While new houses have fewer maintenance issues, old houses come with charms that can’t be easily replicated today: stone walls, slate roofs, dyed slate patios, groin-vaulted ceilings, wide plank hardwood floors, bespoke built-in bookcases, and butler’s pantries once used by butlers.
An exceedingly charming old stone mansion in Purchase, N.Y., built in 1927, has just come on the market with all those period features and more. Listed with Fran Klingenstein at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, the asking price is $7.8 million. Along with many suburbs around New York, Westchester County is known for its horrendously high property taxes, and this property in Purchase is no exception; they ring up to $108,000 a year.
Part of the town of Harrison, the hamlet of Purchase got its name from the purchase of land from Native Americans by John Harrison in 1695. One legend has it that Harrison was given 24 hours to ride around as much area as he could claim, and the horse he rode couldn’t swim or didn’t want to get wet in Rye Lake, to the south of Purchase, so that’s where the town boundaries are. Though a fun story, it’s probably false. A bedroom community for workers in New York City, the hamlet is also home to the headquarters for MasterCard, PepsiCo, Polar Air Cargo, and Teladoc Health.
The stone house for sale is owned by Marvin and Donna Schwartz, who own an undeveloped adjacent parcel that is also up for sale. They also own an even larger house across the street, along with another adjacent parcel. Marvin has been a financial consultant with the same firm since 1961. Their main residence seems to be on New York’s Central Park South, and they also maintain a large home on the bay in Remsenburg, the most westerly part of the Hamptons.
Despite the generous five-acre lot, it’s surprising the property doesn’t have two of the usual must-haves among wealthy suburbanites, a pool or a tennis court. There is, however, plenty of room to add both, especially if the buyer chooses to snap up the five-acre neighboring parcel, which is offered at $1.9 million. The price of the lot seems like a screaming deal considering the Schwartzes paid $2 million for it back in 2004, at the same time they paid $4.3 million for the house and the five acres it sits on.
At 7,300 square feet, the house is very spacious, with six bedrooms, five updated period-inspired bathrooms, and a powder room. Notable features include the sunroom, the large pantry and the adorable flower-arranging closet, with original wooden counter and sink. There’s also a spacious marble kitchen, with oodles of custom cabinets and premium appliances, as well as a wonderfully oversized laundry room with even more cabinets. (Can there ever be enough storage?)
A detached three-car carriage house additionally offers a two-bedroom apartment for guests or staff, with a living room, kitchen and renovated bath.
Currently staged to lifelessness for the selling the process, the grand old residence’s white walls, plain kitchen and simple bathrooms are a perfect blank canvas for a creative new owner to revel in and enhance the home’s timeless vintage vibe.