When buying or selling a home one of the most common questions I get asked (other than “Where is the property line? Duh, look where the neighbor stops mowing the lawn.”) is what stays and what goes in the transaction. Yes, I get asked if, “are they leaving the coffee maker, what about the runner on the stairs, the original Hockney over the fireplace and the water-pick in the downstairs master?” You’d be surprised what some folks think they get to take and what others think should stay. So, if that Clash song is going through your head, “Should I stay or Should I Go” (and hopefully not because of that awful commercial for Choice Hotels) look no further, I have a legal expert here to sharpen the fuzzy details.
Douglas Moliterno is the founder of Hamptons Law, a boutique law firm located in Amagansett specializing in real estate and estate planning law. I recently had a chance to discuss with him some of the finer points of selling a home on the East End. Here’s what he had to say:
Q1 –Hi Doug, often sellers and buyers aren’t exactly sure what stays and what goes with a home sale. I usually tell people, if it’s nailed, bolted-in or or otherwise permanently attached, it stays. Is that a good rule of thumb?
Good rule of thumb. I also use the term “built-in” to describe items that stay.
Q2 – What about wall mounted televisions?
A good rule of thumb is that the wall mounts are fixtures and should remain but the TVs are personalty and can go – always best to be clear up front as this isn’t a straight forward issue and the buyer and seller might have a different understanding of it.
Q3 – I recently had an awkward situation with a swing set. Do they usually get included with a sale?
The swing-set should be included if it is bolted or cemented into the ground. If it’s not “attached,” then it should likely be considered personalty and can be taken by the seller – again, always best to clear this up from since it’s not always clear to both buyers and sellers
Q4 – I’ve also had people try to take the washer and dryer. That’s usually included in the sale with most contracts? Do buyers need to make sure they’ll be included?
Unless specifically excluded up front by the seller, there should be no question about whether a washer and dryer (and other major appliances are included) – of course they are part of the purchase.
Q5 – What about bathroom mirrors?
My typical rule with mirrors is that they can be taken by the seller if they are hanging on hooks or nails, etc.; if they are nailed in or bolted, then they should remain.
Q6 – What do sellers and buyers need to do to avoid these sort of problems?
Work with a good broker that knows what to look out for and knows which gray areas (wall-mounted TVs, swing sets) can cause problems/awkward situations down the road. If not negotiated properly and clearly up front this can become an unneeded problem.
If you’d like to contact Doug he can be reached at his office in Amagansett. 631-267-2700 or via e mail at INFO@HAMPTONSLAW.COM.
In the 80’s it was chicken wings, in the 90’s it was sushi and the 00’s it was cupcakes and Rose wine. BUT WHAT DO DRINK WITH THAT CHILLED BOTTLE OF ROSE!? What is the hottest food trend hitting the east end? It might be hard to believe but the delicacy of the moment appears to be Fried Chicken! I kid you not, in spite of the fact there is a line outside Soul-Psycho every week, those same spinners are are lining up and paying good bucks to chow down on Colonel Sander’s favorite dish. But there’s no Colonel Sander’s in the Hamptons (thank god, it’s not as good as you remember) where is the proof? Well don’t get your feathers ruffled and look no further than the lines at lunch time for Cromer’s Market in Sag Harbor. Every Saturday the Fried Chicken is first to go and the hungry hungry hippos….err I mean Hamptonites are lining up to get their hands on this caloric delicacy.
Red Horse Market in East Hampton also specializes in a fried chicken that has become a favorite among some of the famous and non-famous locals. No names mentioned but one is a late night talk show host.
For those with more epicurian tastes, the number one rated restaurant in the country Eleven Madison Park is offering a “Fried Chicken Feast” with coleslaw, rolls, potato salad, pickels, water melon and fresh baked pie all for the frugal price of $75 dollars a person. By the way, reservations are required (hahahah good luck with that one) and shock of all shocks…. gratuity is not included.
East Hampton Grill which is arguably the most popular eatery in the Hamptons right now is also putting their feathers in the ring with their new “Flying Chicken” menu. All summer long starting at 11 am, you can order their “Grandma Ding’s Cripsy Fried Chicken” to go. Prices start at about $12 for 3 piece and buscuit lunches and go up to $48 for 12 pieces and 6 buscuits. You can also get their famous cole slaw, tabbouleh salad and sodas and sparkling water to round out your poultry party pack. The food is for take out…. and some limited seating in the restaurant. Click here for more details.
