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I HAVE IT ON GOOD, IF THIRD-HAND, AUTHORITY — from the friend of a friend of a friend — that the 1970s modernist gem, above, on Hog Creek in Springs, N.Y. is highly, highly negotiable. I think the place is pretty fabulous in a Hamptons kind of way, harking back to the boom building years of the 1970s and ’80s.

Cube-like, cedar-sided houses with expansive decks like this one are more common near the ocean, in the former potato fields south of Montauk Highway, than they are here, five miles north of said highway, where the beaches are those of unspoiled and uncrowded Gardiner’s Bay.

So I was sitting at one of those beaches the other evening, watching the sun set and running my mouth to a friend about how I’d still love to trade in my cute ’40s cottage for either an old farmhouse or a place with some kind, any kind, of water view.

My friend said she knew of a house nearby that was still on the market after a year, and that the owner, now elderly and fed up with it all, was very eager to sell. She put in a call to her friend — the friend of the owner — who gave us the address. “It’s a square box,” he said dismissively, and we went off to look at it with low hopes.

In fact, I found the house — on 2/3 of a wooded acre, with frontage and a boat launch on Hog Creek, above, which leads into Gardiner’s Bay — very attractive. I have no objection at all to the architecture. I like its symmetry, proportions, and wraparound decks. We couldn’t access the upper deck, which would have provided a better view of the creek, but peered into the windows of the three bedrooms on the lower level.


Pay no attention to the original ask of 825K. I’m given to understand an offer of 500K would not be unreasonable under the circumstances. The house is part of the Lion’s Head neighborhood association, with its own bayfront marina and beach, a mile or so north of Maidstone.


The house is not for me, after all; I’d still rather have a 19th century farmhouse. But I can’t help fantasizing furniture from Design Within Reach (or its ilk), rya rugs, super-graphics on the walls, great modern lighting.


For those who embrace such a vision, the listing, with interior photos, is here.


I’VE BEEN GETTING FED UP with house prices here in the Humptons. Yesterday my friend Debre and I stumbled upon an old farmhouse with a ‘For Sale’ sign on Old Stone Highway in Springs, below, found the door open (!) and the realtor’s flyers conveniently stacked on the kitchen counter. I was hoping it was under $1mil. In fact, they’re asking $2.5mil.

Turns out that’s for two houses — a barn-like 7BR place built at the back of the property in 2001, plus the renovated 4BR 19th century house, above, nearer the road (suggested in the literature as a guest house), both on 1.5 acres. Still, that’s a big number, and this blog is supposed to be about affordable real estate.

So I decided to troll the listings to see what’s new on the low end of the scale here on the East End of Long Island, and turned up these three older properties — one in the Sag Harbor area on the South Fork and two in Greenport on the North Fork — for much more agreeable prices. (Click on the live links below for more details.)

I love the look of this 2BR Craftsman-style bungalow in Greenport, below, asking 365K. Said to be in excellent condition, with a couple of outbuildings, and well-located near the harbor.


These have always intrigued me: Breezy Shores is a bayfront community in Greenport made up of classic 1940s beach cottages, below, with a shared beach and marina. No heat, unfortunately, so their use is limited, and prices have gone up since I last looked. There are two available, asking 349K for each.

See how great it could look here.


This nondescript cottage, below, is really cheap for the South Fork: asking 299K. Not having seen it, I make no representations. It’s on Noyack Avenue in Pine Neck, near the water, with mooring rights and gas heat. Maybe it could be charmed up? I’m sure a team of editors from Domino magazine could have done it.


With summer ending, houses languishing on the market, and interest rates still low, this could be a very good time to look.


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