Road looks like it gets lots of light, has wonderful landscaping an that tiny stone cottage. This 1793 frame house–it’s sort of salt box-ish, isn’t it?–has a nice kitchen, pond views, stream frontage (and a swimming hole!!), nice patio, five acres. I could go on, but I’ll let you just drool over the pictures, if old houses are your thing. Here’s a tantalizing bit from the description: “There is also a stunning guest house with full kitchen, living room, 2-car garage and loft storage. The stone smokehouse would make a great studio.” Located west of 87, right near the mountains.

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The $249,000 Book Barn

I haven’t been able to get the brokers for this very unusual property to fill me in on a few key details, like what’s the deal with the kitchen (no photo), but I’m posting it anyway, for those who desire a more literary retreat. It’s pretty much got one loft bedroom and a lot of open space, some 3,000 square feet of it. Unless you want a retreat for one, you’d need to do a little work to make it full-time inhabitable, including adding another bathroom and closing off a few walls for privacy. Seems to have lovely grounds, almost five acres, in the teeny tiny hamlet of South Kortright, near Stamford. The kicker: pretty far from the city for a country house, at least three hours and getting into central NY territory. Which is where real estate gets incredibly affordable, so I think this one could be had for even less. Stats on the jump.

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Saugerties Village Victorian, $189,000

If you’re looking to move close to the Village of Saugerties, with its great vintage shops and yummy restaurants, you’ll certainly have your pick of sweet old properties for reasonable amounts. This is my dream price, if not my dream house. Lots of good stuff, though the comparison to SoHo properties gets undermined by those low ceilings. It has a small, sort of sad yard, but that part is easily spruced up. Nice kitchen, small–around 1,500 square feet–but very reasonable for a small family. Nicely appointed — not overly modernized nor weighted down with detail, and close to the water. Taxes seem very high to me in Saugerties: $4,000 for this modest place. Does it have fantastic schools or something? Stats on the jump.

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West Saugerties Farmhouse with Pool, $325,000

Properties close to downtown Saugerties are pretty affordable — you’d have to work to get something over $300,000. But if you want some acreage, and to be closer to the Catskills, head west. (Properties in the hamlet of West Saugerties are also well-priced, but then you don’t get the land).

This lovely farmhouse has three acres, four beds, a nice open feel and a pool. I don’t get the sense of delicious mountain views, but the landscaping is pleasantly park-like. The lot abuts a busy-ish road, so its appeal depends somewhat on far back it sits. Nice beams on the ceiling, some nice additions like a wood stove and a hot tub. Definitely seems like a prime country house candidate. Assessed at $305,000 and hefty taxes based on that: $8,135. Stats and more photos on the jump.

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What $2200 (or less) a month gets you in Ulster County, NY

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This one is for all the bitter renters. I love ogling affordable homes for sale, but looking at rental listings can be just as fun, and perhaps more realistic. If you’re not ready or able to plunk down the cash for a deed, you can still enjoy living in a real house (with stairs and views and lawncare) in beautiful Upstate New York—and probably for less than you pay for that Brownstone Belt floor-through. Plus, test driving by renting is a great way to see if a community is a good fit and to find out more about the market through on-the-ground research.

Ulster County, NY is a good comparison test case. It’s relatively accessible via the New York State Thruway and the Adirondacks Bus line, and it’s one of the most desirable of the Upstate counties. The hippie college town of New Paltz is there, home to a SUNY campus and its related university activities. The even hippier Woodstock is a little farther north. It also offers a lot to do, as well as many options if you’re in the market for homemade candles. My favorite Ulster County town, though, is undoubtedly Saugerties, which looks like the East Coast’s answer to Cicely, Alaska and is home to Love Bites Cafe, the best lunch spot in the universe. In sum, Ulster County offers natural beauty, a range of pleasant towns to choose from, and isn’t so far off the grid that your city friends won’t track you down.

On to the listings. This lovely, tasteful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath farmhouse in Saugerties rents for $2200 per month offered by Westwood, Metes & Bounds. (You need to register on their site to see the listing details.) It sits on 2 1/4 acres and offers a spacious wraparound porch and great country views. No neighbors in sight and within walking distance to the Hudson. The chef-y looking kitchen is HUGE, as are the common areas, so it looks perfect for entertaining.

My favorite of the bunch is this renovated barn in Woodstock, NY renting for $2000 per month. Close to town, gorgeously renovated, and with a vegetable garden to boot, you’d have to pry me out of this one when the lease was up. I love the sauna-style bathroom and terracotta flooring. The realtor, again Westwood, Metes and Bounds, is also offering the barn as a July and August rental for $3800/month. Jump on it!

Finally, there is this spacious, rambling farmhouse in New Paltz for rent, spotted on Craiglist. 4+bedrooms, 2 baths, 16 wooded acres, all for $2000 per month, lawncare and snow plowing included. It’s 4.5 miles north of town, and you could roller skate on that wraparound porch. Available August 1st and certainly worth asking if they’d be open to a shorter-term rental.

Ulster County NY Gmap

Snow White-ish Saugerties Stone Cottage

Can’t you just see the Seven Dwarfs stumbling out of this one? Maybe that’s because some of those exposed-beam ceilings look rather low. Other than that, it’s pretty hard to find fault with this tastefully updated 1700’s stone cottage. It’s on 12.7 wooded acres, which include a gurgling brook, private pond, a covered gazebo and two other outbuildings. It’s also in Saugerties, which I see as the Catskills’ answer to Cicely, Alaska. The list price is $259,000. I wonder how long this one will stay on the market …

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