For all the years I’ve been trawling Catskills Craigslist looking at properties, this place has been on there, hoping for someone to appreciate its unique charms. Over the years I’ve watched the price fall from well above $200k down through the upper and then lower $100s. And today I saw that it has broken through into the purview of this column: $99,000 (as the seller points out in the ad, this is “not a misprint”).
It has been variously (self-)described as a “green” cabin and a “hippie” cabin, and the ad consistently refers to it as a “handmade one-of-a-kind work of art.” And therein lies the rub, because Art is subjective. There’s real design inspiration all through it (rough sawn plank shelves pegged to bark-clad logs, pull-out apple baskets in place of kitchen drawers), but sometimes the execution falls just short. You look at the bathroom vanity, with a shower head supply pipe instead of a traditional faucet, and you think man, if I’d built that myself I’d be awfully damn proud of it. But paying for it is something else entirely. It’s like living in someone else’s hobby. At the same time, it’s not so bananas that your critical eye is overwhelmed by sheer wacky charm. So I can understand why it’s been a tricky sell.
That said, it is a truly striking property, with “massive log posts and beams” and lots of lovely flagstones. Sure, the distribution of doors and windows on the wide front facade is a bit haphazard, but it’s got radiant flooring, a wood stove, solar (!), low-VOC everything, and 1.6 acres with a lake view. And personally, I’m kind of in love with the charming Hobbit-chic design. At $229k, the above quibbles seemed like reason to stay away. At $99k, this is starting to look like a screaming deal.
More pictures and info after the jump.