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Friday, August 15, 2014

BLOCKING THE BROKER BULL AND HOW WE CAN STILL SAVE THE HAMPTONS!

I've always wondered what the owners of those 10, 20 or 30 million dollar homes in the Hamptons would say if they knew that the "power broker" agent they hired, rarely accompanied showings in their home?!  While not all of these brokers do it but it's more common than you think!     In my opinion at least 50% of brokers go ahead of time and unlock the home or leave a key under the mat.    Seriously!   Think about it.   If they have say 40-50 listings and they're as busy as they're telling you, how can they possibly be there to actually "SELL" the house.   Nobody knows a house better than an owner, but it's an agents job to be there and explain why the home is worth it and actually earn their 6%!

Kevo lock...tells you who is coming and going!
So what is a seller to do?  Well one solution that I encourage is to install a KEVO Keyless entry system.   This nifty system retails for about $220 dollars on Amazon and allows you to unlock your door just by tapping on it, thanks to Bluetooth technology that will detect the smart phone in your pocket or a fob for those less tech savvy.   The best part about this is you can also give "e-keys" to your agent, friends, workmen, whoever to let them in when you're not around.  It also keeps track of who is coming and going and when.    It's a good way to see if your agent is really showing your house in addition to telling you when and how often.  

Meanwhile, if you're reading social media of any sort you probably noticed it's crankville here on the east end.   The locals say the summer people are nasty and rude and the summer people say the same thing in reverse.    Either way, it's tense out here and it's something my friend on Facebook "Robert" called "S.A.D." - Summer Affective Disorder.  Although I've gotten accustomed to this seasonal fatigue we have a new honor here on the east end,  Conde Nast Traveller placed the Hamptons in their "Top 10 Undfriendliest Places" in the U.S."    It's enough to make someone move to Asbury Park... NOT!    But let's be real here.  It can be unfriendly but it's not too late.   I'm asking everyone who reads this blog to take the following few steps and we can turn the Hamptons into the Stepford of beach communities in no time!

1 - Say "thank you."  - Nobody is entitled to have a door open for them unless they're going into K-Mart's auto doors.    If I hold a door for you, it's not an admission of your entitlement or my own social guilt.   It's just a matter of being human!    So pay it forward, just say "thank you!"

Yes, Johnny is just adorable!
2 - Don't expect others to tolerate your bad behavior or that of your children! - True stories here.... Scenario 1 - I tell a small child not to step in the busy street while their parents are busy staring into Tory Burch, as the parent rushes I stop the kid from going forward to which the little spawn screams "Don't tell me what to do, you're not my father."   NICE!  But what's worse is the father doesn't say thank you or apologize for the kids obnoxious response!   Hmmmm.   Scenario 2 - local bagel store starts making my bagel for me when I stop the clerk and say it's not what I requested and correct the order.   When checking out, I say to the worker "sorry for the confusion."   But rather than say, "no problem," she grunts and continues to ignore me!   I wasn't rude so don't be rude to me!   Golden rule folks, treat others as you want to be treated no matter who they are and what car they drive  (YES, having driven both a Ford Taurus and a BMW there's discrimination on both sides).

3- Smile and lighten up Frances! - It's summer and it's the Hamptons folks!   DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY WE ARE?!   There's nobody launching rockets at your house or depriving you of your ability to shop Citarella!   Take a deep breathe, enjoy the moment and realize you're in one of the most spectacular places on the planet!    Life can be a beach you just have to let it happen!



Friday, August 8, 2014

YEEEEE GADS! It's Already August 8th! A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE LABOR DAY!

In case you were sleeping, it's now August and it's full throttle here on the East End.   But unlike Summer when I was 12 years old and it lasted forever, the season seems to fly faster and faster.     But before you get to entrenched with sitting on Route 27 for hours on end or waiting an extra 40 minutes at virtually any restaurant for your table, please make sure to remember why you're out here in the first place.  You're here to enjoy the beach, the water, the sun and snarking at the overdressed families at Scoop Du Jour on Tuesday nights!   So here are some of my favorite things to do while the sun is still high.  If you do, you might actually thinking spending all of the money to be in the Hamptons was worth it!

