Catskills Real Estate Blog
For the third time in the last four years, a Catskill city, village or hamlet has been nominated as one of the "Top 10 Coolest Small Towns" by Budget Travel. Catskill, NY was the first to be recognized in 2008. Saugerties, NY followed in 2009 as a Coolest Town.
This year, Phoenicia, NY is in the running for one of the top trendy destinations. 20 small towns were nominated and Phoenicia current sits in 9th place on the list with 1,805 votes (mine included). In the profile, Phoenicia was called a "smaller version of nearby Woodstock: quiet and rural, with a hippie vibe and artsy edge." Definitely an accurate description of the general ambiance that pervades in Phoenicia due to the heavy influence of weekenders and second home owners--many from Manhattan and other parts of New York City.
The surrounding Catskill Mountains (including Slide Mountain) are a spectacular backdrop to this vibrant hamlet that bustles on the weekends. Phoenicia is famous for its tubing, fishing, camping and quaint shops. Even during the cold weather months, residents can enjoy skiing by taking just a short drive to Belleayre or Hunter Mountain.
The Phoenicia real estate market has continued to thrive, even during the tough economic times of the last few years. Private and secluded retreats continue to be in high demand, especially since it provides an attractive and less-expensive alternative to Woodstock.
It's great to see that Catskill towns continue to get well deserved national recognition. If you haven't yet voted for Phoenicia, take a second to go to Budget Travel and make your voice be heard.
Cabins are an extremely popular type of dwelling in the Catskill Mountains. There is a good selection of cabins in remote and private areas ranging from completely primitive cabins without running water to elegant, newly built ones.
Hunters in particular are always in search of cabins in remote areas encompassed by forest preserves, forever wild property or Catskill Park lands. Often, the land is a bigger attraction than the cabin itself and large parcels of land are highly desired.
Cabins also appeal to artists and writers who seek after marvelous views, and long for the inspiring serenity and calm of their natural surroundings. For centuries, the breath-taking Catskill views have been a backdrop for quintessential pieces of art from the Hudson River School artists.
In addition, new log cabins are a popular choice in the Catskills. Buyers can chose from existing homes or pick out their favorite floor plan and enlist a builder to make their vision a reality. New log cabins often feature open floor plans, high ceilings and loft areas. There are some beautiful log home designs that compliment the incredible vistas that accompany a well-sited home in the mountains.
Finally, a new breed of cabins are appearing and selling quite well. Small, economical cabins that emphasize green living are becoming popular for many reasons. They take less fuel to heat, rely more on passive solar energy and owners enjoy reduced heating and cooling bills. Lowering heating costs is especially a concern and a benefit for second home owners. These cabins are extremely practical but also can be very stylish.
Village of Catskill trustees approved a change to existing zoning regulations to pave the way for a condo complex to be built along the Catskill Creek. This change should allow for a 25 unit complex called Union Mills to be built at the site of a former furniture warehouse.
This continues the pattern of gentrification along the waterfront and Main Street area of Catskill, NY. Catskill is becoming a very attractive area for new business, much like Hudson has been during the last decade.
Greene County is attempting to obtain approval from New York State in order to tack on $0.50 per $100 to the mortgage tax that borrowers pay when taking out a mortgage. Right now, those who purchase real estate with a mortgage in Greene County pay. The current surcharge is $0.75 per $100, of which $0.25 is paid by the mortgage lender to the state and the remaining $0.50 is paid to the local municipality.
The New York City DEP has proposed changes to allow for increased public use for city land located within the NYC watershed. Updated recreational rules and regulations to allow the public access areas to hunt, fish, hike, and trap without the requirement of a permit. The Daily Freeman reports that the following tracts of land are affected by the change:
In Greene County:
* Lexington: 379 acres at Balsam Mountain, 493 acres at Beech Ridge, 32 acres at Deep Notch, and 263 acres in Westkill.
* Hunter: 86 acres at Diamond Notch, 335 acres at Roundtop Mountain, 96 acres at South Roundtop, and 98 acres at Stony Clove.
* Windham: 246 acres at Jennie Notch and 804 acres at Mount Hayden.
* Ashland, 136 acres in West Ashland.
In Ulster County:
* Shandaken: 58 acres at Broadstreet Hollow, 272 acres at Big Indian, 26 acres at Chichester, 70 acres at Oliverea, 48 acres at Peck Hollow, 16 acres at Romer Mountain, 44 acres near Peck Hollow, 107 acres at Sheridan Mountain, and 19 acres in Woodland Valley.
* Denning: 280 acres at Ladleton, 156 acres at Red Hills Knolls, 90 acres at Sundown, and 412 acres at Yagerville Road.
* Olive: 270 acres at South Mountain, 46 acres at Sun Mountain, 25 acres at Traver Hollow, and 23 acres at Watson Hollow.
* Rochester: 17 acres at Yagerville.
* Wawarsing, 206 acres at East Mountain.
* Woodstock: 156 acres at Silver Hollow Road, 614 acres at Mink Hollow Road, 188 acres for the Olderbark unit on state Route 212, 310 acres on Baker Road, 100 acres on Wittenberg Road, and a new 1,200-acre Grog Kill unit off of Route 212.