July 14, 2013

Alex Brunkhorst

Ten Amazing Vacation Homes

Real Estate
Southampton, NY Southampton, NY
Southampton, NY

Tips for Vacation Home Buying:

1. Choose a good real estate agent. This is obvious for any purchase, but particularly when buying a vacation home. Most likely you don’t know the ins-and-outs of a foreign market, so work with someone who does.

2. “Too good to be true” often is. That four bedroom shingle house in the Hamptons with a pool for $500K? Before you stick it on your Black AMEX do some checking. Maybe it’s sitting on a rarely used runway at East Hampton airport or in a mosquito protection area.

3. Visit the house you’re buying in person. Remember that guy you met on Match.com who looked so cute in photos? Vacation homes are often the real estate equivalent. Photos lie.

4. Consider investment objectives. If times turn the vacation home is the first to go. Is the area blue chip and saleable? Should you need to lease it out, is it a viable and/or profitable rental?

5. Don’t make an emotional buy. A vacation home is one of life’s ultimate luxuries, but you still need to be practical about it. Is the house in an area you’d want to visit during all seasons? (Ski destinations are great second homes because they’re fantastic in summer too.) Sure, Marbella sounds great, but is there stuff for the kids to do there? Does the area have easy in-out-access or does it take you a weekend to get there? Are you buying on a lake but hate lakes? The last is a true story from one of my clients, so think it through.

  1. Robert Stern Aspen ($19,950,000)

    Prime area, blue chip architect, access to slopes and summer festivals … the only thing that would be better is a personal racquetball court. Has that too? Look no further.

  2. Lake Geneva Waterfront ($5,600,000)

    Lake Geneva was once the playground for wealthy industrialists from Chicago and Milwaukee, and for house lovers it’s one of the most beautiful lakes anywhere. There’s an original path around the lake that takes hours to walk, and it rivals that of Newport, Rhode Island in my mind. Real estate cardio.

  3. Malibu Beach Pad ($6,795,000)

    Brad Dunning (who’s also designed homes for Tom Ford, Steven Meisel, Demi Moore, and fashionable others) designed this one. I’ve been in it and it’s one of my favorite beach houses everywhere.

  4. Nantucket Charmer ($10,800,000)

    So many of my clients start by saying they want “Diane Keaton house in the Hamptons” or the “‘Something’s Gotta Give’ house.” This is the Nantucket interpretation.

  5. New York Co-Op ($579,000)

    Sure, Manhattan gets a bad rap in the summer, but not true! For those who don’t live there, it’s the perfect vacation destination. And US Open is around the corner.

  6. Oceanside in Kennebunkport ($1,695,000)

    Maine’s an awesome vacation spot for the low-key. In other words, if you’re not compelled to show off your G5 at East Hampton Airport and your kids don’t necessarily need to swing with Matthew McConaughey’s at the Malibu Country Mart, then Maine may be the spot for you. (Though Kennebunkport does have it’s fair share of famous neighbors.)

  7. Venice Modern ($995,000)

    Venice is one of the hottest ‘hoods in the world - yes, the world - right now. Google’s moved in, surf’s up, Cali girls are still the hottest (biases aside), and there are some of the best restaurants and bars at your doorstep. Warning: The multiple offers required to get in there right now are not for the faint of heart.

  8. Southampton Beauty ($24,995,000)

    I’ve always loved this one. I’m a sucker for indoor pools, and this one has one of my favorites.

  9. Miami Penthouse ($14,500,000)

    Miami in the summer may not appeal to everyone, but just think of how much fun you’ll have here in the winter. Oh, and look at that closet. Sold.

  10. Big Sur Stunner ($5,000,000)

    There are few more beautiful and romantic spots in the world than the northern coast of California, and Mark Mills is THE architect for many of this area’s most stunning houses.



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