Archive for August, 2015


Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The first 6 months of 2015 was a strong performance for the North Fork Markets!

Jamesport (which includes Aquebogue, Baiting Hollow and South Jamesport) was the star with all 3 criteria monitored by TOWN & COUNTRY, solidly in the black as well as the price ranges. The Number of Home Sales rose 18% and Total Home Sales Volume was up +19.3% while Median Home Sales Price gained 13.2%.

Mattituck (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) posted the most number of sales at 73 closings along with the greatest statistical change of nearly 22%. The Median Home Sales Price for the first 6 months rose 13.2% to $505,000 from $446,250. But due to fewer sales over $2 million, year to year, the Total Home Sales Volume dipped 4.5%.

Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) also experienced heightened activity with all 3 criteria realizing gains; the Number Home Sales +6%; Total Home Sales Volume +17%, and Median Home Sales Price +1%.

Orient (which includes East Marion and Greenport) was the only North Fork market to see a pull back. The Number of Homes Sales for the first 6 months of 2015 dropped 14.3% from 2014 and Total Home Sales Volume was down 13%; the same time period. But the Median Home Sales Price rose a respectable 12.2% from $430,000 to $482,500, year to year.

Looking at All North Fork Markets Combined and you clearly see a solid first 6 months in sales activity. The Number of Home Sales was up 8%, Total Home Sales Volume +2% + Median Home Sales Price +9.4%. The strong increase in Median Home Sales Volume is a trend we are experiencing on the North Fork as more people come to discover the unique beauty.

To view all reports visit


Monday, August 24th, 2015

The first 6 months of 2015 does not statistically document what most Hamptons Brokers would have expected.

Here at TOWN AND COUNTRY all 8 offices and 150 Associates have reported heightened sales activity in just about every price range. But the statistics show a different first half of the year with 7 of the 12 markets monitored by TOWN AND COUNTRY down by as much as 22%. Only 3 markets showing increases in the Number of Home Sales, Southampton Area (which includes North Sea) + 16%, Westhampton (which includes Remsenburg, Westhampton Beach, East Quogue, Quogue and Quiogue) +8% and East Hampton Area +7%, East Hampton Village and Sag Harbor Village were both unchanged.

Looking at Total Home Sales Volume, again 7 of the 12 markets were down by as much as -54% on Shelter Island. In fact our darling Shelter Island seems to have experienced the deepest pull back. All 3 criteria monitored by TOWN AND COUNTRY declined on Shelter Island, in so far as, the Number of Home Sales dropped the most at -22% and Median Home Sales Price took a slight dip at -2.65% from $790,938 to $770,000, year to year.

Westhampton (which includes Remsenburg, Westhampton Beach, East Quogue, Quogue and Quiogue) on the other hand, was a strong performer, with the Total Home Sales Volume record of the report at +36% from $166,133,588 in 2014 to $226,024,167 in 2015 and a 35% leap in Home Sales Price from $747,000 to $1,009,450.

Southampton Village took the crown for Median Home Sales Price gain at 44% from $1,668,750 in 2014 to $2.4 million in 2015. But in East Hampton Village the Median Home Sales Price for the first 6 months of 2015 was an impressive $3.1 million.

Bridgehampton (which includes Water Mill and Sagaponack) closed the most sales over $10 million –there were 11 in the first half of this year.

Looking at All Hampton Markets combined and the report is more in keeping with the sentiment from the boots on the ground. While the Number of Home Sales was nearly unchanged, the Total Home Sales Volume was up 6% and Median Home Sales Price up nearly 3%. Not as strong as we would have expected but a solid mid year report. 

To view the complete report visit

The Peconic Land Trust’s Common Table

Monday, August 24th, 2015

On August 23, 2015, Judi Desiderio and Board Member Nancy Goell attended the Peconic Land Trust’s annual benefit dinner called At The Common Table. There was incredible food prepared by renowned East End chefs, Joe Realmuto, Colin Ambrose, Jason Weiner, Peter Ambrose, Jeremy Blutstein, Carissa Waechter, Madeline MC Lean, Arjun Achuthan, Laura Donnelly and Kat MC Cleland. Other local businesses that helped make this dinner a success were Channing Daughters Winery, Dock to Dish, Stuart’s Seafood, Montauk Brewing and Sweet’tauk. Along with the food there was great music and numerous generous donations for the Silent Auction. The night was perfect and a wonderful time was had by everyone!


Guild Hall Summer Gala

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Friday evening, August 7th, Judi Desiderio attended the Summer Gala at Guild Hall for the exhibition featuring over thirty of Mr. Lichtenstein’s Sea-Scapes. Once the exhibition was finished the party continued at 172 Cedar Street, a 23-acre equestrian farm in East Hampton owned by Jeff Fagen, the creative director of the surf company, Panda Diplomacy and his wife, Isabel Rose, who wrote a novel called “The J.A.P. Chronicles”. The event was hosted by April Gornik and Alec Baldwin was the auctioneer. The generous artists who donated for the Live Auction were William Wegman, Kaws, Annie Leibovitz, Keith Sonnier, Jacob Hashimoto, John Chamberlain, and Malcom Morley. There was a Wine Dinner with NY Times Food Writer Florence Fabricant for 8, courtesy of Florence and Richard Fabricant auctioned off for $10,000.  

The evening was a grand success and Guild Hall did a wonderful job hosting the event. Congratulations to all.

