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Building Value in Hamptons Real Estate – Ed Bruehl

As a seasoned, licensed associate real estate broker with Saunders & Associates, I’d like to share some tips about building in the Hamptons and how to identify investment value in the properties.

It’s all about the land. Once you’ve identified that special parcel, then build a smart house filled with all the must-haves that buyers today demand. And build to the reasonable dimensions that today’s buyers want.

After years of showing and selling homes in the Hamptons, gleaning buyer feedback along the way, and really studying and understanding local market data, I believe the answer to building value in the Hamptons real estate market is not complicated but takes planning and commitment. Here are a few important things to consider:

Work with a veteran local broker who knows the market and then partner with a fair and quality builder.

Build a simple house that most people will like. Don’t build a spec house or a McMansion. 

Build a smart mini-estate and load it with all of the modern amenities and extras people want.

What do people want? They want:

Newly built on a nice quiet street; privately sited and professionally landscaped; loaded with today’s amenities like a great room, big doors and windows, a mudroom, beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms (all en-suite), upstairs laundry, open-kitchen with island, outside covered dining; walk-out and fully-finished lower-level with steps to a bluestone patio around a sunny pool, a mahogany outdoor shower, and a beautiful newly sodded yard that is flat for throwing/kicking a ball.

And, yes, this list is a result of what every buyer has either specifically asked for or what I have literally lost a deal over.

Local market data and thoughts:

There is little or no inventory to show buyers looking in the under $3MM market, especially if they are looking for a new home. At this price point, most, if not all, of the new and loaded houses are asking $4MM++ for houses that are 5,000 square feet and more. But the market for these larger, more expensive houses is lukewarm at best. Times have changed . . . today’s buyer is happy in their 1,500-square-foot New York City apartment and will be equally happy in a reasonably sized, four-bedroom home under $3MM. But we have a very limited inventory to show, unless it’s in a challenged location or requires a big renovation project. The latter is a smart buyer-strategy, if you have the time and energy.

A perfect example of what I’m talking about.

5 Rolling Wood Lane, East Hampton, is a newly built and custom-designed classic colonial that belongs on the pages of a storybook. It’s 3,600 square feet and the asking price is $2,500,000.

Ed Bruehl 

Saunders & Associates

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

26 Montauk Highway, East Hampton

c/ 646.752.1233 o/ 631.405.3659