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Donít Play The Would-A, Could-A, Should-A Game

Originally Posted: March 11, 2009

Lona Rubenstein

  |   3 Comments · Print Article
East Hampton - We asked folks in the industry, North and South Forks, about the market in the following categories: land, rentals, sales, commercial, short sales, morale. This week and next week we will post their responses.

Property courtesy of Town and Country.

From Barbara Feldman, Town & Country, East Hampton Office: Rentals? Two in one week, one seasonal, one year round. Sales? Sold one, brought customer, closed last month. Another exclusive listing now in contract and that buyer gave me her property as an exclusive. Lots of interest; good value, priced right after I reviewed comps with her, and we re-thought the marketing by packaging two small parcels as one large one with a wonderful turnkey cottage. Land: Two 1.2 acre parcels = one 2.4 acre parcel. Commercial: One seasonal lease stretched into six months in Southampton. Morale? Great! Working 24/7. Meeting great people too!"


Jackie Dunphy, broker, The Corcoran Group, East Hampton, reports: "Lots of lookers but not much trigger pulling. I did a search and there are about 12 houses in contract across the board. My optimism is what keeps me going to the office every day. I try not to read the doom and gloom articles. I feel the agents in my office have become closer in the sense that we are all in this together. We share ideas, insights, and are very supportive of each other. I'm lucky to be working with a great group of people."

Thanks, Jackie. I see places throughout the country that have not sold one property in the last month. Our East End is special - here in the U.S. and overseas everywhere - and those in the industry need to remember that. Stay in there, guys.

We want to add how so many are turning as well to raising money for our local charities. Proud of you.

From Daniel and Jennifer, at The Fishbar Restaurant in Montauk, asking is it a "Good time to buy a home yet?" Funny you should ask, Dan and Jennifer! We got this informative email from Town & Country's Judi Desiderio, a point of view from a veteran, hands-on broker owner who is buying and investing herself. "We (the market) have turned the corner. Town & Country is pleased to report every office on the North Fork and South Fork has deals cooking, rentals secured daily, appointments abound."

Property courtesy of Corcoran Group.

"In January, I labeled this year to be "The Year of the Deal." We expect to see some incredible transfers to savvy, forward thinking buyers. The markets' fortunes are made from buyers who get off their hands and get ahead of the curve. The East End has qualities that will always keep the supply low and demand high-- the one equation that determines pricing.

"We are on a tiny island, surrounded on three sides by water with the most beautiful beaches in the world. Municipalities have won the race against over development , and bought, preserved or zoned out possibilities of leaving us with a finite supply. Our proximity to New York City keeps that love affair alive and well," she concluded.

She makes a good point. Safeguarding the natural resources and maintaining the unique natural qualities of the East End are the surest ways to weather the current economic squawl. Those who are fortunate enough to negotiate in today's market can get themselves properties they might otherwise have been priced out of and the "would-a, could-a, should-a - why didn't I?" refrain might be commonplace come next year if a rebound sees prices edging back upwards.

Desiderio goes on to say, "I see some of the best buying opportunities. Personally, I have offers out on land, homes and commercial at prices not seen in five to seven years. I'm encouraging everyone from my brother in Georgia to my college age son to find the means to secure a piece of paradise - this may be the last time our children can afford to buy a home here - opportunities abound."

Not bad advice as stocks and mutuals have dipped over 40 percent to 60 percent. Even after this correction to East End property values, "especially after a long and fabulous ride on the up side," if you have the ability to buy now and hold onto your purchase, you will likely be looking at asking prices akin to 2003-2004 allowing you the opportunity to lock in an investment. Take a tip from the farmers who have weathered many a drought, plant your seeds in fertile soil, buy an American made truck and do your part to keep things moving.

Clearly East End real estate is a very strange business. For me, when I look in the mirror each morning and a face looks back at me - that's a blessing! Hang in there.

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Guest (Southampton Local) from southampton says::
i agree - if i were you I would definitely wait to buy, it ain't that great out here anyway, and there's a new Mc'Donalds, 7-11, several new malls, many more Sleepy's, hopefully a Home Depot, a TJMAx and several mini putt golf spots coming real real soon. So, if I were you, I'd never buy out here.
Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am

Guest (Gerry) from Suffolk says::
Wow - you guys just don't get it. Where do you suppose all the money came from to bring prices to those bubble highs? JPM, BAC, LEH, BS, GS, C, hedge funds, etc... Do you realize where those prices are? Think about where Hamptons real estate was back in 1996, then you may start to understand what you are dealing with.
Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am

Guest (north fork realtor) from southold says::
It would seem that the only entities saying "woulda shoulda" are sellers that missed the peak. At this point, buyers aren't (and shouldn't be) thinking along those lines- for anyone paying attention, we have indications of a more significant drop here. If you must buy, better now than a year ago; if you don't need to buy, WAIT.
Mar 13, 2009 3:47 pm


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