Archive for the 'Cutchogue' Category

North Fork Year End 2011 Home Sales Report

Monday, January 23rd, 2012


Town & Country’s Year End North Fork Home Sales Report is of no surprise to anyone in the real estate business on the North Fork. 

The top producer on the North Fork was Orient (which includes East Marion and Greenport) with all 3 criteria monitored by Town & Country realizing increases: number of Home Sales rose 2.8% from 72 to 74 2010 to 2011,  Total Sales Volume increased nearly 7% from $36.8M to $39.3M, and the Median Home Sale Price showed approximately a 5% rise from $410,000 in 2010 to $430,000 in 2011. The number of Home Sales in the $1-$1.99M category in Orient (which includes East Marion and Greenport) doubled year over year.

Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic), on the other hand, closed the year a bit lower than the previous year in all three categories.  The number of home sales dropped 8.6%; Total Home Sales Volume was down 16.6% and Median Home Sale Prices rolled back to $440,000 from $472,500.  But it’s important to point out that Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) posted the highest Median Home Sale Prices of all 4 North Fork markets Town & Country reports on 6 times a year.

Reviewing the culmination of All North Fork Markets Combined and one statistic jumps out at you…the $1-$1.99M price category rose 19% in 2011 from 2010.

Bottom line – North Fork Home Sales activity was fairly flat for the year 2011 but the green shoots are showing up on the high end.

Judi A. Desiderio, CEO •  631-324-8080


*Source: The Long Island Real Estate Report

**All information is deemed reliable and correct.  Information is subject to errors, omissions and  withdrawal without prior notice.

North Fork 4th Quarter 2011 Home Sales Report

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012


TOWN & COUNTRY’S  4th Quarter Homes Sales Report for the North Fork demonstrates a strengthening in 3 of the 4 markets we monitor.

Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) was clearly the star performer, with black clear across the board.  In Southold (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic), the Total Sales Volume nearly doubled from $9.8M in 4th Quarter 2010 to $19.5M in 4th Quarter 2011.  Furthermore, the Number of Home Sales rose over 30% from 23 to 30 and the Median Home Sales Price up 33% from $365,000 to $485,800.  A further look at the six price categories monitored by Town & Country tells the tale with 5 sales over $1M during 4th Quarter 2011 and zero in the same quarter the year prior.

The Eastern tip of the North Fork or Orient Market (which includes East Marion and Greenport) had a strong 4th Quarter in 2011 with a 23.5% increase in the Number of Home Sales, from 17 in 2010 to 21 in 2011 and a 35% increase in Total Home Sales Volume from $8.3M to $11.2M year to year.  There was a slight decrease in the Median Home Sales Price though from $495 to $415, 4th Quarter 2010 and 4th Quarter 2011.  

The Western End of the North Fork did not perform as well as the East – Mattituck (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) saw decreases in all three criteria monitored by Town & Country, but not by much.

Looking at all North Fork Markets Combined and you see what the late fall, early winter home sales activity was.  The Number of Homes Sales grew 8.54% and the Total Homes Sales Volume increased 23.8%.  The Median Home Sales Price was flat with a slight 4.6% drop from $440 to $420.

The one eye opener is the price category of $1-1.99M which shot up 350% from 2 sales in 2010 to 9 in 2011 4th Quarter.  The North Fork high end is picking up momentum.


To view more specifics on your particular locations visit


Judi A. Desiderio, CEO •  631-324-8080

*Source: The Long Island Real Estate Report

**All information is deemed reliable and correct.  Information is subject to errors, omissions and  withdrawal without prior notice.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

The big question is – what will 2012 bring in business – besides the health and peace we all hope for – especially in the Real Estate Market?

Is an investment in Real Estate a good one right now on the North Fork? In this blog I will try and provide a lot of information to allow you to come to one conclusion – besides the shear enjoyment of a (second) home in our beautiful East End region, an hour and a half outside of Manhattan’s mid-town tunnel…: YES!

