Real Estate Roundtable: The Good Life in the Hamptons

Woman tourist at the beach near Montauk Lighthouse
Montauk Lighthouse in the autumn, Photo: haveseen/123rf

What does living the good life mean? East End real estate experts and insiders offer their thoughts, from strolling along the beach to being surrounded by loved ones in one of the most idyllic places on Earth.  

Spending time on the beach with family, friends and my two rescue dogs Bella and Russell. I go every morning with a cup of coffee and just love taking in the beauty of where we live. — Patrick McLaughlin, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The older I get, the more I realize how important good mental and physical health is to enjoying a good life. My joy comes from knowing my kids are safe, healthy and happy when I go to bed at night; having more wondrous moments than sad, stressful ones; laughing with family and friends who love me–faults and all; being free of financial worries; and having a sense that I’m giving back in some way and living an authentic life full of integrity. The late Maya Angelou said it best: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Aimee Martin, Saunders & Associates

The good life is in abundance here in the Hamptons. Being able to meander along the ocean’s edge to watch nature unfold or sitting on Long Beach to experience a stunning sunset. Going to the Pollock-Krasner House or wandering through Longhouse gardens. Having a glass of rosé at the Wölffer Estate in the early evening–these are just a few of the things that make the good life here on the East End. — John Christopher, Sotheby’s International

Happy times with family and friends, as well as enjoying all the East End has to offer from boating, fishing, beaching, dining, concerts, fireworks and, of course, great fresh local foods!  Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate

Everyone in life has failures and disappointments. I do not call them failures, I call them challenges. Failure is an end game; challenges are a beginning. Other important elements of the good life: daily exercise and eating healthfully. Good attitude, optimism and positive thinking. Financial security. The respect of one’s peers as well as self respect. Most of all, family is first. Everything else is background. — Alan Schnurman, Saunders & Associates

The good life is what people come to the Hamptons for, but not in the way you might think. I’m certainly not talking about parties, fancy dinners or even bonfires on the beach. To me, a good life is a balanced life, and that is what people come to the Hamptons for–to find that perfect balance. When we show people houses these days, they are invariably talking about finding a home that complements the life they have in the city. More space, more light, more room to roam, inside and out. These are the things that the great metropolis denies us, no matter our financial position. We live and work a hundred miles from the greatest city in the world. People come here to balance out their city lives. — Ann Ciardullo, Sotheby’s International

For me, the good life means firstly that Maslow’s Triangle basics are taken care of: shelter and food. Clearly good personal health and the health of loved ones is critical to this equation, and if you can have this foundation and strive to self-actualization through the pursuit of your passions such as art, architecture, sculpture, movies, photography, reading, poetry, walking on the beach, and music, all while enjoying a balanced comfortable life enjoying the fruits of your labor, then you have achieved a pinnacle of living that we are blessed in this part of the world to enjoy. — Raphael Avigdor, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The good life means being surrounded by the people you care about and finding happiness exactly where you are. — Doug Sabo, NestSeekers International

To me, it involves good health, financial and emotional independence and security, a beautiful home or homes and great family and friends to share your life. — Carol Nobbs, Douglas Elliman Real Estate