Thursday, August 31, 2006

Too Many Agents?

What follows are excerpts from an article regarding the influx of new agents in recent years and the impact that the revolving door has had on the views of the profession.
These last few years, here in the Hamptons all it took was to pass "the mirror test" to get a desk. Today, it will take brokerage skills and what I call "the Three C's" - Confidence, Commitment and Closing skills! md

Too Many Agents, Not Enough Work?
by Al Heavens - REALTY TIMES

Is the market oversupplied with real estate agents?

Survey after survey has a shown that a very small number of agents and brokers handle a very large percentage of the residential business, which means that a lot of Realtors -- probably the ones newest to the business -- are being left in the cold.
When the membership of the National Association of Realtors began to grow in 2001, many of the newcomers were attracted by the mistaken belief that the average agent was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by doing virtually nothing.

They'd see all the sold signs, multiply the number by a 6 percent commission, and think it would be easy to make a living. What they didn't realize was that they should divide that number by 4, because...Net commission is more like 1.5 percent.
For all but 6 percent of today's agents, real estate is a second career. I've spent the last several years attending gatherings of real estate agents during which I'd hear someone say he or she is a real estate agent, "But I used to be a teacher." That person seems to be apologizing for being in real estate because it is incongruous with his or her self-image. Mentioning present and former careers in the same breath seems to say that these newcomers are just killing time until a real job comes along. ... this revolving-door attitude robs real estate of professionalism. A lot of people in other fields believe they can moonlight as real estate agents to supplement their incomes. Having people going in and out of that revolving door doesn't result in professionalism by any stretch of the imagination.

...there is only so much business to be had. A decline in business in beach towns has forced many agents to wait on tables at restaurants this summer to supplement their incomes, for example.

How quickly the market will heat back up is an unknown. But the experts are saying it may not happen soon enough to prevent a shakeout of the industry many of them have been predicting for several years.

Published: August 31, 2006

For the full story, goto:

Realty Times - Real Estate News and Advice

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saving Energy in High-End Houses

Solar heating has never been a very sexy topic. I smile every time I think of the story that my friend David (The Pool Man) tells at parties - the one about the Hamptons homeowner who insisted that his pool heater maintain a water temperature of 80 degrees - in the middle of winter. We're not talking a hot-tub here. We're talking a full 20'x40' pool with no cover. Sort of like lighting your cigars with Ben Franklins.

Well, one by one, big homeowners are being brought to their knees by energy prices. You don't have to wear sandals with black socks and shop at the food co-op any more to have a geothermal heating system. md

Saving Energy in High-End Houses - New York Times

Little Noyac Path House - Verrrry Sexy

I've been in this house several times. I've shown it for sale and for rent. I was even invited to dinner there one evening and had a wonderful time with a fun group of people. The pool at night is beautiful as it lights up the canopy of trees that create total privacy. Very cool house, very sexy house. One of my favorites!

Light, bright and white, dramatic and elegant modern home on two acres with an adjacent shy acre property. Both are for sale.
The location is Little Noyac Path, a tony address in the hamlet of Water Mill, in Southampton Township. The property is centrally located and is 10 minutes to Flying Point Beach or Sag Harbor's Long Beach.

-3 bedrooms / 3 baths
-House + 2 acres offered at $1,595,000
-Shy acre lot offered at $750,000
-Adjacent to a 6-acre Peconic Land Trust nature preserve
-Listed as a co-exclusive by Corcoran and Sotheby's

I think it's a great buy for $1.595
Check out more pictures by clicking on the link below. md


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Foreign Buyers Help Keep Some Markets Bouyant

Unofficially it's been said that as many as 20-25% of buyers in the Hamptons are foreign buyers. With the strength of foreign currencies versus the US Dollar, the appreciation of the last few years has been a bonanza for Europeans. md

London’s top housing draws the world’s billionaires
By Jim Pickard in London

Published: August 25 2006 22:31 | Last updated: August 25 2006 22:31

The typical buyer of a £2m-plus home in central London is now more than likely to be a foreigner, in a sign of how international the UK capital has become.

More than 51 per cent of homes worth more than £2m ($3.8m, €3m) sold in the last year have gone to overseas buyers from Russia, the Middle East and elsewhere, according to figures from Knight Frank, the agents.

This makes London the most cosmopolitan world city in terms of property ownership.

