Archive for July, 2008


Thursday, July 31st, 2008

The lifeline thrown out to the housing crisis yesterday was just what the Doctor ordered.

$300 Billion was allocated to help American’s avoid foreclosure on their primary dwellings.

While most say, we here on the East End (Hamptons & North Fork of Long Island) are immuned to this meltdown, there’s no denying the rippling effects any time there is trouble with the American Dream of homeownership. No one is completely immuned when the depth of the problem is what we are experiencing.

To that end, I’d like to personally thank our leaders for a great move.

I believe, in time,  this will be viewed as the turning point from current market conditions for our industry.

Judi A Desiderio, CEO

2% Peconic Bay Region Transfer Tax

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

On June 22, 1998 in a farmfield in Southampton, Gov. George Pataki signed legislation granting rights to the 5 East End Towns of the Peconic Bay Region (East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island, Riverhead & Southold)  to establish Community Preservation Funds transfer tax. Since that time over 7,000 acres have been purchased with approximately $400,000,000. This 2% transfer tax shall remain in existance until 2030, as per a vote in 2006.

So many vital parcels of land have been preserved thanks the the real estate boom we’ve experienced over the past 10 years.

We all believe in the importance of preservation both ecologically as well as asthetically, but the entry level (ie homes under $250,00 in East Hampton, Southampton and Shelter Island) does not seem fitting. There are discussions on first home buyer exemptions which would be a step in the right direction, but more to help the young generation stay here and raise their families and the older generation remain is necessary.

To read more on where these tax dollars are going, visit and search Peconic Bay Region Transfer Tax.

Westhampton Beach – The “First” Hampton

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008


While visiting your vacation beach house, or looking to find property for sale, or houses for rent, it’s nice to take a break for some “down time” to investigate what the area offers when you are not actually in your vacation home at the beach,.
For starters, Westhampton Beach is technically the “first” Hampton you encounter when traveling east to the Hamptons. Approximately 1 ½ hours east of New York City, it is accessible by train, Hampton Jitney, or private plane to Gabreski airport, all of which are located 10 – 15 minutes north of the charming village of Westhampton Beach.
Biking, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and of course, swimming at our beautiful bay, and ocean beaches, are some of the popular outdoor activities. We also have a host of wonderful restaurants to accommodate the tastes of the most discerning diner. Be sure to also check out the charming shops, and boutiques, along Main Street which is also home to the popular Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center,. This renovated, art deco 1930’s theater is host to a variety of well known dance companies, comediennes, and musicians such as Donna Summer, KT Tunstall, New York city Opera, Bruce Hornsby and many others.
So, feel free to write or stop in at any of our Town & Country offices located throughout the Hamptons. We love it here and hope we can help you love it too!

North Fork 2nd Quarter 2008 Home Sales Report

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Town and Country Real Estate monitors 4 North Fork markets and Riverhead quarterly, as well as a separate report on Hamptons Home Sales activity. Looking at the statistics for 2nd Quarter 2008 we note the deviations are more mild on the North Fork than on the South Fork, possibly an indication the North Fork markets will realize a balanced market soon.
Jamesport (which includes Aquebogue, Baiting Hollow and South Jamesport) saw the same Homes Sold (25) for the 1st Quarter 2008 as the same period last year, and the Median Sale Price rose 3.6% from $429,510 in ’07 to $445,000 in 2008. It was a good Spring for Jamesport.
The North Fork market hit the hardest in 2nd Quarter 2008 was Mattituck (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) with 21 Home Sales in 2008 vs. 57 in 2007, this is a drop of 63%. Furthermore, there was a 22% drop in Median Sale Price from $592,000 in 2007 to $460,000 in 2008. Also in Mattituck we note only 2 Home Sales Over $1M for the entire 2nd Quarter 2008, off from the 6 posted in 2007.
Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) saw a slowdown in the Number of Home Sales (-32.5%), yet the Median Sale Price rose a considerable 9.35% from $535,000 in 2nd Quarter 2007 to $585,000 in 2008.
A look at All North Fork Markets Combined clearly demonstrates the Spring trend of fewer home sales with 134 in 2008 vs. 206 in 2007 or  a 35% drop, yet only a slight dip in Median Sale Price from $500,000 to $468,750 2nd Quarter 2007 to 2nd Quarter 2008 respectively. In the 1st Quarter 2008 there were 97 Home Sales or 46% less than same period in 2007. 
2nd Quarter 2008 also posted 7 Home Sales Over $1M for a decline of 66% difference from the 21 in 2nd Quarter ’07. This trend makes for many opportunities for a savvy investor.
To view more specifics on your particular locations and price ranges visit our website and click on “Reports”.


