Behind The Hedges Grey Gardens Available as Unique Holiday 2016 Rental

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Grey Gardens Available as Unique Holiday 2016 Rental
November 14, 2016
Grey Gardens, the iconic East Hampton home made famous by Albert and David Maysles' 1976 documentary of the same name, is available to rent for the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas this year for $7,500 and $12,500 respectively. The 6,000-square-foot former residence of Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale—relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis who let the home fall down around them—has been completely restored since their lives there were captured on film. The 1.7-acre estate, listed by Corcoran Group power broker Gary DePersia, has a pool and tennis court and legendary gardens. And it's a short walk from Georgica Beach. Originally designed by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe in 1897 the home has gracious common rooms, along with 7 bedrooms and 6.5 baths to allow for plenty of guests during the holiday weeks. Even in winter, the grounds are something to behold. Sneak off to the small stucco cottage hidden in the landscape and enjoy the fact that for a short time, you can be part of Hamptons history and legend. Executive Editor of The Washington Post Ben Bradlee and his wife, journalist Sally Quinn, bought the ruined property in 1979 for $250,000 and restored it to its former glory. It was rented for many summers by Francis Hayward but she has since moved on. The property, at 3 West End Road, is a true treasure, and would make the ultimate holiday getaway. For those truly inspired by the home, Grey Gardens is also available year round, except for August, for $175,000. See the Corcoran listing here.
Hamptons’ Safest Home Features WWII Bunker in Amagansett Dunes
November 11, 2016
The world is looking at an uncertain future following this week’s election—America could be in peril or it could be of the verge of greatness (“again”), so now is a good time to hedge your bets. And the best way to do that might just be to buy an oceanfront home with its very own bunker! Coincidentally, a unique property with a rare piece of World War II history has come up for sale in Amagansett Dunes for $9.5 million this week. What could be the Hamptons’ safest home at 45 Whalers Lane was once a US Army “cottage type” fire control station built in 1944, according to Douglas Elliman broker Tania Deighton, who has the listing with Terry Thompson. [caption id="attachment_238575" align="aligncenter" width="549"]45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett 45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] Set on 1.4 acres with an expansive 228 feet of sandy beach, with adjacent 2.6-acre reserve, the original structure has been built up and renovated as a 4,000-square-foot, chic oceanfront contemporary with 4 spacious bedrooms, 4.5 newly styled baths and fresh architectural design. But the bunker, which has survived multiple hurricanes, remains at its core. “It’s basically like a tower,” Deighton says of the bunker portion of the home, which comprises three stories, including a den on the ground floor, a walk-in cedar closet upstairs, and the basement below ground. The original exterior façades feature low profile windows and thick, concrete walls styled to appear like shingles or siding—one of which even had a bullet hole in it, though that’s since been filled. [caption id="attachment_238539" align="aligncenter" width="550"]45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett 45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] Inside, large, heavy metal doors remain on the den and basement levels, allowing residents to have a clear picture of the home’s compelling history as a coastal observation structure. The building was designed to appear as a cottage, thus concealing its true purpose from invading ships and airplanes. Through binoculars, the house looked like another coastal residence, but it was set in a perfect position to watch over the coastline and help defend it against encroaching enemies. This particular fire control station, called Location 11, was assigned to support 16-inch gun batteries 111 and 112 at Camp Hero in Montauk and Wilderness Point on Fishers Island, respectively. If the station crew spotted an enemy ship approaching, they would call the batteries with coordinates so the guns could destroy it with devastating artillery fire. In 2003, an approval was received by the Zoning Board of Appeals to construct a 655-square-foot addition to the original residence, along with a brick patio, swimming pool and deck. The permit was conditioned upon standard environmental upgrades in addition to the creation of a façade easement to protect and preserve the historic portion of the structure in perpetuity. This 2003 ZBA approval was acted upon and received a subsequent building permit and certificate of occupancy in 2007. [caption id="attachment_238540" align="aligncenter" width="549"]45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett 45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] The house now has a state of the art chef's kitchen complete with double Miele dishwashers, oversized Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, and 8-burner Wolf stove that would put any military galley to shame. A unique multi-level floor plan affords privacy for residents and guests, with large den, choice of 2 fireplaces for gathering, and 2-car garage. It has an ocean-facing master bedroom, and an upstairs deck offers stunning water views outside. Along with the protective bunker, the property also includes a top of the line generator to ensure comfortable living—come hell or high water. Click the link to see the listing for 45 Whalers Lane, Amagansett Dunes.