In New York, foreign owners make up 34 per cent of sales in the prime residential market, ahead of Paris, where they account for 27 per cent.

In Hong Kong and Sydney, foreigners account for even fewer prime residential deals, at 13 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

The data help explain how London prices have soared in the last year while the rest of the UK market has stagnated as a result of affordability issues and interest rate fears.

Prices of the most expensive homes in Kensington and Chelsea have risen more than 20 per cent since the New Year.

London was so popular because of its financial strength and its good transport connections to the US, Europe and the Middle East, said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank.

The change in ownership of central London streets has happened gradually. In the 1960s, British buyers still made 90 per cent of purchases, falling to 70 per cent in the 1970s, 60 per cent in the 1980s and 1990s and less than half today.

“People just want to be in London,” said Amanda Craig, director of London houses at Hamptons, the estate agents.

“In Germany there are several major cities, you might want to buy in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, it’s the same in Italy, but in the UK it’s either central London or a country estate.

“Our clients aren’t interested in Manchester or wherever.”

The most expensive London homes sold in the first half of the year, a £33m house in Belgrave Square and a former office block at 100 Park Lane, were both sold by agents Savills to Middle Eastern buyers.

Even those purchases were dwarfed by that of Lakshmi Mittal, the steel tycoon, who spent £70m on an extravagant house at Kensington Palace Gardens two years ago.

The appetite of foreign billionaires for Knightsbridge real estate is being increasingly tested by ever more expensive apartments.

Candy & Candy, the brothers who designed 21 Manresa Road, which at £26m was Britain’s priciest apartment, are hoping to smash that record.

They are set to build a block of 80 flats on the edge of Hyde Park where it is understood the biggest penthouse will have an £80m price tag.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hamptons renter files suit over wasp nests

Looks like this tenant is not fooling around. md

Hamptons renter files suit over wasp nests -

Corporate Gibberish Generator on

This is thanks to Verl Workman at RealBlogging
It brings to mind how much psycho-babble I have been reading lately. Blogs and the internet are great. Self-publishing and empowerment of everyone to speak his/her mind can be as cathartic as it is educational and enlightening.

The other side of the blade is when someone puts out intelligible gibberish that is misleading. We all know that we "can't believe everything we read". More and more often, as I continue to search for relevant, noteworthy information and news to share on this blog, I am running across press releases and pieces of "news" that are made out to be something they are not.

For example, the press release that stated that "XYZ Company specializes in giving consumers the knowledge they need to purchase real estate in a professional manner." So, I read this on a reputable website and dug a little deeper. Turns out this is a press release put out by this 20-year-old kid who just got his real estate license and is promoting his website to draw potential real estate customers so he can refer them to other agents and make referral fees. A junior interloper! So, why was this reputable website just copying and pasting this press release and posting it as "real news"? Don't know. I asked but did not get a response. Keep your eyes peeled, guys and gals! md

Corporate Gibberish Generator on

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Will boomers tap home equity to survive retirement? Maybe not - MarketWatch

Will boomers tap home equity to survive retirement? Maybe not - MarketWatch

RealEstateJournal | Real Estate - Real Estate News

Home Sales Drop
Web Sites Offer Tools to Bid on Unlisted Homes
Second-Home and Condo Sales Fall
Lenders Workout Programs
For these and other real estate articles from the WSJ, click on the following link: md

RealEstateJournal - Real Estate News

An Interesting "Perspective" of The Hamptons

As you may know, I enjoy reading and sharing multiple perspectives of our area. Billie Cohen from The NYT shares her thoughts below. md

Lavish and Luminous; Destination Guide | The Hamptons and the North Fork

Published: July 26, 2006
The Hamptons. Just the words conjure images of beautiful people living in beautiful houses on beautiful beaches. The other thing thats pretty? The penny it costs to live there.

Still, despite the generally high cost of housing, the towns and villages on the eastern end of Long Island offer a variety of second-home options for many different kinds of fortunes and many different personalities.

Long Island is the largest island on the East Coast, stretching about 120 miles from New York City. At its eastern end, the island diverges into two arms called the North and South Forks. The North is known for its vineyards and quiet villages while the South is home to the Hamptons, which are divided into two main townships (Southampton and East Hampton) and several independently governed incorporated villages within those towns (including, confusingly, Southampton Village and East Hampton Village).

