Weekending in the Suburbs
Jon Stein and his spouse, Polina, have been recognized to get so antsy to be outside that Mr. Stein and his two younger daughters have camped out on the terrace of their Lower East Side house on Ludlow Street. “It’s a very nice deck,” Mr. Stein, 39, mentioned.
Six years in the past, the couple started auditioning trip locations for his or her household, understanding that sometime they wished to purchase a weekend residence. They tried staying in Hillsdale, in Columbia County, N.Y., and in numerous cities on Long Island; they examined almost each seashore city on the Jersey Shore.
Two summers in the past, they fell exhausting for Cold Spring, N.Y., a Putnam County village on the Hudson River, just a little over an hour from town, renting a home close to a nature protect with a river view. Although they didn’t discover a home to purchase there, the expertise impressed them to look in different comparatively shut areas, as their daughters, Sasha, four, and Sydney, Three, get carsick on lengthy drives. They checked out cities like Bedford and North Salem, exploring locations many have lengthy thought of — gasp — the suburbs.
When Ms. Stein, 36, a graphic designer, heard a mum or dad at her daughter’s Manhattan preschool raving concerning the household’s home on Lake Kitchawan, in sleepy Pound Ridge, a city of roughly 5,000 individuals that’s residence to the four,315-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, they discovered a home on the identical lake quickly after. The 5,000-square-foot home, which they’re renovating, abuts 16 acres of conservancy land. There are views of the 100-acre lake from most rooms, and there may be an indoor pool. They paid lower than $1 million.
“I’m a metropolis particular person at coronary heart,” Ms. Stein mentioned. “I’m not able to dwell within the suburbs, however I favored that this home wasn’t too far; it was non-public, and you actually really feel such as you’re deep within the woods. I don’t need my women to develop up petrified of bugs.”
Weekending within the suburbs? Well, why not. These cities are commutable — when you don’t thoughts a commute of greater than an hour — and provide loads of birdsong out your window. Many have charming downtowns, some with the boutique train courses well-liked within the metropolis and farm-to-table eating places. And relying on the place you purchase, you would possibly get a home with a pool that can also be a brief drive or stroll from a seashore, nice mountain climbing trails or parks. Or a full of life farmers’ market.
“Suburbs is a grimy phrase,” joked Melissa Marcogliese, an agent with Compass Real Estate, in Northern Westchester. “We choose to think about it up right here as nation stylish.”
New Yorkers just like the Steins aren’t shopping for second houses in commuter havens like Garden City or Bronxville, half an hour on an categorical practice from town. Brokers in less-dense suburbs like waterfront Greenwich, Conn., and walkable Katonah, N.Y., say they’re getting calls from metropolis patrons (and renters) taken with weekend homes inside 90 minutes of Manhattan. An agent in Rowayton, Conn., mentioned summer season leases within the unique waterfront village are inclined to fly off the market.
“It’s a bigger pattern than it’s ever been,” mentioned Alison Bernstein, the chief director of Suburban Jungle Realty, an actual property company that helps metropolis dwellers discover the appropriate suburb. Some of her purchasers have fallen in love with an space outdoors town, solely to find that they’ll’t minimize the wire and go away their metropolis life behind. So a number of have opted to purchase a weekend home there as an alternative. “For some individuals,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned, “it’s a method to get their toes moist.”
Drawn to the open land, quiet villages and deer crossing their yards, households could spend the summer season in these homes, commuting backwards and forwards for a number of months, whereas enrolling their kids at suburban camps. Others, typically telecommuters, lengthen their weekends by working a Friday or Monday from the holiday houses, then hopping on an hourlong practice the morning they’re anticipated again at work.
Many of those cities have a tendency have a mixture of full- and part-time residents. It’s simple to see the suburban weekend home as a contemporary twist on town pied-à-terre: In the final century, if a mum or dad was working late, she or he would possibly keep in an house in Manhattan relatively than head residence to the suburbs, and the place provided a base for household actions within the metropolis on the weekend. Today, the suburban home presents an identical jumping-off level for weekend excursions, and the arrival of telecommuting presents the potential for working a day or two within the yard.
