Editor’s Note

Happy Homecoming

Santa Claus makes Christmas Eve house calls in Kinderhook. It’s a good thing I didn’t know this when I was looking to relocate to the Hudson Valley, for I would have bought a house right on the spot in this charming Columbia County village. To hell with the daily five-hour round-trip commute to Manhattan; who cares that my husband and I wouldn’t know a soul for miles around? For that matter, who cares that we don’t even have children? While many towns have Christmas pageants, parades and holiday festivals, the fact that Kinderhook has a club that formally organizes Santa visits warms my heart in a singular way. To me, it is the epitome of a hometown — that je ne sais quoi that makes me want to plunk down roots and stay a while.

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Of course every town has something unique to offer, especially in the Valley. We’ve profiled seven hot hometowns (page 34), from Mahopac in Putnam County all the way to Greene County’s Catskill, 74 miles to the northwest. All are bursting with history and charm, and all are growing and evolving. Naturally, the perfect hometown is a combination of many things: affordable housing, schools, cultural activities, natural beauty, proximity to transportation — and again, that special something. We hope our profiles will make finding the right place for you a little easier.


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Settling on a town is just the beginning — then you need to find the house. Donald Trump has said, “Real estate is always good, as far as I’m concerned.” But for those of us with a surname other than Trump, it’s a little more difficult (and a lot more nerve-wracking) to figure out when to buy or sell that dream house, especially in this strange new real estate market. That’s why we turned to local real estate and financial professionals for advice about what to do in a variety of common situations (page 44). And let’s be honest: we all love to know if housing prices have gone up or down in our town. Check out our median price charts (page 46) to see how values are holding up in your neck of the woods. I admit, I’ve spent a sleepless night or two wondering if we bought our house at the very tippity top of the market. Time will tell. And in the end it doesn’t really matter, because it’s not just a house, it’s our home. And we’ve got more important things to worry about — like whether we can convince Santa to start making Christmas Eve house calls in Beacon.


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Olivia J. Abel

Editor in Chief


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