While some Hamptons towns or villages have more desirability than others (Sagaponack is hot right now and East Hampton Village is a perennial star), home costs are also determined by whether they are north or south of Route 27, the main artery of the South Fork. South of the highway is more coveted because it is closest to the ocean.

In addition to the cost of buying a new home, two taxes bump up the price of most East End properties. First is the New York State mansion tax, which is one percent of the purchase price on all houses over $1 million. Second is the Peconic Land Tax, an approximately two percent fee levied by the Peconic Land Trust in order to buy open spaces for environmental and preservation purposes.


For most New Yorkers, the Hamptons begin at Westhampton and Westhampton Beach. They offer a relatively short commute from New York, about two hours, mainly on big highways or the Long Island Rail Road, plus great beaches and a thriving commercial center. This area also attracts group rentals and day-trippers who dont want to spend their entire weekend battling the traffic on Route 27. For those looking to buy, according to Connie Walsh of Corcoran Realty in Westhampton Beach, you could easily pay $1 million for a two-bedroom shack.

Quogue, the next stop east, has an old-fashioned, small-town feel with a mix of traditional shingled estate homes and humble 1950s ranch houses. Its quiet and family-oriented, and group shares are frowned upon by locals. The town has the tiniest of villages just a liquor store, a coffee shop and an inn. Its become the little East Hampton or Sagaponack of west of the canal, said Ms. Walsh, adding that a new home on the waterfront could garner as much as $15 million. But its nothing compared to out east. What would be $10 million here would be $22 million in Southampton.

Those looking for a bargain a bargain in Hamptons-speak correlates to under $1 million will probably do better in East Quogue. The houses are smaller but many have their own boat slips. Hampton Bays is a bigger town, but has small homes and smaller prices. Three-bedroom homes start just under $1 million.


Southampton has long been one of the social centers of Long Island. Founded in the 17th century by English colonists, Southampton was established as a fishing village. Today, some of the architecture reflects its origins. Main Street is wide and tree-lined at the center of a quaint but fashionable village filled with restaurants, art galleries, clothing boutiques and home-furnishing shops, including a branch of Saks Fifth Avenue. Wooden benches dot the sidewalk, providing spots to sip coffee while people watching for famous folk.

A mix of old money, industry and media power brokers, and newer Hollywood personalities, Southamptons high-profile restaurants and nightclubs serve as a playground to this second- home population. Both the billionaire George Soros and Henry Kravis, the financier, have homes in the area. Just as exclusive are the towns private golf courses, which include the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, three-time host to the U.S. Open, the National Golf Links of America and the soon-to-open Sebonack Golf Club, where membership, by invitation only, is in the $600,000 range.

Housing prices, as always, depend on location. Pat Petrillo of Sothebys International Real Estate cited a recent transaction in the Southampton Estate section, where a house on 1.8 acres with a pool and tennis court was sold for $14 million. About five years ago, you would have expected to buy oceanfront for that, she said.

In the nearby village of Water Mill, Richard Gere paid $2.7 million for his home in 2001, and now just the ground its on could be worth as much. You cant touch land in Water Mill for under a million dollars, said Huck Esposito of Blue Bay Realty. And thats raw land. Houses, he added, are in the multimillion-dollar range.


Painted with bucolic views, this former whaling and farming village is ripe with farm stands and fresh produce markets. Its also home to one of the South Forks few wineries, Channing Daughters. Just to the west of the main village lies Bridgehampton Commons, which provides retail staples like the Gap, Banana Republic, Kmart and also the King Kullen supermarket.

A lot of people love the openness of Bridgehampton, said Rylan Jacka, a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman who recently moved there from East Hampton. The sky seems to open up there. Its not as woodsy, you just get these amazing summer sunsets with magenta skies and tractors driving on the streets.

Thanks to a surge of modernism in the 1980s, theres a mix of architectural styles. Land south of the highway starts at $4 million an acre, according to Mr. Jacka. A house on that land could cost up to $20 million.


Formerly known for its agricultural bent and potato fields, the recently incorporated village of Sagaponack has in the last few years started to sprout some of the highest prices in the Hamptons. The price of property has gone to about $2.5 million an acre in Sagaponack, said Rich Gherardi, owner of Sand Dollar Development. The houses are selling for between $7 and $8 million. Recently, Forbes magazine named Sagaponack the most expensive zip code in the country. In 2005, the median home sale price was $2,787,500.

