Parts of the Hudson Valley, specifically locations in Ulster County, are drawing Brooklynites in record numbers- so much so, that the Hudson Valley has even been referenced as the “New Brooklyn.” This seems to be happening more and more since the NYT article was published about NYC renters choosing to buy a second home first before buying their primary home in the city. it makes sense if you think about; this new generation of buyers are realizing that they may just be better off renting in Manhattan and then purchasing the more affordable digs upstate. Why not buy in the Catskills if that’s really your ultimate lifestyle? We’re seeing baby boomers looking to come back to more urban settings since their net worths make it possible and the conveniences they need at that stage of life tend to be in the cities and villages where mass transportation is more prevalent. The young and adventurous, those less risk averse, are feeling the need to plant their flag in an environment they didn’t have growing up. They want their children to experience nature in ways they did not. It all makes perfect sense.
Ulster County hotspots of Kingston, Stone Ridge, High Falls, and Rosendale saw quite a bit of new faces over the past couple years, after many young professionals from Brooklyn and other NYC boroughs decided to pick up and move upstate to greener pastures, bringing with them their artsy, ‘hipster’ culture. While it doesn’t look like this pattern is set to slow down anytime soon, it already appears that in 2016 other Ulster County towns are likely to see some new residents; specifically in the New Paltz and Gardiner areas we expect to see increased activity. These areas offer relatively quick and easy access back down to NYC, making the commute to work more practical.
New Paltz and Gardiner, also known as the Wallkill River Valley area of Ulster County, are typically very hot markets, but in 2015 there wasn’t an abundance of homes for sale in the area which made for a lackluster year overall for home sales. With last year being a slower, more atypical year for home sales and inventory, we think 2016 might just be the year when local homeowners decide to make a move and get their homes on the market. Buyers are seemingly ready and waiting!
Just to give you some perspective, I’ve put together a small chart to show where homes sales for New Paltz and Gardiner were back in 2007, 2008, and 2009, which was the before peak, actual peak, and then beginning of the crash as the recession hit hard. Then you’ll also see the good post-recession recovery years of 2014 and 2015. You’ll see that sales peaked in 2007 but the value bubble didn’t pop until 2008 where prices hit nearly $400k on average. And while 2014 was a strong sales year for the two towns, pretty much back to peak levels, 2015 we see sales tapered off a bit. I see that as a result of very low inventory in 2015 and as a result we saw sellers benefit from restricted supply ending the year with values up just over 2% year over year. 2016 will be a telling year and we here at Taft Street will be monitoring things from quarter to quarter to keep our finger on the pulse of the market.
While demand for homes in Gardiner and New Paltz is usually very strong, today’s buyers are way smarter these days and won’t overpay for a home simply because there’s no other alternatives. Today’s homebuyer is much more conservative and the younger generation of buyers tend to do their homework - researching and fact checking - taking full advantage of what the Internet has to offer.
With a range of beautiful properties in various price points that would fit in any buyer’s budget, New Paltz and Gardiner are great areas to consider while looking for your new home and prices are still relatively low compared to 2007-2008. One of the best parts for moving Brooklynites... (or anyone else of course)… these areas may already share the same cultural, younger vibe you’re craving, but set amongst beautiful scenery and mountains that the city just doesn’t offer!
So, as a potential buyer who is doing their homework to find their perfect home, why don’t you first take a moment and review our top 5 reasons why New Paltz and Gardiner are great places you can call home!
#1: The Views
For those looking for a property with a view, the New Paltz and Gardiner area are sure to impress! Just follow Main Street in New Paltz out of the quaint, college town-center and you’ll end up on the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains, which are world renowned for their rock climbing, outdoor activities, and scenic beauty.
If you’re looking for a property with a view of the Ridge then take a drive down Butterville Road or Albany-Post Road in New Paltz. Running parallel between the Shawangunk Mountain range and the Wallkill River, there is no shortage of beautiful views, and homes, to gawk at.
Nearby, Marakill Lane and Guilford-Schoolhouse Road in New Paltz sit nestled just below the Shawangunk Ridge, amongst farm stands and vineyards. Properties on these roads have an astounding view of Gunks, with Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska practically in their backyard, but some heavily wooded lots also create great privacy, so you feel as if that view is all yours!
