Wednesday, September 26, 2012

La-La Land

Born and raised in Southern California,  I know well the moniker "La-La Land" to describe Los Angeles (also the old joke about California being the granola capital of the country: home of flakes, fruits and nuts, which somehow, hmmm,  I've never found too funny).

And then I moved to the Hamptons.

Chris and I joke with guests of A Butler's Manor that when it comes to real estate, LA has nothing on the Hamptons: THIS is "la-la land," the land of unreal estate. I call the full color, perfect-bound magazines of listings that the real estate companies slather all over town "the funny pages," because it's not your market unless you happen to be in that 0.01 percentile we all keep hearing about.

Now granted, the real estate market here in the Hamptons also took a bit of a hit during the Great Recession of 2008-2009...it actually looked like we wouldn't again see deals like the 2005 sale of Burnt Point in Wainscott ($45 million, cash) or the 2007 sale to financier Ron Baron of the 40-acre De Menil Carpenter estate on Further Lane in East Hampton ($103 million, a national record) ever again.

The local housing market for the rest of us may be resetting itself into more realistic territory, though I admit that much of the country would still experience sticker shock to know that there isn't a cabin to be had east of the Shinnecock Canal for under $400,000. But as this article points out, unreal estate is still out there in case this is the week you win the lottery.

What boggles the mind is that in many cases, the new owner who shells out close to $30 million for his manse by the sea will probably throw another few mil into it to make it "livable." Or even knock it down and rebuild it completely. That's what Calvin Klein is doing with the property he bought on Meadow Lane in 2003 (though in his case, I believe whatever he builds on his oceanfront property will be an improvement on the house he tore down, which could be described as a castle built by a committee).

It just goes to show, there's enough money in the world...just really poor distribution.

But it is sure fun to see!

Quote of the day: It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness. --Thomas Jefferson

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