The style of the high-priced houses, Mr. Gherardi added, is traditional with cedar-wood shingled mansions weatherworn to silver gray, offset by white trim and topped with high gables.

Despite the lack of an actual central village, or perhaps because of it, wealthy home buyers are attracted to this exclusive enclave. With just a few streets and large parcels of land, it offers seclusion, privacy and oceanfront views. Inland homes are in the $2 million range. The waterfront is so out of reach for a lot of people, so theyve drifted north into the farmlands like Sagaponack and Wainscott, said Huck Esposito of the Hamptons Realty Group. Theyre all multimillion dollar homes in there. For the most part, theyre houses in the potato fields. They look terrific and people get big dollars for them.

Sag Harbor

To the north, on Gardiners Bay, lies Sag Harbor, a port town with proportionally more year-round residents because of its full roster of restaurants, shopping and services. A whaling village historically, Sag Harbor still has that feel, and the smaller properties and century-old houses in the village, which start at about $1.5 million, reflect that New England maritime heritage.

East Hampton Village

Second home to many families and with few house shares, this is to many people the heart of the Hamptons, the town that has some of the islands oldest and most beautiful houses.

The village is roughly divided into three parts: the estate area, south of the highway and north of the highway. In the East Hampton lanes, youre looking at $5 million just to get a teardown, said Rylan Jacka of Prudential Douglas Elliman. The range goes from a million and a half to three million north of the highway, and starting at three million south of the highway. At Hamptons Realty Group, Georgia Ellis told of an older estate home on the ocean that recently went for $11 million, but even at that price, it needed to be gutted and redone.

Locals and tourists alike angle to get into Nick & Tonis, an 18 year-old restaurant that regularly feeds celebrities. Leif Hope just opened his eponymous restaurant at the site of the old Laundry. Locals will recognize him as the organizer of the annual Artists & Writers Softball Game, a charity event that in the past has brought out the likes of Alec Baldwin, the actor, and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Even those who would never live in the Hamptons can easily spend a day shopping in the town, which has several high-end shops, such as Tiffany & Co., Cynthia Rowley and Gucci. One of the only remaining mom-and-pop operations is Blue Train Tobacco, owned by Dennis and Donna Doherty. I have clientele from the billionaire to the blue-collar guy, said Mr. Dennis. The cigar brings them all together.


Farmland stretches across the landscape, and houses that are two and three hundred years old lend a historic feel. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner used to live here. Their house and studio are now a museum.

Artists are still drawn to this area for its beauty, and because of its slightly out-of-the-way location and bay-only waterfront, Springs is more affordable than the rest of East Hampton. Inland, Htun Han of Garnham & Han Real Estate in Amagansett estimated $650,000 for a three-bedroom house on a half-acre lot. On the bay, though, the price tag shoots up to $3 to $5 million.


A destination for young families, Amagansett has a relaxed village feel, exemplified by the farmers market, where so many residents go in the morning for coffee and a muffin, and later in the day for ingredients for grilling a perfect dinner. Its one of the few places in the Hamptons where you can walk to the village center and the ocean, said Mr. Jacka. In most places, you have to compromise one or the other.

The convenience costs. South of the Highway, Mr. Jacka approximates that homes start at $2 million and go up to $15 million; on the north side, the cheapest is $900,000. Homes in the Lanes area are among the most sought after. Ms. Ellis of Hampton Realty Group, said some smaller two-bedroom homes from the 1960s still exist, but that people are paying more than a million to knock them down and rebuild.

In 2000, Jerry Seinfeld bought Billy Joels house for $32 million. Its worth twice that today, said Ms. Esposito, so I guess its all relative.


Montauk is for those who seek a family-friendly atmosphere without the pretentiousness of the rest of the Hamptons.. Its laid-back, said Nick & Tonis owner Mark Smith, who has lived in Montauk year-round for the past 15 years. It doesnt even have a traffic light.

It offers unparalleled water views, with the ocean and Gardiners Bay meeting right at the tip. The Montauk Lighthouse, the oldest in New York State and fourth oldest in the country, stands guard here.

