Northfork Properties

The Hamptons – Time and Traffic

Posted on Tuesday April 15, 2014 7:23 PM
by Joseph Kazickas Comments Off


The 2014 Hamptons rental season is in full swing. As has proven the case once again, the early birds were focusing on Montauk, which seems to sell out by the end of January (as far as affordable deals are concerned). The market then starts to creep westward to Amagansett and beyond.

At the western end, Westhampton Beach, you don’t see things gravitating to the east. A considerable factor may be drive times. Many tenants just aren’t that interested in dealing with the traffic issues east of the Shinnecock Canal, and once that becomes a part of one’s mind set, it is hard to shake. The trip from NYC to Montauk under optimum traffic conditions and with an elastic respect for the speed limits, is about 2 and 1/2 hours whereas the drive to Westhampton is only about 1 hour and 30 minutes. On a weekend day in the summer the trip from Westhampton to Montauk alone could take between 2 and 3 hours.

The good news is that Rt. 27 is currently being repaved between Southampton and Bridgehampton. At least it will be a smooth ride this summer.

The most reliable and fastest way to Montauk? Likely the Long Island Railroad which should get you from Penn Station to Montauk in just over three hours. Just board early to get yourself a seat. Click here to see a larger version of the LIRR route map above, before the Montauk Line was completed, ages before the LIE and the Sunrise Highway. If you are getting off in East Hampton stop by our offices at 3 Railroad Avenue and say hello.

$100,000,000 Deals In The Hamptons- Sooner Than We Think?

Posted on Monday March 17, 2014 7:51 PM
by Joseph Kazickas Comments Off

It wasn’t so many years ago that the New York Times Key Magazine published a story about the Hamptons real estate market after the economic collapse of 2008. Make no mistake, it was a depressing article about how the real estate market had essentially frozen in place. Just to refresh your recollection here is a link to the piece which was originally published in March 2009.
No doubt that the real estate market has recovered since then, and there have been several deals that would lead one to think that the Hamptons might be nearing a breakout of sorts…the age of the $100,000,000 deal is approaching.

We recently learned that an assemblage on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton comprised of three parcels, owned by two parties, is selling for just shy of $100,000,000 to a single buyer, reportedly a young hedge fund manager. Here is a Google Earth aerial.

Cuniffe copy

Maurice Cuniffe built the extraordinary white house, on the tall bluff overlooking the ocean, in 1996 after having purchased the original house for $6 million or so from what remained of the holdings of a certain Harvey Meyerson. Meyerson, coincidentally, partnered with Bowie Kuhn to create the law firm Meyerson and Kuhn. The high flying Meyerson eventually found trouble and spent several years as a guest of Uncle Sam for defrauding clients. Cuniffe also later bought an adjacent building parcel from Charles Bullock to complete his holding.

The second element of the assemblage was the former Estate of Maude Walker, a 2.8 acre parcel with a modest one level home which makes up the northern half. This property sold to an LLC in 2007 for $17,500,000, but the timing wasn’t right for the contemplated flip and the property languished on the market for years at an asking price of $19,900,000.

Now, here’s the interesting twist to the story. Nine West owner Vince Camuto recently sold his Gin Lane oceanfront estate for a record setting $75,000,000, the buyer identified as a young hedge fund manager.

The Gin Lane Southampton estate which recently sold for $75,000,000 now listed for $95,000,000.

The Gin Lane Southampton estate which recently sold for $75,000,000 now listed for $95,000,000.

Less than two months later that property has come back to market at a purported $95,000,000. The new owner in East Hampton, and the seller on Gin Lane, are one and the same. Now there’s a fellow who is definitely “long” real estate in the Hamptons.

Even if we aren’t there yet, $100,000,000 deals in the Hamptons seem to be nearing after the Great Recession. For more information on real estate in the Hamptons visit

Hamptons Real Estate Ethics. Who’s Being Sleazy?

Posted on Saturday February 15, 2014 5:38 PM
by James Young No Comments »

HR2As many of you are aware we are Rosehip Partners and manage our ubiquitous lead generating websites Hamptons Properties and Hamptons Rentals so as you might imagine we generate a lot of business and are involved in a lot of transactions with a lot of customers and clients. What I’m  saying is that if we haven’t seen it all we’ve seen a lot!

So we have this recurring issue now. It’s not a new issue but it seems to be happening more frequently. In fact three of our agents have recently had the same problem in the context of rental renewals from last year. Despite their having faithfully stayed in touch with their renters trying to get them back into the same house or a new house, the renters have essentially gone silent only to re-rent the same house but directly with the Landlord. Often the Landlord offers a more favorable rent since they agree with the tenant that there will be no commission paid to the agent. But wait a minute, It was the Rosehip agent who introduced them to the property in the first place! Now we find ourselves in heated discussions with our landlord clients about their paying us the fee we are due by agreement.

