Wine lovers and weekend entertainers. Athletics aficionados and anyone who loves summer nights under the stars. Any passion can express itself in a special feature that can make a home truly magical. With the hottest season upon us, our gathering of real estate experts and insiders share their insights into what are the hottest amenities people want in an East End property right now.
“Wine cellars are de rigueur right now—well designed and beautifully lit, preferably visible and not confined to the lower level or ‘area formerly known as basement.’ Having a wine cellar with seating areas can turn the wine discussions/tasting into a feature of the entertaining. Butler’s pantries and additional kitchen space for prep work or for staff to cater events from the main kitchen ensures a pristine look throughout the evening entertaining. One of my favorite rooms that I feel is undervalued by buyers is the screened-in porch area—perfect for Hamptons entertaining, whatever the weather, in a bug-free environment. Who doesn’t need an inside/outside room?” —Maz Crotty, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Nest Seekers International
“For hot amenities, most buyers are looking for larger outdoor entertainment areas, including outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, even outdoor TV viewing areas. Screened-in porches and, as always, a pool and hot tub. Also, first-floor master bedroom suites seem to be more desirable today than in the past. Tennis courts don’t seem to be as desirable as they once were. There are numerous advantages to having a tennis court, such as converting to a sports court, basketball court, volleyball…”—Lynn November, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman
“The Hamptons market has transitioned from a summer to a four-seasons community. The market wants amenities that can be used all year round. High-end homes come with a lower level entertainment environment. This can include a theater, gym with a sauna and steam shower, wine cellar, billiard room, recreation room with gas fireplace, bowling alley, and, in some cases, even an indoor swimming pool. The house should be computer-controlled and have music throughout. Outdoors, beside the pool, and tennis court, we are now seeing pool houses, full barbecue kitchens, shade pagodas, and large open green spaces for the families to play.”—Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders & Associates
“Hot amenities that everyone seems to ask for these days are an outdoor seating area with fireplace or firepit and built-in barbeque or outdoor kitchen. Great pool and spa are a given. One key thing that I think does not get enough attention from buyers and sellers is quality of materials and craftsmanship. Everything looks good when new, but houses that are built with attention to detail will look just as great in 5 to 10 years and will hold up extremely well.”—Susan Brietenbach, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, The Corcoran Group
“Something people forget about is a beach pass. If you’re a tenant renting in the Town of East Hampton, you will be charged $350 so tenants and landlords should be aware of this.”—John Keeshan, Licensed Real Estate Broker, Keeshan Real Estate
“One of the hot amenities—no pun intended—that you’re seeing more of, especially when it comes to new construction, is outdoor fireplaces. Besides the ambiance they add, they can extend the outdoor living season by providing warmth on a chilly night. Another hot amenity that seems to be gaining traction is outdoor HD TV systems. What better place to root for your favorite baseball team than outside by the pool. One amenity, I believe, that seems to be in short supply is an elevator. I’m always amazed that builders don’t, as a matter of course, simply install them. Sweeping staircases are all well and good except when you have an elderly relative visiting or you, as an owner, injure a limb.”—John Christopher, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons, LLC
“I find that consumers today aren’t just looking for the biggest house on the block. They’re looking for more efficient use of space and a greater area allocated to ‘workhorse’ spaces, like the kitchen. I find that the amenity that doesn’t get enough attention from buyers or sellers is lighting!”—Sheri Winter Clarry, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, The Corcoran Group