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“…home automation features are increasingly being built into smaller spec homes and new developments. Buyers like the convenience as well as the energy savings. Alfonso Giaquinto, the owner of Plum Builders, said he decided last year that “complete home automation systems” would be among the amenities that his spec homes offered. “The technology was available at a good price,” Mr. Giaquinto said, citing research showing that the 39- to 49-year-olds he was appealing to were “interested in having this technology in their home.””

IN THE REGION | LONG ISLAND

The Remote-Controlled House

By MARCELLE S. FISCHLER
Published: January 5, 2012, The New York Times

Curbed Hamptons: Gere Sells, Madoff Mysteries, And More!
Curbed
1) For celebrities as for the rest of us, the way to move property this summer in the Hamptons is with liberal use of the ol’ PriceChopper.

To Unload a Mansion, Many Must Turn to Auctions
New York Times
But increasingly, people with multimillion-dollar homes who need to raise money are discovering they have few alternatives, as the luxury real estate market

In ritzy East Hampton, beware the deadly tire boot!
Mother Nature Network
(Credit: Flickr/quinn.anya) You have to be tough to take a seaside vacation in the Hamptons, the billionaires’ paradise on the upscale end of Long Island.

Reverse mortgages on the rise as seniors find financial security
The Virginian-Pilot
“Money was getting kind of tight, so I called a real estate dealer I knew and told him I thought I’d sell and move up north, closer to family,

Lloyd Blankfein Misses the Mark
Cityfile
Who’s going to keep high-end real estate brokers busy? Who is going to keep the fancy stores on Fifth Avenue in business? (Besides tourists from China,

With banks being more conservative about lending and buyers being more cautious about pulling the trigger, the appraisal is such an important part of the deal.

It’s no more “wink-wink, the deal is at $x,xxx,xxx and I’ll take you to lunch” with appraisers these days. Banks have a tight leash on them and on top of that, with sales down over 50% in many areas, it’s tough to find comparables in the market. Throw in a short or distressed sale and the deqal could be in trouble.  Even cash buyers are looking more closely at appraisals now, using them to make sure they are not overpaying in a market that might fall even further.

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One of the best “truth-tellers” in the industry is Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuels and author of Matrix blog and Soapbox. He was on FoxNews talking about these issues…check it out here

This is an indication of the gap between buyers and sellers in the Hamptons market today – 45% off asking (at least at these 16 houses) that were put on this “internet auction”.

Several of the houses that didn’t sell had offers of more than 50% off asking price and the sellers were not willing to accept that.  It would have been interesting to see the results if this had been a true “absolute” auction, where the houses would be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price. I imagine some of the bids would have been higher…but I guess we really don’t know, do we?

27 Fair Hills Lane On market for: $3.895 million Highest bid: $1.8 million 5 beds, 6.5-baths, 5,500 sq. ft., ocean view, marble baths, pool

27 Fair Hills Lane On market for: $3.895 million Highest bid: $1.8 million 5 beds, 6.5-baths, 5,500 sq. ft., ocean view, marble baths, pool

Lucky buyers were able to purchase two luxury Hamptons homes for almost 50 percent off at an Internet auction of 16 properties in the tony East End.

see complete NYPost article here

Also, see the UrbanDigs.com post below

2 out of 16: Hamptons Auction Deemed ‘Success’

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It’s often a question, even here, in the Hamptons, where seasonal rentals play a role in that question.

Even homeowners who don’t need to sell in today’s market are asking whether they should sell now, avoiding further loss of value in their homes, and rent until the market stabilizes.  While I think that might be a good idea in theory, unless you have a unique or extraordinary home or are willing are to sell  for a price reflective of the market in 2005, you may just be wasting your time and effort at this point.

But for traditional markets, David Leonhardt, writer for the New York Times suggests a formula for deciding whether to rent or buy.

Over the last several years, I’ve come to like a simple, back-of-the-envelope way to compare the costs of renting and owning. You find two similar houses, one for sale and the other for rent, and divide the sale price by the annual rent. You can call the result the rent ratio.

