Gurney's Inn
June 27, 2007

Realty Takes

The Season Is Upon Us

Unlike the fireworks, our July 4th deadline was pushed up. So . . .

Big deals on Meadow Lane in Southampton Village. In May and June no less than three homes exchanged hands for over $20 million, two of them over $30 million as in the R. Sillerman to R. Lehman transfer on 1080 Meadow Lane. Aha! Now I get it: the first initial R makes you rich, not the last initial.

It has been suggested that I contact brokers Andrea Ackerman, Prudential Elliman Real Estate, Southampton; H. Grant, Sotheby's, Southampton; Pat Petrello, Sotheby's, Southampton; Marcella O'Callahan, The Corcoran Group, Southampton, for more information there is one transfer at over $32 million, the other at close to $24 million.

From Prudential Douglas Elliman, Bridgehampton, celebrating the summer: "The agents are gearing up for a night of fun and relaxation at its 2nd Annual Beach Party to be held sometime in July at Sagg Main Beach. Last year was a combination summer beach party, Christmas party (yes, Christmas) and celebration of our manager Paul Brennan's birthday." (Hey guys, can I get in there? My birthday is in December.)

Sheri Winter Clarry, Senior Vice-president The Corcoran Group, North Fork, writes her area "is for people who are comfortable in their own skin. They know who they are. It's a young SoHo and gets better every year . . . Still an under valued area on Long Island's East End . . . A young Napa Valley in the making . . . You can still buy a fixer upper in the $450+ price range and there are a few homes on the Bay or Sound for under a million! Where would you find that on the South Fork? More important, the North Fork is more of a New England feel/lifestyle."

(Yes, well, I do know the Gottis recognizing a good deal when they see one? are going to Southold!)

Under the category of some deals are too good to be true: people are facing distress and/or eviction as a result of the collapse in "subprime" mortgage lending; typically a tool for middle class folks to help buy their homes. Now they are stuck, because they can't meet the rising monthly payments. (Though East End real estate is possibly immune to these market vagaries, it's still good, I think, to have a reality check once in a while!)

Under "for your information": There are 18 "for sale by owner" homes in East Hampton. Some for big bucks, too. Is this a forest for the trees being mistaken for a trend? (Or is it trees for the forest? Both make sense!) As you know, I don't subscribe. Penny wise pound foolish! (Is that what I am looking for?)

Under modern times: On Two Holes of Water, where long ago local families had their "wood lots deep and narrow" homes are now transferring in the millions: $2.3 million architect designed 3500 sq ft on shy acre, pool; and, down the road there was a $1.8 million transfer. That ain't wood chips, Bub!

Under new real estate legerdemain: a Springwood/Springy Banks area home transferred at a low $995K, but may be part of trend/trick to save the 2 percent luxury tax that kicks in at the million dollar mark; buyer pays commission. (You figure out the numbers.)

Top producer of Prudential Douglas Elliman, Lori Barbaria's book signing at Sylvester's and Company in Sag Harbor was "a smash hit," the author writes. "Over a hundred books were signed and sold." As for real estate yes, Lori still has her day job and what a day it is Ms. Barbaria just listed a new $25 million oceanfront in Water Mill that "should sell quickly."

From Paul Brennan: Big goings on behind the scenes. Marketing department from Corcoran coming to Prudential Douglas Elliman. Matt Austin's dream -- he has been named head of marketing and IT for the Hamptons region.

Same subject, different source: Three quarters of Corcoran's ad department jumping ship and going over to Prudential . . . oh, forget it, I can't keep track. I do know that the talented Laura Mott moved on to Town and Country Real Estate demonstrating that "not just agents play musical chairs in the real estate biz -- wonder, is it out of the frying pan?" second source muses about all these changes.

An executive's e-mail to his firm's real estate agents: "Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us." (American Buddhist nun.)

The message goes on to read: "Adversity, though painful, serves a useful purpose. It wakes you up. It gives you an opportunity to uncover what's really important to you. When you hit a rough patch, ease up for a little while. Take some time to reflect on where you've been, where you are, and where you're going. Clean out dead wood. Doing this over and over is the only way to find strength and direction in life."

So that's what working in East End real estate is all about? Hmmm! A very strange business, indeed.

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