Behind The Hedges 21.09.2020 07:31 Legendary New York Times Editor's Sweet Water Mill Cottage

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Legendary New York Times Editor's Sweet Water Mill Cottage
June 09, 2017
New York Times editor Arthur Gelb had the kind of storied career you never hear about any more: he started working the night shift at The Times as a copy boy in 1944 when he was 20 years old and rose through the ranks. 45 years later, he retired as managing editor. This cute cottage on Mill Pond was his Hamptons retreat. [caption id="attachment_60865" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] The 2500-square foot house offers five bedrooms and four baths, and, the listing says, "has windows everywhere to take in the vast pond views that change magically in the Hamptons sunshine." There's one acre of land, which includes a gunite pool, patio, and a dock with a rowboat on the pond. The asking price for the property, listed by Maryanne Horwath and Michael Shaheen of Douglas Elliman, is $2.775 million, which is not bad. The current owner paid $2 million for it ten years ago and has updated it. What do you think of the place? Let us know in the comments. For more, click here. 297 Head of Pond Road, Water Mill
Five Questions for Real Estate Lawyer Adam Miller
June 08, 2017
When issues arise on a real estate transaction, and they always do, you need a smart real estate lawyer on your team. We asked Bridgehampton-based attorney Adam Miller some questions about how to find one. What’s the role of a real estate attorney, as opposed to a real estate agent? In New York, unlike many other states, real estate attorneys take the lead on all due diligence and contract negotiations. New York is a “buyer beware” state so making sure you have a qualified real estate attorney is critical. Do I really need an attorney? Yes, absolutely. Often, real estate is one of the largest transactions people will ever make. To do that without a professional would be a poor decision. How do I choose an attorney? I would chose an attorney based on reputation. Much of my work out here comes from real estate agents but a significant portion of that work also comes from other clients who refer their friends and family. What’s the biggest mistake buyers make in the Hamptons? To hire counsel that is not experienced in local nuances. What’s the biggest mistake sellers make? Not being prepared to sell. Sellers should consult with their broker and or get advice from a local attorney about things that come up in the sale process. This will alleviate unexpected delays.
Peace, Love, and Wellness in East Hampton North for $1.7 Million
June 07, 2017
If you're into wellness (it's the big thing right now), this property is a great find. It was designed by green architect Bill Chaleff to make the most of the light (all those skylights!). There’s an organic vegetable garden, a gunite pool (with Trio Pure water purity), a hardwood “yoga deck” (nope, me neither), a genuine Finnish sauna, and a jacuzzi. The house, which could use some updating, sports four bedrooms, each with its own balcony or patio, and two and a half baths. The plot size is a generous 2.3 acres with pretty gardens. Asking price for the property, represented by Mohna Hoppe at Nest Seekers, is $1.695 million. All together now: namaste. For more, click here217 Two Holes Water Road, East Hampton
Jennifer Rutherfurd and Corey Sherman Join Town & Country WHB
June 07, 2017
Guess west of the canal really is as hot as they say! Town & Country's Westhampton Beach office is welcoming two new faces. Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Jennifer Rutherfurd has been a year-round resident of Quogue for over 25 years. One of her major interests is getting first-time buyers comfortable with the process. She loves finding the right house, in the right location for the first-time home buyer. In addition to real estate, Jennifer has a background in rare books and art, so she has a connoisseur’s eye for presenting a property to its best advantage. Well versed in staging, social media and aesthetics, Jennifer will guide you to showcasing your property in just the right way. Corey Sherman, also a new licensed real estate salesperson, was born in Forest Hills, but spent much of his youth enjoying Shinnecock's amazing bays and beaches. Living in Manhattan, Corey was a marketing and technology executive at numerous Fortune 500 companies, but moved to East Quogue permanantly in 1999. He renewed his 1988 real estate salesperson license to share his passion and knowledge about the Hamptons with others. Congrats to Jennifer and Corey!
