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Old 07-25-2007, 06:14 PM
14 posts, read 69,147 times
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Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, and hoping that someone might be able to answer a question I have about Ossining.

My husband and I are moving up to Westchester from DC in a few months. I grew up in Northern Westchester, so I have some sense of the various areas in the county.

Anyway, we're looking to buy a place up north, and I keep seeing fairly affordable houses for sale in the "Campwoods Grounds" subdivision in Ossining. However, I can't seem to find any information about it anywhere.

Does anyone know what the deal is with this place? Is it akin to the old summer communities that used to be along Mohegan Lake (the area where I grew up)? Is there anything I should know about the area? Is it particularly unsavory, or just one of those areas that somehow has just remained oddly isolated from the housing market boom (a la some of the Mohegan Lake cottages)? In other words, why are the houses so gosh darn affordable?

Also, if I can stretch your patience further, I've seen some postings that warn potential buyers to stay "north" of Rt. 9 in order to live in a safer area. I'm somewhat confused, since Rt. 9 runs north/south, so any clarification would be much appreciated!

Thank you!
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:54 PM
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It does sound strange considering. Perhaps they mean the neighborhoods east and west of where Highland Ave. (Rt 9) turns into North Highland Ave. versus South Highland Ave.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:32 PM
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Campwoods Grounds has a strange arrangement. You own the house, but lease the land that it is on.
It is in a good neighborhood, off Campwoods Road near Rte. 133.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:41 PM
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
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You sure Campwoods Grounds isn't code word for 'D' block at the big house?
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:05 PM
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Westchester Gal,

Thanks so much for the info! Very helpful!
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:46 AM
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hi sukigirl,

i live in campwoods grounds, and it is a very interesting place. firstly, you only buy the house and you lease the land from the campwoods meeting association (very cheap leases for 30+ years - we have one of the larger properties and pay $100/month). this arrangements makes houses very affordable - we were looking at condos for the price of our house. its also a lovely community arrangement - you know many of your neighbors, but also have plenty of your own space and i never feel that people are nosy or gossipy or know all that much about me. rather, i feel like i actually feel friendly with my neighbors. a couple times a year there is a party or picnic arranged by someone. however, the thing about campwoods is that its a bit kooky. basically if you come look at the houses you will know if its for you or not pretty quickly. there are lots of interesting people living here - artists, professors, ecologists, writers, antique restorers, cafe owners, etc. there are also a lot of retired/old people, which is why so many houses are currently for sale. we have lived here for 9 months, and i absolutely love it. we moved from the west village of manhattan, are in our 30s, and there are several other families in their 30s with small children who moved here from brooklyn. if its right for you, this place is a total steal and a great deal. but if you prefer a more traditionally suburban life, then it isn't for you. i recommend house #22 which is for sale, and is adorable. oh, that's the other thing about campwoods - these are cottages, with interesting layouts. some are in better shape than others, most are tiny, all are victorian era. loads of charm, depending on which house you look at. good luck!
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:08 PM
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Sukigirl - I live near Mohegan Lake and I have a relative in campwoods. The problem with campwoods are that most of the houses are practically touching and you don't own the land. Also, parking is limited and there are no or few driveways and no garages - so you have to walk to your assigned parking space. It definity has an artsy / quirky vibe and that may work for you - make sure you do not overpay(look at what houses in campwoods have sold for in the recent past) many of them need a LOT of work. The renovated ones came out great, but you'll need to get a good deal to afford the renovations. Realistically, if you are from Mohegan Lake, check out that area and also Shrub Oak - hidden gems with good schools and good shopping I think. Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:43 AM
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Can you tell me if they allow pets?
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:52 PM
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Post Familyman Joe

I live just outside ossining and the schools are very good and nationally recognized. However, having moved to Ossining 5 years ago from NYC there are a few MAJOR DOWNSIDES. In exchange for reasonably more living space you get to live in a boring area with absolutely no good restaurants or places to eat. If your used to ordering in, you might as well forget about it. The commute to Manhattan is reasonably tolerable (still well over an hour) but you will probably end up using the Croton train station due to its better train schedule. However, Croton is notorious for flooding so you have to be on your toes when it rains or your car might be destroyed. Ossining real estate prices have also started to drop but are still slightly higher than a few years ago. One can only hope that prices in Ossining do not continue to decline. Town budget is reasonable although I believe the average tax increase was about 10% higher than last year. Is it worth it? If I had to do it again I would say no. It's a boring place to live filled with a growing underclass of unenthusiastic NYC transplants priced out of NYC. Aside from growing numbers of immigrants, most new residents will confide to you that they are not living here by choice. However, given the fact that we can not afford to live in NYC we have no real choice in the matter with two kids.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:53 PM
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Post Familyman Joe

In a followup to the previous post, I don't want to give the impression that Ossining is all bad. Although there are major downsides real estate prices are comparatively affordable. For example, you should be able to get a nice home in a townhouse development (appx. 1500-2000 sf) for anywhere between $350,000 to $425,000 depending on condition and location. Prices, have already declined (expect prices to fall some more) but are still higher than a few years ago. A similar apartment in New York City could easily cost you 4-5 times that amount (think premier UES, UWS, Chelsea) and you will still end up paying significant taxes and common charges on top of any mortgage you might hold. If you can handle the boring lifestyle and don't miss living in New York or some other larger city, reasonable (still not cheap) real estate prices and excellent schools might make Ossining a good place for you to live. However, you might wan't to wait while home prices continue to correct. I've been told (privately) that anywhere from 10-30% is highly possible. Larger and single family homes will most likely retain more of their value then town houses. Ultimately, Ossinings proximity to NYC transportation routes still make it attractive to people who are willing to handle the commute. Also, although you may appreciate the "country" lifestyle, do not forget that it does get colder then NYC and you have to be prepared for dealing with a cold and snowy commute thats not always fun. If you check out the area in the warmer months, before you move you should know that things are very dreary in Janaury/Feb/March
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