Tracey Murray Kupferberg knows Long Island. Like, really knows Long Island. The North Shore native not only lives here with her husband, but she raised her two children out here (along with two mini dachshunds), and she has spent her entire real estate career working across this beautiful island. Kupferberg’s resume is nothing if not polished — we’re talking about being a former member of the exclusive sales team for the $400 million luxury condo development at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in North Hills, and founding TMK Paralegal Services, LLC where she worked with real estate attorneys representing buyers, sellers, major lending institutions and title companies.
It’s precisely this extensive and varied experience that has made Kupferberg a go-to for builders. Knowing the ins and outs of real estate is something she has honed over many years in the business and her unique insight will be brought to you, dear reader, in a new monthly series in which she will be highlighting various facets of her work with new constructions.
Kupferberg’s latest new construction is located in Upper Brookville and priced at $5,875,000. Her column will focus on the process of the construction via interviews with the various players involved in the process: the builder, architect, custom cabinet maker, interior designer and more to show how the process works, from site selection through closing.
To kick things off we wanted to take a deeper dive into Kupferberg’s background and get her expert tips on all things related to new construction.
Behind The Hedges: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into real estate?
Tracey Murray Kupferberg: I worked as a paralegal in real estate law, first at law firms and then founded TMK Paralegal Services, LLC, where I worked with real estate attorneys representing buyers, sellers, major lending institutions and title companies. I assisted with everything from contract to closing.
I decided to get my real estate license in 2013 and moved over to the brokerage side of the business and founded The Kupferberg Orlando Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, which includes my daughter-in-law Lindsay Kupferberg and Terri Orlando, who I met while working together on the sales team for the Ritz-Carlton Residences, North Hills. My daughter Jillian, the founder of Jillian Shea Design, is an interior designer, and she is an integral part of our team and consults on our new construction projects as well as renovations.
Beyond that, I hold additional accreditations of Associate Real Estate Broker, Certified Buyer Representative (CBR®), Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Home Staging Expert, and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS® GUILD EliteTM). Real estate professionals with the GUILD Elite designation are the best of the best, with the expertise and proven experience in the multi-million-dollar market to support the most discerning affluent buyers and sellers.
BTH: Have you always had a passion for new construction in particular?
TMK: Yes, in 2013, my very first real estate deal as a newly licensed agent was with a builder and the rest is history. By specializing in new construction homes and developments, I differentiate myself from other real estate professionals who primarily focus on resale properties. This specialization allows me to position myself as an expert in the local new construction market, attracting builders and other clients who specifically seek out such properties.
BTH: What is it about the Long Island area in particular that you love so much?
TMK: I’m from the North Shore of Long Island and there’s such a variety of attractions and benefits to living here including scenic beauty, recreation and leisure activities, strong educational institutions, great dining, shopping, entertainment and close proximity to New York City.
For me personally, however, I am fascinated with the cultural and historical significance of the area. The North Shore has a rich history and cultural heritage. It’s known for its historic landmarks including elegant mansions from the Gilded Age, such as the Vanderbilt Museum and Old Westbury Gardens, Planting Fields in Upper Brookville and Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor just to name a few of my favorites. The area hosts various cultural events offering residents a vibrant and enriching cultural experience. Each village and town has its own unique characteristics, amenities and attractions.
BTH: How do you, as a real estate agent, work with the builder to bring a vision to life?
TMK: The same as working with any client, we need to understand the builder’s needs. Number one is always budget, but there is also the desired location, size of the property, architectural style and specific features and amenities to consider. Collaboration with an architect is also particularly crucial and something that we specialize in. What’s the point of building a new home that isn’t desirable to a buyer? There are specific styles, trends, features, and amenities that buyers are looking for, and those specifics vary depending on the market where you are building.
I, along with the interior designer and architect, collaborate to develop the initial design concept. The interior designer contributes insights and expertise on space planning, material selection and aesthetics. The last thing you want to do is build something that looks dated and doesn’t have the features and amenities buyers are looking for. We want to ensure that the chosen materials and finishes complement the architectural design and will meet a potential buyer’s aesthetic desire. As the project nears completion, our team leverages our marketing skills and networks to generate interest and attract potential buyers. We showcase the unique features and design elements of the new construction, highlighting the collaboration between the builder, architect, and interior designer. Working this way enables us to secure buyers who appreciate the value and craftsmanship of the property. When this happens, we have a happy builder client who gets the best ROI, and we also have a happy buyer!
BTH: What are some things you tell clients to watch out for when considering investing in a new construction?
TMK: When working with clients who are considering investing in a new construction there are many factors to consider and this is not a complete list, but here are several key factors they should look out for:
• Builder’s Reputation and Track Record: Research the builder’s reputation and track record in the construction industry thoroughly.
• Builder’s Financial Stability: Assess the builder’s financial stability and ensure they have the necessary resources to complete the project.
• Quality of Construction: I would advise clients to thoroughly inspect the quality of construction. What materials are being used? I would encourage clients to visit completed projects, if possible, by the same builder to get a sense of the quality they can expect.
• Upgrades and Customization Options: Understand what can be customized and the associated costs for those items.
• Project Timeline and Completion Date: Obtain a clear understanding of the projected timeline for completion. Delays in construction can affect financing, occupancy and overall investment plans. Clients should be aware of any potential delays and have contingency plans in place.
• Home Warranty: Inquire about the builder’s home warranty policy. A comprehensive home warranty can provide buyers with peace of mind by covering potential construction defects or issues that may arise after the purchase.
• Homeowner Association (HOA) and Fees: If the new construction property is part of an HOA or condominium association, review the association’s rules, regulations, and fees. Review the association’s financials and ensure that the fees are reasonable and in line with the amenities and services provided.
• Future Resale Value: Consider factors such as the market demand for similar properties, location and desirability. It’s important to evaluate the property’s investment potential beyond the initial purchase.
BTH: You’ll be doing a monthly feature for Long Island Press; can you give us a sneak peek at some of the amazing vendors you’ll be spotlighting?
TMK: I will be “following the construction” of our new construction in Upper Brookville. We will have interviews with the builder/owner of Island Builders Corp., architect James DeLuca of DeLuca Design, our interior designer and consultant on this project Jillian Shea of Jillian Shea Design and many of the other crafts people and professionals involved with this project.