Vintage Cottage in Springs 450K


THIS IS A PROPERTY I KNOW very well. It’s near where I live, for one thing, and I pass it almost daily. For another, I looked at it myself a year-and-a-half ago before buying a roughly similar place just down the road (this house has been mostly off the market since then).


I actually like the house a lot, and I like its potential even more. Can’t guess its age — 1920s perhaps? — but it had a big old barn, which has since been removed. The architecture is plain and unpretentious, with the cedar shingles characteristic of old East End houses. The kitchen is huge and has a country feeling. It’s got 2BR, as does mine, two baths (I have one), and a garage (I have none). It’s 1,000 square feet to my 800, and on a similar size lot, a ‘shy’ half-acre.


So why did I buy mine and not this one? First and key, mine cost 130K less than they’re asking for this house — but my house and property were in far worse condition. My lot is heavily wooded and has a more secluded feel. This one is more exposed, but nothing landscaping couldn’t fix. It cries out for a fence and hedge to shield it from the (fairly busy but not as bad as I feared at first) road.


The other thing that made me prefer my house is the fact that my main living space has a high peaked ceiling and skylights. The living and dining room here, below, feel a bit claustrophobic because the ceilings are low. Rip ’em out, I say (there’s nothing but empty attic space above), and you’ve got a soaring, expansive interior.


Furthermore, it’s in Springs, which I can now confirm as a full-time resident, is GREAT. We’ve got the best bay beaches and a cute historic district with a general store, library, art galleries, and the Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner Study Center. This house is a short walk from the historic district, as well as from two other vital amenities: a wine store and pizza place — and, of course, it’s five miles from East Hampton and Amagansett, if you’re looking for chic restaurants and/or ocean beaches.

The asking price is more than fair for all that. Now take it away. For more info, go here. Or contact Karen Benvenuto, Saunders Real Estate, 631/458-4933,

BROWNSTONE VOYEUR: Flying Colors in Fort Greene


BROWNSTONE VOYEUR is a joint project of casaCARA and Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, taking you behind the facades of those intriguing houses to see what’s inside. Look for it every Thursday on both sites!


DK HOLLAND’S house is the kind of place that makes people say, “I can’t believe this is New York City.”


The property consisted of three lots when DK bought it in 1990: a three-story, 1,800-square-foot building that was a tack house before the Civil War; a one-story structure, originally a stable, now occupied by Olea, a Mediterranean restaurant; and a vacant lot in between, on which DK built a wooden extension with a new kitchen and side porch, “grafted on”  to the original brick house, and created an enclosed garden with a flagstone patio.


DK did a top-to-bottom renovation in 2002-4. She added the front porch and opened up the second floor as a loftlike bedroom/study. The renovation exposed original brick and ceiling beams, which she painted white, and she retained later 19th century additions, including wainscoting and staircases. The furnishings are country-ish, bought mostly at auction in Vermont.


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Bayfront Cottage in Pine Neck for, say, 425K


I LOVE this old-fashioned 3BR cottage in an excellent location in Pine Neck, right on Noyac Bay. Two doors down, smack on the water, there’s a mean little shack, and they’re asking $3mil for it.

This one has a real summer-bungalow feel, though it’s winterized. Ask is 455K but James Keogh, the listing agent (, thinks it can be had for 425K or thereabouts — “400 to start the conversation.”

If I could have pulled it off, I would have, but it was a bit beyond my reach. I tried to talk my sister into buying it, so I could at least hang out there, but she didn’t bite.


Here’s what I love about it:

  • water views from nearly every window
  • the kitchen: roomy, clean, country-ish, and in the right place — at the back of the house, leading to the rear lawn and future porch
  • the funky ’40s trim, now painted blue, like the scalloped brackets under the window boxes
  • the windows, unique and original, with unusual vertical mullions in the top sash
  • it’s very near Foster-Memorial Long Beach Town Park, wonderful for swimming
  • the hip, historic town of Sag Harbor is only 2 miles away
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Here’s what would make it more fabulous:

  • landscaping
  • shutters, to give the windows more presence
  • removing the screening from the front entry porch, which faces the road (an exceedingly quiet road, but nonetheless)
  • putting a screened porch at the rear of the house, facing the water – duh!
  • slamming through the dropped ceilings inside the house and opening them to the roofline to create vaulted ceilings throughout


The Real Deal: Greenport Greek Revival 399K

152 Bay Avenue, Greenport, Long Island

152 Bay Avenue, Greenport, Long Island

OK, it’s the oldest real-estate cliche in the book, but this house is a gem. A Greek Revival built in 1810 by David Kendrick, a ship’s carpenter, on Long Island’s North Fork, it oozes authenticity, history and charm. It’s the real deal.

Just reduced from 459K to 399K, it’s an estate sale; proceeds will go to Cancer Care.

Picture it in summer

Picture it in summer

Its last owner, Hope Dewar Hendler, was a chic and feisty lady who worked in fashion and millinery for decades.  She continued to take the jitney from Manhattan out to her beloved Greenport cottage until shortly before she died last December at 92.

PROS: Harmonious ‘golden rectangle’ architecture (the main space is most

Picture it de-cluttered

Picture it de-cluttered

UNclaustrophobic, about 600 square feet with windows on three sides); formal lawn and garden with boxwood hedge, side pergola over a brick patio;  tiny country kitchen; original floor, doors, and windows. Wonderful location 1/2 block off Greenport’s attractive Main Street; 1/2 block to the harbor.

CONS: Only one small bedroom downstairs, 1 dated bath.  Tiny country kitchen (yes, that’s also a pro because it’s charming as hell, but small — no reason it couldn’t be expanded, however). House needs painting inside and out.

Picture it de-toiled

Picture it de-toiled


There’s also an unfinished but clean attic reached by a narrow twisting stair.  Kids might enjoy sleeping up there; adults will hit their heads on the rafters.

For more info: Suzanne Hahn, Brown Harris Stevens,

Please note: I am NOT a real estate broker, nor do I have any financial interest in the sale of any property mentioned on this blog.  I just like spreading the word about unique, historic properties and what I believe are solid investment opportunities.