It's time for another first-time homebuying experience. For this particular tale, we've got a couple that didn't have their hearts set on one particular home, but had a list of criteria in mind before they began their search. Enjoy!
My fiancé and I are both in our late 30s, live in Manhattan and are both originally from Long Island (Nassau County). We started our search for a weekend home in August / September 2011. Our price range was capped at $1.25 million but we really wanted to stay around the $ 1 million mark to avoid the mansion tax. Our search was limited to East Hampton (excluding the Springs), Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor. After seeing over 50 homes we narrowed it down to only two - both in East Hampton. One was a new construction home right outside East Hampton Village which we ended up getting out bid for. The other was in East Hampton Northwest. We signed on the dotted line last week and are currently in contract to buy. We anticipate closing first week of April! A few things struck us during this whole process: (1) there is a lot of crap for sale in our price range. We saw a ton of homes that would literally need to be torn down or substantially renovated which we were not looking to do; (2) as expected, some sellers are delusional with the prices they ask; (3) just like with online dating, pictures can be very misleading; (4) unbeknownst to me, there are a handful of not so pretty blocks in the towns we were looking in?trailer parks, busted homes, banged up cars parked on lawns etc. We were extremely pleased with our broker - Don Gleasner at Corcoran. At the start of the process we sent Don an extremely long email with what we wanted in our "ideal" house. Pretty much everything Don showed us was consistent with our wish list and if it was different than what we wanted he would let us know prior to seeing it. We really appreciated him not wasting our time.