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Buying a Second Home First

Buying a Second Home First

  Some New York City renters are skipping the typical first rung on the urban homeownership ladder: Instead of investing in an apartment, they are buying a country house. Disappointed by what their budget will buy in the city, they are still living the American dream of having a place of their own, if only on the weekends, in the Catskills, at the Jersey Shore or in Connecticut. For less than $350,000 — an amount that barely buys a studio in brownstone Brooklyn these days — they are finding that they can afford homes with three bedrooms or more on several acres of land, sometimes on lakefront property, or with a pool. For those with as much as $2 million to spend, the options range from turn-of-the century mansions to sprawling estates. No one tracks the number of second-home buyers who continue to rent in the city. But real estate…

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Tuxedo Park

Tuxedo Park

Reminds Paula Tocci of Lake Garda in northern Italy. For Sharon McHugh, gazing out at the Ramapo Mountains surrounding Tuxedo Lake evokes memories of the Lake District in her native England. Like so many other Tuxedo Park residents, both women were smitten the instant they drove through the stately stone gate and along the winding lake drive of this historic village in Orange County, N.Y., about 40 miles from…

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Game For Anything

Game For Anything

When Jeffrey Bilhuber was given the task of updating a Queen Anne manse in Tuxedo Park, New York, he faced more than one challenge. The first was the fact that the house had been in the client’s family for three generations—she summered there as a child, and when she married, it had been a wedding gift from her mother. “We needed to bring the house forward without turning our backs on a history that had provided so much pleasure,” Bilhuber says. “You have to acknowledge the contributions, but you have an obligation to set yourself free from your childhood and make your own…

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NYC Hudson River: HomeBuyer’s Guide

NYC Hudson River: HomeBuyer’s Guide

Jordana Grunfeld and her husband used to summer in the Hamptons, spending hours in weekend traffic to reach their Sag Harbor rental from their home in New York City. This Memorial Day weekend, they will drive 45 minutes in a different direction, to the leafy hamlet of Upper Grandview in the lower Hudson Valley, where they bought a five-bedroom contemporary house with a pool and 180-degree river views last year for $3.1…

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