Sullivan County in the Catskills just got a lot more desirable
Friday, September 18th 2009, 4:00 AM
Sullivan County in the Catskills just got a lot more desirable. Cherry-picking 4- to 7-acre parcels of land in the area, developer and builder Charles Petersheim has found a formula for building getaway second homes that start at $195,000. After leaving New York City following 9/11 and buying his first house for $22,000 on a credit card, Petersheim went to work building mini-cottages, cottages and farmhouses based on the area’s historic homes. Front porches, Shaker cabinets, big kitchens, hardwood floors, subway-tile bathroom floors and even doorknobs modeled after those used 100 years ago have brought a host of buyers between 32 and 42 years old to the rural area just 100 miles from the city.
“We’ve sold a house a month for the past two years even in this economy,” says Petersheim, who says his formula makes purchasing a second home easy. “We do no advertising and use no Realtors. People find us online, they call, they come up, and four out of six buy a house.”
When the mortgage on a cottage costing $300,000 comes to $1,200 per month, with low real estate taxes, people are willing to pull the trigger on these houses, which take 3½ months to build. Already, celebrities such as Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr; comedian Dave Cross and Vice magazine founder Gavin McInnes have bought from the developer, who calls his housebuilding company Catskill Farms.
Hammond, who recently split from his wife and may or may not have checked himself into rehab, lives on 10 acres with a mountain view and old stone walls in a farmhouse with four bedrooms and a recording studio. For more information on these getaway homes, go to catskillfarms.com.