Monday, August 22, 2011


Once again my blog post is later than I would have liked, but the fact of the matter is, I have had a very busy week. I got offers on both of my lakefront listings this week, after a summer selling season of little action. Both weekend days were full of appointments, as well as some showings during the week. It is like people realized it is Aug. and they better get in gear.

Both of my showings this weekend were Manhattanites, mid thirties, looking for a second home. What was different about both couples is they were not necessarily looking for privacy. They were looking for convenience. It was a little surprising, because I have gotten used to seclusion being sort of the mantra for the urban searchers. For many they want to be tucked away among the trees, out of sight from Fri. until Sunday.

Well it seems as I encounter more of these thirty-something shoppers, their priorities are different. First of all many do not own cars. Now if you are to buy in Sullivan County, you have to own a car. (Or rent one every weekend.) So I have had a few buyers who are looking for a house and car at the same time. However the issue is, many want to entertain in their upstate home, and most of their friends don’t have cars. So rather than having a house out in the woods, where house guests will be essentially trapped for the duration, dependant on the hosts to go anywhere, they are looking for closer, even in-town homes, where a guest can get up earlier than everyone else if they choose, and stroll into town for a bagel and coffee.

Also both buyers I took out this weekend are considering the Ulster/Greene county areas. There are a lot of reasons why they like Sullivan County better (besides price--we are on average 25% cheaper) one made the comment that our area has a “country feeling” that those more populous areas have lost. However what those areas do have is a train. This is a huge draw for thirty-something buyers. Guests can hop a train to Rhinbeck, or Kingston, and be picked up at the train station. Even a day trip visit is possible with a 90 minute scenic Hudson Valley train ride.

I think this is another example of how our county is lagging behind. Yes we are dependant on tourism, and we have made strides in making our county more attractive to visitors. However there is a train route in place, and twice a day a locomotive carrying what looks like garbage and roofing supplies, chugs through Callicoon. I know there had been big plans a few years back (Train article) to bring the trains back through. However like so many others, they fizzled with little fanfare.

I have done very little research on the history of the train line that ran up the Delaware in the last century. I do know it was the lifeblood, and many of the towns around us would never have existed if it weren't for the train. Callicoon was originally Callicoon Depot, and the entire town sprung up around the station. This link gives a little more info on the history of the train lines.

What would it take to bring a passenger train to Sullivan County? I don’t think it will happen without some sort of government subsidy. Conrail, the owner of the railway that snakes its way up the Delaware from Port Jervis to Hancock, makes its revenue from freight. Commuter or passenger revenue can not compete. A private venture like the one proposed by Mr. Wilson I believe is just to grand of an undertaking for the private sector. No, we need a local elected official to go on a mission. Someone with a little influence who can persuade those that frown on gas drilling and gambling, that perhaps a Sullivan County renaissance is as simple as a once a day commuter train from NYC.

There were eight listings reported sold in the Sullivan County MLS. Click Here for Sold listings

My house of the week is one of the in-town houses that I showedd this weekend. It is pretty big four bedroom completely redone farmhouse on Mill Street, right by the brook in Jeffersonville. It has two cool barns on the property, and it is set underneath a bunch of giant pine trees. The grounds are private despite being in-town, and you hear the constant sound of the brook anytime you are outside. The interior has been done with great attention to detail. It really needs to be seen to be appreciated. The pictures do not do it justice.Recently they have dropped th price to 249K, which I think is a great price. Jeffersonville House

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