Tuxedo Park, New York, a refined and private community less than an hour from New York City, dates back to the 1880s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In this blog, we will go on a virtual tour of the market with Barbara du Pont, a veritable expert on the gated enclave’s real estate sales, trends and historic homes. She is responsible for the two highest sales in Tuxedo Park since 2006.
What is so compelling about Tuxedo Park that residents often enter the market as secondary residents and then transition to full-time?
Tuxedo Park is simply a magical place. Descriptions and even pictures cannot do it justice. People who come to look at houses are captivated by the beauty of the scenery: the serenity of the three lakes, hills and winding roads, vistas of private gardens and untamed natural surroundings. “The Park” has a rich history and surprisingly diverse inventory of houses, many of them designed by famous architects from the Gilded Age, but also converted stables and carriage houses as well as a sampling of contemporary homes.
But it is not just about the landscape and homes. Tuxedo Park is a wonderful community to live in. It is small enough that you feel part of a community. You can, as many residents do, get involved in local government and institutions. While the residents are welcoming, they also respect one another’s privacy. Some start out with Tuxedo Park as a weekend and summer retreat and then decide that The Park is really their primary residence, possibly keeping a pied-à-terre in the city or just moving here full time. It is no accident that many residents have moved two, three and even four times within The Park, choosing to upsize, downsize, move for lake views or lake front. But they stay in the community throughout lifecycle changes.
How long have you been serving the market, and how have you seen it change over the years?
I have been a resident for almost 20 years and have been in the real estate business for the last decade. In that time there have been three significant changes, all for the better. First, while the residents span all ages, younger couples have moved here, adding to the vitality of the community. Second, some of the most beautiful historic houses saw a time of neglect over the years, and under new ownership there has been a resurgence of thoughtful, high-quality restorations, which is thrilling to see. Finally – and here is the best news for prospective buyers – prices have come down significantly in the last eight to 10 years, making Tuxedo Park not only affordable, but an outstanding value compared with other markets.
Why is now a good time to invest in Tuxedo Park real estate?
The timing now is really in favor of buyers. While prices in other markets around the New York metro area have already ratcheted up, Tuxedo Park is still a bargain. While sales fell off dramatically during the recession, prices were slower to come down and inventory surged. Now we see sellers cutting prices to record lows in order to move their houses, creating some amazing values for buyers, with a wide range of prices and styles, from small converted stables and carriage houses to large mansions and everything in between.
Take us on a tour of the market through your favorite listings.
In a tour of Tuxedo Park, 18 Summit Road is our first stop. Perched on a hill, it offers breathtaking views of Tuxedo Lake. The home itself is exquisitely constructed, with an easy flow and spacious rooms for gracious entertaining.
Our next stop is 57 Lookout Road, a striking contemporary built atop the stone foundation of Pierre Lorillard’s 1890 massive stable on a seven-acre, gently sloping hillside. Its winding drive ends at nine-foot stone walls, which are interspersed with graceful arches that enclose the courtyard, affording the ultimate in privacy.
Next is 21 Lookout Road, a beautifully renovated home on two acres, with a tennis court and room to play among majestic trees and gently sloping lawns. The home offers open space and an easy flow.
Perhaps the best example of historic, classic Tuxedo Park architecture is the next stop on our tour: 4 Ridge Road. Built in 1898 and lovingly preserved and maintained, it offers an air of elegance, from the marble foyer to the original hardwood floors. The ballroom was added in the early 1900s.
The last stop on our tour is another great example of historic Tuxedo Park. The Ice House on 2.6 acres at 62 Circuit Road was once part of the legendary Henry S. Poor estate. It is anchored by the original stone ice house, built in 1899 and now a spacious living room.