Worth Bragging About- Homes in the Capital Region for a Million (and change)

What a cool million (and change) gets you in the Capital Region

By: Mary Cirincione

Full-service bar. Heated indoor pool. Catering kitchen. Private tennis court. Secret library.

If those details don’t catch your eye, how about a bridge- to your own private island? Whatever you need- or should we say crave- in your dream digs, you can find it in the Capital Region. And if you’re willing to spend a million-plus, we have a couple of suggestions worth drooling over.

Rensselaer County: Brunswick 12180

70 Coons Road

  • $2.6 million
  • 9,000 SF
  • 41 acres
  • 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 1 half-bath
  • MaryLou Pinckney, Sotheby’s International Realty

“When you pull into the property, you feel like you’re in Europe,” says MaryLou Pinckney. “It really has a very Mediterranean feeling. I don’t think there’s anything like it in the area.”

Situated on 41 acres and reminiscent of grand Tuscan estates, this villa feels timeless, and has clearly been designed with entertaining in mind. “It’s a niche property,” Pinckney says, due to its sheer size and amenities.

An in-ground, heated saltwater pool overlooks the grounds, which include a bridge, waterfall and horse barn. Bridle paths wind throughout the property. The house itself has a gym, a two-tiered movie theater, and a tavern known as “The Club Car.” With three taps, a kegerator, backlit shelves of liquor and a brass foot rail, who needs to head out to imbibe?

‘It’s not a run-of-the-mill bar by any means,” Pinckney says.

Floor-to-ceiling windows, in what is lovingly referred to as the “tower,” offer light and views on three sides and a place for meditation. There’s also a second-floor library.

The seclusion and inherent privacy further set it apart, she says, and the property could work just as well as a retreat, as it could a family home. “I’ve often thought it would make a great corporate meeting house,” Pinckney says.

Albany County: Colonie 12309

366 Vly Road (Niskayuna zip code)

  • $1.5 million
  • 12,905 SF
  • 11 acres
  • 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 4 half-baths
  • Marie Bettini, Albany Realty Group

This timeless Tudor was built with attention to every detail in the mid-1940’s, and then expanded upon over the years to create something impressive both in size and effect.

“The craftsmanship, all the woodworking in this house, just can’t be duplicated,” says agent Marie Bettini. “The curved, grand staircase itself is something out of Gone With The Wind.”

The bones are beautiful: deep crown molding, Italian tile floors, three gas fireplaces, and a commercial-sized kitchen with two of every appliance, as well as archways, charming built-ins and a butler’s pantry. There’s also an attached four-car garage and gated entry.

The size and layout make it perfectly suited for entertaining guests, with three living rooms, two dining rooms, two family rooms, two libraries and a basement billiard room. “You can have quite the party in this house,” Bettini says.

There’s also plenty of room to raise a large family, and the property has the added benefit of being within the Niskayuna school district. “An 11-acre home with Niskayuna schools is almost unheard of,” she says. “Plus, the view is just spectacular.”

Bettini says that you can see the Green Mountains of Vermont, and some have told her the home is located on one of the highest points in Colonie.

Albany County: Loudonville 12211

12 Cherry Tree Road

  • $1.595 million
  • 10,000+ SF
  • 3.1 acres
  • 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 4 half-baths
  • Luci Cody, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley

Offering a “country estate” feel on three acres in Loudonville, this colonial-style home with Georgian attributes boasts over 10,000-square-feet in a high-end, established neighborhood. Built in 1940, much of the original wide-plank flooring and architectural details remain, although it’s far from old-fashioned, thanks to additions and a series of modern amenities.

Chief among them: an expansive entertaining kitchen, heated indoor pool with counter-current capabilities, steam room, sauna and private tennis court. “It’s like being in a resort, but you’re at home,” says agent Luci Cody. “It’s just an extraordinary property.”

Cathedral ceilings, crown molding, three fireplaces, a finished basement, the list goes on and on, she says. “It has all the bells and whistles you could want.”

The property feels secluded thanks to a wooded area and cul-de-sac, although it’s really a “stone’s throw” from Route 9, Cody says. Even better? There’s an apartment over a three-car detached garage, which would make for a perfect studio or haven for out-of-town guests.

Schenectady County: Rotterdam 12306

1986 Crawford Road

  • $1.499 million
  • 7,668 SF
  • 38.2 acres
  • 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 half-baths
  • David Phaff, Realty USA

“How about wow,” offers agent David Phaff, referring not only to the property itself but also to the history behind it.

The owner rescued this Civil War-era barn from a farm in Fonda, saving it from near-ruin and spending roughly $70,000 just to have it moved. The transformation to luxury home was completed in 2011, with the original siding reinstalled over a thick, fully-insulated frame. Total construction costs exceeded $2 million.

The end result is unlike anything else out there, he says. It’s also massive: three living levels, plus a full basement and five-car garage, although the third floor remains unfinished, allowing for complete customization.

It’s so large, in fact, the owners installed a four-level elevator and a self-sustained fire suppression system with hidden sprinklers throughout. It has its own generator,even its own water supply. The entire back of the home exits onto a broad, two-tiered deck.

Inside, there are two master suites, two dining areas, a loft-style library and a caterer’s kitchen, as well as 32 skylights to keep things light and open. Wood-paneled interiors, wide-planked reclaimed lumber floors, beam ceilings and a double-sided, stone-front fireplace lend a rustic flair.

“You could entertain a couple hundred people in there,” he says, with multiple expansive, open rooms, one of which he affectionately refers to as the dance hall, as it harkens back to days of old. The soaring ceilings leave a lasting impression, he says, as does a view of the Green Mountains.

For those who appreciate a bit of mystery, there’s also a secret office that is absolutely movie-worthy. When you press the bookcase, a hidden door swings back to provide entry.

Check out the video at https://vimeo.com/177502325

Schenectady County: Duanesburg 12137

8287 Mariaville Road, Pattersonville, Town of Duanesburg

  • $1.299 million
  • 3,180 SF
  • 4.5 acres
  • 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 1 half-bath
  • Dennis Evans, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties
  • Photos by Kim Koza

Private island, gated entry and over four acres.

In truth, that’s all you really need to know before your heart starts fluttering. The daydream of a local girl back in the 1950’s, brought to life shortly after the millennium, this five-bedroom property was built to be an escape for family and friends, with waterfront on all sides.

The owners first tried to buy the property in the late 1970’s, but made an offer just a day too late, ultimately snagging the property nearly 2.5 years later when it went on the market again. It was a clean slate, and they had to build a bridge and drive before they could begin the house of their dreams.

“It’s kind of a Cinderella story,” says agent Dennis Evans, referring to the romance behind the acquisition.

The property itself offers seclusion, a private dock and its own lighthouse. There are two kitchens, one of the first floor, and a second downstairs next to the game room and bar area.

“This home is meant to have a lot of friends and family over, it’s meant for entertaining,” Evans says. “But although it’s a luxury home, it’s still very comfortable.” The island is navigable by golf cart, and has plenty of room for bonfires and outdoor fun.

If you have even broader aspirations, the property on the mainland side of the bridge it also for sale.