AUGUST RENTAL: COTTAGE NEAR BAY, SPRINGS (EAST HAMPTON), N.Y.

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WANT TO RENT my bright and comfortable 1940s cedar-shingled cottage in Springs, N.Y. (5 miles north of East Hampton village) August 1-31? It’s on a landscaped half-acre with a view into peaceful woods from the back deck.

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The house is half a mile – a 10 minute walk, 5 minute bike ride, or 2 minute drive –from the beautiful, unspoiled, never-crowded Maidstone Beach on Gardiner’s Bay.

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– 2BR (one full bed, two twins), 1 bath

– High ceilings, skylights, screened porch, huge deck, best outdoor shower ever

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– ½ mile to Maidstone Beach, 1 mile to Louse Point (another spectacular beach on Accabonac Harbor). Superb swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc.

– 5 miles to ocean beaches at East Hampton and Amagansett

-Under 1 mile to Springs Historic District, including Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner House and Springs General Store

– 10 minutes East Hampton Village, 10 minutes Amagansett, 20 minutes Sag Harbor, 25 minutes Montauk (restaurants, bars, stores, art galleries, historic houses, movies, etc.)

– 2-1/4 hours from NYC, barring traffic

– Washer-dryer in basement

– Flat-screen TV, DVD player, Wi-Fi, printer, iPod dock

– A/C in living room, ceiling fans in LR and MBR

– $7,000 August 1-31

To see more photos, go here. Email caramia447@gmail.com if interested in renting, or for more information. Thanks!

Artist’s Retreat in Springs 550K

UPDATE 1/28/11: This property has been sold for 450K. Someone got a steal!

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THIS NEW-TO-MARKET HOUSE harks back to the heyday of Hamptons Bohemia — not as far back as Jackson Pollock, but to the 1970s, when Willem deKooning, Franz Kline, Constantino Nivola, and many more lived and worked prolifically in studios set in the woods of Springs (East Hampton), N.Y.

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Built in the early ’70s by painter John McMahon and adjacent to property still owned by the deKooning family, the house belongs to an artist who is retiring to California.

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It has characteristic elements of that era’s architectural design: a soaring cathedral ceiling, abundant light from expansive panes of glass, a ceramic tiled floor, built-in banquette seating and bookshelves, and an antique wood stove set against a wall of fanciful mixed brick.

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The house itself has 2 bedrooms, one of which is a loft-like upper-level studio with a private deck, and 2 baths. There’s also a 500-square-foot studio with a separate entrance and its own kitchen and bath, with skylights, a sleeping loft, and a work table on a pulley that opens out over a built-in bed.

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It’s situated on a quiet two-thirds of an acre, set back from a barely trafficked road, where it seems like the ’80s, ’90s, and 21st century may never have happened.

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For more information, go here, or call Rebekah Baker at Brown Harris Stevens, 631 258 5991.

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Happy Houseplants

MY HOUSEPLANTS ARE THRIVING indoors for, like, the first time ever.

A huge split-leaf philodendron, an asparagus fern, a peace lily that never bloomed, a variegated ficus I thought had a ‘weeping habit’ because it was so droopy — all struggled for years in Brooklyn, with weak light from north-facing or obscured windows.

Put them under skylights on Long Island, and all hell breaks loose! The peace lily is blooming, the ficus standing tall.

One of the things I feared when I bought this house was an excess of skylights. They turn out to be a boon in these short end-of-season days, for my state of mind and for the plants.

And my amaryllis are such fun to watch; they grow an inch a day. I ordered three bulbs this year from White Flower Farm and potted them up. I don’t remember which is which, but I’m really looking forward to ‘Evergreen,’ below, a new offering from South Africa, smaller than standard amaryllis, but what a great, unusual color.


Contract Remorse

p1020303THIS WEEK I went to contract on a 1940s shingled cottage in Springs (or is it “the” Springs? I guess I’ll find out). It’s a hamlet a few miles north of East Hampton, on Long Island’s South Fork. I should be celebrating, right? Instead I’m worrying.p1020310

The seller took two weeks to return the contracts with her signature, after I had scraped together my down payment and sent my signed contracts to her attorney. As the days passed, I began to think she had changed her mind about selling (even though the house was on the market for almost a year before I came along), or had gotten a better offer. I decided that wouldn’t be so terrible, and began to feel relieved.p1020664

—————————————————————-  Then yesterday I got word that the seller’s contracts were signed. Now I have to start worrying in earnest. Not about getting a mortgage. That’s looking good at 5.375%.

 

 

Here’s a sampling of things I’m worried about:

  • The location. Will I like Springs? I’d never even been there before the January day I saw this house. I wasn’t even looking on the South Fork. I was on my way to the North Fork.
  • The garden. It’s neglected and overgrown. The garage was smashed to bits by an errant branch of a giant cherry tree and needs to be hauled away. There are lots of broken trees that need to be professionally dealt with. How bad will the deer be?
  • The money. Will it over-stretch me? Will I be able to rent it this summer? Will I be able to rent it in the off-season if I need to? Will I ever be able to use it myself?p1020315

Now you’re thinking, Fool! Why did she sign that contract?!

OK. Here’s what’s good about it:

  • The house itself. Of all the houses I looked at, and I had been ISO my next property for about a year, it felt the most “right.” Something I could handle, space with good feng shui, a potentially wonderful gardening property
  • The location. Despite the busy-ish road, the property has a feeling of seclusion. It’s backed by undeveloped Town land, virgin Long Island oak forest. It feels very country, yet it’s a short walk to a gorgeous bay beach (Maidstone, bottom) and a 10 minute drive to the ocean. It’s near Jackson Pollock’s and Lee Krasner’s home and studio, which is cool.
  • The property. Nothing compared to the mountainside you could get in the Catskills for the same money, but in terms of 20’x100′ Brooklyn brownstone lots: more than EIGHT of ’em.
  • The money. Having done all that house-hunting, I think I’m getting a good deal at 320K (the house appraised at 400K; does that count as equity yet?)p1020334

Beyond all that, I’ll have fun fixing the place up, and it doesn’t really require that much. And I’m gonna LOVE the garden – working in it, sitting in it, looking at it.

At this point, I don’t have much choice except to close my eyes and jump, and hope everything turns out all right.p1020328