Well the Summer season is off and running in the Hamptons, although as I shovel the snow from my driveway you wouldn’t know it! Yes, the sex scandals (Vasectomy Fever) and celebrity misadventures are already hitting the web and Page Six. But other than real estate the only topic worthy of lengthy conversation is the new restaurants, at least in my humble opinion.
By now many of you know there are a slew of highly touted arrivals including, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bilboquet coming to the east end. What you may not know is there are a few more new eateries that are also causing a buzz among the Hamptons regulars.
The first is the newly revamped Maidstone Hotel on Main Street. Partners and Alchemy a boutique hotel and restaurant management group has taken over management of the
village landmark and given it much welcome facelift. With a freshly trained staff and revised and diverse menu from Chef David Standridge of NYC’s Cafe Clover, it’s a change for the better. Gone are the Swedish meatballs and plethora of salmon dishes and instead you have more accessible menu dishes including local fare such as scallops, fresh fish, burgers and roast chicken. Lots to choose from here.
But for me the biggest standouts from my dinner were the freshly baked popovers, butter lettuce salad with roasted beets and tarragon and the seared Montauk fluke. Prices are pretty much on par with most places around town with entrees averaging in the $30 range. Also worth noting is the huge shrimp cocktail. Huge shrimp… that cracks me up! But i digress. Between the fresh new atmosphere, attentive staff and diverse menu it’s really worth the trip! Oh, and if you’re on a non-carb diet the popovers are worth a cheat day! SERIOUSLY!
The other entry on this weeks blog is the newly opened “Cove Hollow Tavern.” The owners of Shelter Islands hugely popular Vine Street Cafe have moved
into the spot of the former Cafe Max on Montauk Highway in East Hampton. The menu features some interesting items including for ahi tuna crudo with watermelon and chilies; haricot vert salad; snail and squid ink spaghetti with snails and fennel. While my gang ordered the Grilled Atlantic Snapper and Seared Diver Scallops, I was a little less adventurous and ordered the roasted organic chicken. Now, while I’m a big fan of Vine Street I was a little disappointed in the “CHT.” So were all of my companions. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great and there was nothing really compelling for me to advise running there anytime soon. Granted it’s a brand new restaurant so give them time and hopefully they’ll get their game on. By the way, the interior while very intimate is spectacular and the bar space is inviting and spacious. I have no problem heading to Vine Street which between the drive and a ferry is well worth the trip. So here’s hoping “CHT” is as good as it’s sister restaurant in the near future.
While you might be familiar with some of the more famous homes of the Hamptons, Grey Gardens, The Creeks or even the Orgy House, there are probably a few you haven’t heard of yet. Why? Because it’s what agents refer to certain homes behind the owner’s back…. and it’s not necessarily a compliment. By the way, I won’t disclose any of the addresses but that doesn’t mean I won’t tell you when I see you.
First off, I knew of a listing a few years ago in Hampton Bays and the agents around town were referring to it as “Moscow on the Peconic.” Apparently the décor was so unique the agents equated it to a “Russian bordello.” Gilded faucets and ceilings, elegant
patterned marble floors and chandeliers that would convince you that the interior
designer was Vladimir Putin. It was as if you took the Trump Tower penthouse and put it on the water. By the way, I had my own listing that I used to refer to as the “bordello” a few years ago. It wasn’t an easy sell.
Speaking of waterfronts, there is one in Sag Harbor that has some interesting qualities. It’s dark, cavernous and overflowing with nautical touches. Any guess how a few agents described it to me? It’s like living in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disney World. Wow! I wonder if you could just say it’s where they actually filmed it and maybe get some p.r.? I mean who would be the wiser?
But don’t think it’s all about movie themes in some of these homes. Sometimes you can get the association with a store or restaurant. One Southampton home which is overflowing with Asian accents, industrial grade carpeting and Formica countertops is affectionately known as the “Benihana” house. I also know of another home in East Hampton that’s walls are so overloaded with posters, knick-knacks and flair it’s just referred to as “TGIFriday’s.” Wow, why do I suddenly have a craving for some shrimp tempura and potato skins?
