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On The Waterfront

Expert Advice From North Fork Real Estate Veterans

The real estate market of the past three years has been ferocious across the United States. On the North Fork, the interest has been endless. This year, Douglas Elliman reported that the median sales price on the North Fork surged 86 percent between 2012 and 2021, rising from $430,000 to $830,000 and outpacing the Hamptons in home appreciation. Inventory is at a historic low, and home values are at an historic high. 

Presented by Marianne Collins of Brown Harris Steven

Is this the time to invest in waterfront property on the North Fork? The North Fork, with its sizzling hot market, still offers opportunities to buyers in the know, says Marianne Collins, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Brown Harris Stevens. “The North Fork has an amazingly varied coastline, with Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay and its many creeks and inlets, even lakes,” Collins says. “A buyer may choose to focus on just one of these categories, or be open to all.” She suggests keeping a close eye on the market and working with an agent who knows the market well and who “can quickly bring new properties to your attention.” 

Thomas McCloskey, Licensed Real Estate Broker with Douglas Elliman says that it’s important for buyers to consider the following questions when purchasing waterfront properties: Is the house in a flood zone, does the house have flood insurance, if the property is bulkheaded, what is its condition like and what about the adjacent properties, was there any damage in past hurricanes to the property? “People are looking for sandy beaches, unobstructed views and open floor plans, with up-to-date aesthetics,” McCloskey says. “A pool is always a positive, as is a dock that is already in place, or has approvals.”

Presented by Thomas McCloskey of Douglas Elliman

It’s always important to seek guidance from local experts, such as engineers, environmental consultants, expeditors, dock-builders, and your real estate attorney. For those looking to add to a piece of waterfront property — pools, home expansions, and more — Collins says to check setbacks and regulatory requirements. 

“When shopping for waterfront properties, keep in mind that we are lucky enough to be surrounded by the Long Island Sound which is best known for sunsets and some liken it to a Mediterranean feel. And the Peconic Bay, which is also great for boating, has many creeks that lead out to both bodies of water,” says Sheri Winter Parker of Corcoran. 

Presented by Sheri Winter Parker of Corcoran

It never hurts to inquire about the coastal erosion map and flood insurance as you shop for waterfront properties, but the most important thing to consider when looking for waterfront, is your lifestyle. Are you a boater or aspire to become one? You might want to consider a dock on your property. Or, if that is not a current consideration might it become one? If the answer is no, there are many marinas that can certainly house your boat should you change your mind and decide to settle on the bay or the sound.  

Make sure to work with a seasoned agent who knows the ins and outs of all of these aspects of your search!

Choosing a waterfront property is always a matter of personal preference. Some buyers want to be on the bay for its sandy beaches, others on the sound for the sunset views and dramatic coastline bluffs. Either way, there is always something to be found for those who are willing to do the search. But be sure to get started early, as competition for the best properties remains fierce.

Relying on help navigating the waters of the North Fork’s real estate market — pun intended — can have life-changing consequences, even in a competitive market. “As with any property purchase, do your due diligence with support of your team,” Collins says. “Be sure the property fits most of your goals.” Whether those goals are watching the sun set over the water from your North Fork home or swimming from the sandy beach of your own private oasis are up to you and you alone.