Purchasing property in New York City has become out of reach for all but the super-rich. With prices historically high and competition extremely fierce, those wishing to invest in property in the state are advised to look away from the Big Apple towards the rich pickings that can be had in New York’s more rural regions.
In upstate New York and neighbouring states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, sizeable country properties can be had for less than the price of a Brooklyn studio apartment. $350,000 (£225,000) could buy you a three-bedroom house on several acres of land, possibly with a pool or lakeside property; meanwhile, a couple of million, which still won’t go far in the city, could land you a sprawling colonial mansion set among miles of breathtaking scenery.
A great getaway
Properties in these regions have long been popular as great getaway locations for urban professionals from Manhattan and elsewhere in the city. Rambling country houses and luxury log cabins are typically bought as second homes or holiday properties that can be rented out to other holidaymakers when not in personal use to help to pay the mortgage.
Such homes also offer great investment opportunities for anyone looking to get into the buy-to-let market. Some areas of upstate New York attract renters looking for holidays all year round, as hiking, boating and fishing in the summer gives way to skiing and winter sports as the weather turns colder. Lake Placid in New York’s Adirondack mountain range has twice hosted the Winter Olympics, while the Catskills and Hudson Valley are also popular locations, with the ski season typically starting in November.
Bargains to be had
Tuxedo Park is a gated community in a rural village in Orange County, New York, less than 40 miles from Midtown but in another world in terms of pace of life and scenery. The prices are also very different. $550,000 could get you an ample five-bedroom house, while the community’s three lakes are dotted with multi-million dollar mansions along their shores.
Although prices in some markets are steadily rising, there are still great bargains to be had; for example, an eight-room house with four bedrooms on Connecticut’s south-eastern shore could be yours for around $309,000. $188,000 might get you a two-bedroom log cabin in the Catskills, with fruit trees to the front, a creek to the back and a lake nearby for swimming and kayaking. Other popular locations where prices are still extremely reasonable include Bucks County in Pennsylvania and the Jersey Shore.
Second home first
Many New Yorkers with good incomes are unable to buy a home in the city and continue renting. They may live in rent controlled apartments that are too good a deal to give up, or they may simply be unable to afford to buy anywhere better than their current rented home due to a shortage of listings in the city making the market highly competitive. As a result, many are buying second homes before their first and investing in holiday property upstate while continuing to rent in the city.
Whether you are buying a holiday home or for investment purposes, the best New York deals are certainly away from the city for the time being.