Turn-of-the-Century Columbia County Farmhouse 289K

VINTAGE FARMHOUSE, check. Catskill views, check. Barn, ample grounds, big pond. Check, check, check. Two hours from NYC — check that, too.

What more do you want for 289K? To be set far back from the road? Sorry, that’s the one thing you cannot have.

But this new-to-market 1905 farmhouse in Livingston, N.Y., on a 4.4 acre hunk of land with stunning mountain vistas, has an awful lot going for it. At 1,500 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths, and reasonable taxes under $4,000/year, it drives home the point yet again that New York’s Hudson Valley offers some of the best real estate values around. From a Hamptons perspective, it’s an outrageous steal.

Good food for fantasy, too. Look at the space below, in the attic of the barn, one of several outbuildings on the property. What kind of workshop, painting or pottery studio, writer’s retreat, guest quarters could you make out of that?

A few more tantalizing details from the listing: there are wood floors, plaster walls, and original fixtures, yet the house’s innards, including the furnace and septic system, are new.

That’s not all: there’s an original smokehouse, chicken shed, garage and 3-seat outhouse. All have original clapboard siding (as does the house), and are set among lilacs and pear trees.

And you won’t even have to think up a name for the place. It’s known as Watercress Hill, for the wild watercress that thrives (even in January) in the year-round stream a few feet from the back deck of the house and the spring-fed pond.

For lots more photos of the interior and property, go here. Worth a look, wouldn’t you say?

240 Catskills Acres + Farmhouse $1.2M


NEED A PLACE TO PARK SOME CASH? (I wish.) Don’t trust the stock market? Want to go back to the land in a big, big way?

Take a look at this gorgeous upstate New York property, finally on the market after 30 years. It’s a rare, unspoiled parcel at the end of a dead-end road in Bovina, N.Y.,  one of those towns “that time forgot,” in Delaware County.


Think of it as $5,000 per acre, and the house as free. It does need total renovation, according to the listing agent, but it doesn’t look half-bad in the pics.


Go here for a visual tour of the land at its wintry best, and read the well-written copy (I could probably be sold on a piece of real estate by an unusually literate listing). Among the main bullet points:

  • Adjacent to 1,100 acres of protected, never-to-be-built-on New York State land
  • Possibility of selling off 50 acres and still retaining complete and utter privacy

Split it with someone. A few people. There’s plenty to go around.

Please note: I am NOT a real-estate broker, and have no financial interest in the sale of this or any property mentioned on this blog. I just like spreading the word about unique properties and what I believe are solid investment opportunities.

Hudson River Victorian 399K


Get your turret and wraparound porch right here!

I IDENTIFIED IMMEDIATELY with Phyllis of Reclaimed Home when I first read her blog (subtitle: Low Impact Housing and Renovation Options for Thrifty New Yorkers). She and her husband are serial renovators; they’ve bounced back and forth between Brooklyn (first Park Slope, now Bed-Stuy) and the Hudson Valley (Kingston first, more recently Beacon) for years. She’s also a real estate broker and funny as hell.


Phyllis and her husband are about to bounce again, back to the city full-time, and have just put their outrageous c. 1900 Queen Anne house in Beacon, N.Y. (best known as home of Dia:Beacon, the contemporary art museum) on the market.


It’s 4BR on 1/4 acre and loaded with period detail: fabulous woodwork and staircase, vintage hardwood floors throughout, wavy glass windows, ornate antique radiators, fireplace mantel, old school bathtubs, original plaster, and lots of colorful Bradbury wallpaper. Not to mention upgraded mechanicals and a pretty backyard.


Go here and let Phyllis tell you all about it, give you the run-down on living in Beacon, and show you lots more pictures.


The official listing is here.