“Like a big hug.”  “A sanctuary.”  “Shelter from the Storm.”  “Even my Dad approves.”  Just some of the feed back we’ve heard from our homeowners over the years.

17 years ago I left NYC after 9/11.  With no job because of the attacks, and an apartment lease running out, I picked up and left, heading to the tumbleweed towns of Western Sullivan County.   Inspired by the wind-swept prairie farmhouses that were found around county, and somewhat conscious of the fact that not many families would benefit from owning a fixer upper, I embarked on our first new old farmhouse in 2002.  It took awhile to build and finish.  It’s still there – owned by the same family that bought it from me 16 years ago – a little wind-swept and well-loved.

That was more than 150 homes ago.  All told we’ve participated in nearly 200 new builds and renovations.  We’ve mastered the ‘new old house’ farmhouse and cottage, branched out into modern and rustic barns, mid-century modern ranches, mini-houses, and even a few homes barely 500 sq ft.  What started out as a guy without reliable transportation has subsequently invested nearly $200m in Catskills real estate, building little abodes for families to peacefully and affordably enjoy.

We still rescue families from ‘this old house’ fantasy, preserving many a relationship and savings account.  We still save families months if not years of looking for that perfect country home that doesn’t really exist.  Every month we put a new family in a new country home that works – the home might lean country, might lean modern, might merge the two or encompass other design directions, but in the end, the homes help our families support that ideal of a little respite from the city way of life.

As I say in one of our videos, if the driving idea behind the start of this business was to help families find upstate retreats that would facilitate and propel their upstate country journeys – safely, affordably, comfortably, predictably – I think we’ve achieved that goal remarkably well.   It wasn’t always easy, and our learning curves were endless, but in the end, our efforts are judged and validated by all those country house porch lights that come on on a typical Friday night – one by one – as families arrive for a little rest and relaxation in their Catskill Farms homes.

Charles Petersheim


Charles Petersheim is the founder of Catskill Farms, a vertically-integrated development, design, construction and real estate company doing business throughout the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.  For the past 18 years, Chuck has been forging ahead with creative design/build projects, putting nearly 200 families in homes that work.  He has survived 9/11, the startup of a business, the great recession and constant learning curves.  His efforts at creating unique spaces and unique homes – in collaboration with very talented homebuyers – have earned him attention nation-wide.

Chuck has turned his rag-tag dream of a better house for weekenders into a reality.  In addition to the substantial taxes and economic cross-multiplier his homes and homeowners generate for upstate’s one horse towns, he also supports a wide range of non-profits which include a horses-as-trauma therapy organization, an arts incubator, a homeless federation, many fire departments, little leagues and charities

In 2002, Petersheim founded Bluestone Construction, Catskill Farms' award winning resident builder.

In 2009, Petersheim founded EcoTech Spray Foam, a green soy-based insulation company that serves the Hudson Valley, Westchester, and Greenwich, CT regions.

In 2012, Petersheim founded Lazy Meadows Realty, a better way to buy upstate properties.