While there are fairly, vacation-like suburbs throughout the tristate space — Little Silver in New Jersey, Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island — Ms. Bernstein mentioned the horse farms and lakes of Northern Westchester, in addition to the serene waters of the Long Island Sound in Connecticut, appear to tug individuals north on the subject of shopping for a close-in weekend home. “Compared to the Hamptons, you’ll get a lot extra in your cash up there,” she mentioned.
It was the visitors that pushed Leonard Steinberg and his accomplice, Thom Caughlin, to promote their weekend home on the Hudson River. On Friday nights, it may take three hours to get to their beloved Saugerties home, about 100 miles from town. And then it was one other three hours to return residence on Sunday.
“It was turning into a bit absurd,” mentioned Mr. Steinberg, 54, an govt at Compass Real Estate. “We got here up with a mission assertion: Find a home with a shorter commute, so we may get pleasure from our weekends extra.”
Leonard Steinberg and his accomplice, Thom Caughlin, had been pleasantly shocked to find how bucolic Northern Westchester could possibly be. CreditJane Beiles for The New York Times
He and Mr. Caughlin, 52, the chief director of artistic operations at Estee Lauder, thought of areas like Bucks County, Pa., and Tuxedo Park, N.Y., earlier than shopping for a chunk of land for $380,000 on Whatmores Lake, in Waccabuc, N.Y., in Northern Westchester. They completed constructing their Three,000-square-foot farmhouse-loft dream residence there final summer season.
Now, after a weekend of mountain climbing, eating on the Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges or catching up with locals on the Market at Union Hall in North Salem, they are often again within the West Village in lower than an hour.
“Time is the posh with the best worth, as a result of all of us maintain working out of it,” Mr. Steinberg mentioned. “Being this shut permits us to go up for an evening if we’re busy. It’s heaven.”
Eric Rosenfeld, a dealer with William Raveis Real Estate, in Katonah, mentioned he typically confirmed homes to urbanites who had been shocked by the uncooked great thing about some suburban areas. “There is the belief that it’s a must to go distant for it to be wild and pure,” he mentioned. “But we’ve areas the place, due to rocky outcroppings, lakes and streams, you swear you’re in New Hampshire.”
“It was the stone partitions that received me,” mentioned Allison Rudary, 39, who works in non-public banking. She and her husband, Matt Rudary, 39, a software program engineer at a hedge fund, purchased a weekend home in Redding, Conn., a yr in the past. “You cross over the Saugatuck River, and there’s this little home in Wilton the place the street turns from two lanes to 1, and after I see it, all the pressure from my neck and again falls away,” she mentioned.
They thought of shopping for a weekend home in Beacon, N.Y., or Candlewood Lake, Conn., earlier than deciding on Redding, the place they fell in love with the forested and hilly terrain of the agricultural city. Redding doesn’t have a business downtown, or perhaps a stoplight, however it’s lower than 60 miles from their Upper West Side house. They adore the bucolic nation roads winding to the four-bedroom colonial they purchased for $705,000, which sits on six acres and backs Devil’s Den Preserve, a nature lover’s paradise. “We see woodpeckers; we see hawks nesting; we see deer. But we don’t see individuals, and we don’t hear them. It’s a real escape,” Ms. Rudary mentioned.
Allison and Matt Rudary wanted a refuge from their frenzied life within the metropolis and located it within the rural panorama of Redding, Conn. CreditJane Beiles for The New York Times
They go away each Friday night time year-round, returning to town on Monday morning. Ms. Rudary likes to cook dinner and bake. Mr. Rudary tends the hearth. They atone for tv and take their canines for lengthy walks within the woods. And in the event that they wished to have a barbecue with buddies, they may entertain like-minded neighbors; three of the 4 homes on their cul-de-sac are occupied by weekenders from Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“For us, it’s a refuge,” Mr. Rudary mentioned.
While most individuals have heard of the Hamptons and the Catskills, there are lots of cities which may be missed in a home hunt just because they’re lesser recognized.
Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, actual property brokers in Manhattan, grew bored with commuting to the Hamptons, so final yr they constructed an 11,000-square-foot home on the Long Island Sound, within the property part of Nissequogue village, 54 miles from town.
