How's this for aspirational? Give up your harried and expensive Big Apple life to run a quaint bed-and-breakfast in the historic, picturesque Hudson Valley.
This dream can be a reality with this gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian on the market in Newburgh, NY. The best part? You don't even have to be a millionaire. The 4,730-square-foot, 19th-century manse is just $399,000.
But if listing agent Christopher Hanson is to be believed, affordable prices are also becoming harder to find in the area.
"Newburgh is now white-hot with developers," Hanson says. He notes the convenient location is just one hour from New York City.
The serene surroundings offering proximity to both Manhattan and Albany once lured movers and shakers such as Erie Railroad President Homer Stockbridge Ramsdell, who built the home in 1870.
Back then, the area was filled with grand residences in a city that "had very high standards and had a lot of money," notes Hanson, a historian who sits on the city's Architectural Review Commission.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for this smallish city. In the midcentury, with the suburbs pulling residents away, the town fell into a period of urban blight. The restoration movement didn't take root until 1974, when local preservationist Elizabeth Lyon purchased five Victorians. "From that point on … people started to restore these houses and save them," Hanson says.
The revitalization of fixer-uppers has been documented by blogs such as Door Sixteen, Newburgh Restoration (which calls the upstate locale "New York's other city"), and even the New York Times. We spotted the listing when it was tweeted by admirers of the architecture.
Like many Victorians in the area, this brick mansion, located in the historic district, at one point "did fall into disrepair," the agent notes. A previous owner bought it in the early 1980s and "completely restored it," including updating the electric and plumbing. Well-preserved architectural details include wood floors, pocket doors, crown moldings, and an ornate staircase.
"It's a beautiful house," says Hanson, noting that the home is "certainly move-in ready. I wouldn't call it museum-quality, but it's very good."
It's also located on the closest street to the Hudson River and in walking distance to shops, dining, and the waterfront. "Those listings tend to go pretty quickly," Hanson notes.
The six-bedroom, six-bathroom residence, which is currently registered as a B&B, can easily be converted to a single-family home. How? "Just stop advertising it," Hanson advises. The only hint that the five-story house is a business would be the extra kitchen. Otherwise, "It's not divided. It has a common staircase. It's been both ways."
So go ahead and live out your fantasy. We recommend the fifth-floor bedroom that opens to the balcony overlooking the Hudson. It's a million-dollar view going for a heck of a lot less.