Welcome to Escape From New York, in which I find new homes for New Yorkers priced out of their city.
After 20 years in the city, she still loves its cultural and culinary riches, and her apartment's outdoor space. But she's tired of "worrying I'll get priced out of my neighborhood while already spending too much on rent."
Her must-haves: Rural and near a quiet-but-still-hopping and culturally satisfying major city; close to an international airport.
Her deal breakers: Main roads are a no-go, as are any cities not on the coasts.
Her goal: "A magical balance of access and seclusion." She wants several acres, some wooded and some landscaped. The look: "rustic meets Mid-Century Modern." More from her wish list: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and "old stone, exposed beams, with radiant heat flooring and central air with great light and a chef's kitchen. I want space to work, space for guests, and space to start a family." It also has to have a separate studio.
Her budget: up to $500,000, though less would be much preferred.
Rachel, for the first time, I'm stumped! I didn't find a single house on the West Coast, and few that truly fit the bill on the East.
So I've decided to send you north, to the Catskills/Hudson Valley. It has easy access to NYC, plenty of small, slightly happening cities (Beacon, Hudson), and nature galore. Also: many artist friends for you. In your case, I suggest this tack: Pick the house, not the place.
Here's something a little closer to what you were asking for, acreage-wise: 2 nice acres. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,096-square-foot home has the chef's kitchen you dreamed of, along with a separate studio above the two-car garage, central air, and -- something you didn't ask for but could be awesome for drawing your pals upstate to visit -- a pool. Another upside: It's on the east side of the Hudson, close to the Amtrak station. The whole place has a storybook quality, including beautiful woods.
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Yeah, it's a little smaller than the others, but can you resist a former schoolhouse? This once was the Wilcox Schoohouse in 1902. It's now a two-story, three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home on almost 3 acres. Another plus: "115′ frontage on the Roeliff Jansen Kill,a Class-A trout stream and the wildlife it attracts." Copake, also on the east side of the river, has some nice lakes and waterfalls, and easy access to the oh-so-happening Hudson, NY.
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Separate studio? Check. Rustic Mid-Century? Kinda. Beams? Not so much. How about this, though: "large covered balcony w/hot tub + fabulous long-range views?" If the 4 acres aren't enough for you, you can buy an adjoining 11-acre parcel for $44,000. It has five bedrooms and three bathrooms. And it has Cochecton, a lovely little community in Sullivan County. You may not miss Greenpoint at all.