“Long Island will not be a flyover state,” mentioned Mr. Conlon, 42, who grew up in Nissequogue. But he and Mr. Postilio, 49, mentioned that drivers heading east alongside the Long Island Expressway don’t have any thought how lovely most of the areas in Suffolk County are, just because they don’t have a purpose to get off the freeway.
The couple browse within the antiques outlets in quaint St. James village, spot deer of their yard and luxuriate in their non-public seashore about 40 steps down a excessive bluff. “This is ideal for individuals who aren’t in search of a scene,” mentioned Mr. Postilio, including that whereas he liked the Hamptons, he didn’t wish to purchase a home there. Too a lot visitors, and an excessive amount of of New York on the seashore.
An further perk of shopping for a weekend home an hour from town is that it makes for a preferred rental itemizing on Airbnb. Daniel Fries, 49, a filmmaker, and his spouse, Hana Shimizu, 37, a producer, dwell in Chinatown with their two younger kids, however they longed for “a spot to flee the crowds and the odor of trash in summertime,” Mr. Fries mentioned. For years, they rented weekend homes on Airbnb in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, however discovered a lot of them disappointing.
The couple wished a weekend home of their very own — one they may get pleasure from or lease on Airbnb after they weren’t there, to assist pay the mortgage. Mr. Fries grew to become enamored of three acres of lakefront land in Pound Ridge; on the property was a dilapidated home that wanted a serious face-lift, however the couple was undaunted. They purchased it in 2016, for $650,000.
The first yr, whereas the home was being renovated, they visited each weekend in the summertime. Mr. Fries and Ms. Shimizu arrange a platform close to the home, outfitting it with an enormous safari tent, so they may camp there.
“Even with the renovation, we wished to get a summer season out of it,” Mr. Fries mentioned. “My Three-year-old doesn’t keep in mind the ‘tent summer season,’ however she talks concerning the lake all the time.”
When the renovation was completed, he and Ms. Shimizu adorned the midcentury-style residence with Scandinavian-style furnishings and Thermador home equipment, hoping to draw deep-pocketed metropolis sorts. They have had no bother renting it, for as a lot as $700 to $1,300 an evening, relying on the season, billing it as a “Modern Lakehouse simply 55 miles from NYC.”
“With younger youngsters, it might get tougher to journey. So we created our personal Shangri-La up right here,” Mr. Fries mentioned. “The good thing about the placement is unbeatable.”
Sometimes a weekend home is so alluring that it begins to really feel like residence, finally turning into residence. Pandora Lycouri, a model and advertising marketing consultant, and Nicholas Karytinos, an architect, had been pleasantly shocked after they visited Tod’s Point, a sprawling stretch of sand in Greenwich, Conn., the place residents can swim, stroll on meandering paths and order a grilled shrimp salad on the concession stand. “I used to be surprised,” mentioned Ms. Lycouri, 47.
They had been to the realm earlier than — Mr. Karytinos, 45, had designed homes in Connecticut, and the couple had gone to barbecues on the houses of buddies in Greenwich — however Ms. Lycouri had at all times written off the realm as too suburban. Now the seashore gave her a newfound appreciation for bustling downtown Greenwich and its refined residents.
“We’re each half Greek, and the seashore right here reminded us of the golden sand again residence,” Ms. Lycouri mentioned. “The water is calm, which is what I’m accustomed to, and there was a lot pure magnificence. A lightweight bulb simply went off.”
They favored the primary home they noticed, a 1920s farmhouse with a entrance porch and a stunning backyard, listed for $875,000, inside strolling distance of downtown Greenwich. They saved their house in a high-rise doorman constructing in NoMad the primary yr they owned the home, however each Sunday they’d get cranky about returning to town. They longed to get up in nature, by the water, for longer than a weekend.
“After dwelling in Manhattan for therefore lengthy, I feel I used to be determined to really feel the earth below my toes,” Ms. Lycouri mentioned. “Being there felt like paradise.”
Eight months in the past, the couple determined to make their weekend home their everlasting residence. They agreed, nonetheless, that if one in all them missed town, they’d return, restoring the home to weekend standing. For now, although, their choice nonetheless feels proper.
“I really feel a lot more healthy out right here,” mentioned Ms. Lycouri, who works remotely two days per week. “It feels good simply to breathe contemporary air.”
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