3 HINTS TO RENT YOUR HOUSE THIS SUMMER AND BAD WEATHER, NO PROBLEM – LET’S GOLF!

Every now and then this blog is inspired by the muses.  But first I need to clarify, I’m   talking about that Olivia Newton-John kind of muse, not by the classic Greek muses.     So what was my latest inspiration?  Was it to quit my job and open an elaborately decorated roller-disco?  No, it was to help you my friends!  Help you turn your house into an actual Xanadu that people will want to rent this summer!

1-  Make sure the house is uncluttered and neutralized.    By neutralized I mean take all of those quirky little decorative choices you’ve made and turn them into a Pottery Barn dream!   Floral patterns are a no.   Besides, Laura Ashley has been dead since 1985.  It’s time to move on.   Think basic, basic, basic; monochromatic bed spreads, curtains and

Floral
Yeah, nothing says summer rental like flowers!

carpeting.      Also, put away all of those family photos that litter your foyer, bedroom and den.    Yes, you can tell potential renters you’re going to put them away but it’s better to make it look like an easy task rather than relocating the National Portrait Gallery.     Speaking of art, that thing on the refrigerator isn’t that good and your kid is no Renoir.   Give it to Grandma.  Besides, she loves that ####, go ahead and make her day.

2 – Now that your house doesn’t look like the before from an episode of “Horders,”  call a photographer and have the home professionally shot.    You get what you pay for and it’s worth it.    You’ll get better money if the house shines and it won’t shine if you take photos from your iphone or Polaroid Swinger.      Talk to your real estate agent and ask for suggestions.  I’m sure they’ll be able to provide you with a few names.

3- Speaking of real estate agents… make sure they know you’re on the market for rent.   That means get it into the local database and unless you’re living in the Taj Mahal it’s a good idea to make sure you keep it as an “open listing.”    No agent is going to retire from the 10% you pay on the rental lease so at least make it an enticing proposition.     More and more agents are putting listings into the system as “exclusive rentals” and that’s a mistake.    You’ve just drastically reduced your potential showings.  But if the idea of meeting agents or giving out keys makes you nervous, hire an agent and have them list your property at compelling split with the other agents.   That means, you’re listing agent takes 20% and the agent who brings the tenant get’s 80% of the 10%.    Think about it this way, agents are not doing this as a hobby, they want to make money.   Make it worth it!

So once you get your house ready for rental, I’m sure a few of you out there would like nothing more than to relax with a nice round of golf.   But if the idea of flying to Florida seems too daunting a task (I’m assuming you don’t want to golf with snow on the ground), you may want to just take your clubs and head to Toilsome Rd. in East Hampton for a visit with PGA Pro Eric Schultzel.   His training facility there is completely indoors and weather is no problem.     Click the video below to get a little preview.

Visiting Eric’s Golf Simulator Studio from Patrick Mclaughlin on Vimeo.

You can also click here to visit Eric’s site or give him a call at 631-527-5959

 

 

 

 

MY HOLIDAY GIFT TO YOU! PLUS HARVEY AND THE HAMPTONS!

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This is what a plane looks like.  flyfrontier.com

I know the weather outside is getting more and more frightful.   In fact, the thought of shoveling driveways, cold wet feet and darkness at 3:30pm has you completely depressed and overwhelmed.    I know!  I know… I feel you!   But before you call the doctor to “up” your daily dosage of “vitamin Z” (zoloft), read this blog.     It will bring you comfort and joy.   DISCLAIMER: please don’t go off your meds folks, while I’m a joy for my family and at least 2 of my friends, my suggestions here are not meant to be any sort of medical diagnosis so put down the phone.   Jacoby & Myers have more important lawsuits pending.

Ok, so what’s my advice to put sunshine back in your life?    Go visit flyfrontier.com and book yourself a flight to the sunshine state for as little as $35 dollars!   Yes, you heard that right.    For about the same cost as taking the jitney to midtown, you can instead haul you butts to Islip Airport (the easiest airport on the planet) hop on a plane and be in West Palm Beach, Miami or Ft. Myers in about 3 hours.    So, the ride is about the same amount of time as a jitney as well.    I will tell you the flights are no frills and you must pay for any additional baggage (checked, carry-on and emotional).    In fact, while I was writing this I just got a quote for a flight from Islip to West Palm in January

for $108 round trip!  Now, that doesn’t include taxes or my baggage from growing up as the youngest of 6 in suburban New Jersey.       From what I gathered, these rates will likely go up in the not too distant future but in the meantime stop complaining about the weather!

