The Market

A New York vacation house for $2,000? Believe it

By Virginia K. Smith  | August 13, 2014 - 12:01PM

Most of us can't think about buying an apartment, let alone a second vacation home, but with bungalows for sale in "the low five figures"? Suddenly this is starting to sound a lot more doable.

DNAinfo has a rundown of still-affordable spots to find a second home outside of NYC (hint: not the Hamptons) and their timing couldn't be better: with the busy season winding down, now's the time for prospective buyers to potentially land a good deal. "Owners tend to start the season demanding higher listing prices than what a lot of listing agents would advise," one Catskills broker told the site, adding, "By August, the sellers are panicking. [Those] who really don't want to own through the winter need to sell now."

For budget-minded vacationers, both the Catskills and the Rockaways are particularly good places to look. In the Catskills, lots of former resorts are now run as co-ops by their New York-based owners, and bungalows often include access to common areas like meeting halls, tennis courts, and pools. Up at Lansman's Bungalow Colony, there's currently a one-bedroom on offer for $2,000 (albeit with $4,603 worth of annual maintenance charges attached). If you're still skeptical, Thrillist has a pretty enticing guide to weekends in the Catskills (provided you don't just want to hole up in your cheap bungalow).

Cottages in the area are more expensive (think five figures or in the low three figures), and the cheaper they are, the more likely they'll need some renovation work. The same goes for bungalows: a lot of these homes aren't winterized, so don't expect this to be a particularly cozy place to read by the fire once the winter sets in, unless you're willing to do some serious work on the place.

In the Rockaways, you'll pay a bit more, but in exchange for a much shorter commute come Friday afternoon. And while the supply of bungalows has been seriously depleted over the years, there are still plenty of budget options in the area—a small bungalow recently sold for $28,000, and a larger, winterized option is currently available near Beach 24th street for $139,000. There's a wide variety of non-bungalow housing stock in the area as well, from brand new apartment developments to splashy mansions, and if you're in the mood to start hunting, check out our guide to Rockaways buying before you dive in.


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