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Deed Analysis, February 16

Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press
By Phelan Wolf, Esq.   Feb 10, 2012 10:57 AM
Feb 13, 2012 1:48 PM

215 Roses Grove Road
 North Sea
$2,900,000

This home is more expensive than most that trade in North Sea, which is located directly north of the Village of Southampton and west of Sag Harbor.

The house, which was built for sale in 2010, is enormous. It is more than 9,000 square feet, with its mass broken up with three gambrel-style roof lines. Inside are all the amenities typically associated with oversized vacation homes in the Hamptons, including a double-height entry hall with wraparound stair, eat-in chef’s kitchen, paneled dining room and formal living room. There are eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, three fireplaces, a large attached garage and a finished basement. Outside there is a pool, patio, new lawn and a formal, circular driveway.

Ordinary construction costs in the Hamptons are around $300 per square foot. Many of the finishes in this home are quite attractive and likely more expensive, including marble bathrooms, custom wood panelling and cabinetry. It is hard to imagine that a typical home buyer could have constructed this home, garage, and outdoor areas for much less than the selling price. So it appears that this home sold at a discount, with the 2.1-acre lot in North Sea essentially given away as an inducement to buy the house.

But does that make it a good deal?

As a general rule, a good lot in a good location has the potential to appreciate, while most structures tend to depreciate as they continue to need maintenance, and money spent on taxes and insurance. And structures, being what they are, gradually go out of style unless they are historically important or architecturally significant.

Today, this house offers lots of interior space at a bargain price. But buyers with an eye toward long-term appreciation should consider purchases where a larger percentage of the price is allocated toward the underlying land.

58 Bayfield Lane
Westhampton Beach $815,000

This pleasant ranch house is well located just south of the center of Westhampton Beach.

It was built in 1960 and shares many design elements with millions of homes that were built in the same post-war era. It is a low-slung one-story, with a central living room with fireplace and bay window, flanked by an attached one-car garage on one side and bedrooms on the other.

While most such houses have three bedrooms and two baths, this house is larger—with almost 2,300 square feet, four bedrooms, three baths and a pool in the backyard.

The lot, at .6 acre, is more than adequate for a house this size. Another bonus is that it is in one of the older vacation areas, south of the highway, in Westhampton Beach, with mature landscaping and located among other attractive houses.

The seller purchased this house for $600,000 in 2011. It is impossible to know in such situations how much the seller spent to fix up this property and prepare it for re-sale. But it was listed for $899,000, and, as it sold for 10 percent less than the asking price, it is likely that the seller realized his goals. That is not surprising as this property offers a solid combination of location, lot and structure that may not be sexy, but is broadly appealing.

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