xmas presents

…we’ve been so good this year, washing our dishes after using them and keeping our rooms tidy. All we want for Christmas is a brand new house. Or an old house. Or a little bit of both. We’ll even help you out, St. Nick, by providing a list of four properties we could definitely get used to living in, given enough time, of course. Below, please find our wish list, which includes one farmhouse in Olivebridge, one Gothic in Rhinebeck, and two contemporaries in Woodstock. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Love always,

Brownstoner Upstate

(P.S. The cookies and bourbon are on the table next to the tree.)


131 grove avenue kingston ny'

131 Pine Grove, Kingston: $125,000

We’re digging on Kingston these days, what with last weekend’s Made in Kingston, an event that showcases local businesses and makers, and the upcoming wildly popular New Year’s Eve celebration in uptown (this year’s theme is circus freak show). The Ulster County city and first capital of New York seems to get cooler by the second, with new music venues, restaurants, and shops cropping up all the time. Kingston is also home to the O+ Festival, which aims to connect musicians and artists with health care professionals. And, it’s not called the Gateway to the Catskills for no reason. A short drive will take you straight to mountain views and nature. There are lots of real estate options in and around the city, from farmhouses on land not far from town to sweet homes in residential neighborhoods located approximately two hours from Brooklyn. Here’s a handful, all priced under $160,000.


54 church st coeymans ny

54 Church Street, Coeymans: $279,000

Ever wonder why anyone would leave the city for upstate New York? After all, there’s a distinct lack of good takeout up here as well as impractical public transportation options. And as winter creeps ever closer by the day, a whole new world of problems presents itself to the denizens of the countryside (expensive heat, roads not plowed, bleak surroundings — just to name a few).

And yet.

The allure is obvious. Sure, upstate housing stock is cheaper by a long shot, but the lure of nature can be a hard one to deny, especially when you spend a while gazing at farmhouses, wondering what it would be like to ramble around one of these stately, venerable places (like the ones featured here) situated on a piece of land large enough to ensure that if you don’t want to rub elbows with another living soul for several days in a row, you won’t have to. And you have to admit, that does have its benefits, even if that means you won’t see a snow plow for several days, either.


235 church rd pine bush ny

235 Church Road, Pine Bush: $225,000

Even our most expensive property today is below our self-imposed affordability ceiling of $250,000 (subject to change, of course, based entirely upon whim). But just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring the charm. Seriously, look at those floors. And the French doors. And the kitchen. Beautiful. Situated on a full acre in southern Ulster County on the Orange County border. Beds: 3. Baths: 2. Square Feet: 1748. Lot Size: 1.1 acres. Est. Taxes: $7110. Distance from Brooklyn: 2 hours.


262 upper byrdcliff road woodstock ny

262 Upper Byrdcliffe Road, Woodstock: $1800/mo.

Our title today is RTMMYCMDTW — that well-known acronym for rentals that might make you consider moving during the winter. I’ve moved during the winter in four different states: Alaska, California, Michigan and New York (alphabetical order). Needless to say, packing up a moving van on a December day in San Francisco is much more pleasant than unloading a moving van in upstate New York a week later. Alas, nothing to be done. Sometimes, when you gotta move, you gotta move. These days, it would take a lot to convince me to move in the winter. Or in the rain. Or at all. The rentals I found today in the Upstate listings, however, might change my mind about the idea. Maybe. Probably not. Okay, maybe for this one, a 1938 Bauhaus in the artists’ colony…


4 mcnary ave kinderhoook ny

4 McNary Avenue, Kinderhook: $459,900

No sense judging a book by its cover. Let’s step inside and admire these four houses with attractive interiors that might make us seriously consider never leaving the house ever again (like we needed an excuse). Featured properties come from Ulster and Columbia Counties. Plenty more where they came from in the Brownstoner Upstate real estate listings.


781 n branch rd callicoon ny

781 North Branch Road, Callicoon Center: $249,500

Get your peace in the Catskill Mountains while you can, because as housing prices downstate in Manhattan and Brooklyn begin to rise, more folks will be headed up, looking for their acre or more of land or charming village home. As with every approaching winter, things in Sullivan and Delaware Counties will continue to grown increasingly quieter (too quiet for some, in fact, who flee for other parts during the cold months), but before the autumn leaves begin to fade with the first flutters of new snow, we thought we’d take a housing stock snapshot. Today, we’ll be in Glen Spey, Barryville, and Callicoon Center in Sullivan County, and Andes in Delaware County.


St. Paul's Epis.Church, Troy, FriendsofStPaul's 3

In the early 1890s, the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Troy, New York had a serious problem on his hands. His church was in danger of caving in. The Rev. Dr. Edgar Enos had just returned from a tour of Europe where he had visited many of the great Gothic cathedrals. His tour took him to the monumental medieval churches of France, England, Germany, Italy and other countries, and he was filled with ideas for his church. St. Paul’s was one of Troy’s oldest churches. Episcopalians in the bustling city on the Hudson had established their first worship services in 1795. By 1804, the parish was established, and a brick church had been built a block away from the current church. In 1826, work was begun on the church building that we see today.

St. Paul’s was purposely designed to be a copy of Trinity Church in New Haven, Connecticut. That church, located on the town green, was begun in 1813, and was consecrated in 1816. It is the first true Gothic-style church in the United States, and predates the English Gothic Revival period by about 20 years. Trinity was designed by Ithiel Town, one of the first professional architects in the United States. When Troy wanted to build its first Episcopal church, the committee asked Ithiel Town for permission to copy Trinity’s design. Town may not have been in Troy to oversee the building, but the church is so much like Trinity, experts are sure that Town had provided Troy with the plans. He later came back to Troy to co-design the Cannon Building, one of the city’s most important buildings. (more…)

Exterior Front

90 Brooktrail Road, Wurtsboro: $199,900

There’s a shockingly good crop of properties going for $200,000 or less on the market right now, so we’re all over it. By the way, pardon the two-parter, but we couldn’t narrow it down to just a handful of houses. This week, we’ll be in the Catskills in Sullivan County, Columbia County in the upper Hudson Valley, and the Ulster County town of Saugerties. All homes are turnkey and packed with charm, lots of cute features, and a couple have a decent-sized bit of land to go with them. Not too bad for a mortgage less than half of the rent in most of Brooklyn.