Bayfront in Lazy Point with Possible Retail Use for $4.7 Million
June 06, 2017
This property offers spectacular views as well as a lot of history. It was originally the Merrill Fishing Station. Back in the day the Merrills, Al and Mary, owned a bar and restaurant called Merrill's Irish Mist, as well as the station. (We believe the dilapidated remains of the restaurant remain on nearby Merrills Road.) [caption id="attachment_60815" align="alignnone" width="418"] East Hampton Star, July 1960[/caption] This property therefore has a pre-existing, nonconforming commercial retail use. (Although it is possible that the use has been abandoned--the law on this is unclear.) It's represented by Stacey Pitts at Sotheby's. As a home, the 0.8 acre property offers a sandy beach, a jetty and bulkhead, as well as the 1500 square foot house. [caption id="attachment_60820" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Sotheby's[/caption] The three bedroom, three and one half bath, upside down home could use some updates, although it's pleasant enough as it is. The issue, then, is the price. $4.695 million seems pretty high to us, especially since the property was previously offered at $3.6 million with no takers. What do you think of the place? Let us know in the comments. For more, click here316 Shore Road, Amagansett  
Matt Lauer Drops the Price of Hamptons Home Again (Exclusive)
June 05, 2017
Matt Lauer listed his lovely 25 acre spread in Noyac just about a year ago, after he closed on the sale of Strongheart, Richard Gere's North Haven estate. Asking price was $18 million. No one bit, so he cut the price $1 million in September. And there the price sat, until today. Now the ask is $14.9 million. Which, considering how lovely the property, is not at all unreasonable. Listing agent Susan Breitenbach at Corcoran tends to be very realistic about cutting prices on laggard properties, we've noticed. [caption id="attachment_60799" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Susan Breitenbach[/caption] Why hasn't the Lauer property sold? It's not an easy sell, we suppose, in the less than tony environs of Noyac, oh we mean Sag Harbor. However, again, the grounds are gorgeous and there's plenty of land and privacy, with a huge 70'x20' gunite pool with pool house and a tennis court. The 8000 square foot house is also beautiful, in our estimation, but possibly too individual? The interiors, by designer Muriel Brandolini, feature fabulous lighting fixtures, bold use of color and pattern (including hand-painted wallpaper), and classic midcentury furniture. Although many of the well-heeled expect to do renovations when purchasing a new home, we've heard time and again that buyers today don't want to bother; that they want something they can move into immediately. Maybe the interiors need a make-under. We'll be very interested to see what happens with this property. For more, click here.
Ellen Pompeo's Beautiful Black-Painted Sag Harbor Home
June 02, 2017
Black is the new black. You heard it here first! Several days ago we advised painting the exterior of a dated 80s contemporary black. Grey's Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo has taken that a step further, painting the exterior of her Sag Harbor home black as well as a number of rooms (a sitting room, the master bedroom). Pompeo says of her decorator, “Estee was the one who said we needed to treat the walls: ‘You need to do an architecture element in the master.’ It was her idea to do bead-board in a few places, and after that, I loved it, but then I said: ‘It’s not enough! We need to paint the walls black!’” She says, "The thing about painting the walls dark in a small house is that you think, 'Oh wow. Can I get away with it? It's going to make the house feel so small.' But it actually adds depth." [caption id="attachment_60778" align="alignnone" width="625"] All photos courtesy Architectural Digest and by Douglas Friedman[/caption] Ellen says, “I loved the history of the property. There was a cabin, which was built by a woman who was a civil rights activist lawyer. She actually built it with her own two hands." She was advised to build on the footprint of the cabin, to use as a guest house, and then to build a main house. Well, the guest house after renovation is still the main house. Want to see more? Pick up the July issue of Architectural Digest and click here.
