Places + Travels

For sale (again!), Newburgh.

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Back in 2008, I blogged about a house for sale in Newburgh that was in need of a lot of renovation work—plumbing, electric, heating…pretty much everything. It’s right around the corner from my house, so I see it all the time. About two months after I wrote that post, the house was purchased by sculptor, landscape artist, and stone-cutter Christopher Lewis, who then embarked on a total restoration of the entire house. Cher from the Newburgh Restoration blog did an interview with Lewis about the massive project last year, and you can see some process photos there.

I knew the house had great potential from the first moment I laid eyes on it, and it’s been a real treat to watch it gradually transform over the years. This lovely house is now back on the market, and it looks really, really amazing. It’s not quite finished, but as the listing says, the heavy lifting is done.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love my neighborhood in Newburgh. This house is only a few doors down from one I wrote about a couple of years ago, which was collectively purchased at auction by some of my awesome neighbors, renovated, and sold. That may sound like something that happens all the time, but in a city like Newburgh where so many houses sit vacant, abandoned, and condemned while falling into disrepair, it’s very exciting to see folks occupying and caring for our grand old homes.

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The floors, the floors! I keep going back and forth between these photos and the ones from 2008, and it’s all pretty remarkable. I’m so glad those beautiful original stained glass window panes have been preserved, and that the casings and moldings that had been hidden by sheetrock are now restored. I knew this house was special!

Want to be my neighbor? This house is yours for $179,000.

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Some recent notable articles about Newburgh:
Columbia University to Conduct 2014 Urban Design Studio in Newburgh (Newburgh Restoration)
Newburgh, N.Y., Seeks Renewal Without Gentrification (New York Times)
Renewing Newburgh (Preservation magazine)
After the Crash, Banks Paid Billions. Where’d it All Go? (WNYC)

And finally, an inspiring video from Atlas Industries, explaining why they recently relocated from Brooklyn to Newburgh—and showing off their incredible warehouse space.

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48 Comments

  • Reply Bridget July 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Oh my word. This house looks perfect for me…too bad I’m in Boston! So beautiful, though!

  • Reply CarolGK July 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Holy Moly! You weren’t kidding. This house will be snapped up in no time. And Newburgh is lucky to have such a great booster in you.

  • Reply Susanna July 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    shut the front door! After looking at the pictures, I thought to myself, “at least 500K…” And then I see that it is cheaper than my 1000 sq ft. little ranch in NorCal which was a total fixer upper. The house is gorgeous! I want to weep now 🙁

    • Reply Karen July 24, 2014 at 12:36 am

      I know!! I thought the same thing! A little bungalow here (Victoria BC Canada) is about 500k… That beautiful house is like a 1 bedroom condo here. 🙁

    • Reply Bridgette July 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Practically word for word my thoughts too! We bought a small fixer-upper in Chicago for that price. Under 1000 sq ft., lots of work done and much more to do. Seeing this place totally makes me want to cry! But also gives me hope for moving out of chi-town someday, I didn’t think a decent place (let alone a dream house) in the vicinity of NYC was anywhere near my price range.

    • Reply alana July 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Lol, totally my reaction too. We could sell our humble little bungalow here in Burlington (Ontario) for $500,000 and buy this house outright. CRAZY. Housing prices in Canada are beyond ridiculous. But judging from the rest of the comments, buying a house anywhere in the world without a large price tag is tough.

  • Reply Chris July 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Wow. This would go for at least a million dollars more in my stupid city! !
    Beautiful.

  • Reply Zan July 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    If only there was a job for me there!!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Commuting to Manhattan is pretty easy in Newburgh! We did it every day for four years, and if I hadn’t gotten sick, we would’ve kept doing it. This house is walking distance from the ferry that goes to Beacon (7 minutes)—from there it’s 60 minutes on Metro-North to Grand Central. 🙂

  • Reply Esz July 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I am astounded that you can get such a house for less than $200k, and its barely 1.5 hours from NYC.
    In Melbourne this kind of property would set you back almost $2mil and I’m not even kidding.
    Makes me sad that the property market here makes buying a house so unaffordable.

  • Reply louize July 24, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Wow, it is gorgeous, and less than half of what I paid for my 1 1/2 bedroom apartment in Brussels… this would be worth at least 1k € over here!

  • Reply Suzi July 24, 2014 at 6:40 am

    $179k?!?!?! WHAT THE? I live in Sydney where housing is ridiculous. In my suburb, a nice 4 bedder went for nearly $2million. 1 hour from NYC. Oh my goodness. Oh my indeed.

  • Reply jane July 24, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Well its official you’ve broken my heart! I live in Crouchend London and that property would be heading for £1.5 million no question now all I need is American citizenship and I’m out of my wee 2 bedroom flat and luxuriating in that beauty!

  • Reply jaclyn July 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Do we have any idea why the owner is selling?
    I’m not located in NY but I’ve talked to people about you/your blog/Newburgh who know the area and they were all in the camp of, “What??? DO NOT move to Newburgh! It’s sketchy as hell!”