Who would have thought that the budget deficit in Greece would affect the sale of your home in the US? With the huge amount of news we are bombarded with on a daily basis, what should we pay attention to (and what not) to make smart decisions? We need to incorporate in our decisions 1) a bit of economic history, 2) some international economic news , 3) US economic factors and finally, and 4) very local real estate concepts as all real estate in the end is hyper local.

The fall of Lehman in the fall of 08 was a first calamity, a tip of an iceberg making the world aware of unprecedented inter-connectedness caused by economic globalization. A globalization providing challenges but importantly also overall benefits for all participants – often overlooked in analysis. The USA and its “American Dream” tie more than any other country the success of its citizens to home ownership. A great system where banks provide mortgages, then re-sell them (to semi Government entities or private parties), and sell more mortgages allowing people the American Dream is unique in its multiplying effect in any developed world economy. The larger scale applications of futures (starting in the days of Aristotle to stabilize grain markets), options and and derivatives augmented this crisis of confidence and economies were thrown in unexpected tailspins. This finally resulted in doubts even in that rock of financial trust – the possibility of default in important economies’ souvereign debt as budget deficits sky rocket as a result of efforts to stabilize financial markets and stave off deep recessions world wide.

Repackaging good and bad loans and selling unscrupulous financial instruments caused an international crisis in confidence in worldwide financial markets. A crisis in general about the value of any collateral. But in three years we have come far in dealing with these issues, and I think the corrective pendulum swung to far and is about to swing back to the middle! Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water when looking at the causes of economic troubles of 2008, and better understand and appreciate the improvements in the world ecomomy seen today. Let us not overlook the fact that these same maligned instruments properly applied provide businesses a stable planning opportunity, and that smart people profit even when markets go down. Isn’t it just unfair manipulation of markets to achieve such profits that we should be wary of? Hedgefunds in the US and worldwide use this principle-as flow of capital is more important in today’s world economy than production of goods and services. My point: not all effects of more complicated financial instruments are bad.

The good news in the US economy is – the doomsayers didn’t get their way in 2011 – but neither did the bulls. The economy remained flat and since August 2011 the European Souvereign debt crisis seems to dominate any economic news even today. But the news is getting better. Unemployment is finally improving – important precursor to a better Real Estate market. On the East End the bottom did not fall from under the Real Estate market, quite the contrary. As the following graph shows, the market has remained flat but has remained at much higher levels in tranactions and values than all the bad news would suggest- so is the glass half full or half empty? Data suggest it’s filling up again.

Real Estate Activity in New York North Fork Wine Country

Annual Real Estate Sales - Contracts Signed - North Fork

With respect to international news: the truth is: nobody knows for sure what the future will bring. But (according to Onno Ruding, past Treasury Secretary in the Netherlands, Executive Director for IMF, and executive at Citibank) when one looks at the balance of payments for the entire Euro zone things do not look as bad as one would expect from the news – hence the Euro which has not collapsed at all and is stable strong in a range of $1.20-$1.40 to the US Dollar (only a decade ago at 1:1 and nobody thought anything of it). German, Dutch and Finnish Unemployment all are at a long term low. In effect, this crisis of confidence has given rise to the idea of a “German Euro”, and a “Greek Euro” on the other side of the spectrum. The Euro is a strange hybrid of a monetary unity without economic and political unity for the sake of national souvereignty (mostly France’s identity). So is all the Euronews exeggarated in its influence on the US Economy and the US housing market? The fear and a doomsday scenario would be that a failure in Greece’s ability to meet its souvereign obligations might cause a domino effect to Portugal, Spain and Italy, and even France. But short of that happening, a default of just Greece would-worst case- not be catastrophic but quite manageable. I think you can make that case easily – as long as we do not see major unforeseen calamities in 2012, in which case all predictions fail.

In August, the Chief economist for NAR , Lawrence Yun spoke before the NYSAR conference and made an interesting statement: housing starts are not keeping up with household growth for the past three years, possibly creating a housing shortage if trends continue. Might I add that I think that the US consumer is plain tired of bad news – showing up in droves at the stores in the 2011 Holiday Shopping season?

