From the darkness, we have light

Isn’t It Ironic? Hamptons Real Estate Hot

What if you had a pandemic and everyone came?

People are moving here, in droves. Right now, it’s renters and existing second-home owners. But a few insiders are betting our newfound friends are going to start buying up residences.

That’s not an easy case to make. Existing-home sales dropped nationally in April, continuing what is now a two-month skid in sales brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Association of Realtors. Each of the four major regions experienced a decline in month-over-month and year-over-year sales, with the West seeing the greatest dip in both categories.

But we are not, and have never been, everywhere else. Consider our year-round population has skyrocketed — rumor has it Sag Harbor schools have hundreds of newcomers. These are well-heeled city folk who have just realized they can work from out here and their kids can live here full-time.

“Those people could decide to get a permanent safe haven as a means to escape the New York City area, particularly with the possibility of a second coronavirus outbreak occurring in the fall or next winter,” Fox Business predicted.

Chris Covert of Compass, interviewed by The Independent last month, is another believer. Covert said, “I’m seeing closings that occur in cars. I called this a month ago.”

One insider told FOX Business, “The number of ultra-high-end sales was unusual for the time of year, driven by what he deemed an increasing number of very wealthy people that have been deciding to invest. And that trend is likely to bode well for a rebound in the region.”

Oh, and then there are the mortgage rates: the banks are literally giving the green stuff away, and that never hurts.

This waterfront on a Flanders peninsula is on sale for $1.2 million. Independent/Town & Country

Speaking Of Bargain Buys

A waterfront residence on a Flanders peninsula is newly listed for $1.2 million. That’s right, there isn’t a zero missing at the end of the price. Re-imagine the ad: Waterfront in Southampton! Under $10 mil! Because Flanders really is part of Southampton Town.

Located on the south side of the Peconic River, Flanders offers a wealth of options for bargain hunters.

The 2100-square-foot traditional styled two-story floor plan encompasses three total bedrooms and three full baths. An additional feature is a weight and exercise room. Spectacular unobstructed views of the water can be found in virtually every room in the house. There’s even a backdrop of Robins Island. Situated adjacent to a bird sanctuary, there is abundant wildlife all year round. Mary Ann Follenius has this new listing for Town & Country.

Sayres Manor

If you do want to spend big, Saunders & Associates has also landed the Sayres Manor property for representation. It’s a pretty extraordinary residential compound in Wainscott, brilliantly designed by world-renowned Heiberg Cummings.

This unique 12,000+/- square-foot estate has plenty of room for social distancing. Set on 2.24 acres with 14 bedrooms, 13 full and three half-baths, and five fireplaces, there are plenty of places to quarantine.

A highlight is the spa area with oversized Jacuzzi, plunge pool, and fire pit outdoors. Inside the spa building is a sensational living room with fireplace, two bedrooms, full kitchen, and multiple spa and treatment rooms including a sauna, hot and steamy caldarium, and warm tepidarium. A separate building for an office, library, or art studio is behind the spa.

Exclusively represented by Stacey Cohen with Saunders & Associates. Contact her at or 917-940-8244.

Saunders & Associates has landed the Sayres Manor property for representation. Independent/Saunders

Artists Writers Game . . . Of Monopoly

Nathaniel Prime’s mansion at 1797 Madison Street in Sag Harbor has only known a handful of owners in its long lifetime — but it’s getting shuffled around pretty quickly nowadays.

According to the New York Post, which broke the story, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house was built in 1797 as the original manse, or minister’s residence, of the Methodist church across the street. Prime actually wrote a history of Long Island during his tenure there.

Skip to recent times, Hal McKusick for many years called it home. In 1958, McKusick led a small group with Bill Evans and worked with the likes of Art Farmer and John Coltrane. After moving to Sag Harbor, he taught at the Ross School in East Hampton. McKusick died of natural causes at the age of 87.

Nathaniel Prime’s mansion on Madison Street in Sag Harbor is available. Independent/Courtesy BHS

The world-famous saxophonist was a master craftsman as well, and as a result, the historic character of the house remained intact, though the amenities befitted the multi-million dollar asking price put on the structure after McKusick passed on.

According to the Post, Prime House features four wood-burning fireplaces, original period moldings, and 200-year-old floors — along with updates like central air-conditioning, a new chef’s kitchen, new baths, and a laundry room. The first floor features the kitchen, living room, dining room, and den.

There’s also a guest-bedroom suite with access to a second-floor loft. The second floor boasts the master bedroom, full bath, sitting room, and a writing loft. There’s also a large landing, two bedrooms, and a full bath on the third floor.

The artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik became smitten and purchased not only the house but the church across the street as well for a reported $7 million. Now the couple is spinning the house off for an asking price of $3.49 million. The traditional home sits on 0.15 acres and features a terraced backyard, along with a separate commercial barn that can be used as a workshop, artist’s studio, or retail space.