A Beach Dinner - While you could use one of the numerous "Claws" or "Clam" companies to caterer your affair... and yes its one heck of a presentation... I prefer to hit Citerella and get some dishes and salads to go.    A big blanket and some nice chilled....errr...errr... "seltzer water" because wine on the beach is not allowed make for a really fantastic evening.  You'll may also want to wait till after 6 p.m. so that way you can start a nice little beach bonfire and there are some rules for that too (click here) for East Hampton and (here) for Southampton.    But there is nothing more relaxing and memorable then the sound of the surf, the sand and an amazing light show above!  My personal favorite is Wiborg Beach!   The parking lot is small so there aren't as many other picnickers.

Biking Shelter Island - A few weeks ago I was talking to some local police officers about living in the Hamptons.  One thing they said they would never do during the season is go bicycling!  Yes, the local walk in clinics are making a fortune from cyclists getting clipped by texting busy summer drivers.    Perhaps that's the reason why I prefer heading to Shelter Island for biking.     In fact, Sag Harbor Cycle Company runs a group ride every Sunday at 7:30 am.  It's a perfect time to go before the roads get flooded with cars and the gang that runs these things know the safer routes and the roads less traveled.   If you want more information, visit their website and NO TEXTING AND BIKING!

Go Paddeling - It's about the water people, not about seeing the people that live down the hall from you in the city at spin class!  Its a great work out and think about it, unless you love getting a gamma globulin shot do you really want to fall into the east river?   There are some great companies out here that will rent you kayaks or paddle boards and even give you a lesson.     The calm waters of Shinnecock Bay or Georgica Pond are two local favorites.     If you want more details on who and where, try Main Beach Surf Shop in Wainscott or Adventure PaddleBoards in Southampton.

Take the Dogs to the Beach -  Did I mention that my dogs Bella and Russell love the beach?!  Hmmmmmm.... I'm not sure.  Do your homework and find what times your furry friends are allowed to run the surf!  Also remember to clean up and bring some treats in case they go chasing some delicious piping plover!


Now get off the damn computer and go outside!!!!




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No it's YOUR NEIGHBOR.... and is Scuttle Hole the new L.I.E.?

Forget the privet hedge, drones are here!
Sure Martha Stewart loves her Drone according to Time Magazine but do her neighbors?    Yes, one man's toy is another man's torment and here in the Hamptons is no exception.    Sources have told me one high powered Hamptons resident has taken his/her  Hatfiled/McCoys situation with his/her next door neighbor to a new level.    This person is apparently buzzing the neighbors yard and taking pictures of sunbathing guests and family.   Yes these poor residents now are being harassed by a techno-voyeur!  While they haven't reported anything to the police (Duh, who wants to end up in the police blotter) they have been soliciting help from landscapers, housekeepers etc on shooting that puppy down!   So forget the deer cull everyone, we're hunting drones!

Meanwhile, as local towns continue to crack down on Realtors and their signs (smaller, smaller, smaller) locals have also started complaining about the proliferation of builder/contractor signs.  Yes, real estate is the best form of advertising and that's why some local firms are leaving their signs up on
homes that are not even on the market!    Take Scuttle Hole Rd. in Bridgehampton for example where one contractor has had a sign up for nearly 3 years and the property isn't even for sale!    There's also a similar situation on Ocean Rd. in Bridgehampton where one of my friends quipped, "it's starting to look like the LIE before the Midtown Tunnel!"  Make fun of Realtors and our obsession with signs if you'd like but at least we limit ours in size and duration!  Shouldn't a home actually be under construction or on the market for a sign to be put up?  Yeah, that one big guy out here has signs everywhere but he doesn't leave them up for 2 years after the house sells!!!  I'm just saying! By the way, don't even get me started on those pop up signs for the "Our drivers your car" signs on every corner!