Last winter, acquaintances went on the hunt in the Hudson Valley, which gave them the resolve to do the same. They aimed for a place within a two-hour drive of the city, with a price range of $150,000 to $250,000. “Ulster County was our bull’s-eye,” Mr. Melcher said. They enjoyed hiking there in the Shawangunks, and were married at the Benmarl Winery in the town of Marlborough three years ago.
Inquiring about one listing, they encountered William Bergin, a salesman at ReMax Benchmark Realty Group in New Windsor, N.Y. “They were looking for a farm-style house, not just your average colonial or split level,” Mr. Bergin said.
The first place they saw was a pretty four-bedroom on an acre in Marlborough, with two bathrooms, listed at $199,000.
“We asked Billy, ‘Are we stupid to put an offer in on the first house we saw?’ ” Mr. Hanna said. But the issue was moot. The owner quickly took it off the market.
In Poughkeepsie, over the border in Dutchess County, the couple saw an older three-bedroom house for $150,000 that was charming in the photographs. But the low ceilings were a surprise.
“It was an example of, when you show up, it’s not what it looked like,” said Mr. Melcher. At 6 feet 4 inches tall, he nearly grazed the living room ceiling. He hit his head on a light fixture.
“I could barely stand,” he said. “Many of those older properties aren’t built for tall people. That wasn’t an issue we planned on.”
It had only one bathroom, and needed some repair….