Two Bijou East Hampton Cottages for $1.295 Million
June 01, 2017
This property has been on the market since last summer, and we don't get it. Edited: The property sold March 30, 2017 and has just brought back on the market recently. It's so cute! And it's all redone! There's a gunite pool and charm galore! The price ($1.295 million) is the same as last summer, but we think it's reasonable as is. It's represented by Chris Coleman at Saunders. [caption id="attachment_60770" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Saunders[/caption] On just over half an acre in East Hampton north are two legal shingled cottages surrounded by pretty plantings and sharing a new pool. Both cottages, with two bedrooms and one bath apiece, have been newly renovated. The larger cottage features a fireplace and quartz counters in the kitchen, while the smaller cottage sports soapstone counters. Both cottages offer outdoor showers and eating areas. There’s a myriad of possibilities with this property: occupy one cottage and rent the other out, or use for a larger extended family. For more, click here8 Neighborhood House Drive, East Hampton
Dick Cavett's Montauk Home for Sale, Asking $62 Million
May 31, 2017
The legendary Tick Hall, one of the Montauk Association houses built by McKim, Mead and White and owned by TV personality, author, and raconteur Dick Cavett, is for sale. If sold near the asking price of $62 million, this would be a new record for Montauk. The property, including the home and 19 acres overlooking the ocean in Montauk, is listed by Corcoran’s Karen Kelley and Tim Davis. [caption id="attachment_60761" align="alignnone" width="659"] All photos via Corcoran[/caption] The story of the house is fascinating. If you haven't seen From the Ashes, the documentary about the house, go find a copy! The original home burned to the ground in 1997; owners Cavett and wife Carrie Nye vowed to rebuild the house exactly as it was, including replicating a squeak on the stairs. With no original plans remaining, it was a serious undertaking to replicate the house. The property includes the 6000 square foot house with over 900 feet of ocean frontage, which borders another 170 acres of parkland. There's a private walkway to the sandy ocean beach known as “Cavett’s Cove," along with a freshwater pond and pool. Guests over the years include Muhammad Ali, Sir Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams, Alec Baldwin and Woody Allen. What do you think? Will anyone pay $62 million? For more information, click here. 165 Deforest Road, Montauk
This Listing Shows How to Update an 80s Contemporary
May 30, 2017
Wondering how to bring your dated 80s home into the current century? Glean some tips from this house in East Hampton north. Bordering reserve, the 2000 square foot house is set on 0.92 of an acre. There are three bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a finished lower level with gas fireplace and screening room. Asking price for the property, represented by Bayard Fenwick and Rylan Jacka at Sotheby's, is $1.675 million. Paint it black. The black cedar siding of this house looks much fresher and less tired than the other options. White, cliche, gray, yuck, brown, double yuck. Black is the way to go. [caption id="attachment_60741" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Sotheby's. All photos by Chris Foster.[/caption] Paint it white. 80s interiors were often all about the natural wood tones, complemented by red brick. Bring interiors out of the 80s by wielding your paintbrush. Note the contrast of the simple dark-framed windows: no ugly oak trim here. Use stylish modern furnishings. As above: the simple contemporary pieces work with the space beautifully. Older styles of furniture frequently look absolutely terrible in a contemporary. New or midcentury furnishings and accessories don't fight with the architecture. Renovate the kitchen... A fresh, simple new kitchen is generally the way to go. Most 80s kitchens are better off left in the Reagan era. Clean lines and light wood make the kitchen an asset to the house. Avoid orangey wood tones. and the bathrooms. Bathroom design has also moved on from the Just Say No years. Simple white and gray looks fresh, as does the dark hardware. (Let us not even think of gold-plated faucets.) Embrace a few quirks. Not everything about the 80s was bad: we love the era's natural style freeform swimming pools, as here. What say you? Let us know in the comments. For more, click here. 27 Marion Lane, East Hampton
10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Renting to a Friend
May 28, 2017
Many homeowners on the East End rent out their property for various parts of the summer season in order to recoup their carrying costs on the property and to have an additional source of income. Some even rationalize their initial purchase of their vacation home by calling it an investment property, where they plan to designate a set period of time that the property will be used for investment purposes and another limited time where its designated for pleasure. So when a friend asks to rent this vacation property, knowing of its availability, it may sound like a godsend: you can have an easy experience, avoid using a real estate broker, and save on brokerage fees while also helping out a friend who will love your property as you do. However, before letting your friend lease your property, you need to ask yourself: do I want to lose my friendship with this prospective tenant if the rental doesn't work out? If your answer to this question is that it's completely inapplicable to you because your plan is to simply allow your friend to live at your expense and you have no problem with the financial burden resulting from the lost income stream, you should nonetheless consider possible liabilities that your friend can cause you, beyond the liabilities of town/village code violations for noise violations, parking violations, rental permit violations, and so on, there is property damage and don't forget feeling unappreciated when you are doing a good deed. Regardless, all landlords should ask themselves the following questions before just jumping to the conclusion that renting to a friend is a good idea:
  1. How much do you value your relationship with your friend?
Once they are paying you money in consideration of the use of property, both of you have the opportunity to have unmet expectations, which form the groundwork for dissolving a friendship. They may not pay on time, your air conditioner may break, they may not leave when the lease is over, your cesspool may overflow; the list is infinite of how friction can start.
  1. Would you feel comfortable having them sign a lease?
If not, that is the first sign that renting to your friend is a bad idea. Being afraid to have a document drafted to spell out both parties' expectations indicates that you will never feel comfortable confronting your friend if you are wronged throughout the relationship. This is a terrible springboard for beginning a business relationship.
  1. Word you feel comfortable having to enforce a lease against them?
Would you evict them with a sheriff if it came to that? At the end of the day, a landlord cannot just change the locks without being exposed to a lawsuit for 3 times damages. So a landlord's only recourse would be to bring on eviction proceeding (aka summary proceeding) and then obtain a warrant of eviction for the sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant.