#2: The Art and Culture
Many people moving from the city area are looking for a place that is rich with art and culture and the New Paltz/Gardiner area does not disappoint here. The jaw dropping scenery of the area has been inspiring artists for years and the abundance of art galleries in these small towns prove it!
New Paltz is home to the Mark Gruber Gallery, Unison Arts Center and Gray Owl Gallery, just to name a few, but local artwork can be found all through town with many local artists’ works and photos hanging in restaurants and shops alike. SUNY New Paltz also houses the Samuel Dorsky Museum that contains constantly changing exhibitions and public programs and events for the community.
The Water Street Market in New Paltz also houses over 20 boutique shops, restaurants and art galleries in a quaint, open-air market village. Explore the Ryan E. Cronin Art Gallery to see his collection of bold, colorful, pop art or just walk around the market to see the various sculptures of the Unison Sculpture Garden.
The stunning vistas of the area have been the subject of many amazing photographs, including those taken by local, Steve Jordan. G. Steve Jordan Photography specializes in fine art landscape photography of the Hudson Valley and Shawangunk Ridge and his work can be seen in his exclusive online gallery. Jim Smith of Jim Smith Photography, has also taken some beautiful shots of Mohonk Mountain House, as their go-to photographer. His list of clients is impressive, including Disney, CBS and many more and his photo art spans a host of subject matter from food to nature to private jets. He’s also one of the most honest and trustworthy photographers you’ll ever meet!
Many properties in this area are also fitted to accommodate artists who want to work at home, perhaps containing artist lofts or separate cottages/workspaces to further perfecting their craft.
#3: The Grub
New Paltz is a great option for people who want to have a country living experience, but don’t want to sacrifice great, diversified culinary options!
Hudson Valley Magazine annually releases a “Best Of Hudson Valley” list and New Paltz always stands its’ ground among the rest of the valley - having an abundance of winners in the “Food and Drink” category year after year (it doesn’t hurt when the best culinary school in the country – The Culinary Institute of America - is located just 20 minutes over the river). And if you want variety, there’s no reason to leave town. Take your pick of cuisine- American Pub, Thai, Turkish, Greek, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese… all within walking distance!
Water Street Market houses some new and highly raved over spots, like Jar’D Wine Pub, serving wine and tapas in a funky and energetic atmosphere, run by local Theresa Fall. Her newest venture with Matthew Sweeney, called The Parish Restaurant and Bar, is set to open in March of 2016 in the Water Street Market where Bridge Creek Cafe was previously located. The new restaurant will have a Cajun/Creole flair, adding another type of delectable cuisine to New Paltz’s lineup.
Rock and Rye Tavern, located on Huguenot Street, has been a highly raved over farm to table restaurant- located in a 1750’s tavern belonging to one of the founding families of New Paltz- for quite a few years, but we just heard via the New Paltz Times that new and exciting things are in the works for this restaurant! Garvan McCloskey (who locals may remember as the manager of the former Shea O'Brien's in New Paltz) purchased and will be re-opening Rock and Rye Tavern later this month as Garvan’s- a New American cuisine restaurant, similar to that of Rock and Rye, but with an Irish twist. We’re sorry to see Rock and Rye go, as we love their craft cocktails and excellent food, but we are sure the owners are moving on to bigger and better things, and we couldn’t be more excited to try out New Paltz’s newest eatery addition!
A home in New Paltz will almost put you in a culinary epicenter of Ulster County, so if you’re a foodie, this town is for you! New Paltz has many great properties currently on the market, but if you crave to be near the heart of it all, check out this home at 40 Brookside Road with a great country kitchen and ample land to garden, you can create your own culinary masterpieces at home!
#4: The Drink
We can’t forget to mention all the great, local brews, wines, and spirits created in New Paltz and Gardiner- just what you need to wash down all that grub!