Whale watching and sports fishing are popular. Anglers have set 30 world records in Montauk in nearly as many years for catching large tuna, bass, marlin and sharks. Fishermen arent the only ones on the waves. Surfers congregate at Montauks Ditch Plains every morning. It runs the gamut from kids to guys who are in their 60s and 70s and have been surfing for 40 years, said Tom Naro, head of the Surfrider Foundation Long Island chapter. Its a hearty year-round group with a lot of neoprene.

The architecture is more varied than East Hampton, mixing traditional styles with some contemporary and postmodern houses. Its the last untouched part of the Hamptons, where things are still available at fairly reasonable prices, said Tony Ciero of Brown Harris Stevens real estate. I mean, theyre not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but a lot better than buying in East Hampton or Amagansett.

Depending on the view, he estimated that a condo at Montauk Manor could go for $289,000 to $350,000, while a five-bedroom inland home on an acre of property could fetch over a million. On the market, at the high end, is a 5,000-square-foot postmodern oceanfront home for $35 million. The Andy Warhol estate, 5.7 acres with five homes on the water is listed at $40 million.

Shelter Island

Shelter Island is a secluded retreat situated between the North and South Fork. Reachable by ferry from either fork, the islands rolling hills and miles of beaches are home to around 2,000 permanent residents.

Architecture styles vary from Greek revival and colonial to modern and farmhouse. The majority of homes have one-acre lots with pools, central air conditioning and three to five bedrooms. Most of your waterfronts are $2 million and up, with several in the $5 to $8 million range, said Janalyn Travis-Messer, who has lived on the island for 20 years. She is manager of Griffing and Collins Real Estate, which currently lists interior homes in the $1.5 to $2 million range. Ms. Travis-Messer noted that the cheapest house currently on the market is $495,000. The most expensive is $35 million.

North Fork

In the 1970s and 1980s, the North Fork was more of a retirement area, but ever since the arrival of its first vineyard in 1973, the region has drawn more attention and more buyers. Today there are 26 wineries open to the public on the North Fork. The lifestyle and open stretches of farms, orchards and marshland add to the allure. What differentiates the North Fork is the open space here, said Sally Heitel, manager of Century 21 Agawam Albertsons Greenport office. Its a more laidback lifestyle and mindset. Its not the kind of party atmosphere as on the South Fork. It also doesnt have the same prices.

Greenport is the bustling bright spot of the North Fork. Art galleries, shops, restaurants and a new marina provide activities for the throngs of day-trippers that arrive in the summer. Main Street has many old captains houses (relics of Greenports whaling past), and all of the abodes are generally close together. Homes sell in the $500,000 to $550,000 range, with prices going up to $2 million.

The charming town of Orient, at the eastern tip of the fork, doesnt have a village to speak of, but its feeling of being set apart is what makes it attractive. Its only ten minutes from Greenport, but the trip is so scenic and peaceful, it seems a lot farther, said Kristen Rishe, who was born and raised there and also works with Century 21. On average, houses sell for $600,000. Going back west the key towns are: East Marion, Southold, Peconic, Cutehogue, Mattituck, Jamesport and Aquebogue. There are some newer homes in these areas. They command between $500,000 and $600,000, and the buyers tend to be from other parts of Long Island. On the waterfront, prices increase and reach the $2 million mark.

Lavish and Luminous; Destination Guide | The Hamptons and the North Fork - New York Times

Rylan Jacka Joins Sotheby's

Rylan is one of the most gentlemanly brokers in the business as well as top producing agent for Prudential Douglas Elliman for the last three years. Sotheby's is very lucky to have him. md

Friday, August 18, 2006

Long Term Rates Slip For Fourth Straight Week

Realty Times - Real Estate News and Advice

RealEstateJournal | Top Cities Where Mortgage Rates Will Hit Consumers the Hardest

I read a story last week about how there are some towns in the mid-west where forclosures are going up EXPONENTIALLY, to the tune of 100% a month, because of interest rate increases.

