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Hi, thanks for finding the site. I’m glad everyone has added something, here’s my bit.
Yes Newburgh has amazing grand old homes. Architecturally Newburgh probably has more to offer but that doesn’t mean it will be cheaper than Peekskill in terms of renovation. From your description, it sounds like you might want a mansion in MGL (Montgomery/Grand/Liberty Streets). Most of these homes are probably pushing 120+ years, so you can bet that it’s not going to be cheap to renovate. There are historic house tax credits though that you can take advantage of. There are also some homes in the Heights that are quite grand (and in desperate need of love) that you might want to consider.
1-Theoretically if you are converting a multi-family to a 1 family, taxes should go down as the municipal services being used would decrease. However, making upgrades to the home will make your home more valuable and can increase your taxes. That said, you can fill out this form and for 10 years you are protected from having major increases in your taxes. First 5 years taxes stay the same, then go up incrementally each year for the last 5. Lots of good information in this resource directory from the land bank. Taxes are expensive because there aren’t enough businesses and because of 700+ vacant properties not on the tax roll.
2-Like others said, there are streets you will avoid but other than that people walk around freely. Crime is often among others doing the same activity. You are from NYC. Play it safe like before the Disney store came to Times Square. Don’t be afraid of people who don’t look like you. I’ve heard many stories of people pleasantly surprised when they have conversations.
3- I stay away from politics. However, I have noticed that the newcomers to Newburgh are becoming increasingly active and are mixing things up-sorely needed. You could join in!
4-If you visit Newburgh you will see why there isn’t a BID or CBD. We are still trying to get a solid concentration of businesses going. It’s happening but slowly along Liberty Street and lower Broadway. As mentioned, there are a few groups that could potentially develop into a BID. Personally I’d like to see a Main Streets Program initiated. Again, lots you could do to help if you are willing.
5- I could like name 10 gay couples off the top of my head easily. You would not be alone and you would quickly meet who’s who. I think this video gives an excellent introduction of the game changers in Newburgh. And mind you, many people were left out. So there’s plenty more.
Like I always say, Newburgh is a place for people looking to create change. If you want to go to a place where everything is “done” already, Newburgh really isn’t the place. I would say that it appears that with each newcomer, they bring a specialty with them that is felt 1,000 times more in Newburgh because there is such a need here. Everyone is thirsty for change, and it seems that things are really moving along in a very organic way.
Wish you the best! And if you move, please share your renovation stories, it’s very inspirational for others.