Ed Gaetjens brings to his real estate practice extensive experience in finance and business management. His desire to be in the Hamptons, coupled with his love for real estate, led him out east, and he is now based in Saunders & Associates’ Bridgehampton office. We recently spoke with Ed about Hamptons real estate.
How long have you been involved in Hamptons real estate? And how did previous experience prepare you for this work?
I was fortunate to have my high school friend involve me in spec deals in 1999. This new builder needed some seed money to get a few projects going. I was happy to help him. Fast forward 20 plus years, my friend, Joe Farrell, has built Farrell Building Company into the premier luxury builder on the east end. As for being an agent, I started in August of 2020. My previous career was on Wall Street in energy brokerage. The “customer first” philosophy served me well then and it continues as a real estate agent with Saunders & Associates.
What changes have you seen in the market here?
The real estate market pre and post Covid is a tale of two markets. 2016 to early 2020 real estate was flat out here. I recall an agent that I used at the time saying that Water Mill, Sag Harbor, and Bridgehampton north of the highway had 3 years’ worth of inventory not sold. That inventory has all been absorbed since Spring of 2020 till the present. New construction is getting purchased before the project even breaks ground.
What’s your business like now? Sales? Rentals?
I let my customers’ needs dictate what direction I go in. I saw a need to bring land to end users and developers this past year to fill the void that was created. I am happy working with sellers that have had land for decades, and now are selling and realizing tremendous gains on the land. End users are happy to have land on which to build their dream home. Developers have stepped up the prices they pay, knowing that the market will support the new home they build. Rentals are always a great way to stay connected to the market. I have some amazing places available for next season.
Which areas do you cover and which is/are most active now?
I cover all the Hamptons. It’s hard to say what area is most active. I will say that anything south of the highway from Southampton to Amagansett is almost a guaranteed sale if it’s not ridiculously overpriced.
What are your buyers looking for?
Buyers want value. Value for them is not just about price, it’s more about location and function. Buyers realize that prices have gone up; few think the prices will reset to buy lower. So, they know what they want, and they will pay the price.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a buyer now? A seller?
As a buyer, if you like it, buy it. A home is more than just a financial transaction. Your home will provide you with so much more than just an asset. Think about the great times with family and friends that you will have in your home. Let that guide you.
As for sellers, if you can sell and make a profit, let it go. We are in the best real estate market in decades. Prices do not just go up; they will take a pause. This could be a great time to sell.
What do you like to do in the Hamptons outside the office?
I love coaching and playing ice hockey. The Hamptons in the winter is a great place to do both. I coach at Southampton Ice Rink and at Buckskill Winter Club in East Hampton. Coaching is my passion. Nothing is better than working with kids and watching them improve and gain confidence.
Do you have a favorite restaurant? A favorite place to go?
My favorite restaurant in the Hamptons, is in East Quogue. The Stone Creek Inn. Amazing food, flawless service, and all-around fantastic experience.
Community involvement – any charities or groups you’d like to mention that you suppport/are involved in?
Along with my hockey coaching, I am also a Bridgehampton Fireman. I love the camaraderie and service that we provide to the community. The members are great people and we enjoy many activities outside of the firehouse. I also contribute to the Saunders Thanksgiving Donation Drive to support local food pantries.
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