I know, cutting out the middleman is a time honored tradition but let go through the facts and you be the judge. Our listing agreements that the landlords sign include a clause that for renewals and extensions to the same tenant we are due a fee. The standard Hamptons Rental commission is 10% of the gross rent and every Hamptons real estate agency has this same clause in their agreements. The landlords sign these agreements. At Rosehip, we actually have a downward scaling fee structure for renewals so frankly we feel it’s pretty fair. The point is that the work of the agent is the procuring cause of that rental for that landlord and should that tenant re-rent or even purchase the house the agency is due a commission by agreement.

So here’s the question: Who is being unethical here? Essentially the Landlord and the Tenant are colluding to enter into an agreement without letting the agent who introduced them know. Is it unreasonable for an agent to expect any loyalty from a renter or a landlord in this situation? Technically, in Hamptons real estate practices the commission is the Landlord’s responsibility. They are the ones who have signed the commission agreement. Does that absolve the tenant? All good questions. Are agents being sleazy for simply expecting any sort of commission payment for a renewal? Your comments are welcome…

Hamptons Rentals are off to a Strong Start

Posted on Thursday February 13, 2014 9:20 PM
by James Young No Comments »


While we don’t need the New York Post to tell us the rental season is strong in the Hamptons, it’s nice to see they are right for once! Maybe that’s not entirely fair, but it does seem like the Post declares the Hamptons as dead or at least passé at least once every couple of years. If the rental season is any barometer, anything but. Here is a nice home walkable to all of East Hampton Village you can find in our exclusive rental portal, Hamptons Rentals

Walk to East Hampton Village Rental

Walk to East Hampton Village Rental


The New Real Estate Prerequisites

Posted on Wednesday February 12, 2014 9:45 PM
by James Young Comments Off

As a Rosehip Partner I spend a lot of my time worrying about things like how well and prominently our websites display in Internet search. The better we do in organic search results, the more leads we get. It’s sounds simple, but let me tell you there’s more to it than meets the eye. In fact it may be a full time job.

I think it’s a bit skewed here at Rosehip as we manage three separate hamptons real estate websites, Hamptons Rentals Hamptons Properties and Rosehip Partners. Each one needs optimization, content creation, keyword optimization, an adwords budget, not to mention a consistent social media presence. What happened to the days when all you had to do was hang a shingle?

Well, we have been quite casual about all these things, I mean when we launched the competition over keywords was much less, well, competitive. Day one we had fifteen rental inquiries in fact. Now, it’s no secret how competitive the Hamptons real estate market is and so expect to see more of us… more blogging, more social media, more presence.

Montauk Homeowners Turning Cold Shoulder to the Young and Restless

Posted on Saturday February 1, 2014 4:01 PM
by Joseph Kazickas Comments Off

It seems as if many Montauk property owners are fed up with the mob of young renters who have favored the hamlet of Montauk as their nesting area for the summer. Montauk, a drinking town with a fishing problem, has exploded in popularity over the last few summers, particularly among young renters who typically share a summer house with friends.

Your morning view from this 2 BR oceanfront cottage in Montauk with heated pool.

Your morning view from this 2 BR oceanfront cottage in Montauk with heated pool.

Now it appears as if the backlash is in full swing. Homeowner after homeowner reports that there is “no way” they will rent to the younger crowd. Landlords cite one nightmare experience after another involving tenants who show callous disregard for the peace and quiet sought by neighbors, and who more often than not, chose to overlook, or become party to, the destructive treatment of the rental property itself, by raucous housemates and partying guests.

And of course, all this only makes things more difficult for the few responsible tenants who come prepared with references and a track record. One homeowner said that even references won’t convince her to rent to younger adults.

The exceptions are few, and far between. When told by an agent that the proposed tenancy involved a group of young people, one Landlord promptly raised the season asking price and declared the broker’s commission would need to be paid by the tenant, contrary to convention in the Hamptons. “I don’t care if they bring a bunch of giraffes,” the homeowner added.

Agent Diane Shifman of Rosehip Partners, hoping to place repeat customers with a pristine rental history, summed it up, “These younger tenants, many of whom seem to display no sensitivity at all when it comes to the treatment of other people’s property, have brought the situation down upon themselves.”