    I know you’ve touched on the bad rep of Newburgh in the past but it’s always nerve-wracking to hear these “stories” when scoping out real estate investments….

    Also, those taxes are CA-RAZY! for such a low valued home with so little land….

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Newburgh’s reputation is so out of line with the reality of actually living there. I have to laugh (and cry a little) whenever I see articles or news reports about Newburgh that show nothing by rows of abandoned houses and sad-looking barefoot children. Likewise, people in nearby towns have a tendency to see Newburgh through a very distorted lens and write it off as being “sketchy” without truly knowing what it’s like. I can say that because I grew up in Rhinebeck, one of those nearby towns. 😉 Yes, Newburgh DEFINITELY has major issues with abandoned properties and a disproportionately high crime rate for New York, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Newburgh is a truly beautiful Hudson Valley city, with many beautiful, well-maintained, owner-occupied houses that have been in families for generations. Countless newcomers have rehabilitated abandoned houses, too. There’s an active arts scene, an amazing brewery, tons of restaurants…and so on. We’ve been there for just over 8 years now, and the change we’ve seen during that time is just phenomenal. It hasn’t translated into increased property values since the housing bust happened at the worst possible time for cities like Newburgh, but that’s OK. Things are stable and improving, and those of us who have invested are in it for the long haul. It’s a special place.

      Yes: the property taxes are a major deterrent. Sadly, because there are so many derelict properties in Newburgh, the tax load falls on a much smaller group of people than it would if there were more owner-occupied homes (not to mention years of financial mismanagement). I have to believe this will change in the coming years. At least the high taxes are more than offset by very low mortgages. 🙂

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 24, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Oh, and the owner owner talks about why he has to sell in the piece on Newburgh Restoration—see the last two paragraphs:

      Lastly, I asked Chris what his thoughts are regarding Newburgh’s revitalization. He explained that working on a project for 5 years is quite an experience and journey in a city like Newburgh. He has seen the city definitely improve (especially most recently again) and is inspired and hopeful of Newburgh’s path to a promising future.

      A post script to the story is that Chris may need to potentially consider selling the “Newburgh Project” house as career demands force him to spend more time either traveling to site locations and spending many extended hours in his Brooklyn studio. If and when that time comes, after seeing his home, I can honestly say that he will be leaving Newburgh with a bit of his artistic talents as part of the urban landscape and even in my brief conversation with him, I think a bit of his heart will actually always remain.

  • Reply Julia July 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    OMG! There’s is absolutely NO house with this price tag and quality in the entire metro aera of Montreal, QC.

    Every election, we get the promise of a TGV style train from Montreal to NYC… With a stop in Newburgh, this would be a dream come true.

  • Reply caity July 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    This is amazing! The Floors!!! How is the restaurant scene there- asking to convince my husband to move!
    🙂

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 24, 2014 at 10:24 am

      We have EXCELLENT restaurants in Newburgh, with more opening all the time. There’s a entire waterfront restaurant district with a marina, even. 🙂

  • Reply Cher@Newburgh Restoration July 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Love this, thanks for the links and the article. I’d really love to see the house on the corner (which faces Liberty) fixed up as well. If homeowners could occupy both properties, it would be phenomenal for the Heights.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      You’re talking about the gray one with the enclosed porch, right? I LOVE that house. I have no idea what happened—it was definitely occupied when we moved to Newburgh, but I think for the past 4-5 years or so it’s been vacant. Do you know if it’s even available?

      Last night I heard from someone who just bought the house at Henry and Liberty! Hopefully I can check it out this weekend. I love having new neighbors! 🙂

  • Reply Bruno July 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    What a GORGEOUS house.

    Newburgh is lucky to have you!

    Just drove around the area last weekend and many of the surrounding streets, looking for a lunch spot but didn’t find anything good. Where are the decent restaurants?

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Bruno, my favorite places for lunch in Newburgh are Caffe Macchiato and newcomer Martha. Both are on Liberty Street, right near Washington’s Headquarters. Top-quality, fresh, healthy food at both! If you’re into beer and sausages and stuff like that, there’s also the Wherehouse a couple of blocks north of there on Liberty—very cool vibe, and nice people. (All three places have very nice vegan options, if that’s a concern for you like it is for me.)

      Also, if you go down the hill to the waterfront, there’s a whole restaurant district!

  • Reply Bruno July 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations! A friend in Beacon just mentioned Martha.

    We had two babies in the car, so we didn’t have all that much time to explore. Maybe next time!

  • Reply Emily July 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I love that you share these houses and highlight Newburg like this. As I try to woo my friends from the city north, it really is amazing what you can buy and re-create for so so much less than in the city. I would *almost* consider leaving Vermont for that bathroom…oh, those tiles.

  • Reply Krista July 25, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Gahhhh! So beautiful! SO cheap! I’m wondering what he paid for it to start… It must be hard to leave all that beautiful space.

  • Reply Krista July 25, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Just found the original selling price in the 2008 post.
    What an amazing transformation!