Amongst those gorgeous views of Albany Post Road is the Robibero Family Vineyards, just one of the many wineries located in New Paltz and Gardiner that are part of the Shawangunk Wine Trail. And if wine isn’t your drink of choice, no problem! New Paltz Brewing Company makes local craft beers inspired to compliment the history of the region and Rough Cut Brewing Company, located just a stone’s throw over the Gardiner line in Kerhonkson, has a large, ever-changing, selection of their home brews on tap like the Minnewaska Trail Pale Ale and the Shawangunk Brown Ale. New York’s first organic beer also has ties to New Paltz. Smart Beer was created so that you no longer have to choose between keeping with a healthy, active lifestyle or enjoying a night out with friends. Their organic Pale Ale can currently be found at grocery and specialty stores from Manhattan to the Hudson Valley and locals can get some at P&G’s Bar on Main Street in New Paltz.
Looking for something a bit stronger? Tuthilltown Spirits and Distillery in Gardiner has won numerous awards for their locally distilled whiskeys, bourbons and vodkas.
Still can’t figure out where to start? Fear not… The Gardiner Liquid Mercantile has you covered. They carry a variety of goods produced by the local distillers, winemakers, coffee-makers, farmers and other local artisans at their Farm Bar, where you can sample the drinks and dishes, while rubbing elbows with some of the artisans who made your meal!
And let’s not forget to mention that Main Street in New Paltz contains plenty of pubs and eateries where you can grab a drink after a long day. If you want to be a part of New Paltz’s night life, then a home right in town might be your best bet and you’d never have to worry about how you’re going to get home from the bar (no drinking and driving!) because you can walk! Check out this centrally located property on 62 North Manheim Blvd in New Paltz where you can do just that.
#5: The Outdoor Lifestyle
There’s no way we could make a list of why you should come to New Paltz or Gardiner without mentioning the abundance of outdoor activities available! Known as the East Coast’s greatest climbing area, people travel from around the world to climb the Shawangunk Mountain ridge!
The rock climbing at the Mohonk Preserve is second to none, with more than 1,000 climbing routes in the preserve and 5 linear miles of cliff face to climb. The Trapps is the longest and most popular area to climb in the Mohonk Preserve, as well as the most easily accessible. Minnewaska State Park (once part of the Mohonk Preserve, but bought by New York State in the 1980’s) also contains popular climbing destinations, like Peterskill, where you can get the same rock climbing experience as The Trapps at Mohonk, but without the large crowds.
Hiking of course is also extremely popular in the Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park, with a variety of trails to hike, bike, walk, snowshoe or even ride on horseback. Take a simple stroll (some trails are even wheelchair accessible) or get your heart pumping on a more advanced, uphill-climb trail.
If you’d rather take a nice walk, pack a picnic and maybe take an afternoon dip, you’re still in the right spot. Minnewaska and Mohonk have hidden-jem watering holes that are sure to get you through a hot summer afternoon. Coxing Trailhead, in the Mohonk Preserve, takes you down the Coxing Kill steam to Split Rock, a popular waterhole destination or you can take the plunge into the picturesque Lake Awosting in Minnewaska.
Continue your water adventures down the Wallkill River by canoe or kayak. Numerous public boat launches in New Paltz make it easy for you to get out on, and enjoy, the river. You can also fish for Smallmouth Bass and Carp while you’re at it.
New Paltz and Gardiner are also linked via the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, which is a 22 mile linear trail running from Wallkill to Kingston, free to the public, to walk, bike, snowshoe, cross country ski and ride on horseback. Explore the trail to find the Rosendale Trestle, referred to as the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the trail, a 940 ft bridge spanning the Rondout Creek.
If you’re looking to live in the middle of all of this beauty, there are plenty of homes that will fit your need on the market right now. 27 Cragswood Road in New Paltz has plenty of astounding views of Bonticou Crag and the Mohonk Preserve and is only a 5 minute walk to jump onto the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail!
There’s no shortage of things to do and sites to see in the New Paltz and Gardiner area. However, one of the greatest perks to living in this area is the ease of access to New York City. Only a 90 minute drive down the Thruway to the George Washington Bridge, New Paltz and Gardiner also have convenient links to public transportation that will take you to the city.. Pick up the Trailways bus right from Main Street to take the short ride directly to Port Authority, or just 15 minutes across the river, Metro-North Railway will take you straight to Grand Central Terminal.
Take the short trip upstate today and fall in love with New Paltz and Gardiner- two towns that are certainly worth calling “home.”
Are you looking to make the move to New Paltz or Gardiner?
Start your search here, or give us a call and let us help!