All Real Estate is local, and everyone knows the saying “location, location, location”. So let’s look at the local facts first. I keep track of an interesting statistic: RE contracts signed, in what I call the “Real North Fork” market area, about from Rte 105 East. Please do not hold this statistic to precise measures, as it is very volatile, but the advantage is that it gives you a very quick overview of what the reports on closings later will tell you more exactly, it is a measure of the activity of RE sales in our market with very little delay. A great predictor.

Pictures speak louder than a thousand words, and the facts speak for themselves:

Residential Sales Contracts Signed North Fork - Over $ One Million - (from MLSLI)

2011 saw 34 transactions over $1 Million, vs 35 in 2010, 33 in 2009 and 2008, and 52 in 2007. The upper end of the market has undoubtedly stabilized. I have seen some very good prices fetched for very good properties – almost comparable to the top of the market in the most spectacular homes segment.

Number of Residential Contracts of sale signed in New York's North Fork Wine Country

Number of Residential Contracts of sale signed in New York's North Fork Wine Country

2011 saw 279 transactions vs 280 in 2010, 243 in 2009, 217 in 2008, and 293 in 2007 but this story is not complete without a picture of the median price and days on market:

Median Prices Contracts Signed North Fork WIne Country

Median Prices Contracts Signed North Fork WIne Country

Days on market before contracts were signed

Days on market before contracts were signed

The North Fork Market stabilized in the Summer of 2010. The full picture would indicate that properties for which contracts were signed seem to have taken longer to get to that point – but any experienced Real Estate broker will tell you that a well priced property sells quickly as there are buyers out there looking for opportunities. The median price of homes sold also is at the bottom of the three years as expected: it is either a beauty contest or a price war – and the buyers still have the upper hand here.

To make the right decision, and benefit from the trends these data show, follow our North Fork T&C experience in this market:

Tips for sellers: your pricing decision will determine if and when you will sell. This is what I would consider if I were selling my house: A good Realtor (r) will help you get first prize in the “beauty contest” and suggest ways to present your property in the best light. Make sure you Realtor (r) works full time – so any buyer can reach him or her easily, and so the home can be shown promptly and easily to buyers when they are available. Also make sure your Realtor makes use of the best technology available. Look at the way their listings show online before choosing an agent. And like-it-or-not: statistics show that most buyers today will find the property they are going to buy online. Feel free to use our Town and Country Website as a standard: again, a picture speaks louder than a thousand words and our state-of-the-art web technology showcases your home beautifully. Ask the question: where will your buyer come from? Does your agent have the wherewithall to reach that buyer? Is there a fit between his or her personality and the buyer you are trying to attract? Is the way this agent markets other properties attractive to that buyer for your home? In the end luck will play a role, but you can reallly improve your odds by selecting the right agent and the right RE company. If you were a buyer – would you enjoy looking at homes with this agent? Is he or she enthusiastic, happy, and a goal getter? All characteristics we look at before we ask associates to join Town and Country Real Estate.

Sellers: things are probably not going to get better quicklier than your running expenses if you hang on. Make use of the fact there’s a lot less market competition now with fewer properties on the market. And think of it this way: if you are going to make use of any buying opportunities after you sell- best to grab them now, so better to sell now and not wait! The only good reason to take a property off the market is if you do not want to sell. And buyers can afford your home now better now than in the (nearer) future- you can almost take that one to the bank.

Tips for buyers: work with a Realtor (r) who knows the market and loves Real Estate – only then will he or she be able to tell you which homes are the ones that you want to look at, know the ins and outs of each home, and allow you to use your time efficiently. You want to be ahead of the curve – once everybody catches on that the worst is over – you will be too late for the best time to buy. Come prepared with a mortgage pre-approval in hand. Be available and ready to go when a home pops up (either new on the market or suddenly lowered to the right price) – for a great deal you will have competition from other buyers and you need to be quick and ready to compete. This morning only 397 homes showed up on MLS, in a market area where normally 550 homes are on the MLS. So be prepared to act. Waiting will not get you a better deal – so if you find what you are looking for and the price is right – buy now while interest rates are still low.

