- It is possible to buy property in the Hamptons for less than $500,000. That's right, not every house on the market is listed at $19 million. You can buy in East Hampton where there are eight houses for sale ranging from $214,110 to $489,000. However, don't plan on moving into Sagaponack anytime soon where the lowest price houses are hitting the market at close to $3 million. If you like Sag Harbor now is your chance to buy one of the three houses on the market listed for sale from $380,000 to $479,000. In Bridgehampton there is one house listed for $499,000. It is still available - call your broker.
There are more than 100 properties on the market on the South Fork ranging in price from $23,999 for a mobile home in Westhampton Beach to just under $500,000 for homes in East Hampton according to a search of the MLS, a multiple listing service subscribed to by real estate agents across Long Island.
The inventory is diverse and includes ranches, capes, new construction and renovations. There are a few foreclosures to be had in this price range where fast deals can be made for cash. On the other hand, some agents complain sellers who are less than desperate are slowing down the market since they do not have to sell and will not take "low ball" offers of fifty cents on the dollar despite the obvious drop in prices over the last two years.
In 'move-in' condition this house has been reduced as owners hope for a quick sale according to their listing agent Thomas MacNiven of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
The lowest priced home in Montauk, just steps from the ocean is listed at $550,000. No takers so far according to Mary Iannone of Century 21 American Homes in Massapequa. The house went on the market on June 22 after the owners listed the property with the Nassau County based real estate office hoping the firm would bring them a buyer from the city.
This listing, along with others ranging in price from $200,000 to $500,000, are not flying off the market as one might expect. The market slow down combined with a lack of investor confidence and readily available mortgage money is impacting sales in what would seem to be the safest end of the market where buyers have the opportunity to buy the lowest priced properties in the most desirable locations. The $8,000 first time home buyers credit is not boosting sales in this price range as much as agents had hoped.
"It's tough," David Turinsky, a broker with The Real Estate Store in Quogue said. Turinsky has a property listed for sale on Montauk Highway for $489,000. The newly renovated two bedroom, one bath 700 square foot home sits on a half-acre lot. The property is within walking distance of the village and an oceanfront beach. The building can be used as a home or an office. The property has been on the market since June 19. There have been two price reductions since the property was first listed at $550,000. A drop to a listing price of $529,000 also failed to attract a buyer.
Turinsky reports a flurry of sales activity during the summer when he got two deals in contract on properties priced below $500,000 but notes the market seems to be nearly at a standstill again this month with a dramatic slowdown after Labor Day
In August he sold a 1,250 square foot three bedroom, two bath house with a deeded bay beach. The property was originally listed at $450,000 in February 2009. The property sold for $380,000. The deal was made after the listing price had been reduced to $429,000. "We made a cash deal and we closed," Turinsky said of the property located south of Montauk Highway, a location indicating a property is closer to the bay or the ocean and therefore more desirable than a property north of the highway or further away from the shore.
This East Hampton home is listed for $475,000 by Ricardo Gobello.
Turinsky also sold a bungalow a few weeks ago for $250,000 after a price reduction took the listing price down to $289,000. The house, a gut job or a possible tear down had been on the market for more than a year despite its prime location south of the Highway. The 750 square foot bungalow sat on a half-acre lot. The property originally listed at $329,000 could accommodate a 3,000 square foot house. "We had tons of offers, but everyone was low balling," Turinsky said. "It was tough. We spent a lot of money on advertising and we had a lot of showings."
Properties in this price range tend to attract the attention of contractors and investors looking for a deal and the opportunity to pick up a property at the lowest possible price. These properties appeal to first time homebuyers as well, particularly those in the fixer-upper crowd who are handy and willing to invest their sweat equity in a project that will become their home.
Sales are slow despite the opportunity that seems to be knocking at the door. In Hampton Bays inventory in this price range is strong with 119 listings on the market ranging from a $75,000 mobile home to new construction at $499,000 giving buyers a wide range of options.
In Remsenburg where inventory is scarce buyers are few and far between for the two properties currently listed under $500,000. Real estate agent Deborah Saggio of WHB Real Estate has billed her listing, a two bedroom, one bath ranch now listed at $399,999 as "the lowest priced home" in Remsenburg. The house built in 1982 was originally listed at $424,999 on May 29, 2008 when the property came on the market. The 1,000 square foot home has electric heat and room for a pool in the yard.
This two bedroom cottage in East Hampton, listed by Ronnnie Manning of Prudential Douglas Elliman, is on the market for $475,000.
"It's adorable," broker Rosemarie Bodkin of Belzak and Bodkin Realty said describing the second lowest priced house in Remsenburg that she has listed for sale at $459,000. The house has been on and off the market for a few years at an asking price of $525,000. The renovated cottage built in 1955 features stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors that are crying out for new owners.
"There's a lot of uncertainty," Bodkin said. "People are waiting for the bottom, they are worried about their jobs
and they are afraid to make a move."
The fear factor seems to have hit across the board affecting first time homebuyers, weekenders and builders. "No one knows what is going to happen," Turinsky said. "Buyers are looking for a deal. They want to come in with low offers. It's not working because a lot of these sellers are not that desperate." Then again, they are willing to take less than their asking prices as recent sales have demonstrated while the debate rages on and agents hone their skills as negotiators. Everyone hopes business will pick up in all price ranges. "Everyone has a story about a friend of a friend who looked at house for $5 million and bought it for $2 million," Turinsky said.
"There are people out here who think a half a million dollars is a lot of money for a 1980s ranch that needs work," one broker said. "Prices need to come down more before these houses sell. You're not going to quote me are you?" she said.