As I mentioned last week, the proverbial one [piece of real estate] that got away for me was a bungalow colony in Sullivan County, put on the market before the real estate balloon of the mid-2000s.
The good news is that there are a number of other colonies and camps for sale upstate–all faring better than the places on Vanishing Catskills–and I came upon Taylored Real Estate in my search for a new property. Not a great UI on the site, but there are a number of colonies, camps, old hotels and resorts for sale. They range from $3.9 million for an old 225-room resort in Liberty, N.Y. (behold the beauty of pink carpets and sky-sized crystal chandelier) to $345,000 for a fixer-upper resort with 10 buildings on 60 acres in Greeneville, NY.
There are plenty of camps and bungalow colonies at prices in between–somewhere between the $1 and $2 million range, which, split among at least 10 folks, hovers in the realm of affordable even for freelance writers. I have yet to find one that I’m willing to drag my pals up to see, but I’ll be looking. Has anybody else considered buying a colony or camp with pals?
Since one of us bought a house up here, and the other one devotes far too much time to investigating the purchase of an upstate house, it’s clear that we believe there are deals to be had in the current Upstate real estate market.
Another ex-New Yorker, Raymon Elozua, believes the same, and moved up to Mountaindale, N.Y. to live among the ghosts of buildings that he found around him. (Mountaindale, by the way, is part of that same general area covered in yesterday’s Bungalow Envy post–the Sullivan County stretch that still has plenty of functional, happily inhabited places, as well). His project is Vanishing Catskills, a pictorial map of abandoned Borscht Belt buildings within 10 miles of his home. Sadly, there are a lot of them.
He sees them as ruins, as testaments to Sullivan County’s heyday and decline, but also as interesting on a sculptural and architectural level. We see them as full of potential. We truly believe that in these tough times, folks are searching for economical getaways, and that reviving the bungalow colony is a great way to do it. We’re going to come back as developers in our next lives.
Another interesting thing about Vanishing Catskills: you can buy Elozua’s photo books directly from Apple. Definitely worth having as a coffee table book if you’re joining the ranks of Upstaters.