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.
Our bargain-hunting continues this week even more properties for $200,000 or less. This week, we’ll be in Ulster County, Greene County, and all the way up in Rensselaer County (just kidding, it’s less than three hours from Brooklyn).
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…)
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.
True confession time: I am a renter, and I always have been. Chances are, if you live in the boroughs, you’ve always been a renter, too. There are definite pros and cons to renting. Pros: Someone comes to fix things that break, and they’re not you (we hope). Someone (again, hopefully not you) clears the driveway when it gets covered in snow. And maybe, if you’re lucky, someone pays for at least one of your utilities — probably not a big, expensive one, like your cable or Wi-Fi or electricity, but perhaps your water, or your garbage removal. Someone pays your property taxes (unless, like me, that cost is factored into the rent). Cons: Renting isn’t really an investment. You’re essentially sinking your money into a living space that you don’t own, meaning that you can’t build equity in your home. But if you’re looking to live upstate and pay as much as, or, often times, less than you’re paying for your tiny apartment downstate, or you’re interested in a second home without the long-term commitment of owning a property, then perhaps renting upstate is just the thing for you. This week, let’s explore some standalone homes that rent for less than $2,000 per month.
We scour hundreds of real estate listings every week to create this column. Sometimes, we really have to dig for the good stuff, plunging deep into the middle price ranges and sifting through photo after photo after photo as all of the houses start to look the same. And sometimes, the properties will almost leap from the screen in rapid succession, lacking little rhyme or reason, and we have no choice to follow their siren’s song. The four properties featured today were the ones that leapt from the screen with not only attractive and eye-catching exteriors, but interiors with charm, to boot, ranging in price from $1,000,000 down to $315,000.
To renovate, or not to renovate? That is always the question here in upstate New York. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous amounts of renovating, rebuilding, and the possible tearing down of structures, or to take up arms and simply purchase something that doesn’t really need much work but doesn’t look quite right. Is there no middle ground? Of course there is. There are multitudinous options between near-teardowns and pristine turnkeys. In fact, that’s where most of the options lie. With this in mind, we’ll be exploring two properties that need a quite a bit of work, and two that are passable as is but might be nicer with some updates. Three are in Greene County (west of the Hudson, north of Ulster County), and one in Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountains. All are less than $100,000. Reality check: Sometimes five-figure properties are cash deals. FYI.
Let’s face it: If you’ve ever spent anytime in the Hudson River Valley, chances are, you have a couple of favorite towns that you return to again and again. We certainly do. In fact, we have many favorite towns. They’re our favorite towns for different reasons. Some we like because they’re close to the river. Some we like because they’re walking distance to somewhere. Some we like for the sheer lust we feel towards the houses as we drive down the residential streets. But mostly, it’s that last one. So here’s a sampling of the houses we love in or near our favorite towns in the Hudson Valley.
Finding a bumper crop of new rental properties from Brownstoner’s Upstate listings is a bit like Christmas in August. And who else but us would tittering with joy over new rental listings? Perhaps you would. Let’s find out by showing you a bunch of cool stuff we found in Columbia County (east of Hudson, north of Dutchess County).
The Catskill Confidential Travel Guide is arguably the roadmap for all the best stuff to see and do in the Catskills. The July/August edition is available here, or you can grab one for free when you come up to Sullivan County to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Woodstock at the Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center or any of the other anniversary goings-on. But you can find out all about that in Catskill Confidential. We’re celebrating in our own way by looking at some properties on the market in Sullivan County (you thought we were going to say Woodstock, didn’t you? You should know better than that). Oh, and did we mention there’s a bagel festival happening this weekend in Monticello? Sounds like the perfect excuse for a day trip to us.