The waterfront is embedded into the very way of life on the North Fork. Recreationally, boating, kayaking and paddleboarding, swimming, or trips to the beach are at the top of the summer to-do list. Greenport’s working waterfront attracts swells of visitors to restaurants and marinas, also driving the local economy with its vast fishing industry. In terms of real estate, waterfront homes are some of the most sought-after. Some just want the view, others want to spend as much time on Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay, and in other harbors, enjoying the waterways for as long as each season allows. North Fork real estate agents share what the local market is like for waterfront properties and why the area continues to grow as a destination for first and second homeowners.
Some agents have found there has been an uptick in sales of waterfront homes so far in 2019. At Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, real estate salesperson JoAnn Wind says the $2 million to $3 million price range has been strong, especially bay or sound front homes with beach access and inground pools. The latter is high on potential buyers’ wish lists. If there isn’t one already in place, they want to know there will be room for one in the future. Homes on creeks that have a dock or easy boating access to open water are also ideal.
While inventory in general on the North Fork is low, its popularity as a vacation and weekend destination has grown and diversified. “For me, most of the buyers are still coming from the Manhattan and Brooklyn areas, and we are also seeing a shift from the South Fork, especially on waterfront properties,” Wind notes. “Orient, Greenport, and Southold sound fronts are very popular right now as well as Nassau Point bay or creek front.”
The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home at 7055 Indian Neck Lane in Peconic exemplifies peaceful waterfront living with panoramic views of Little Peconic Bay and 650 feet of private, sandy beach. Sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters make for a serene summer afternoon. The waterfront deck is ideal for dining alfresco any time of day. These spaces can be enjoyed year-round, even in the winter just looking out over the water. Wind’s listing is on the market for $5.495 million.
Location is particularly critical when discussing waterfront properties. Homes can be changed and modified to meet the buyers’ needs, but the physical location of a waterfront is not interchangeable. What the buyer wants and needs is also individual. The ideal waterfront location is dependent on what use the homeowner wants. Do they want to fish or go boating? If so, licensed real estate broker Marie Beninati of Beninati Associates recommends bayside and creekfront properties. But if someone is looking for long stretches of beach to go swimming or go for a walk, typical locations suited for docking may not be a fit.
“Most of the fishing is done from the bayside and people with boats prefer to have them tied to a dock in their backyards,” Beninati says. “It’s a lifestyle. Jump in the boat early morning and go fishing. Jump in the boat in the evening and go for a moonlight cruise and dinner. Beachfront and swimming is another lifestyle. Walk out your back door, jump in the water on the sound or bay and swim to your heart’s content. In evening, break out a bottle of champagne and watch the sun set over Long Island Sound.”
Beninati’s listing at 645 Glen Court in Cutchogue is a prime example of a home suited for someone looking to enjoy the views and outdoor entertaining. Right on Long Island Sound and just a few steps to a private beach, the chalet-style home has an open floorplan with three bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms. The back of the home takes advantage of the views with walls of windows looking out onto the water. This home is on the market for $1.65 million.
While some agents are finding a more limited inventory of waterfront properties on the North Fork, Douglas Elliman licensed real estate salesperson Paul Loeb is seeing a good amount of waterfront properties for sale. Those with great beaches seem to be attracting the most buyers. When Loeb meets a buyer that wants to purchase a waterfront property, he often asks why. Is it boating, the beach, the view, or all three?
“Most of the buyers want the beach and that is generally the priciest,” Loeb explains. “If they are just looking for a view I can find them something much more affordable on a creek or inlet. If docking is needed it is a whole different language around the size of the boat and the depth of water needed for that boat. Many buyers want a pool on the waterside or room for a pool on the waterside, which can be tricky to calculate necessary setbacks to have room for a pool.”
For those looking to enjoy boating on the North Fork, Loeb’s listing at 430 Snug Harbor Road in Greenport is unique to others in the area. Like new, it is a pristine home that has been finished with the highest quality materials. Its sleek, modern design takes advantage of the waterfront views along the inlet that offers direct access to the bay and a deep water dock. This home with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms is listed for $1.8 million.
Being able to enjoy the North Fork’s bays, creeks, and beaches from your home is one of the most coveted real estate opportunities. The waterfront appeals to all different types of lifestyles, from boaters to those that just enjoy the view. With these properties embodying the North Fork lifestyle and many others calling to first and second homeowners, now is the time to explore the local market and make a purchase. Waterfront properties will only become more desirable. Where will you find yours?