Representing the finest luxury real estate in the Hamptons, Ed Bruehl has achieved over $300M in sales and is a top producing agent at Saunders & Associates in East Hampton. With over 18+ years in the industry, Ed’s seasoned expertise has made him a respected leader in the Hamptons Real Estate community where he loves talking about, sharing, and selling the best investment on earth.
A natural choice for savvy real estate investors, Ed has his finger on the pulse of the local deal-flow (both on and off-market) and is well-versed in a variety of strategies from rent-roll renovation ideas to more extensive new-construction, speculative investments. He offers helpful resources, local connections, and efficiently navigates common challenges like: how to identify your dream home, how to sell your house for top-dollar…as well as how to deal with the inner workings of local building departments and how to get your beach sticker!
Tell us about your background and how you got into real estate?
Wall Street Banker – moved to Amagansett after 9/11. Raised two daughters with Mariah who owns/runs Playful Learning in East Hampton. I love to share and show my selective customers and clients the best investment on Earth – land in The Hamptons.
What is the Hamptons real estate market like as we head into the summer 2022 season?
Healthy, getting healthier + growing , Less chaotic.
We have a steady stream of buyers. More and more buyers want to be here all year or as their main residence. This is having a profound impact on the local community. Today’s smart buyers and investors are wise to be both patient and diligent – they really get to know which specific niche of the market they’re looking for. They are working closely with a smart local broker to truly understand every offering in their niche, and will become the best buyer at that moment in time – the ones who do this are assured to win the opportunity with or without a bidding war.
Growth in all sectors of the market will continue strong for the foreseeable future due to an entirely new buyer and ownership dynamic which starts with today’s buyers being more year-round residents than summer-season snowbirds.
The sellers have nowhere to move to locally, so if they do sell, most need to be ready to “move away” from the area, which is rare. With that said, you can’t blame them for wanting top-dollar if they chose to sell now. Many of my clients work in the finance industry and are keenly aware of national and international markets. They understand markets and understand that the Hamptons is its own market; the data points and local knowledge I provide them assist them in making their decisions.
How has it evolved since the start of the pandemic?
Covid fundamentally changed the landscape out here – and I argue that we will never go back to the pre-Covid Hamptons. Here is my argument: Of all the people who fled the city and elsewhere to make the Hamptons home during Covid, I predict 2/3 will return to where they came from over the next few years, with the remaining 1/3 staying and living here forever. Because these new buyers have found a way to both work and live away from the cities and no longer have to go into an office to make a living.
I think this is one of the best outcomes from Covid as the new buyer is not like the old buyer, who only used the house during the summer months and flew to warmer locations during the winter. Today’s buyer is much more a year-round resident, looking to get involved in their new, exciting and growing local community.
What is the 2022 outlook for Hamptons home sales?
Good question and here are a few answers…
Still a very steady buyer stream, with less chaotic urgency. Sellers still hoping for Covid premiums should know that buyers are becoming more patient- if you are a seller, now is the time to list your home for sale. And, even if you do not have the “perfectly staged turnkey Hamptons home,” by pricing it accordingly and doing your pre-listing homework, you can capture top dollar from a buyer who will take your house and renovate it to become their own custom home. But again – the trick is in hiring the proper broker/team to properly position your home/offering so the future buyer knows all potential upside scenarios for the property.
Youtube will become one of the dominant sales tools for selling real estate. With Covid-19, more deals are getting done digitally. These days nothing helps sell a property better than a well-made video explaining as concisely as possible the ins and outs of a listing. I love this trend – it is profoundly changing the way I list and sell properties already and I am just getting started.
Townhouses and Condos Become all the Buzz. I will also add, the coming decade and beyond will see a massive wave of new townhouse and condo developments in the Hamptons because of our limited single-family inventory and today’s buyer’s need for full-service living.
What is the climate for sellers?
Changing quickly, price it correctly! There are plenty of buyers but they know the market. I always recommend never selling Hamptons real estate, just turn it into an LLC and run it like a profitable rental property. Then enjoy using it when not being rented as it increases in value over time.
But, if you are seriously thinking about putting your house on the market, now is the time to do it – but do it thoughtfully. Interview a few top brokers that you get along with and communicate well with. Remember the selling process is not easy and it takes months, with dozens of very challenging conversations. Choose a broker you both like and like working with, and who represents you as best as possible. Remembering the goal is to work together as a team to get top dollar for your home and move the deal smoothly and efficiently towards the closing.
Are millennials Hamptons home buyers?
Yes and yes. Plenty of savvy young buyers are looking to begin building their real estate portfolio. I love this customer – less emotional, more grounded in today’s reality, and willing to grow value over time as long as the land has future upside-potential. And, I am looking forward to doing business with Bitcoin on the Blockchain in the not too distant future ;-).
What are some of the go-to steps millennials should take when purchasing their first Hamptons home?
Call and talk with a great broker. Share all of your home goals and really make sure the broker knows exactly what you are looking for and why.
So many people say it’s impossible to find a home Out East now—what do you say to that?
Not impossible at all. It just takes some time and energy and a good broker who you trust. Real estate in the Hamptons remains among the most beautiful assets on planet Earth. It has always, is always, and always will be – that’s what has always made it such a challenge. It’s one of the reasons I value so much what a good real estate broker can do.
Why is it better to purchase than rent in the Hamptons?
I’m not so sure it is – unless you are purchasing something to capture upside.
I have many clients who are correct when they tell me it is cheaper to rent than to buy because they are only here a few months a year.
On the other hand, if you are aiming to make the Hamptons part of your year-round lifestyle, then buying may be wiser. If you’re thinking long term it’s always better to buy.
Are you selling more older homes or are customers looking for new construction?
Both, and remember that a smart renovation can feel and actually be better than an average newer build
What are you most looking forward to this Hamptons season?
Another great year – and the opening of the Saunders East Hampton Village location on Main Street
Plus—please share 5 fun facts about you that people would be surprised to learn!
I grew up in California
I love skiing and surfing – but now golf is my favorite sport
I love America and think our best years are still ahead for us
I think Bitcoin will help revolutionize the global currency network