To buy or not to buy is the question, or for sellers: to sell or not to sell. Buyers may have to pay higher interest rates if they wait longer, and I see prices going up. So buyers who are going to “wait and see” may well have to pay for that privilege. And don’t forget – what banks think buyers can afford will go down very quickly under that scenario.

Town and Country is excited to report that we are experiencing remarkable growth and development in this challenging market. Our T&C agents have helped more buyers and sellers succesfully conclude deals on the North Fork than ever before. December was the busiest month of December most of our agents can recall. Our careful selection of professionals to service your needs is responsible for that. Call us if you are interested in joining us in our success, to buy, sell, or rent, in our Mattituck office at 631 209 0600 or Southold office at 631 765 0500! At Town and Country Real Estate – we are quietly getting the job done.


Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Wall Street Journal's Jack Hough, titled his article on Saturday just that… "It's Time to Buy That House".

He discusses the National Association of Realtors, Housing Affordability Index, which Town and Country has written about several times this year, which was 183.7 in August. According to NAR a reading of 100 would indicate that the median income family with a 20% down payment can afford a mortgage on a median priced home.

Jack gives an example of a median priced home in greater Phoenix, purchasing it with 20%, at todays 4.12% interest rate, results in monthly payments less than half what the rental for the same home would be.

Of course, as we discussed many times in prior blogs, the banks are being piggy and not lending the money they should, even to qualified buyers. This must be rectified first, in order to move forward!

Personally, my sentiment has always been the same. I'd rather keep my money in "East End dirt", as I call it, rather than anywhere else on the planet!

As Kramer would say, "Buy, Buy, Buy".


Friday, July 1st, 2011
Blue Inn at East Marion, North Fork

Montauk Hotelier Sam Glass succeeded in bringing the best of the North Fork and South Fork & the Hamptons together: the owner of Montauk’s Ocean Resort Inn is opening the Blue Inn this fourth of July weekend!

Visitors to the North Fork looking for a place to stay: pay attention! The Blue Inn will be the place to be beginning this weekend and no vacancy signs are going up quickly (still call to see if there are a few no-shows or cancellations – worth a try!!)

The renovations which took place since Sam Glass bought this famous North Fork watering hole and Inn last year made all the

Blue Inn Guestroom

rooms and suites conform to the highest standards in hospitality: clean, luxurious and tasteful! Each room has its own small kitchenette

The Blue inn is located conveniently on the Main Road in East Marion – only a few miles form hustling and bustling Greenport

Lavender by the Bay

Village with all its harbor-front shopping and dining. While you are relaxing on one of the rocking chair porches or sipping a cocktail at the Bar you’ll get a whiff of the breeze from the west where Lavender by the Bay has its neighboring acres fields of French Lavender blooming this weekend. It all spells out one thing: Relax and enjoy!


Worth a visit – and While you are out visit a few of Town and Country’s open houses on Saturday!

Welcome to the North Fork and Happy Fourth!

Porches with Rocking Chairs at the Blue Inn

Forbes names Greenport as one of America’s prettiest towns

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Greenport Carroussel

A year or so ago I blogged about Greenport – and the wonderful things happening there – and I am now in great company: John Giuffo of Forbes magazine selected Greenport as one of America’s prettiest towns in his “small world big mouth” column and blog. Immediately – Lisa Dol Bruno of Newsday blogged about the real estate in Greenport - because such positive news make people interested in being a part of a wonderful success story. And I personally love this confirmation of what I already have been writing about for a long time how wonderful Greenport is - confirmation by independent and important sources in the press. As always it takes time for people to realize that things have changed . But the time in Greenport for the nay-sayers is over – or so it seems now! So be among the first to realize it:

It also happens that Town and Country agents recently have taken listing for some of Greenport’s most important Real Estate – one of which the Historic Postmaster’s home on First Street… but Greenport also has the most wonderful Waterfront Condominiums – a rare commodity in North Fork Wine Country; alongside some of the greatest hotel/motel resorts and  B&Bs in walking distance from Front Street restaurants and shops! A true Mecca for second homers from suburban areas, a great place to retire to, or a wonderful place to raise a family.