Jill Martin Buys New Build Home in Southampton Village
October 28, 2016
Television personality and author Jill Martin, best known for her work with the New York Knicks, Access Hollywood and the Today show has just bought a lovely new build home in Southampton Village. The 6-bedroom, 5.5-bath, Postmodern, shingle-style house was listed for $3.7 million with Douglas Elliman. [caption id="attachment_237965" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Jill Martin's new home in Southampton Village Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] Built and designed by Cavallo Building, Martin's new home offers an open floor concept with a professional kitchen, great room, formal living room and 5,300 square feet of living space throughout three levels. The first level includes the chefs kitchen which flows into the custom great room with a large fireplace, detailed built-in cabinetry, and oversized French doors leading to a large stone patio. It has a formal dining room with coffered ceilings, private library/den and first-floor bedroom. The grand paneled, two-story foyer leads up a gracious staircase to the second floor landing. Upstairs includes a master suite with spacious bathroom and fireplace. Three additional guest bedrooms, all with en-suite baths, are perfect for guests. The finished lower level is also grand and spacious with home theater room, sauna, wine cellar and multi-purpose exercise room. Outside features a heated 18 x 40 gunite saltwater pool and spa with large pool house. [caption id="attachment_237966" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Jill Martin's new home in Southampton Village Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] Along with her television work, which won her four Emmy Awards, Martin has written several books, including The Weekend Makeover (2013), I Have Nothing to Wear (2011) and Fashion for Dummies (2009). You can see the full listing with Douglas Elliman here. [caption id="attachment_237964" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Jill Martin's sauna Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption]
Christie Brinkley Selling North Haven Home for $25 Million
October 12, 2016
Christie Brinkley has just listed her North Haven home for $25 million with Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman. Built in 1843, the three-story Colonial offers 5,500 square feet of living space with 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths with a 327-foot sandy beach on 4.5 acres overlooking the harbor and open bay. The breathtaking water views and sunsets are enjoyed from almost every room in the historic manor house, which includes many period details, such as grand columns covering two facades, wide-plank pine floors and multiple fireplaces. See the listing here. [caption id="attachment_237359" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Inside Christie Brinkley's North Haven home Inside Christie Brinkley's North Haven home, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] It features a kitchen with soapstone and marble counters, formal dining, an immense living room, full basement, great room and an impressive master suite with its own sitting room and terrace—allowing for lovely panoramic harbor views. Well-designed gardens, specimen trees and a bay-side gunite pool surround the house, and it's just a half mile from Sag Harbor's Main Street shops. [caption id="attachment_237355" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Christie Brinkley's North Haven home Christie Brinkley's North Haven home, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] Brinkley put her Bridgehampton mansion, Tower Hill, up for sale with Morabito for $29.5 million back in June and it remains on the market. She has listed Tower Hill once before, in 2010, for $30 million, but she and her family decided not to move at that time. In 2013, Brinkley sold a North Haven property for $10 million, and she listed her late mother’s Sag Harbor cottage for $2.8 million the same year. [caption id="attachment_237357" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Christie Brinkley's North Haven home Inside Christie Brinkley's North Haven home, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] In June, Brinkley said she will continue living in the Hamptons, but the supermodel has opted not to speak to the press about her latest listing. [caption id="attachment_237354" align="aligncenter" width="549"]Inside Christie Brinkley's North Haven home Inside Christie Brinkley's North Haven home, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption]  
Summer’s Over: How to Prepare Your Home for Next Year
October 04, 2016
With the summer season over, East End landlords are in the process of retaking possession of their homes. Beyond perhaps a few beach trips, it’s the time of year when landlords need to assess the extent that their tenants damaged their summer homes and to hire contractors to make the requisite repairs and improvements to those properties in order for them to be ready for next year’s crop of tenants. However, the damage is not the end of the headache. Instead, incident to getting those repairs done many landlords will end up fighting with contractors over fees, which can be an all-consuming experience because of the ever-present threat of a mechanics’ lien. Pursuant to the New York State Lien Law, a mechanics’ lien is a type of security instrument in real estate available to a “[a] contractor, subcontractor, laborer, materialman, landscape gardener, nurseryman … who performs labor or furnishes materials for the improvement of real property with the consent or at the request of the owner,” which must be filed within 4 months (8 months in commercial) of the last date such labor or materials were provided at a residential project. Here are the top 5 facts about mechanics’ liens that every homeowner should understand: Avoiding the Lien A mechanics’ lien cannot be avoided in a home improvement contract. Pursuant to the Lien Law, any agreement or contract that waives any rights for