Judi A. Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer
631.324.8080  ext: 221

- See more at:

Judi A. Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer
631.324.8080  ext: 221

- See more at:

Judi A. Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer  

631.324.8080  ext: 221


Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Let’s face it, those of us who own real estate on the East End view our home as an “investment”. When exactly “shelter” became an “investment vehicle” eludes me, but I hear it every day from buyers and sellers alike. Fortunately, those of us lucky enough to own “East End dirt”, consider it one of our greatest assets. Thankfully, one good by-product from the great recession, was people stopped using their homes as a cash machine, as living on margin is never a good thing.

So let’s take a good look at your great asset… What are the things you can do to increase the value? How can you invest in your investment? The wild card here is “how much money do you have to invest?” Furthermore, keep in mind, the list below relates to the bulk of the homes in question, there are always the exceptions to the rule. An example of an exception, is when the value is entirely in the land, not the structure sitting on it. In this case, do not follow the steps below and possibly knocking the structure down is the highest and best use to maximize value. In another instance expanding the existing structure or adding a heated Gunite pool is what is needed to achieve your high water mark… but maybe you don’t have the funds to take down the structure, or expand what exists or drop in a pool. Well then the economics wild card dictates – period. But if the funds are available and you’re brave enough to embark on a big project then now is the time.

Following these simple cost effective, minimal investments for the majority of homeowners will yield desired results.

#1. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness. Start outside and work your way inside. Anything that looks neglected pulls down your value. Get out the gloves and helping hands and get a dumpster.

#2. First Impressions Set the Tone. How is the entrance to your home? How did the driveway fair this wicked winter? Landscape is like the frame of a painting – it can make it or break it. We have some incredible landscape designers out east. Call them, give them a budget and let them work their magic.

#3. Less is More. De-clutter EVERYWHERE. It always amazes me how we accumulate stuff. Remove 25-30% of the furniture out of rooms – the rooms will look bigger. 

#4. Repair, Replace, Replenish. If it’s broken, fix it. If it’s soiled, replace it. If it’s weak, replenish it. An old area rug does more harm than you can imagine.

#5. A Fresh Coat of Paint Works Miracles. When you walk in to a home and it’s been freshly painted (preferably any shade of white) it smells and feels new. Nearly every buyer would love to buy a new home but most can’t make the numbers work or simply can’t afford it. So give them the next best thing – a freshly painted home.

#6. Appeal to the Senses. We’ve addressed what you see, but what do you smell? Hear? Feel? If you are up to it, bake fresh cookies.

#7. Take it to the Next Level. The next level is construction such as kitchens, baths, windows and doors. In that order. If your home is 10 years old or more, and you have the funds to invest, seek out a professional to advise you on style, cost, and value priority. Depending on your budget and target market this cost can swing wildly. After all you can buy a faucet from Home Depot for $100 or Waterworks for several thousands. You get the idea. 

Some of the best value experts are real estate professionals who have proven successful in bull markets as well as bear markets — the right real estate professional is a tremendous resource. 

Spring is the time to address these Top 7 Value Producers. Spring cleaning on steroids.

Judi A. Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer 
631.324.8080  ext: 221


Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Those of us in the business hear it every day… “so what’s really happening to the summer rental market?” Good question with a multifaceted answer. First let’s look at the past. 35 years ago when I began my career in real estate in the Hamptons, there were no cell phones, no computers, we had our rentals on index cards and the majority of the rentals we did were M-L. Or to the rest of the world “Memorial Day to Labor Day”. On a rare occasion there was an August or maybe a July rental, but the rule was for summer rentals. Many rental properties were owned by the same guy… or gal. Tenants paid the expenses and there were very few problems. People came out east for R&R to enjoy the natural beauty. To fish and play golf. To gather with friends at dinner parties and just a few times each season there would be a big social event.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. What has changed? Well everything, almost. With cell phones, computers, the internet and an entire generation craving immediate gratification, R&R is no longer the driver. Couple that with the change in our hamlets. We went from quaint Ma & Pa shops to big box stores and Main Streets that close down for 9 months of the year. Additionally, every weekend there are several, major, social events, fund raisers, shows, parties. No down time. The Hamptons vacation became about social events. They became all about weekends or a week or so at a clip. 

Memorial Day through Labor Day is now the exception; July or August even take a back seat to short terms.

The Great Recession was the beginning of the end of full season rentals, as that severe correction changed the way people spend money. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the demographic of our clients, they are mostly from Manhattan and work in finance. The summer after the crash we saw families sharing rentals and the huge shift toward short term rentals. Now there are uber sites which push weekly rentals, again accelerating the short term rental market. This shift toward short term rentals contributes to overcrowded roads and congestion as there’s no slack time. Every home is maximally occupied.

Another important factor contributing to this year’s down rental market is that sales and rentals have always been inversely related and sales have been quite strong for the past few seasons.

Will the seasonal Hamptons Summer Rental Market be back? Where else can you rent a home worth $8,000,000 for just $200,000, for the best 3 months of the year and not have to pay taxes, insurance and maintenance. It’s the best vacation bargain I know. And if you take a home for the summer it’s ok to miss a rainy weekend here or there.

After all there’s always next week!

Judi A. Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer 
631.324.8080  ext: 221

Billy Joel’s Last Concert at the Nassau Coliseum

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Long Island boy, Billy Joel entertained his adoring Long Island fans for the last concert at the Nassau Coliseum. The arena is due to be removed to make way for a new complex. How fitting for Mr. Joel to grace us with the swan song or should I say songs as he played for over three glorious hours. I've seen him live many times back at the Ranch in Montauk and of course the coliseum. He is truly the entertainer. Our own Piano Man from LI. Paul Simon stopped by for a tune or two and the King of Queens made an appearance. What a great night!

Judi A. Desiderio, Chief Executive Officer     
631.324.8080 ext. 221