My question is: Who are the mortgage brokers/bankers who pushed these ARM loans on people that couldn't afford even small increases? Sure, rates have gone up, but not astronomically! There must be a pattern that can be identified to see what companies and/or individuals pushed these products on people who couldn't afford them. That being said, I'm all for personal responsibility and believe that once you sign it, you've bought it...but selling a suicide mortgage has got to carry some responsibility too. md
RealEstateJournal | Top Cities Where Mortgage Rates Will Hit Consumers the Hardest

Thursday, August 17, 2006

RealEstateUndressed � 15 Articles: I buy this one

Larry Cragun is smart and funny. He certainly seems to call a spade a spade. Humor and irreverence are a relief in a market within a field where we all take ourselves a bit too seriously from time to time. Thanks Larry. md

RealEstateUndressed � Blog Archive � 15 Articles: I buy this one

New RE/MAX Franchise To Open in Southampton - SOUTHAMPTON PRESS

:Southampton East; :Aug 17, 2006; :Residence; :R9

New RE/MAX Franchise To Open in Southampton

By Jennifer L. Henn

One day after the East End real estate industry bid adieu to a major competitor, it prepared to welcome a new player hoping to carve out a chunk of the Hamptons market.

Michael and Barbara Daly, owners of True North Realty in Sag Harbor, are set to open a new RE/ MAX franchise in Southampton Village called RE/MAX Beach Properties. The new agency, which will incorporate True North, is expected to open during the first week of September with 10 agents, Mr. Daly said. In the next year, Mr. Daly said he hopes to increase his staff of agents to 20 or more and open two more office on the South Fork.

True North was a two-person operation run out of the Dalys’ home.

Beach Properties will be the second RE/MAX franchise doing business on the East End. RE/ MAX Coast and Country, owned and operated by Jeanette Pallister, has offices in Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton. But Beach Properties will be the only East End RE/MAX franchise operating under the Renowned Properties division for high-end homes.

“Our brokerage will be specializing in residential real estate,” Mr. Daly said, “and will focus on the second home and resort sales markets.”

Mr. Daly’s announcement came the day after NRT Inc., a subsidiary of the national real estate conglomerate Realogy, bought out Hamptons real estate stalwart Allan Schneider Associates in a deal that will fold Schneider’s operations into The Corcoran Group, an NRT holding with a much broader reach in the national market.

According to Mr. Daly, the Corcoran-Schneider deal is a good one for the local industry. “I think it’s great news. Allan Schneider has been the Mercedes Benz of Hamptons real estate for years, so it was a good move on The Corcoran Group’s part to pick it up.

“The merger certainly reduces the number of real estate companies competing for the market share,” Mr. Daly said. “That will benefit RE/MAX and some of the other brands out there in terms of competition for agents, listing and customers, because there will be one less brand to choose from.”

Mr. Daly got his start in the business by joining Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate as an agent in 1998. He was later promoted to managing director, then left to become a senior executive at NRT and The Corcoran Group. He started True North with his wife, a licensed real estate agent, about a year ago.

The Dalys have been in talks with RE/MAX, which approached them about the possibility of creating the high-end Hamptons franchise, for about two years. Rather than struggle through building True North on his own, Mr. Daly said it just made sense to tap into the vast resources, referral network and brand equity RE/MAX had to offer.

“It’s about being in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” he said.

“RE/MAX is not well known in the Hamptons, but it is in virtually every other market in the country,” Mr. Daly added. “And I think the way RE/MAX does business will be a real strength in attracting good agents.”

At most brokerage firms, agents are provided with the basic tools they need to operate—a desk, a telephone, support staff, supplies and advertising—in exchange for a 40 to 50 percent share of their sales commissions. That means the agents get to keep only 50 to 60 percent. At RE/MAX, the agents share in the fixed operating expenses—rent, utilities, supplies and advertising—and keep 95 percent of their commissions.

“Consequently, it’s attractive to agents doing successful business,” Mr. Daly said. “It tends to draw the most motivated, professional and productive agents.”

The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system with more than 6,522 independently owned offices and 120,000 sales associates. RE/MAX of New York Inc. has a sales force of more than 1,900 agents and 135 offices throughout the state, including 23 offices in Suffolk County.

Un-Zillowable, To Coin A Phrase

Sellsius Real Estate Blog. This post articulates much of what many people have been feeling about Zillow. md

sellsius� real estate blog � Unzillowable, To Coin A Phrase

The Ultimate Zillow Poll

Granted, Zillow has made inroads into more traditional markets and is much less known (or used) here on the East End, but I recently heard about one of "our finest", a real estate agent from an unnamed brokerage showing up for a listing appointment with a Zestimate as his/her research (where's Dr. Kevorkian when you need him?).