So it’s time to re-visit Greenport – and call one of our agents at Town and Country if you would like to be introduced to life in Greenport and North Fork Wine Country & luring Shelter Island!



Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Aren’t Open Houses are a fun way to find the home of your dreams?

If you are looking for a home with a dock – this weekend is great: Town and Country Agents are making it possible to see quite a few -priced right- waterfont homes with private docks on the North Fork- for your convenience-no appointments needed!

Our T&C agents are professionals who know the RE market – that’s their business. So do not hesitate to pick their brains while you visit their open houses. Remember-they know the best homes on the market: ask them for their favorite listings! 

Click here for this weekend’s Open Houses

MC CALL VINEYARDS – NORTH FORK- GOES GREEN: LIPA and GreenLogic Energy Bring Wind Power to McCall Wines

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Russell McCall is a great North Forker. Russ is an entrepreneuer at heart – started Atlanta Foods in 1967, but always remained a loyal North Forker: his Great Grandfather Russell Walker already maintained a fishing cabin at the South End of Downs Creek in Mattituck.

McCall, member of the President’s Council of  the Peconic Land Trust was instrumental in establishing the gift  to the Town of Southold of Fort Corchaug Preserve  , helping preserve one most precious ecologies in the Eastern US around Downs Creek in Mattituck. Anyone who has ever witnessed the Autumn and Spring Bird Migration along Downs Creek will agree. In 1999 McCall further helped the conservation of  the North Fork farming tradition by planting 20 acres of Pinot Noir and Merlot, starting McCall Vineyards.

McCall recently opened his winery – in a beautifully restored barn  "with woodworking skills as if the barn was a piece of furniture" in presence of a North Fork who’se who of friends and acquaintances who had been a part of Russ McCall’s entrepreneurial activities on the North Fork.

 Towering above the vineyard is another example of McCall’s forward thinking mindset-  a windmill, churning and producing green electricity for his farm – a project he started with Green Logic and LIPA. And along the way helping the Town of Southold set standards for windmills on the North Fork.


The "North Fork Sound Stage" where Russ and his son John did a jam session and thanked the crowd before digging into a Gaucho Style "Parrila" style barbeque – sorry if the image seems blurry – after a few glasses of Russ’s delicious Pinot Noir Rose.

McCall’s wines can be savoured at Adam Lovett and Tom Chaudel’s  "A MANO RESTAURANT"  one of my favourite spots in Mattituck to taste local wines and eat local foods and hang out or get to know some local North Forkers or visting Manhattanites alike – a really great crowd.. Don’t forget to try the individual pizza’s, Truffles and Mushrooms is my favorite.

Some vineyards and farms are still for sale on the North Fork – with current interest rates at historical lows an interesting investment opportunity. Call Town and Country Real Estate to discuss the possibilities of investing in the North Fork and learn about the sale of development rights to help make a farm purchase feasible for buyers and save farmland for the North Fork in perpetuity.

North Fork 1st Quarter 2010 Home Sales Report

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

 The next “market trend” is well under way.

Town & Country was the first to identify “the bottom”, mid year last year and we’re the first to identify the recovering market.
We reported increased activity in sales appointments, O&A’s and contracts in our North Fork Year End 2009 Home Sales Report which we explained will be quantified in the 1st and 2nd report of 2010… and so it is written.
All 4 markets monitored by Town & Country posted significant gains in the Number of Home Sales except ORIENT (which includes East Marion and Greenport) which remained unchanged with 9 Home Sales.  MATTITUCK (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) posted the greatest increase at 64% with 18 Home Sales in 2010 compared with 11 in 2009, and while the 18 was just shy of the 22 posted in 2008, it demonstrates a strong recovery.  All 18 Home Sales in MATTITUCK (which includes Laurel and Cutchogue) were under $1M.
SOUTHOLD (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) Total Home Sales Volume exploded year to year with an 80% increase from $6.3M to $11.3M 2009 to 2010 1st quarter respectively.  This trend continued in the category of Median Home Sales Price, where a jump of 55% from $400,596 in 2009 rose to $620,000 in 2010.  A closer look at individual price categories show SOUTHOLD (which includes New Suffolk and Peconic) Home Sales $500,000- $900,000 rose from 2 in 2009 to 9 in 2010 and $1M – $1.99M from 1 to 3 Home Sales year to year.  Both figures top the numbers of 2008, pre-recession.
Looking at All North Fork Markets Combined and we see almost all black!!! The Number of Home Sales jumped 26% while the Total Home Sales Volume increased 28% and the Median Home Sales Price rose 15.5% , All significant,  all positive, all confirming the worst is far behind us on the North Fork.
To view more specifics on your particular locations and price ranges, visit out website and click “Reports”.

