Cottage-Hunting in Pine Neck


EVER ON THE TRAIL OF MY NEXT PROJECT, I went out the other day with my sister and  Steven Frankel of Saunders Real Estate to tour properties around the 500K mark in Pine Neck, near Sag Harbor, Long Island. If you’d like to do the same, or for more info on any of the houses in this post, contact Steve directly: 917/903-2005, He’s fun.

We had visions of a 1940s cottage with a front porch that could be ‘charmed up’ and transformed into a pleasant weekend home or used as a rental property.

Steve took us on a circuit of five houses that, by design or geography, went from bad to much better. The first was depressingly motel-like; I’ll spare you a photo of that one.

By the time we concluded our tour, house #5, below — a c. 1950 4BR, 2 bath with detached garage (artist studio!) and full basement — seemed like a substantial lot of house, a short stroll from a beautiful bay beach, top. 21 Elm Street has just been reduced to 499K, and it’s my considered pick of the bunch for value. 


Unlike most such houses, which have a warren of small rooms, this one has a living room with long sight lines, below, and skylights. The dropped ceiling could be removed to reveal a peaked ceiling, though buckets of whitewash over the dark paneling and maybe white floors would go a long way toward making the place feel more expansive.


In between, we saw 32 Birch, another 4-bedroom, below, built in 1950, that seemed overpriced at 575K. Virtually all these houses have attached sun rooms that are often the most appealing part. Here’s a link to the listing.


I thought the kitchen, below, was bigger and better than most.


Going back in time and down in price a bit, we next saw 12 Dogwood, a 1945 3-bedroom. For more photos, click here.



This last, 26 Dogwood, was built in 1938 as a summer cottage and is unheated to this day. It appealed to me for its simplicity and lower price: they’re asking 415K.



Any of these ugly ducklings can be clad with cedar shingles, dated ‘picture windows’ replaced, French doors substituted for aluminum doors, and on and on. Ya gotta have vision. And money, of course.

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in COTTAGE LIVING, HAMPTONS, LONG ISLAND, PROPERTIES FOR SALE, REAL ESTATE/INVESTING and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Cottage-Hunting in Pine Neck

  1. priscilla says:

    Love the last one, I would restore the open front porch.

  2. cara says:

    Some homeowners in the area have done that, including the very house next door. They really can be made to look much better!

  3. Astor C. says:

    this thought after seeing your post: You come to the end of it and there’s that fantastic Bklyn mansion. The contrast is eye-opening. Looking at the boring, bad 50’s ranches leaves you with a “why put all that effort into those ugly ducklings that at best will grow into so so cottages???

  4. cara says:

    Point well taken, Astor. I could do a post a la The New York Times “What you can get for …. $500K” ranging from a bad ’50s ranch in Pine Neck to a three-family house in Bushwick to a (small) horse farm in the Hudson Valley!

  5. Priscilla says:

    I don’t think you can go wrong betting on the Hamptons though. I love the idea of restoring some charm to these cottages (or introducing charm for the first time). Location,…etc.

  6. Harriet says:

    What great possibilities! I’m dreaming..

  7. cara says:

    That’s right, Priscilla. Bushwick doesn’t have a beach! Harriet, it’s a dream worth dreaming. I’m out on Long Island now, in mid-January, glorying in the sunny weather and making ready to take a walk down to the bay with a year-round neighbor. As long as there’s such a thing as the Internet…

  8. Priscilla says:

    My son lives in Bushwick and although it has it’s charms ( and great food) I’ll stick with the Hamptons or the Catskills where I am now a full time resident.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So here is the secret problem for all the homes in Pin Neck… High water table, meaning sewage problems when it rains alot, or to many people live in those little cottages.

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