  • Reply Cristina July 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

    This is gorgeous and absolutely the kind of house that my fiance and I are looking for, but we don’t have the money yet. I really hope this home goes to a wonderful family.

  • Reply Amy July 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Newburgh sounds so much like Trenton, where I live — though probably Trenton’s reputation is even worse — but it is a lively city full of wonderful people and close-knit communities, an active arts scene, less than 1.5 hr commute to NYC, 45 min to Philadelphia, and there are gorgeous old properties here to be had for under $200,000. All because the city’s reputation is so out of line with the reality of living here. Yeah, the taxes are high. Yeah, the schools are bad. But I wish people could think outside the box a bit more and take risks on places like this. There is so much opportunity, and they can be truly great places to live.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Amy, I’ve definitely heard Newburgh compared to Trenton before, but the major difference is that the City of Newburgh has about 1/3 the population of Trenton. And yes, it really comes down to people taking a chance on these cities. I think the key is that you can’t look at investment as being a financial one, at least not in the short term. It’s an investment in community. It’s an investment in architecture. (The NYT article about non-gentrification is an important one, I think, and one I bet you can relate to.)

    • Reply alana July 28, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Yeah, Hamilton in Ontario (Canada) sounds soooo similar to your Newburgh and Trenton, it has a bad reputation that is completely out of line with the reality. We live really close to it so I am there all the time and I love it. I see more and more people I know moving there and finally taking a chance on it, more because it is the one of the few affordable spots left in the GTA but the houses are amazing and there are some gem neighbourhoods that I love. There is no doubt, there are some dodgy spots but it is a terrific city to live in (or near, in my case!).

  • Reply Victoria Smith July 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    holy cow! what a steal. and i’d love to be your neighbor! xx

  • Reply hb July 25, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    It’s a great house, and, yes, there are sketchy areas, including some right near it. But, if you say hello to your neighbors, and get involved with making things better, then up is the only direction!

    Personally, I think this house is a steal at 179, despite the high taxes in Newburgh.

    You have to want to live in a city. You have to enjoy the energy of a city, good and bad.

    I hope Chris sells it this time around…he has mixed feelings…which has led to other potential buyers falling through. It’s a good, solid house, with great neighbors, and a beautiful backyard.

  • Reply carol July 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Wow. Feeling a bit depressed now considering I paid $500K for a small cement shoebox in Vancouver BC that I can’t afford to decorate! I LOVE old houses so to live in a beautiful home like that for $180K WITH A YARD would be a dream come true! Anyone in Newburgh want to sponsor me for a work Visa and/or marry me? Ha ha. Great job Chris and thank you Anna for sharing the pictures. Would love more blogs about Newburgh.

  • Reply Cate July 27, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Love to read about house restoration in Newburgh. Such a special town. Thanks for the restaurant recs — I had no idea. We are always going to the Maya Cafe in Fishkill (a Mexican restaurant, for those not familiar).

  • Reply Maggie [The Freckled Citizen] July 29, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Oh goodness, this is just the kind of house that gets me worked up. I can see why you’ve been eyeing it all this time. Also, THOSE FLOORS.

  • Reply Mariel July 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Want! Beautiful.

  • Reply sandra July 30, 2014 at 6:34 am

    i’ll move in!

  • Reply theodora August 3, 2014 at 11:24 am

    what a beautiful restoration. Thanks for sharing.
    I cannot believe the price! In the neighbourhood I live in, this house would go for at least $900,000.

  • Reply CIRCA Old Houses August 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I WANT! I just love everything about Newburgh. If my husband didn’t have to commute to Brooklyn daily, we’d live there in a snap. We were just driving through the other day gawking at the houses. It’s too much!

  • Reply Alexis August 6, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful home. I hope to one day to have a home like that. It is quite a charming house with all of the unique features. So great to see such a classic home.

  • Reply mimi August 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Shhh.. I wish you didn’t post this! I have been eyeing that place for 3 months and was in the process of convincing my partner to buy a place upstate and not in brooklyn. Why did you do that!??

    • Reply Anna @ D16 August 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Mimi, I haven’t heard about any recent offers on the house, and it’s been on and off the market for a year now! I think you’re safe. 😉 Have you been up to look at the house in person yet?

  • Reply Margaret August 15, 2014 at 12:30 am

    I THOUGHT the town sounded familiar (well, the NY one). I’ve passed it on my way to New Paltz to visit family several times– beautiful area. Oh! If I had only known, maybe I’d’ve moved there to become a writer instead of Portland, OR? 😉

  • Reply monika August 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    OMG! hi Anna! I read your site from time to time but never comment but I couldn’t keep silent on this one when I saw the price of that home. 179k????? that house in seattle would be over 600k!!!!!! I nearly fainted when you gave the listing price! it’s GORGEOUS!!!!! and a clawfoot tub to boot! oh to be independently wealthy…i’d buy that home as a second residence!!! it’s so beautiful!

  • Reply Sarah October 19, 2014 at 11:48 am

    $179 k!? WTF. I live in LA, and seeing a house like that, for that price, makes me want to sob biig fat crocodile type tears.

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