Finally, one of my favorites is a home I think I coined with the nick name “1313 Mockingbird Lane.” Yes, if you’ve ever driven to or from Sag Harbor and East Hampton you’ve no doubt seen this lovely little ditty! It’s kind of funny but who knew a cedar shingled beach house could look so sinister? But everyone has their own style and once size doesn’t fit all. I’m sure there are some folks out there who think my prominent oil based painting of Bella and Russell is kinda tacky. I have no problem with that I get my own joke. But don’t you ever dare insult my collection of Hummel figurines.
Well this Friday it’s Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of the Summer Season. But before we take off our suits and ties for the season, a little advice for landlords and tenants in the Hamptons the season is about to begin. Trash is not automatically picked up by the town. You need to either drop it off at the
local dump or hire a trash service to come and pick up your refuse. You know like Norsic or Mickey’s. It is not recommended that you take your Hefty or Glad bags and throw them over the fence onto another person’s property. Yes, this really happened to a landlord who discovered a years worth of garbage as they were prepping their property for summer tenants. Ain’t the Hamptons just so glamorous!?
TRUST ME! Bragging rights this summer will belong to those who actually get a reservation at “EMP Summer House.” It’s the “Hamilton” of this summer. The much hyped pop-up of Eleven Madison Park (which will be closed this summer for renovations) launched their website for reservations on May 1st and already they are booked solid through mid July (unless of course you don’t mind sitting down at 11:30 at night). Located in East Hampton at the site of the former Farmhouse, Laundry, Purple Cow, Spring Close and Moby’s… reservations are exclusively
for American Express card holders and are being done online at the EMP SUMMER HOUSE website. According to their press release, the fare will be a bit more casual than the city venue, with lobster, fried chicken, flatbread and salads on the menu. So far I’ve not had much luck getting at table after navigating the website and two hung ups with American Express. I called Monday to get information on the website from Amex and got a recording the wait time was 45 minutes – apparently Paul McCartney tickets went on sale at the same time. Membership has its privileges indeed! It’s called frustration! Anyway, thanks to me you now have the web address (a step ahead of where I was) and the knowledge that new reservations will be made available online on June 1st at 12 p.m. These available dates will be from July 15th through August 15th. I’m not sure how anyone can plan a meal that far in advance? I can barely decide what I’m doing today but I’ll tag along if you get a reservation.
Well if you’re new to the Hamptons, let me give you a little word of advice. When visiting friends, looking for homes or hooking up on Tindr make sure you double check the address. Recently, I had made plans to meet customers at a home on a certain street in Bridgehampton. While I eagerly awaited for them to arrive, they called to say they were already inside the house looking. The only problem with this story is they
were looking in the wrong house! They had the right address but on the wrong street and town! UGH! Luckily, this all happened without any incident but it could have been a tad uncomfortable if this had happened in say Texas where everyone has a gun and cites those “stand my ground” laws. Anyway, I’m here to tell you there are certain streets you need to be wary when playing Lewis or Clark on the East End. Here we go:
THE TREE STREETS: Oak –17 Streets in Southampton and 7 in East Hampton, Cedar – (including Points, Views etc.) 18 streets in Southampton and 6 in East Hampton, Pine – 23 in Southampton and 4 in East Hampton.
THE OLD FAMILY STREETS: Hildreth – (not including the stores) 9 streets in Southampton and 2 in East Hampton. Halsey –10 in Southampton and 0 in East Hampton and Gardners – 4 in Southampton and 5 in East Hampton. Luckily there is only one Widow Gavitz Lane and Downer Place in all the Hamptons.
THE WATER STREETS: Bay – 24 in Southampton including the views and 12 in East Hampton, Ocean – 9 in Southampton and 8 in East Hampton, Beach – 8 in Southampton and 7 in East Hampton.
THE LOCATIONS: Middle – 5 in Southampton and 3 in East Hampton, Northwest – 1 in Southampton and 3 in East Hampton, Main – 3 in Southampton and 5 in East Hampton.
I mentioned these streets in a blog once before but I thought it was worth reminding everyone given my recent missing customers.