Hamptons 2nd Quarter 2008 Real Estate Report

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
As expected, the 2nd Quarter 2008 statistics for Home Sales Activity reflects reductions in the # of Sales in each of the 11 markets monitored by Town & Country Real Estate with offices throughout Hamptons and North Fork..
The greatest drop in the Number of Home Sales was in Amagansett at 71% from 31 to 9 Home Sales 2nd Quarter 2007 to 2nd Quarter 2008, yet conversely, the Median Sales Price rose 5% year to year to $2M.
In fact, closer scrutiny of the 3 criteria Town & Country monitors reveals that while the Number of Home Sales may have dropped in every market, the Median Sales Price rose in 5 of the 11 markets.
Southampton Village Median Sales Price more than doubled 2nd Quarter 2008 compared to 2007 to $4.262M from $1.95M. Looking at the different price categories within Southampton Village, we find steep declines in Sales Under $2M. Is this a function of market conditions or availability of product? We believe it reflects the growing difficulty in finding a Village home under $1M.
Westhampton (which includes Westhampton Beach, Hampton Bays, East Quogue , Quogue and Quiogue) is the market we usully see the highest Number of Home Sales and for the 2nd Quarter 2008 that remains the case with 92. Though this is a 44% decline from the same time period from the previous year.
On a positive note, the Montauk market saw a 36% spike in Median Sales Price from $900,000 in 2nd Quarter 2007 to $1,225,250 in 2nd Quarter 2008. Montauk has been enjoying its time in the sun in 2008 with a couple of high profile of home sales and some new commercial additions.
The Hamptons ALL Markets Combined illustrated the trend of fewer Number of Home Sales with a decline of 47% which in turn effects the Total Home Sale Volume showing a 52% decline, yet a much lower reflection on the Median Sales Price which dropped 10.5% to $985,000 from $1,100,000 2nd Quarter 2008 and 2nd Quarter 2007 respectively.
This report reflects the Spring sales activity. Fortunately, the summer has been quite busy with sales appointments. Very wise, sophisticated investors are shifting their capital to the safe haven of real estate and recognizing there is no better place than the Hamptons to invest. All the talk about “the bottom” has kept some on the sidelines for now, but those with cash are negotiating their best deal now rather than waiting and possibly losing their top choice or getting into a bidding war.
To view more specifics on your particular locations and price ranges visit our website and click on “Reports”.


Hamptons Has Two of the Top Ten Best Beaches

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

The Hamptons, once again, has some of the top beaches in America for 2008 according to Dr. Beach, Stephen Leatherman.

Southampton’s Copper Beach placed 4th overall, while East Hampton’s Main Beach placed 6th.

Fifty different criteria are evaluated and ranked including water and sand quality, as well as facilities and environmental management.

With beach destinations being the #1 choice for American vacationers, it is with great pride that we see two of our beaches ranked so high. Go see for yourself – they are both fabulous.

The Gates of Heaven – Hamptons Heaven, That Is

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Drive down the lanes a mile long in Southampton, bike through the meandering country roads of Bridgehampton, or jog along the waterside ways in East Hampton and you eyes are sure to feast on an array of entry gates to both humble and majestic home. Some are always open to welcome, other closed and quite possible locked shut; some elaborate and grand, others simple and small. For sure, all add a touch of personal taste and design to a home, as well as give privacy, and least we forget, a sense of security and peace of mind.

But there is also another added benefit of entry gates – gates are an investment in a home and increase property value, as they add elegance and beauty to existing landscaping. How many times have we heard or read a description of a house for sale that says "private gated entryway" or secluded and gates 2.5 acres". Gates are sellable features that can be added to every homes amenity list.

Choice and style and vast ad wide; prices are equally varied. Choose a look that compliments your home and landscape, one that won’t break the bank account, and most importantly, one that welcomes you HOME every time you pull up to you house.



New, Yet Historic, East Hampton Town Hall Complex

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

 East Hampton Town Hall Complex is moving rapidly along, with an estimated completion time in 2009,   The eight 18th and 19th century houses and barns were saved from demolition and donated by Adelaide de Menil and Edmund Carpenter in April 2007. Shortly thereafter the eight buildings were meticulously moved to their new Pantigo Road home following the sale of the deMenil/Carpenter property on Further Lane, Amagansett. 

The campus-like quad with buildings surrounding a small green is the vision of Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The design includes the connecting of the eight historic building to form a Town Hall complex unlike any other. The building consist of the Hedges House, which will house the supervisor and his staff; the Hand House, for the town council and staff; the Carpenter-de Menil Barn, which will become a town hall meeting room, and the Parsons Barn, which will be a town conference room. In addition there will be the Baker Barn, where the public will enter the complex; the Peach Farm building, housing personnel, and two smaller structures to house a tourist information center.

So within the imminent future, the new East Hampton Town Hall will be functioning in these historic structures built over 200 years ago and the town will once again be reminded of the heritage and tradition that is so prevalent in the East Hampton community.

Window Boxes – Instant Curb Appeal

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Add a splash of color and visual interest to your home with window boxes – charming enhancements that instantly add curb appeal to anything from the simplest home to the most majestic estate. Regardless of architectural style, play “dress-up” with your windows, and brighten the look of  your home relatively inexpensively.

First decide the style of the window box, then note what direction the box faces (sun vs, shade), then head to the nursery to pick out you favorite flowers and greens. Consider color, texture, height and form.  Go simple, go elaborate – go colorful, go GREEN.

Add a delightful accent to the exterior of your home by simply sticking your head out the window – you’ll be amazed at the difference window boxes can make to the attractiveness of your home.


Monday, July 21st, 2008

My partners and I wish to thank Hamptons Magazine for a fun filled nite under the tent and the shore in Southampton.

The entertaiment kept the crowd sizzling even while the winds were blowing.

There’s nothing like lobster, clams, muscles, and burgers with all the fixings to round off the evening.

Thank you