The 2014 Hamptons Rental Season Is Off And Running

Posted on Monday January 20, 2014 6:38 PM
by Joseph Kazickas No Comments »

The rush is on as far as the 2014 Hamptons rental season is concerned and just as in previous years the earliest action is in Montauk.
It is interesting to us that rental activity generally follows an east to west movement. Amagansett will be the next hotbed of rental action.
And, as in years past, Montauk is drawing the younger set with rental properties that lend themselves to sharing and priced between $30,000 and $40,000 getting the most attention. Also we have seen some price increases as well for the first time in a few years.

Here’s an example of what you can get at that price point:


This clean, modern style comes with a bonus view!


For the latest availability of rental properties from Westhampton to Montauk visit

Super Star Real Estate Agents – What Do They Bring To The Table?

Posted on Monday November 25, 2013 9:21 PM
by Joseph Kazickas 1 Comment »

Controlling the keys is money in the bank for the Listing Agent.

Almost every real estate market has its Super Star agent, or two, the agent who seems to stand out from the crowd and has set himself apart by virtue of superior performance and reputation. In higher end, and more visible markets such as the Hamptons, Super Star agents often end up in the public eye as minor celebrities catering to celebrities, harvesting seven figure incomes in the process.

The biggest and most consistent money makers in the real estate business, however, aren’t the agents driving their customers from mansion to mansion. The big earners in the real estate industry are those agents who have mastered the listing process. And, more often than not, this skill set is of no value to a seller.

The greatest difference between an agent who lists (a “listing” agent) and one with a buyer in hand (a “selling” agent) is that a listing agent has the entire universe of real estate agents working on their behalf to bring a buyer to their listing. In fact, in most markets it is probable that over 90% of all listings are actually sold by an agent other than the listing agent. And when that listing sells, regardless by whom, the listing agent collects his fee from half the commission paid.

So if that is the case, that the selling agents do the heavy lifting in a typical real estate transaction (namely bringing the buyer) exactly what is it that your typical Super Star agent, usually a listing agent, brings to the table?

Is it superior marketing and advertising support?

Most everyone today has conceded the point that the internet is where the vast majority of real estate searches germinate so attractively presenting a property on the web with its own website has become routine. It is a low cost initiative. Driving traffic to the site is something else altogether, of course. Ultimately finding that dedicated website requires first finding the listing agent’s website, which is usually linked to the agency’s site. Only a few degrees of separation at work here.

Given the domination of the internet as the new real estate showcase, print advertising has suffered generally but the visibility that is print is exactly the medium where a Super Star achieves two objectives most effectively. The first is to mollify a seller who expects print exposure, but the second is to self promote and showcase himself to the public as the listor, thereby building his brand. And given that a typical super star listor might have dozens of listings there is plenty of opportunity to do that.

What ends up being most cost effective form of marketing? The old fashioned For Sale sign, with the listing agent’s name prominently displayed. Anyone can do that.

Broker and Public Open Houses? Super Stars have assistants to work those. We actually have been to an open house that was exactly that, open with no one in sight.

Showings? Once again, Super Stars have assistants for that tedious aspect of the job (unless of course the customer is a celeb).

Market knowledge? Given that a Super Star listor has broader exposure to the sale side of the market he might more confidently assess value without needing to perform the same level of research that a less knowledgeable agent might. Most property owners, however, have a pretty good feel for the value of their real estate.

An illusion? Now there’s a real possibility.

Almost all real estate agents are independent contractors who, make no mistake, are in business for themselves. Those who become Super Stars know that getting the listing is a lot more important than selling it.

That job is best left to someone else.

Rosehip Partners Supports the Ellen Hermanson Foundation

Posted on Sunday August 18, 2013 8:21 PM
by Joseph Kazickas No Comments »

Rosehip Partner, Joseph Kazickas with his son Augie, clearly not contending, but happy to support a great cause.

Ellen’s Run, a 5K road race benefitting the Ellen Hermanson Foundation and the fight against breast cancer, was held today in Southampton. Our parent, Rosehip Partners, is one of many supporters of this event, and we couldn’t help but grab a shot.

Here’s What That Drone Can Do With The GoPro

Posted on Tuesday August 6, 2013 3:03 PM
by Joseph Kazickas No Comments »

In James’ earlier post about fun and productivity in real estate here is a photo taken with our Phantom Drone and HERO3 GoPro camera. It’s a lot more versatile, and less expensive, than a chopper with a professional photographer and the results are pretty good, no?
Photoshop corrects the lens curvature, and then we added the delineation. The owner was pretty impressed. You can make out the two of us in the field bottom right.

Go GoPro!