Skip to comments.Manhattan renters close on getaway (log) cabin in West Milford
Posted on 11/11/2015 11:53:01 AM PST by Coleus
From the neon lights of Broadway and their work on the new musical "Something Rotten!" to the serenity of West Milford's Pinecliff Lake, where the only illumination comes from the stars, two Manhattan renters couldn't come up with a more different setting for their first home. But that is what Aaron Kaburick and Patrick Wetzel wanted in a getaway home. "It's quaint, the neighbors are close, but it still feels secluded," said Kaburick of the log cabin the couple dreamed of and found with the help of Linda McCullough, broker associate for Re/Max Country Realty in West Milford. As a respite from the bustle of Manhattan, the lakefront home that was built in 1945 lives up to the term "getaway," with a grape arbor shading a patio table on the back deck and a stone walkway leading to the private lake where a canoe invites a greater connection with nature.
"The minute we walk in we both feel our shoulders drop," said Kaburick, who as the chef of the house loves having a kitchen that opens up to the living room with its big stone fireplace and the dining area. "What do you think of the quiet at night?" asked McCullough, chatting at the patio table with her clients after the closing in August. Both homeowners said it wasn't too much of an adjustment because they grew up working on farms in Illinois and Maryland before establishing themselves in the theater. Kaburick, 37, is performing in the musical, and Wetzel, 47, is its stage manager. "Something Rotten!" opened on Broadway in April and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards. The couple didn't give up their rental on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, because, as Kaburick puts it, "To be able to have both worlds is great," Kaburick said.
But what would bring a couple from the Big Apple to the uppermost reaches of Passaic County? Wetzel explained that it was through friends who live in lake communities of New Jersey that they came to appreciate this lifestyle. They'd come up and visit their friends and soon wanted their own country refuge. First, "it was more looking for a place to get away to," Wetzel said. "We settled on a lake [area] because we love all the green." Before meeting McCullough, the couple did research online for nearly one year and also looked in Vernon's Highland Lakes. "You can only learn so much looking online," Kaburick said. When they started visiting homes with McCullough the first week in June, Wetzel said, "She had a lot of answers to questions we didn't even know to ask."
The log cabin with mountain views in Pinecliff Lake was "sort of a second thought," he said, because they had other homes lined up to visit that day, but it left a powerful impression. "As soon as we walked in, we looked at each other, and both of us really liked it," said Wetzel. Besides the competition of another offer on the house, then priced at $240,000, the couple also had the Tony Awards to think about. "We looked at it on Monday, and the Tonys were the following Sunday. We spent the week thinking we just need the Tonys to be done," Kaburick said, so they could concern themselves with the house. To beat the competition for the house, they wrote the seller a note describing how much they loved it and raised their offer. A friend also put in a good word for them, and soon theirs was the only offer standing. It still took extensive negotiations with McCullough at the helm to bring the price to $215,000, which includes a credit for some required improvements.
Pinecliff Lake was constructed in 1900 to harness the energy of Belchers Creek for a grist mill, and grew through the '30s and '40s as a popular place to spend the summer, according to the lake community's website. In the '70s, it says, a "huge change in lifestyle" saw the community evolving to more year-round residences. For a couple that could use a break from Manhattan's pace, Pinecliff Lake can still be a great weekend retreat, and was priced right to make this a reality.
I kept looking trying very hard to see a woman. LOL
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