If you’re not lucky enough to have the time or ability to hop on a flight to Florida and are instead heading to the Hamptons, you’re not alone.     I call it the “Hurricane Harvey.” Because, for the first time ever, I had multiple rental inquiries for the week between Christmas and New Years!    I’m not sure why Mr. Weinstein’s exploits have convinced peopl

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This is what a food truck looks like!

e to “staycation” this holiday season but it’s kind of weird considering we also had a hurricane of the same name wipe out more than a few resorts in the Caribbean.      Word to the wise here, if you’re planning on being out here the week between the holidays and want to go out to eat, MAKE RESERVATIONS!   It’s going to be crowded.     It’s traditionally a busy week but a few of my restaurant buddies have said reservations are up over last year.

 

Speaking of eating out.   I mean really eating out.  Like outside …. in the cold…

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This is what a taco looks like!

OUTSIDE.    You might have noticed a food truck recently on the grounds of the Milk Pail in Water Mill.    For those of you not brave enough to stop, I’ve done some snooping for you and discovered it’s a taco truck.   It’s called AJI Authentic Mexican Food.   Ok, they have more than tacos and the food is pretty good.   The hours seem to have a lot to do with if the weather is good and traffic wasn’t too heavy.    So if you’re driving east, see the truck and have a hankering for a good taco, burrito or nachos stop by.     It’s not the best you’ll ever have but it won’t disappoint and it’s kinda fun!

 

 

 

 

IN PURSUIT OF POT PIES!

“The falling leaves, drift by my window.  The falling leaves of red and gold.   I see my a/c, it’s still cranking.   It’s Autumn time in New York.”      You may say you’re frightened by climate change but secretly you know you love these 75 degree days in November.    But in spite of the w

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HIghway Restaurant’s Chicken Pot Pie!

arm temperatures other signs of fall have definitely arrived.   The apple picking, the dog walks on the beach and of course for foodies like me (in the sense that I don’t hold my nose up at movie theatre nachos) prix fixes and new fall menus.

One of my favorite foods of fall is a good chicken pot pie.   This has been something I  discovered later in life since my early exposure consisted of a Swanson’s TV dinner.  In fact,  there are a more than a few things hated as a kid that I now love.  For example,  I hated steak for quite a long time due to my mother’s unsurpassed skill in killing a cow twice.    But like everything these days from macaroni to pasta, iceberg to arugula, donut to cronut everything seems to have a more epicurean slant.   Now, chicken pot pies are enjoying their moment in the spotlight and the competition for your fork is heating up.   I guess it’s also a case of everything old is new again.

The showdown occurs every Monday as Cove Hollow Tavern and Highway Restaurant are going head to head in a show down of puffed pastry poultry.      Both are homemade and both are about 100 steps above those frozen ones from your childhood.   Being a fan of both establishments, I can say you won’t be disappointed in either but the winner and still champion is….. the one at Highway.     Why?   It’s more. While both are tasty, Highway Restaurant’s is chock full of white meat chicken, more flaky crust and it’s a meal and a half.    Yes, I’ve taken mine home to go and finished it the next day for lunch.  Cove Hollow Tavern’s is more like a soup with a top of buttery pastry on top.   CHT pot pie is less a meal and more a nice appetizer.    Either way, I suggest you try both and judge for yourself.     Now if only both locations would figure a way to put these in a preformed aluminum tray with a side apple cobbler.   Now that would be nostalgic!

Meanwhile, I love getting my google alerts.    Some of the key words I get are “real estate, my name, Sag Harbor and Hamptons.”     It’s great, if you don’t do this you should.    I get the latest on market trends, business comings and goings and the latest felony charge for my namesake somewhere in the midwest.      Recently I got an alert that Vogue magazine has an article about some island in New Zealand that’s their (ha, I didn’t write there) answer to the Hamptons.  Its called Waiheke Island and I guess now we can say we’re “Long Island’s answer to Waiheke.”    So this had me thinking, what other parallels can me made about the East End?        Here are a few of my observations.

 

Bridgehampton Commons – The Rodeo Drive of the Hamptons – It’s all about the shopping.   Face it, where else can you actually walk for 100 yards and not hit a real estate office or bank?

 

Key West
Hanging out in Montauk… uh Key West!

Flanders – The Secaucus of the Hamptons – lots of waterfront property and a heck of a lot cheaper than if you drive 10 more minutes.

Montauk – The Key West of the Hamptons –  It’s the “end” and home to some of the besthangouts around.

Rt. 27 – The 405 Freeway of the Hamptons –  You hate driving on this road but do you have another choice?

Finally,  Greenport – It’s the Brooklyn of the Hamptons.    Hip, cool and too late to get a steal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIRPING ABOUT CHICKEN WITH THAT ROSE… SHOULD IT STAY OR SHOULD IT GO?!

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:

FLAT SCREEN TV
THE FLAT SCREEN TV….  SHOULD IT STAY?
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.
EH GRILL
EH GRILL … FLYING CHICKEN!
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.