The August issue of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens has hit the streets, and this month's Deeds & Don'ts real estate column feature includes a few items of note. A functioning Page Six of the Hamptons real estate set, the column never fails to peak our interest. Any juicy tidbits of your own? Feel free to send them our way...
· Buyers & Sellers: Things are looking up! Though it's not all good news for brokers, who now must contend with bottom-feeders and fire sellers. 'From the broker's vantage point, the process is tiresome. Sellers are all too eager to be compliant. But buyers have become ruthless. "No" is the operative word. And keeping both sides happy these days is nearly impossible.'
· Shady Characters: A fancily-worded item reveals that a number of buyers are actually responsible for the world as we know it. And we thought everything would get better when Bernie went to jail. There is an 'unspoken fact that many of today's buyers who covet the Hamptons—the wizardry of money manipulators and other prestidigitators of wealth creation—are nothing more than a disputatious lot. Some are largely responsible for the near ruination of the worldwide financial system.'
· RentalWars: On the rental front, 'perfect' homes garnered big bucks, but those with slight imperfections took a beating at 20-40% off their asking prices. For example: 'An oceanfront rental in Sagaponack, for example, originally priced at $150,000 for the month is lucky to get $95,000.' ... 'One broker reports that a house off Further Lane in East Hampton rented for $20,000 for the month of August, a price not seen in nearly a decade for any south-of- the-highway house with three bedrooms, pool, nicely furnished—and deeded ocean access on a private pathway to the beach.' Ouch.
· PriceChopping: A word to the wise pricechopper: do not chop before the market tells you to, else you be left with a ridiculously cheap price. 'Take the Bridgehampton house that was first offered last year for $15 million without a bid and few showings. It went through several reductions: $12 million, $10 million and now $8.5 million. Until recently no offers were tendered, except for an unacceptable bid of $5 million.'
· What's Selling: Some homes have changed hands, and it seems the most sought-after kind are those in the $6-$12 million range, south of the highway, between East Hampton and Southampton. Above that, 'properties over $20 million offer an interesting mix of values. Either they're estate properties or waterfront and oceanfront offerings. At $20 million and above, most buyers are willing to spend for oceanfront only.'
· Deeds and Don'ts, August 2009 [HC&G]