“I live in the Village of East Hampton on Cooper Lane, on the same property where I grew up,” shared Bill Stoecker of Town and Country Real Estate. “My children go to the same schools that I went to and we feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful and safe place.”
Stoecker, who has been in the real estate business for over 20 years, believes his background in banking gives him a competitive advantage. “I chose to live in East Hampton, where I grew up, after spending many years living in the Middle East and in Europe, where I was a banker,” explained Stoecker. “I knew that my experiences with investing and finance would apply very well to helping sellers and buyers here realize their goals.”
The broker uses his vast knowledge of his hometown area when searching for the right home for his client. “My specialty is my depth of knowledge of the market and the area,” said Stoecker. “There are properties that I have literally represented three or more times, a feat not too many brokers can say! I have knowledge of the inventory, in a way that can only be understood after many successful years of experience.”
When he’s not at the office, Stoecker likes to spend time at some of his favorite Hamptons places, which include Egypt Beach, Town Pond, Walking Dunes, The Living Room at c/o The Maidstone, Nick and Toni’s, The Palm, and his home, of course.
If “location” is the first rule in real estate, what is the second? Why?
WS: The second “rule” of real estate would be that there are no rules! I approach every listing, sale, rental and client individually and use my 20years of experience to guide the process along… it makes it a most enjoyable experience.
The Hamptons market has the high-end luxury section with homes well over $7 million and the flip side with homes under $500,000, plus all of the great homes in between. Where are the buyers right now?
WS: The Hamptons real estate market continues to be strong and healthy with almost all price points seeing activity. We just experienced great demand at the uber high-end and it’s due to the limited supply of say, ocean front properties, but I note in my business that there is still a very rigorous market in the 2 to 5 million dollar range, especially with current Hamptons owners trading up. They’ve made great investments in the past, and as the market continues to strengthen, they recognize that it’s still a wise investment to keep money in the real estate market here.
What is your forecast for the summer/fall real estate season in the Hamptons?
WS: Earlier demand for those exceptional rental properties in the 250k plus summer rental market. In sales, demand for turnkey homes that are ready to go for the 2016 season. It’s a well-known fact that renovation and property improvement projects can be challenging as May gets closer, so to make the most of the summer, people are acting earlier. Buyers respond to a new home and make offers much faster compared to a similar home that has even a few years of age.
What are the emerging trends in architecture?
WS: So called “transitional” architecture is very hot right now. Traditional Hamptons exteriors with some tweaking. Builders of traditional shingle style homes are now incorporating design elements like board siding, white exteriors and a mixture of textures that enhance and blend in with the old. Interiors are much more streamlined and modern.
How have buyers/sellers changed over the past two years?
WS: I don’t think that buyers and sellers have really changed at all! Sellers still want their property to be represented in the best possible way by trustworthy experienced professionals and to achieve the highest price possible. Buyers may be much more tech savvy in terms of being able to do extensive independent research on the internet, but they ultimately depend on me to know the market and to guide them.
When it comes to unique features and amenities, homes in the Hamptons have it all. What are some of your favorites/amenities that really stand out?
WS: Unique or must have features in Hamptons homes include home office/study, ground floor master, outdoor living rooms, outdoor fireplaces, finished basement with home theaters, gyms, 10′ ceiling height, and 2 to 3 car garages, to name a few.
Which towns/villages are the most sought-after right now?
WS: East Hampton Village is consistently on people’s radar as being incredibly desirable. Amagansett is white hot. The hamlet enjoys proximity to ocean beaches, beautiful bay properties, the charming lanes, and it still has open vistas of farmland. Amagansett sellers are typically reinvesting in… Amagansett.
What is so special about the Hamptons real estate market?
WS: In the Hamptons, real estate is a really big industry. Real estate agents are just the tip of the iceberg. This is a place where a very large percentage of inhabitants make their living from buying, building, renovating and servicing properties. The best architects, builders and tradespeople work here and it shows in the beautiful homes all around us.
Tell us about some of your most memorable sales and what made them so. Was it the selling price, location, celebrity buyer?
WS: No comment. My clients, celebrity or not, can be sure of my discretion.
Tell us about one of your favorite listings on the market right now.
WS: Actually, it’s one of my listings. A large property which is roughly 14 acres of cleared land, adjacent to another 10 acres of town owned preserved land. Formerly a farm, it’s now an incredibly well built 5,500 sf residence with terrific woodworking and not one inch of sheetrock. It has beautifully landscaped grounds, a pool, pool house, outbuildings, tennis and detached garage. A must-see for $6,495,000, and just outside East Hampton Village. Also, I have a 4 acre, new construction coming on shortly, which is roughly 7,000 sf on four acres and is traditional on the outside with very modern interiors. This will be priced just under $5 million.