There’s a reason you can hardly see the house in this listing on Twin Lakes in Elizaville, N.Y.: it’s not much to look at. I toured it last summer (it was for rent then), and it’s very humble–a three-bedroom pre-fab box with a cute little IKEA kitchen, an evocation of the 1950s bungalow colony without the colony part. Neither of the two Twin Lakes is particularly upscale, but South Twin Lake is private–no public beach for the riff-raff (which often includes me and my family), no motor boats. Yet South Twin Lake is also home to a summer camp, just across the water from this listing, so your peace and quiet might occasionally be interrupted by the squeals of high-jumping youth. On the other hand, it’s a very short commute if you’re looking for summer activities for your wee ones.
Still, this is lakefront Hudson Valley property, a quick drive to restaurants in Tivoli, the art movie theater in Rhinebeck, the performing arts center at Bard, the glory of both the Catskills and the Berkshires. The Amtrak station in Rhinecliff is 25 minutes away. If you could talk the owners down–and I think you could–you could pick up an affordable piece of property and revamp it to suit your needs. The cottage has a fireplace, and the surrounding neighborhood is quiet and safe and walkable, a few nice plusses.
South Twin Lakes, Elizaville GMAP
Distance to NYC: 107 miles; 2 hours, 25 minutes
Transportation: Amtrak to Rhinecliff station
Land: Double city lot