The folks at Sellsius Real Estate Blog are doing an incredible job at bringing the issues around Zillow to light. I am not a fundamentalist or protectionist of old-style real estate. I am pushing the leaders of our industry to evolve and become more progressive and provide what our clients and customers want and what we as real estate professionals need in order to make good real estate decisions for everyone. After all, a market based upon win-win results is a thriving market, so it is our charge to find that level in the market and bring parties together.

That being said, I am not supportive of the companies that are inserting themselves into the real estate equation under the guise of "providing better service" and sitting at our conferences like cheshire cats, trying to convince us realtors that we need them.

Fact is, the current leadership of the industry has fallen asleep at the wheel and allowed this to happen. The last five years have created some happy fat cats and the cheshires are moving in.

Take the poll - interesting results and discussion at this link. md

sellsius� real estate blog � The Ultimate Zillow Poll

Monday, August 14, 2006


This is a story about someone who made it through hard work and perserverence with integrity. Kudos! md


Saturday, August 12, 2006

East Hampton Town and Suffolk County Try Bid on Camp

A place that has been known for years as a camp for local kids, and more recently, needy children, is now in play for development. The annual fireworks show was a huge social function and fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Harbor Foundation and the East Hampton community. Now it looks like there is a game of hardball going on in the preservation efforts between the listing agent and the County/Town.

The "union" that is referred-to is most likely the Local Union 3 of the IBEW which used Bayberry Land,(see: History Of The Fabled Bayberry Land )a 314-acre estate with a 28-room mansion and milelong beachfront on Peconic Bay in Southampton. Bayberry Land was purchased in 1949 by the Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry in New York City as a resting and learning center for members of Local Union 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. No expense was spared in refurbishing the buildings, while every effort was made to retain the estate's natural beauty. In August 2001, the property was sold for $45,000,000 and The Sebonic Golf Club has been created, which is an organic golf course with memberships offered at $650,000. They have been looking for a replacement ever since; two years ago, they half-heartedly looked at the Maycroft Estate in North Haven, a 45 acre waterfront estate owned by the Episcopal Dicoses of New York and stuck in litigation with the Order of The Children of God for over a dozen years. During that time the 14,000 sqft, 115 year old structure went into decay and was the home of racoons and other wildlife. We had Maycroft listed for $25,000,000.

The other "religious institution" might be a Synagogue out of Great Neck, NY. They also were trying to buy Maycroft, but fell short on their offer because they were being represented by an agent who was more worried about his commission than making the deal happen.

The estate eventually was purchased by a hedge fund manager out of New York City for $19,000,000. He and his wife have reportedly sunk over $10,000,000 into the badly-decomposed mansion and the property, actually moving the house to have a more desirable relationship with the waterfront, sculpting the landscape and moving and newly planting hundreds of trees and bushes on the property.

What will become of Boys & Girls Harbor? See the Southampton Press account below of the camp negotiations:
Town and County Try Bid on Camp

Friday, August 11, 2006

Another Lobster Story

...compliments of Joseph Ferrara Co-Founder of Sellsius Real Estate

Catch of the day! Lobster pinches Briton's missing wallet - Yahoo! News

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Inman Real Estate News - Fed pauses, mortgage rates dive

The question now is: Did the Fed wait too long to pause? Has the economy started to slow based upon the constant rate-hiking of the last year+? Will the pause help bring spending and consumer confidence back to life? A little knowledge is dangerous, I know, but aren't the inflation, GNP and unemployment figures lagging indicators of Fed policy? mdInman Real Estate News - Fed pauses, mortgage rates dive

Corcoran parent buys major Hamptons brokerage

The Real Deal - Corcoran parent buys major Hamptons brokerage; purchase adds 12 East End offices to Corcoran portfolio

Newsday - Real Estate Giany Buys Schneider

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Southampton, New York - RE/MAX of New York, Inc. is pleased to announce that RE/MAX Beach Properties will soon open at 241 County Road 39A in Southampton, NY, at the intersection of North Main Street, and will provide comprehensive real estate services for properties in the Hamptons on the South Fork of Long Island.

Broker Michael Daly and his wife, Barbara, will operate the office under the RE/MAX Renowned Properties flag, which is used to market high-end homes. With an average sales price of over $1.2 million in the Hamptons, Mr. Daly believes that the Renowned Properties marketing program will serve the agents that join the new brokerage well.

