Undiscovered Milan: Oldies, Acreage from 519K

COMING TO YOU TONIGHT FROM MILAN, not to be confused with the Italian fashion capital. This Milan is pronounced MY-lan, and it’s in northern Dutchess County, N.Y. In the 19th century, there was a crossroads around here called Milanville, with a post office. Now Milan doesn’t have even that. A few miles northeast of Rhinebeck, completely lacking in useful amenities of its own like stores and gas stations, Milan shares a ZIP code and a school district with Red Hook.

What Milan does have are old farmhouses, Catskill views from many spots, long country roads, a few remaining sheep farms and apple orchards, and unspoiled rural character, which is good enough for me.

Today I checked out a few recent for-sale listings here in Milan. Instead of capping my search at 500K or 600K, as I normally do for blogging purposes (doesn’t it say ‘Affordable Real Estate’ in the header?), I threw caution to the winds and didn’t set an upper limit. As a result, I saw three very appealing historic houses with lots of acreage, all on secluded sites off Academy Hill Road (exit at Rt. 199 off the Taconic State Parkway, just under 2 hours from NYC). Click the links on the descriptions below for the realtors’ listings, with full details.

  • A vintage farmhouse on a huge pond, top, on 53 acres for $1.25million

Columbia County Greek Revival 299K

HERE I GO, MILKING THE NEW YORK TIMES Real Estate section again…

Last Sunday’s “What You Get for…” column (in this case, $300,000) featured this nicely renovated Greek Revival in northern Columbia County, with Hudson River views.

It’s in the town of Stuyvesant, which, unlike nearby Hudson, is woefully short on cachet.

Hence, you can get a charmer like this 2,000 square foot, 3 BR, 2-1/2 bath house on 1/3 acre for what would amount to a $1,500/month mortgage payment (assuming you’d have to borrow every penny). Add $500/month for taxes.

It definitely bears a look.

To read the Times piece, which includes a slideshow, go here.

For still more info and a PDF brochure about the house (with a price of 349K), go to the website of Gary DiMauro, a real estate agent who specializes in antique houses. Lots to look at there, including historic-with-a-capital-H Dutch Colonial stone houses at prices that, from my Hamptons vantage point, look laughably cheap (I’m crying, rather, that I can’t buy them all).

Rent This Quirky, Adorable Philadelphia Trinity House


IT WORKED BEFORE, SO I’M TRYING IT AGAIN. I rented my townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, last month through this blog when six real estate brokers and Craigslist couldn’t do it. Now another of my rental properties is becoming available as of Oct. 1, 2009: a whole, albeit small, 1840s “trinity” house (3 floors – 1 room on each – plus basement and garden) in the South Kensington area of Philly, a few blocks from the trendiest of trendy neighborhoods, Northern Liberties, and not far from Fishtown.

The house is diminutive, like many old Philadelphia houses – about 200 square feet per floor, joined by narrow twisting stairs. (People with vertigo or bad knees need not apply.) It works for a single individual, a loving couple at most.


It gets great light, has a large-for-Philly backyard, original doors and proportions throughout. It’s totally charming, and the space feels good to be in. For an aficionado of old houses and vintage lifestyles, it’s a chance to live like a working-class family of the mid-19th century, but with more amenities (heat, indoor plumbing, electricity, etc.)


Kensington was once called “Little England” for the number of English immigrants who worked in the neighborhood’s behemoth textile and carpet factories, many of which have been converted to living lofts or artists’ studios.


The house is on N. Palethorp between Jefferson and Oxford, a nearly traffic-free alley around the corner from the magnificent St. Michael church. It’s actually the rear half of two back-to-back trinities under one roof (they’re entirely separate, each with its own entrance). It was renovated (re-wired, new kitchen, new paint job) in 2007. Here’s how the layout stacks up:

  • Ground floor: kitchen/dining. Opens to garden.
  • 2nd floor: bedroom/bathroom with pedestal sink, claw-foot tub
  • 3rd (top) floor: open loft-like space. Could be a living room, studio, or large bedroom (with the smaller room on the floor below used as a living/sitting room).
  • Basement: washer/dryer, storage

The rent is $850/month, plus utilities (gas for heat, hot water, and cooking, and electricity).

You were thinking of moving to Philly anyway, weren’t you? Email me at caramia447@gmail.com for more info or pics, with a few details about your situation and a phone number.