Rebounding North Fork Homes Sales in April and May 2009! Tips for sellers on how to profit!

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

For all who follow my stats on contracts signed -most current, least delayed snapshot of the market on the North Fork- great news!


April and May 2009 were better than April and May last year in number of homes going into contract.  May showed 4 remarkeable high end transactions on the North Fork. Yes: multiple offers are back when homes are priced right. But make no mistake – the market remains value sensitive: buyers are looking for value. And asking prices may show further adjustments down. That’s still all good news!

Overpriced homes remain on the market but priced-right properties sold quickly, days on market for contracts signed are dipping below 150 days! Overall, the damage to home prices remains very limited on the North Fork. Some of the sales over $1 Million were so quick and so good that it appears for special properties there is no recession.

But in my opinion, a lot of asking prices for inventory hanging around need to come down a bit further to be able to sell.

Buyers will come off the fence a lot easier now when a home is perceived as value as interest rates are starting to inch up. It helps that on Thursday, June 11, CNN at 10AM mentioned that it is now a great time to buy, followed by Channel 12. The market psychology is changing.


Bidding wars again. Can you believe it? You’d better. Your home’s not selling, even now? Seller take notice:

Tip 1: when deciding on a selling price with your agent look at homes that actually sold, not at asking prices. Asking prices mean nothing. Price your home a bit -10% -below the most recent comparable sale. And I mean RECENT. Within weeks, not months. Remember what you paid for your house and do not look too much at high bank appraisals when you refinanced before September 08 for an indication of what your home is worth.You’ll be very pleasantly surprised how good your investment in real estate looks compared to any other investment over the past 5 years, even when you price it to sell. Do not be greedy in this market.

Tip 2: More important than ever now is a seller’s task to take away negatives: clean and well maintained homes sell, the discount expected by buyers even for slight imperfections and lack of maintenance is disproportionate. So give that wall a fresh coat of paint, make sure the lawn is at least mowed, and make it easy (and I mean EASY) to show the house. Rather than lower your price $20K, fix problem areas of the house for $5K if you can and take negatives away. Listen to your broker and bring in professionals where needed. Make sure your online pics are GREAT and show the special things why you bought the house originally. Same will attract today’s buyers.

Tip 3: The day of the protective broker who is not giving a home the needed exposure trying to keep the transaction in his own hands are gone. Although some agents have not yet gotten that message, they will have to. Sellers, make sure your home is all over the internet and MLS as soon as possible, and do not allow your agent to restrict exposure and/or showings. That is never in your seller’s interest.

Tip 4: Find a solution for cats and dogs so they do not impede showings. Leave your home when it is shown.  Always. Do not hang around. Your buyer will not be comfortable. Always have some fresh flowers -from the garden is fine, make sure the beds are made and laundry organized at all times for unexpected sudden showings. A bit of an effort with great profits.

Tip 5: 75% of consumers (Pew Research) say now’s a great time to buy. 85% when you add money and education to the respondents. Give the buyers what they want and are looking for, make it possible for them to buy your home. Counter aggressively and take EVERY offer seriously. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate and be prepared to accept a lower bid than you ideally would have liked. One bird in the hand is better than ten in the sky. Be honest with your broker. Trust him or her. You will save money for every month you do not own your home anymore. Don’t ever consider offers "too far apart".  Stress the strengths of your home, but be reasonable and open-minded. Remember that if your home does not appraise, which it might not, the bank will not give the buyer money to conclude your deal.

Any further questions: call any local area specialist at Town and Country. Or email me at

We will help you sell your home.