Why do you specialize in Southampton Village?
I do work throughout the Hamptons, but, since I live in the Village full-time, year-round, raising two children here, and having a house here for more than 20 years, it’s only natural to develop a specialized knowledge of this area. From south of the highway estates to charming cottages on quintessential village streets, Southampton Village offers so much to so many of my customers.
How does your background as an attorney help you with your real estate business?
My legal background really comes into play by knowing how to move a deal into contract, and then from contract to closing. I understand that the deal is not complete until contracts are signed, the contract terms are met and we have a closing. Understanding what needs to happen to accomplish a closing means I can help avoid, or solve, any problems. Regarding listings, in particular, there are many steps customarily taken after contracts are signed that can be taken at the time we list; taking those steps earlier expedites the contract signing and helps get to a closing sooner.
As the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Southampton Village, what are the most frequent challenges you face?
The most frequent challenge is to balance the needs and desires of an individual homeowner, who wants to improve their property, with the needs of the general community, who want to maintain a certain, special character. Individual homeowners have the right to expand their homes and add accessory structures, however, sometimes those improvements can raise objections from neighbors. I need to help facilitate a reasonable balance.
Do you feel the market is headed for a big downturn?
I do not really think that the market is headed for a big downturn. Higher interest rates will soften pricing; many buyers here do not need a mortgage but they may still obtain a mortgage, and their interest carrying costs are a factor in their decision as to the price they are willing to pay; higher interest rates may translate to a call for slightly lower purchase prices. Strong demand still seems prevalent and there is not enough supply. What has changed is that buyers have more time to consider their options and, perhaps, negotiate a better deal. For a while, buyers and sellers will need to find another equilibrium, a place where deals can be made.
What are some of the things that makes Southampton Village so special to you?
First and foremost, this is the place where both of my children are growing up…being able to raise a family in this place filled with nature, history and beauty is really amazing. Southampton Village is one of the few Villages that does not have Route 27 running through the Village Center, creating a more “local” feeling. Of course, Coopers Beach and all of the numerous other beaches, the Bayfront, the Estate Sections, the historic Village homes, the preserved history, relative to its size – there is a tremendous amount of variety.
Which areas of the Village do you find the most interesting from a real estate perspective?
One of the reasons I continue to work in real estate is that I find all areas of The Hamptons and Southampton Village continually interesting. We have a varied landscape, even in the Village; neighborhoods change from one block to another and throughout the Hamptons and the Village. How you can develop your property varies according to the zoning district in which you are located and the guidelines governing that zoning district.
What are some listings that you have in Southampton Village that you are excited about?
I have to say that 149 White Street, a home that the current owners maintain meticulously, and their love and care emanates throughout the home, is one of my favorite listings right now. It is one of those homes that could not be recreated today and that makes it so special. I have a few listings about to hit the market in the village…watch this space!
You can reach Mark by emailing him at [email protected] or by cell phone at (917) 596-4426