a contractor to file or enforce a lien is void as against public policy of the State of New York. However, a homeowner can and should require a written waiver of the right to file a mechanic’s lien, coupled with a satisfaction and/or release of the monies due, at the time such homeowner tenders payment for the labor performed and the materials furnished. This way, payment brings finality, not a fight for further payment. Details Required Simply filing a paper with the county clerk that a homeowner owes the contractor money is not enough for an enforceable mechanics’ lien. Instead, a contractor must be able to itemize the labor and material to which payment is owed with specifics. In fact, upon written demand of a homeowner, a contractor who has filed a mechanics’ lien is required to provide the homeowner with a verified “statement in writing which shall set forth the items of labor and/or material and the value thereof which make up the amount for which he claims a lien, and which shall also set forth the terms of the contract under which such items were furnished” according to the Lien Law. Failure by the contractor to comply with this written demand within five days enables the homeowner to petition the court for an order directing compliance by the contractor within a time specified by the court in its discretion. Thereafter, if such order is breached, the court will cancel the lien. As a result, contractors who wish to utilize a mechanics’ lien in order to compel payment must get their details straight prior to acting. Furthermore, and because the terms of the contract must be set forth, only contractors whose contracts are in compliance with Article 36-a of the General Business Law should even consider utilizing a mechanics’ lien in the first instance on residential property. Otherwise, pursuing the mechanics’ lien will open an unnecessary can of worms about the contractor’s violation of the statute. Automatic Removal A mechanics’ lien is often a bluff by the contractor because the lien has no effect unless the house that is the subject of the lien is sold or an action to foreclose the lien is commenced within one year. In fact, a mechanics’ lien is automatically extinguished after one year from when the notice of lien is filed, except if an action to enforce the lien was commenced during that one-year period. Additionally, the lien cannot be extended beyond a one-year period for a single family dwelling without a court order. As a result, while a mechanics lien may feel scary to a homeowner of a single family house, when first noticed by the contractor, such lien often does nothing more than scare the homeowner into payment. To determine if the mechanics’ lien is just a scare tactic, homeowners should determine whether the amount claimed is cost effective for the contractor to pursue in litigation by considering the transaction costs of a process server, attorney, court fees and the like. If the mechanics’ lien was only a bluff that was not foreclosed upon within the one-year period and the homeowner does not want to have a record of being accused of being a deadbeat existing at the county clerk’s office, such homeowner can move for a summary order from the court to have the lien filing removed from the home’s title as if it was never there in the first instance. Vacating the Lien To call the contractor’s bluff, at any time after the mechanics’ lien is filed, the homeowner can notice the lien or that such contractor must commence an action to foreclose the lien in not less than 30 days. If the contractor fails to foreclose the lien, within that 30-day period, then the homeowner can move the court to discharge the mechanics’ lien. However, dismissal is not automatic. Instead, the court hearing the motion to discharge the mechanics’ lien will determine the equities of the case. Absent the existence of a good faith reason for failing to commence the action, such as the existence of settlement negotiations, the mechanics’ lien will generally be discharged by the court for failure to commence the action within 30 days. Notice of Pendency If the contractor who receives the notice, or without notice, acts by properly and timely commencing an action to foreclose the lien, a mechanics’ lien will nonetheless be extinguished if the contractor fails to also file a notice of pendency in the county clerk’s office before the expiration of the one-year lien effectiveness period. A notice of pendency is a notice to the world that a specific property is the subject of a lawsuit that affects title, possession or enjoyment of such property. To be effective in extending a mechanics’ lien, the notice of pendency must indicate the date that the mechanics’ lien was filed, the names of all of the parties to the action, the object of the action, and a brief legal description of property. Failing to include any of this requisite information should result in the lien being extinguished. However, extinguishing the lien would not prevent the contractor from nonetheless winning a money judgment in the lawsuit that was commenced to foreclose the lien. Consequently, the only result of properly filing the notice of pendency is that it enables the contractor to cause the home to be immediately sold to satisfy the judgment at auction, not to preserve the contractor’s right to be paid on its contract, which is the subject of a six-year statute of limitations irrespective of the mechanics’ lien. Should a mechanics’ lien be correctly filed and pursued the ultimate result is that a contractor can pursue an action similar to a mortgage foreclosure action in order to recoup payment from the proceeds of a foreclosure sale of the property. Furthermore, if the equity in the house (fair market value minus mortgages) is less than the lien amount the contractor can receive a deficiency judgment that is valid for 20 years to collect the remaining sum of money due under the construction contract. Andrew M. Lieb, Esq., MPH, is the managing attorney of Lieb at Law P.C. and is a contributing writer for Behind the Hedges.
