Credit where credit is due: Although we’re not going to say that the Hudson Valley Magazine article naming Carmel one of its 7 Top Towns: Best Places to Live in the Hudson Valley did our job for us, they certainly did make our job a little bit easier. Sort of.
In some ways, the fact that HV Mag cast some light on the Putnam County town actually made things a lot more difficult. As it turns out, Carmel real estate listings are abundant, fairly affordable, and close to the multiple lakes (Carmel, Gleneida, Mahopac, and the Branch Reservoirs). So we had to make our selections carefully. Because there are a lot. And many of the most interesting properties are in the $200-$300,000 range (look for our post later in the week on six of our favorite properties under $200,000).
For the history/trivia enthusiasts: The statue in the photo above is Sybil Ludington, the sixteen year old who rode through the town of Carmel, Paul Revere-style, to warn the townsfolk of the encroaching British in 1777. Her likeness now sits on Gleneida Avenue in the hamlet of Carmel. Carmel is the headquarters of Guideposts Magazine, founded by Norman Vincent Peale. And although dotted with plenty of hamlets, Carmel lacks any incorporated villages. The hamlet of Carmel, however, boasts a population of 5,600 and is the location of a couple of historical landmarks, including the County Court house, circa 1914. Carmel is the home to the Chuang Yen Monastery, in which resides the biggest Buddha statue in the Western Hemisphere.
The downside to Carmel? There’s no walkable, cohesive downtown area. But there exist opportunities to live in a lakefront property without shelling out big-time for it. And although it’s just a stone’s throw north of Westchester County and about 55 miles north of NYC, Carmel has managed to maintain a certain “country-ness” about it that’s pretty appealing.
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