Five Figure Fridays! What’s Cheap In SoPo?

  |  March 23, 2012

This week’s featured area, East of the Hudson and South of Poughkeepsie – let’s call it SoPo (copyright Upstater Five Figure Fridays, all rights reserved) – is a tricky market for bargain shopping.  You’re still in the NYC exurbs, which distorts prices, and the charm of the communities oscillates wildly on a scale between adorable and Ironweed.  It’s possible to find some properties that crack the magic 100 large threshold, but you have to carefully consider whether the supposed savings are a false economy.

When places like this East Fishkill 3BR available for just $169k – oddly laid out, with a Saltines-bland renovation, but near town and right up against the Rail-Trail and certainly livable – some of the “could be showplace” properties below are a hard sell.

Exhibit A in the case of Reality vs. Cheapness:

There are tantalizing hints of class here, like the wood floors by the bay window.  It’s a 2,600 square foot 4BR/2BA with an almost tolerable “walkable” score of 62, and at least on Google Street View the area has tremendous charm.  But the listing says upfront “may need 203K” (FHA financing that incorporates renovation costs) so it’s probably not inhabitable/underwritable in its current condition.  Say you put in another $100k – do you end up with something nicer than $200k would have bought you up front?

48 W. Main Street, Pawling (Weichert) GMAP
Price: $99,375
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Square Feet: 2,600
Year Built: 1885
Taxes: $11,783 (zowie)
Acreage: 0.54
Features: Walk to train, past Great Wall II Chinese Takeout


Exhibit B is a much easier cost/benefit judgment call to make:

The realtor hasn’t even bothered with this one –  the entire description is “HUD home being sold as is.”  Sure the road runs through your future living room, but you are just half a block from TJs bar which, says Google Maps, features “motorcycle events” and “poker runs.”  And you’re just down the road from the river.

It’s big, at least, and there’s… grass around it…  I don’t know, I’m trying to stay positive but even at the weirdly specific price of $58,320 it’s hard to be upbeat.  Then you look inside.

Hey look, a bay window downstairs which I can see from upstairs because THERE’S NO FLOOR AND NO WALLS.

2347 Route 9D, Hughsonville (C21 Hudson Valley) GMAP
Price: $58,320
Beds: Up for grabs as there aren’t any walls
Baths: As many as you care to install
: $3,188 (according to realtor – seems low for the area)
Year Built: “Over 50 years old” – you think?
Acreage: “Less than 1/2 an acre”


But then, just when you think there’s nothing in all of SoPo for the dilettante window shopping would-be weekender, Sylvan Lake comes through again.

At 350 adorable square feet it’s a glorified garden shed, but it’s a cute, wood paneled garden shed with a straight shot down the hill to the lake.  The HOA dues are $189 (not clear if it’s monthly or quarterly but assume monthly), it’s usable April through October and it’s less than 2 hours up the Taconic.  Dogs are welcome and the listing calls it an “Artist Delight.”  Close enough!

Sylvan Lake, Beekman (Susan Kuper) GMAP
Price: $20,000
Bedrooms: Studio
Bathrooms: 1

Square Feet: 350
Features: Lake community


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