Home News Big changes in real estate on Fire Island’s Ocean Beach

Big changes in real estate on Fire Island’s Ocean Beach

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The hustle and bustle of hammers and chainsaws ended at Ocean Beach, at least during the summer village demands, leaving a home suitable for the Hamptons.

Slowly over the past few years, small charming cottages over 100 years old have been replaced by larger modern and luxurious homes, with little change since then.

Realtors and contractors accelerated during the pandemic the changes that began shortly after the 2012 Super Storm Sandy, where homeowners received insurance and FEMA money to promote their homes in accordance with new government rules. Is called.

The scene of the end of summer on Ocean Beach in 2020.
Credit: Raychel Brightman

“It exploded at the high end,” says West Babylon-based Rob Serniri, who has been in the remodeling business for 35 years. “It’s the modernization of the whole town. The inherited homes are gone. It’s the” investors “who buy the property and have it remodeled.

Next to Ocean Beach with sea views, a five-bedroom, five-½ bath house is built in two compartments where the cottage once stood little unchanged from the 1950s.

The two-storey house on Laurel Avenue has a central air conditioning and 5,000-square-foot deck, a luxury kitchen, a second poolside laundry room, and a primary suite with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Great South Bay. .. The rooftop deck with waterside views is one of the most luxurious homes on Fire Island Market. It is listed for $ 4.79 million.

The view from the 5 bedroom house is doubled ...

View from a 5-bedroom home in two compartments with sea views, with views of Great South Bay.
Credit: Johnny Milano

“Every bedroom has a private bathroom. The living room has a fireplace and the large large room faces a 30 x 15 pool,” says Abigail Mago, a real estate agent and general manager. , A2 Development Group and Fire Island Sales and Rentals.

Her colleague, associate broker Joan Walletsky, recently sold her seaside home for $ 5.25 million. This is a record for the region, Mago said. Although it’s difficult to get accurate Fire Island statistics (most homes don’t show up in multiple list services, but are sold through local real estate offices), business people are both in sales and rent. I’m looking at soaring prices. A house that was once devastated in the mid- $ 500,000 can now get over $ 1 million.

“There is more thorough construction,” says Mago. “We are seeing more bowel repairs and true breakdowns.” Part of that is to comply with the FEMA height requirements imposed after Super Storm Sandy. Owners also want a more comfortable living space to extend their visit season.

Maintain atmosphere and enhance amenities

Prior to the trend, Fire Island homes were known for their rustic and even a little uncomfortable living space. For example, most homes weren’t well insulated, had only room air conditioning, and the decks could have been worn down.

“The level of affluence has changed significantly,” says Mago. “Now, if the product is great enough, people would think OK, this is the level of comfort I was looking for. It didn’t exist on the market.”

Realtors say both renters and buyers are looking for a realistic Fire Island atmosphere for towns and beaches, but when it comes to their homes, they want more equipment. increase.

Realtor Robin Citrinity lists 5 bedroom homes ...

Realtor Robin Citrinity rents a five-bedroom home in Surf Road, Ocean Beach for $ 13,000 a week. It was built where the bungalow stood.
Credits: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Loarca

“People don’t want to get old anymore,” says Lisa Campbell, an agent at Netter Beach Estates, who has a $ 1.5 million list of properties considered knockdown properties. “They want something new and shiny.”

According to Campbell, Fire Island has become more attractive to the people of Long Island because the traffic between the Hamptons and Montauk is often unacceptable. “It’s very beautiful here,” she adds.

More investors have discovered Fire Island, completely destroyed the cottage, and made investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars or more worthwhile to them.

A five-bedroom, three-bathroom home with a pool in Surf Road, Ocean Beach, built where the bungalows stood, costs $ 13,000 a week, says Robin Citrinity of Netter Beach Estate. list.

“Investors are bigger,” she says. “And they are rented to an extended family, or a couple of couples with children.”

Pools, once rare in the Ocean Beach area, are now a standard addition to newly built homes and are on the top wishlist. Owners are also looking for large windows and high ceilings that are not found in typical Fire Island homes.

“Difficult to accept”

For some, the change is awkward.

“I think it’s very difficult to accept what happened here,” says Todd Paburin, who has been on Fire Island since he was seven. “You are spending a million dollars. Put beautiful things, make good things, and put beautiful trees around them.”

Andy Meyer, a long-time resident, doesn’t bother. “Some of the modern ones are pretty cool, but you got some of the old people who survived,” he says. “It is wonderful.”

For people in the building industry, it was a race to the end. As the local saying goes, “You can’t swing a hammer” on Ocean Beach after June 30th.

Graham Associates, a Bayshore-based design company, has seen many changes over the last 25 years working on projects on Fire Island, but has been the busiest in the last few years.

“These were beach cottages that were only used during the summer, but now people are moving full-time,” says owner Glengraham. “People spend a lot of money there.”

The recently completed home on Ocean Beach is high on the foundation ...

Recently completed homes on Ocean Beach are elevated with foundation skirting, as required by the code.
Credit: Johnny Milano

A village known for its various rigorous ordinances, formerly nicknamed “The Land of No,” Ocean Beach has a skirt to hide the mountains of foundation in every new or significantly improved home. Graham says he has adopted a rule that requires the slope of the roof to be set as follows: Allows sunlight to reach adjacent properties. The village manager did not reply to the request for comment.

It can be a bit confusing to walk one of the iconic trails and notice that it’s changing a lot, but Fire Island is always a mess, mostly because of the car-free rules. It remains an unusually laid-back town, says realtors.

“I still believe that people who are drawn to Fire Island are drawn to calm destinations,” says Mago. “Here, it’s not towels like Jones Beach.”

Stephen Langford contributed to the report.

Built in 1952, this 3-bedroom cottage on the West Walk Inn ...

Built in 1952, this three-bedroom cottage on the West Walk of the summer club community is for sale for $ 2 million.
Credit: Lauren Chenault

Inside a 1,800 square foot cottage.

Inside a 1,800 square foot cottage.
Credit: Lauren Chenault

In the market

One of the traditional Fire Island cottages on the market that has the potential to be demolished or extensively refurbished is the $ 1,800-square-foot cedar sway house listed for $ 2 million.

One-level, three-bedroom homes in the summer club community are cold-proof, but lack the central air conditioning and swimming pool that most buyers want.

Built around 1952, this cottage is located on two acres of West Walk with four homes from the sea. It has a cathedral ceiling, hardwood floors, a wraparound deck, and 2½ bathrooms. The house has a baseboard electric heat with four zones.

“This property is big enough to build or leave your dream home with a pool,” says Robin Citriniti, a listing agent at NetterBeach Estates. “This is a great opportunity to buy a home, as summer clubs rarely have homes for sale.”

The community has its own clubhouse with a gym, mooring rights and tennis courts. You can also access Bay Beach. Elementary school students attend Woodhall Elementary School on Ocean Beach. Middle school and high school students attend mainland Bayshore or Ice Lip schools. The tax for 2021 was $ 9,294.

— STACEY ALTHERR

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