Click the link for the whole story.

As Home Prices Drop Low Enough, a Committed Renter Decides to Buy

I’m doing reserach for the Hamptons spread…where properties are selling now vs the peak in the end of ’06/early ’07.  Challenge is, since there is no market-wide listing system that tracks sales (the brokers in the Hamptons still have refused to embrace an MLS which is used universally across the US) most information is anecdotal and at least 3 months behind actual transactions.  Since the latest financial crisis took place in late September ’08 (just over 3 months ago) transactions happening since that time are just starting to be reported now, so there is little imperical evidence of the Hamptons market impact.

Even the year end 2008 results, while showing a drop in transactions, median price and total dollar volume for 2008 vs 2007, doesn’t show the true impact of the latest episode.

What I can report at this time is that there is a gap of between 10-15% between what buyers are willing to pay and what sellers are willing to accept at this point. Many sellers are still in denial about what their homes are worth and the buyers I’m working with are not willing to budge. md

 

Check out what Noah Rosenblatt is seeing in Manhattan below:

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There will be plenty more of these same unit deals selling for between 15%-25% less as time goes on, but most of the comparisons defining this downturn will be of different units in the same building. I don’t have time to go researching for how many others there are out there like this, so I’ll leave it for you guys to post in the comment section.

see complete post here

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Q & A with Gary DePersia

Gary DePersia

It’s been a tough year for Hamptons real estate. Average sales prices for homes in the Hamptons and the North Fork plummeted 26.8 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year, according to a market report by Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Yet, since August, East Hampton-based Gary DePersia, an associate broker and senior vice president at the Corcoran Group, said he has seen nearly $30 million worth of exclusive listings go into contract.

With $202 million in sales volume this year, DePersia was recently named the nation’s fourth top broker in the “The Real Estate Top 200,” a national ranking and awards event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, Real Trends and Lore Magazine. A 13-year real estate veteran, DePersia moved to East Hampton from New York City in 1995.

The Real Deal spoke with DePersia to find out how he’s beating the odds.

 

see complete Q&A here

Check this post out. Thanks, Renee!! md

renee porsia

Is Your Realtor Presenting All Offers To You?

Posted by Renee Porsia,  RE/MAX ACTION REALTY, Maple Glen, PA

Many sellers would be surprised to know that many offers go unseen just because their Realtor didn’t like the offer or even the buyer agent presenting the offer. So, how can you be certain that you are seeing every offer?

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Here’s a post that makes some good points about the Hamptons Market

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The Hamptons – A Buyers Market
Cliffeton Green and Drew Green
 

 

“Obviously, the current world financial atmosphere has everyone very concerned about their financial well-being. We now know that it is the sub-prime mortgage crisis that was a primary cause for the current economic uncertainty. Subsequently, Wall Street has seen a meltdown with the loss of some of the industries oldest and most respected names. In turn, Main Street has been affected. It sounds like the sky is falling – yes? Not necessarily, the answer is that for “some” these are indeed hard times, but for others the current economic atmosphere presents opportunity!

As of Friday, Oct. 10 the Dow Industrial dropped below 8,000 (roughly 40 percent lower than its all time high, which was slightly above 14,000 a year ago). Of course, unlike Wall Street, a minute by minute measuring of the real estate market is not possible. However, we do know that on average prices are down roughly 20 percent in the Hamptons from their all time highs of a year or two ago.

Many experts are suggesting that we are at or near the bottom of the market on Wall Street and that there are now good buys to be made. The same can be said for real estate. Frankly speaking, Wall Street influences the Hamptons real estate market more than any other outside influence, and if Wall Street is indeed at its bottom, the Hamptons real estate market cannot be far behind. Simply put, we are now in a “buyers market” and the time is now for those of you who have been looking for the opportunity to get “a deal” (how many of you have uttered those words to us over the past 15 years). If there was a home that intrigued you recently, “make an offer” even if it might be perceived as being a low offer. This is even more relevant today. Some owners are more anxious than their asking price would suggest.