  1. How would you feel if they disrespected your property and your rights?
Would you feel that you had an open invitation to visit your own home? What if they said no when you wanted to come over? How about not returning your calls when you needed to get something from the house?
  1. How would you feel about having a financial transaction with a friend?
How would that affect your friendship? Would you be able to look at them the same way if they bounced a check to you? What about if they were a complainer about every bit of nonsense?
  1. How would you feel about collecting a money judgment on a friend?
If they failed to pay you rent, would you be prepared to enforce that money judgment by garnishing the wages, freezing their bank account and seizing their vehicles?
  1. What would you do if they had a huge party that got you a ticket for a noise / parking violation?
Would this change if you were not invited to the party?
  1. How would you feel if your friend let other friends move into the home in violation of your occupancy restrictions? I
If the other friend was a mutual friend of yours would that change your feelings? What if their friend was your enemy?
  1. D0 you maintain any private documents at the house that would cause you embarrassment if your friend found them?
Would you feel compromised if they discovered something private about you? You do know people snoop, fight?
  1. How would you feel if they got injured on your property?
Would you feel guilty? What if they sued you seeking compensation for their injuries? Would it matter if you had insurance? How about if you thought they were full of it? The old adage "don't mix business with pleasure" must have come from somewhere. While you may believe that you are somehow different or special, you aren't. We all believe that nothing bad will happen to us and ours is a different type of friendship than any other. Wrong. Unless you are comfortable being disrespected, unappreciated, taken advantage of, restricted in your ability to tell them off based upon your friendship and financially injured, it is highly recommended to refer your friend to a real estate broker in your town or village who can help them find their own summer rental.
My Hamptons: Thuyen Nguyen, Beauty Guru and Spa Owner
May 27, 2017
Skin and body care specialist Thuyen Nguyen is one of the worst-kept secrets in the Hamptons. In-the-know locals and celebrities like Jimmy Fallon rave over his skin care. After years of formulating treatments for legendary beauties including Jennifer Aniston, Cindy Crawford, Uma Thurman, Katy Perry and Natalie Portman, Thuyen launched his own spa, FaceXercise Skin Fitness, in Wainscott. He also opened an outpost in New York City this past winter. BTH: What is the best part about your job? TN: What I offer people makes them feel beautiful, confident and more re-laxed than when they arrived. I grew up with more insecurities than average because I was so different from the All-American kids. It's full circle for me to help others look and feel their best while taming their own inner critic. BTH: You're all about wellness. What's an easy tip that a busy, stressed person can use to improve their health and wellbeing? TN: Whether it's a mani/pedi, soak in the bath or a quick foot rub, recharging is just as important as charging forward in your day. Women especially spend so much time caring for others, it's crucial to care for yourself. Letting go is crucial to your mental and physical well-being. I teach clients to mas-sage their face in the shower daily to improve their circulation and promise that it's the best home beauty secret you could incorporate. Nutritionally, I am adamant about green juice. You can't beat the fresh vitamins and antioxidants from a tall glass of raw vegetables. I love all the lush greens for my juice during farmstand season. BTH: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons? TN: I started coming out east in the late '90s to work with clients who summered here. When I wrapped up my role as the Spa Creative Director of Robert De Niro's the Greenwich Hotel, I had the opportunity to either open my own spa in the city or out here. Opening in Wainscott turned out to be a great idea since it caused me to set up a Hamptons home, which has enriched my life more than I ever imagined. BTH: Why do you like the East End? TN: Being a caregiver in my work, I am highly sensitive to energies from people and my surroundings. There is a distinct vortex of sacred energy that I feel driving to the Hamptons. It's why after living in NYC for 23 years, I choose to call the Hamptons my home and where my soul hangs its hat. BTH: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant? TN: I have three restaurant crushes: Almond because I adore Eric and chef Jason's passion, Pierre's because I love anything French, and Highway because of Adam Lancashire. BTH: Describe your perfect day on the East End in detail. TN: Taking a ride with my French bulldog Wally. We relax with my friend Phyllis Landi who runs the ARF Treasure Shop. I often help her stage the furniture since it helps with sales which all goes to the rescues. Then Wally and I head home and I spend the late afternoon in my garden pruning plants and watching the deer. After all my time in the city as a social butterfly, I can't describe fully how much these peaceful moments out east heal me.