Real Estate: Summer Rentals, a Ripple Runs Through It
The good news for buyers: there’s a lot of property to choose from and prices are down 20 - 30% from their 2007 peak. The good news for sellers: there are plenty of eager prospective buyers out there. The troubling news for both: though prices are soft, they could get even softer—some industry observers predict an additional 10 - 15% erosion. For would-be buyers and would-be sellers for whom the present news is not nearly good enough, the alternative, of course, is to rent.
Renting is like dating. “You get to dip your toe in the water,” says Andrew Gates of Sotheby’s International Real Estate’s Litchfield Hills office, “to find out if you prefer Litchfield to, say, Water Mill.” Renters enjoy many of the pleasures of ownership while suffering few of its pains. So what if someone else got to pick out the bathroom tile? That same someone also got to take sponge baths for six months, while waiting for the installer to appear. Water in the basement? Who cares?! It’s a rental!!! Pop quiz: Who spends more time in the hammock? Owners or renters?
To get to the house on this 26-acre property, you must first cross rushing Stony Kill on a rustic stone-and-wood bridge, then pass by this cascading waterfall. Soon you will come upon a 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath, stylishly furnished farmhouse (below) with exposed, whitewashed beams, wide-board floors, plaster walls, and two fireplaces.
What to look for in a summer rental? Of course, everyone wants it all, but if forced to choose between architectural distinction/charming decor and recreation, renters are wise to choose recreation. It’s not as if they’ll be held accountable for any lapses in mien; after all, it’s just a rental.
Besides, if the weather is good, you won’t be spending that much time inside. If it isn’t, nice furniture will offer scant consolation. It’s also wise to make sure that a garden-and-lawn care person is in place and to be clear on whether this expense is part of the deal. It would be impossible to exaggerate how difficult it can be to find something so simple. By the time you’ve asked around and around and around, the lawn could be up to your knees.
On Hatch Pond
This 1,300-square-foot three-bedroom cottage, with two new full bathrooms, is located on 18 acres overlooking Hatch Pond in South Kent. There are five other buildings in the compound. Hatch Pond is a haven for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and bird watching. Boathouse privileges are extended to the renter.
The property is the one-time headquarters of the Southern New England Ice Company, who, in the early part of the last century, were purveyors of harvested pond ice that they shipped around the world.
On the banks of Lake Wononskopomuc in Lakevillle, nestled amongst ancient maples, this property has 50 feet of lakefront all to itself.