 

If you are a seller in this market, you need to seriously evaluate your reasons for wanting to sell. The current atmosphere is obviously not conducive to garnering the same return it might have a year or two ago and you must be prepared to accept that. Experts suggest that home sellers need to assess the prices of similar properties on the market and then price their home 10 percent to 15 percent below the competition (if you “really want to sell”).

If you are a buyer and in need of financing, completing a savvy real estate purchase is difficult, but not impossible. In speaking with many mortgage brokers over the past few weeks, each has suggested mortgage applicants need three things currently – an “excellent” credit rating, proof of income over the past several years, and, probably most important, the ability to make a large down payment on the purchase (25 percent to 30 percent). If you are in this position and have been considering a Hamptons real estate purchase, “NOW” is the time you have been waiting for! Currently, “cash is king” and if you have it, you are in the driver’s seat.

A trend that we are now seeing more of is “owner financing.” This is advantageous for both buyers and sellers alike. It is advantageous for the buyer who is having difficulty getting a mortgage through the traditional sources. The current advantages for a seller are numerous:

  • Owner Financing expands the seller’s pool of potential buyers (many “want-to-be buyers” simply can’t get any financing right now).
  • Owner Financing allows the seller to collect interest from the buyer.
  • Owner Financing has capital gains tax benefits for the seller.
  • Owner Financing allows the seller to keep the buyer’s initial down payment, subsequent payments, and the property if the buyer defaults (unfortunate for the buyer but a win-win for the seller).

     

    If you are in a strong financial position and are interested in buying Hamptons real estate, don’t wait for someone or something to tell you the bottom has been reached. If you are waiting for that moment, you will miss it. The fact remains that in the long run, real estate always proves to be an excellent long-term investment, especially in the Hamptons. When compared to other investment opportunities, real estate makes sense in uncertain times for the following reasons:

  • Real Estate always has a value as opposed to a stock which can potentially be worthless.
  • Real Estate always has revenue producing potential through a rental.
  • Real Estate is in limited supply (especially in the Hamptons). Unlike fuel it cannot be replaced with other alternatives. Unlike food, it cannot be regenerated.
  • Real Estate can be enjoyed like precious metals, gems, or art. However, Real Estate also offers the practical function of giving shelter.In closing, we are without question in uncertain financial times and any redistribution of wealth is currently intimidating to say the least, but real estate’s track record speaks for itself.”
  • FOR BUYERS LOOKING FOR BUYER REPRESENTATION CLINK THE LINK BELOW

    True North Realty Associates – A Buyers Brokerage

    I think that 25% referral fees between agents is too high.

    Sure, during the hey-day when you took ‘em out, showed ‘em a few houses or took the listing and waited for it to sell and went to the closing, no one complained.  I have always had an issue with a 25% referral fee and have made it my own policy to only ask for 20%, as an incentive to the agent I was referring to.  After all, if you have two referrals, one at 25% and one at 20%, what does human nature lead many to do?

    Another thing that lead me to believe that 25% is too high, has been all the out of market agents who had put websites together, fishing for “Hamptons” buyers and sellers – JUST so they could capture them and turn them around and refer them to a Hamptons Agent.  With an average sales price of $1,500,000, that turns into a referral fee of $11,250 JUST for passing on a name – no thanks…

    Now, with business being more challenging and both buyers and sellers requiring more time and effort (and expertise) to put a deal together, I am going to be requesting a 10% referral fee. As an Exclusive Buyers Broker, the clients who have listed with me over the years are going to get assistance in finding the absolute best fitting listing agent for their properties, and I want that agent to be motivated to do a bang-up job for them - 10% is fair. 

    In addition, I always tell my referral clients that I am getting a fee for referring them – it’s part of transparency and full disclosure, folks. There have been a number of times where buyers or sellers (in the days I was a listing agent) were never told by the agent who referred them to me that they would be getting a referral fee. They JUST made it out like they were doing their relative, friend, etc a favor.

    Let’s be open, honest and generous with each other.

    What do you think?

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