Douglas Elliman’s Christopher Stewart Talks Work & Play on the East End

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman

Surfing and skiing, barbecues and the beach, Springs and Sag Harbor… Christopher Stewart, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Douglas Elliman, celebrates the joys of East End living.  

What is your overview of the state of the market right now? 
The fourth quarter has been much more active, both in buyers looking and deals being made. Pricing is the driving force behind successful transactions  

How would you assess the year that was 2019, and what are you seeing/projecting for the market as we head into 2020? 
As the real estate business evolves with technology, the marketplace continues to have its challenges and successes. I look forward to more growth in 2020.

What advice are you giving buyers and sellers right now? 
Competitive pricing on both sides is key. Sellers need to preemptively address certificate of occupancy and maintenance issues to make the deals as seamlessly attractive as possible.

Is there any advice for buyers and sellers in this market that is timeless, regardless of current market conditions? 
Location and pricing are timeless. However, that credo is being tested by some of the value being found further afield.  

What areas do you believe are most poised for growth and why? 
North Sea waterfront is undervalued and extraordinarily beautiful. Sag Harbor’s value center is continuing to expand. The affordability of Springs and the Northwest Woods in East Hampton will continue to push sales volume in those places.

What amenities are must-haves for a Hamptons/North Fork home these days? 
Beautiful kitchens, steam showers, energy efficiency, high ceilings, natural light and storage. Always choose to add a garage over a pool house.

What about the East End continues to make it a great place to invest in real estate.
The amazing forethought and continued protection of our stunning waterfront and open spaces coupled with a limited amount of land will always make the East End desirable.

What brought you to the East End originally? How did you decide to make real estate your professional pursuit? 
My extended family has been coming to Amagansett/East Hampton since the 1940s. I moved here permanently 18 years ago to raise a child. Best decision I have ever made. Real estate is a natural fit for me.

What are your passions in life outside the work place? 
I love to be outside. Surfing and skiing especially. I am a lacrosse enthusiast and have been involved in the local youth program for about 13 years.  

You have received a number of honors for your community work. What is most important to you about being involved that deeply in community affairs? 
When living in a small town it’s important to connect to the community and give back. This place has given me so much–I am forever grateful.

Describe your perfect day on the East End.
Early morning surf and dog walk, day on the boat or beach with family and friends, outdoor shower, bbq with good music and good people, close a deal in there somewhere, sleep.

What aspects of life on the East End continue to surprise you? 
It doesn’t matter how long I live here, I am constantly amazed by the natural beauty surrounding me.

What are some favorite spots and activities for you–with and without the family–for fun in the Hamptons this time of year? 
Surfing is a year-round activity that includes so many ages and walks of life. Fall is scallop season. Oddly, the adventure of driving to Vermont to ski in the winter has produced some of the deepest bonding moments with my son. Spring is all lacrosse, and summer is always just the icing.

What are some of the most surprising requests that buyers and sellers have made of you over the years?
The most surprising shall remain vaulted. 

What is one aspect of your job that nobody could possibly imagine you do? 
The amount of surprising things that we as agents do is beyond a simple description.

If you could have any three people at your dinner party, who would you invite and why? 
Hmm. For the mind blow, I’d go with Buddha, Rumi and Hermes.

What talent would you most like to have?
Born to be a rockstar with absolutely no musical talent. 

If you weren’t in real estate, what else would be your dream job?
Making people smile.

What is the last truly great book you’ve read? 
The Overstory by Richard Powers.

What is the best advice you have ever received–personally and/or professionally?
Tell the truth at the risk of losing everything.