“This is a very competitive market”, says Mr. Daly. “Once agents and brokers realize that they can keep 95 percent of their commissions, be in control of their own business and be part of the worldwide referral network, I believe they’ll be very interested in the opportunities we offer. We are very excited about this market; the consumers in this region are highly sophisticated, well-educated, world-traveled and are familiar with the RE/MAX Renowned Properties brand. RE/MAX conducts business in 64 countries; this gives us the power to provide high-end customers worldwide exposure when marketing their properties.”

Daly joined Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate in 1998. He became a top-selling agent, then managing director with the company and went on to serve as a senior executive at NRT before starting True North Realty Associates, which will be doing business as RE/MAX Beach Properties. Barbara Daly is a licensed real estate agent.

“In my travels around the world I have seen RE/MAX real estate signs on magnificent, high-end properties. RE/MAX has an outstanding reputation, and I am proud to be the one to bring this excellent company to the Hamptons. I have also been impressed by the caliber and experience of the RE/MAX brokers and agents that I have met overseas and here in New York. Our brokerage will be specializing in residential real estate, and will focus on the second home and resort sales markets. No matter what market you’re in, RE/MAX renders outstanding service, and that’s what our business is built on,” said Mr. Daly.

“RE/MAX Beach Properties will be opening in one of the hottest markets in the country. Michael is building a strong team, and we expect he will be able to capture significant market share in a short period of time,” said Henry Weber, President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New York, Inc.
RE/MAX Beach Properties is the latest office to become part of the rapidly-growing RE/MAX of New York, Inc. real estate franchise network. Today the network has more than 1,900 real estate professionals working from more than 135 franchise locations.

For more information,Contact:
Tel: (516) 775-0435

Cendant Corp. to Purchase Allan Schneider Associates

Well, it's been talked about for over a year and it finally appears to be happening. The Hamptons' largest real estate brokerage, with a reportedly dominant 40% market share, has been bought. All three of the brokerages involved, Allan Schneider, Corcoran, and Sotheby's, have called company meetings for tomorrow to give agents the spin. More
Long Island Business News - Breaking News

Dan's Film

Dan Does a Hamptons Shortie

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Financial Perspective Linkfest

Barry Ritholtz is the chief market strategist for Ritholtz Research, an independent institutional research firm specializing in the analysis of macroeconomic trends and the capital markets. Ritholtz is also president of Ritholtz Capital Partners (RCP), a New York-based hedge fund.
I was quite impressed with the breadth of topics and articles covered in this
"linkfest". md Weekend Linkfest

Too good for its own future?

The North Fork (NoFo) of the East End had the good fortune of watching the South Fork (SoFo) develop rapidly, as some important lessons were learned through observation. As a result, the NoFo began putting the brakes on development years ago through restrictive zoning.
Demand for property and "a piece" of the NoFo has led to rapidly-increasing values, traffic and some growing pains. Newsday presents an interesting article on the subject here. md

Too good for its own future? -

Friday, August 04, 2006

Glass Half-Empty?

Sales here on the East End have been fewer in the last year. That being said, the median and average sales prices have continued to rise. Some people can always find something to complain about. md U.S.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

RealEstateJournal | Is Buying a Home in Your 20s A Step Ahead or a Wrong Move?

I'm so impressed with my 18 year old son, Michael, who is entering the US Navy at the end of this month. He told me that he wants to send me money from his paycheck for me to invest in real estate for him so he will have a head start when he returns to civilian life. Geez, kids today, I just don't get 'em (ha!). md

RealEstateJournal | Is Buying a Home in Your 20s A Step Ahead or a Wrong Move?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Don't Obscure the Moonlight

Above, light pollution around the world at night. Notice where the concentration is.

We need to replace our outdoor lighting here at The Meadows, our home in North Haven. I've been noticing the uptick of discussion about light pollution. Our local Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, an avid naturalist and beach drummer, has brought the conversation to light locally (yes, the pun was intended).
At first I thought it was a bit crunchy; but just think of how bright the stars are, here at home on the East End when returning from the city or any metropolotian area. I think I'll replace my outdoor lighting with dark sky fixtures.

Article below and for more info, go to:

RealEstateJournal | Eco-Friendly Outdoor Lamps That Don't Obscure the Moonlight