River Views and Rolling Hills: New York Times

River Views and Rolling Hills: New York Times
New York Times, By Susan Stellin, photo by Susan Stava for the New York Times

Destination Guide | Hudson Valley and Catskills

When city dwellers search for a second home in the Hudson River Valley or the Catskills, real estate agents say everyone starts out looking for the same ideal: an old house with character that’s in move-in condition, on a quiet property set back from the road and at some distance from the neighbors, preferably near a lake, river or creek, not to mention near a cute town that’s no more than two and a half hours from New York City — and it definitely has to have a stunning view.

“It doesn’t matter if they have $100,000 to spend or a million,” said Bert Freed, president of the Kinderhook Group a real estate agency in Chatham, N.Y. “They all want the same thing.”

The good news for buyers is that throughout the Hudson Valley, there are a lot more homes on the market than there have been in recent years, and sellers are starting to price their properties more realistically, brokers say. The bad news is that even buyers with a million dollars to spend often have to make compromises on the country home of their dreams, since the Dutch settlers who built those 18th-century farmhouses tended to place them close to the road, or did not design their layouts with 21st-century tastes, like an open floor plan, in mind.

ut with so many more homes to look at — in some areas, nearly double the number of listings on the market compared with 18 months ago — buyers are more likely to have most of their criteria met, and can take their time looking without worrying that prices will increase or a good house will be snapped up in days.

“Right now, it’s taking four to six months to sell,” Mr. Freed said. “Two years ago, if you had a very good house priced to sell, you might get two or three offers within a couple weeks.”

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