Buying a Vacation Home

by : Sharon Klein

I grew up in New York City. Well actually, it was Queens. Those of us living in the "boros" called Manhattan "The City". But nevertheless, I am a born and raised native New Yorker. So, how, you might ask, did I wind in a 100 year old farm house with roosters crowing at dawn across the street, and horses for my next door neigh...bors? As a Realtor, I am finding that there seems to come a time in many people's lives when they have just had it with snarled traffic, cars honking, window gates and three locks on doors and living in a sardine can apartment. As exciting as Manhattan always was, I got the bug for the country when I hit 40. Without revealing my age, and without going into a long story, about four years ago I began my quest for my dream country home. I am thrilled to say that I found her and I am living happily ever after. It took awhile to reinvent myself in my new life. I always dreamed of living in and selling real estate in areas where people come to vacation.

New Paltz, New York is a college town about 90 miles north of mid-town Manhattan. It is one of the rock climbing capitals of the country and is home to the historic Mohonk Mountain House. I, like many New Yorkers, came here many times as a kid to hike the magical trails, canoe, and climb the crevices of the Shawangunk Mountains, or "Gunks" as the locals call it. Finally, I bought a home here. I am now happily helping others to escape the city and live their dreams. So, what's the down side? I had to get used to well water with all kinds of bacteria that creeps in from farms, bad water pressure, a septic system and not a city sewer, having to drive three miles in each direction for a container of milk, a occasional inch or two of water in my basement when the river behind my house swells, the nosy, gossip of small town America, many moths, flies, mosquitoes, bats, and other flying creatures in Summer, and the parade of Harleys that go by my house on Summer nights because I live on one of the most beautiful roads in the county.

It's harder to make a living here than if I had a practice in Suburbia or the City, and property values aren't as high and commissions are lower. We have to travel long distances to show homes, often putting 100 miles or more on our cars on a typical weekend day. But the upside is the lifestyle. Not having to lock my car, hearing no horns beeping, no road rage, and having folks smile at you and make eye contact when they pass you on the street is worth more than all the money I could ever make in the Big City. With the advent of telecommuting, there are many places in the country that baby boomers and Generation Xers are relocating to. You can do it if you want to. All you need to do is say "I've had enough, let's move to the country". Buy the house, and the rest will come.