Plaza Surf N’ Sports Building Lists for $8.9 Million in Montauk
September 28, 2016
One of Montauk's busiest shopping areas, the Plaza at 716 Montauk Highway, has been listed for $8,900,000 this week. Located in the center of Montauk's popular business district, the 12,000-square-foot commercial property sits on 0.34 acres and currently houses the inveterate Plaza Surf N' Sports, established in 1972, and the Soursop Tree Cafe Jamaican restaurant, which just replaced the Wok & Roll Chinese takeout restaurant. Listing agent Gregory Mansley, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, says the listing went live on Tuesday, September 27, and he expects it to sell quickly. "This will not last long in the market," he explains, noting that the building has the highest foot and vehicular traffic in the hamlet. "The location itself is an absolute have to pass it to get into Montauk." [caption id="attachment_236651" align="aligncenter" width="499"]Plaza Surf N' Sports in Montauk Plaza Surf N' Sports in Montauk, Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] According to Mansley, Plaza Surf N' Sports may or may not remain at the location. Longtime owner Peter Ferrara Sr., now in his 70s, is slowing things down and looking toward expanding the store's online presence in lieu of all that brick and mortar space. At the very least, Mansley says Ferrara will reduce the size of the shop to only use the top floor of the two-story building. And East Hampton Town has already cleared the way for three retail spaces to open on the first floor. The building predates the Affordable Housing Act, so it is not required to have an apartment. Soursop Tree Cafe is operating out of Wok & Roll's former location, and the restaurant use will remain, but Mansley is hopeful another Chinese restaurant could open there in the future. "I'd like to bring a Chinese restaurant back," he says, pointing out that Montauk currently has no Chinese takeout available in town. He also hopes to discourage any buyer from making drastic alterations to the property. "I'm trying to make Montauk pretty much the same," Mansley says. "If you lose the flavor of Montauk, you lose the appeal." You can see the listing here. [caption id="attachment_236653" align="aligncenter" width="501"]Plaza Surf N' Sports in Montauk Plaza Surf N' Sports in Montauk, Courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption]
Matt Lauer Lowers Price of Noyac Home by $1M
September 14, 2016
Hamptonite Matt Lauer's real estate winning streak appears to have hit a snag. After listing in July, Lauer has reduced the price of his Noyac home from $17.995 million to $16.995 million. Lauer was previously on a roll with the East End real estate scene, having purchased Richard Gere’s North Haven estate for $33 million and selling his North Sea cottage for nearly $4 million. The property at 2301 Deerfield Road features 25 acres of land comprising two lots (the home on 15 acres, and a 10-acre building lot), a 70- by 20-foot gunite pool, pool house, tennis courts and gardens designed by Miranda Brooks. The 8,000-square-foot house has 6 bathrooms, 7.5 baths and interiors done by designer Muriel Brandolini. The property is listed through Corcoran with superbroker Susan Breitenbach handling the sale. Lauer’s recent high-profile purchase of Gere’s Strongheart Manor ended its three-year run on the market. Strongheart Manor sits on 6.3 acres of Peconic Bay-front property and houses 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, with two guest houses on Actors Colony Road. It was also listed with Corcoran and handled by Breitenbach. Here’s hoping the lower price attracts a buyer. Might we suggest Rob Kardashian, who took to Instagram recently and “announced” he bought Normandy House in Southampton for $48 million? The statement was later revealed to be false by Tim Davis, but maybe Kardashian really is interested in buying out here? After all, his sisters enjoyed their summer in the Hamptons a few years back.